Your Web Hosting Matters

By June 10, 2020July 10th, 2020No Comments

Most companies don’t think much about their web hosting.  It’s a minor expense that usually goes to whoever handles their website and is often lumped into a package of maintenance and other updates.  And we get it.  It’s a small thing that doesn’t feel like it affects much, but website hosting really does affect much more than you think.

As a digital marketing company that deals with a large number of websites every day, let us implore you to take a few extra minutes to think through your web hosting next time the contract comes around.

Please note – we typically don’t handle web hosting, and don’t make much (if anything) in the rare instances that we do.

Our advice simply comes from what we’ve noticed over time and what we have found is truly best for our clients.

Understanding Your Hosting Cost

It’s amazing that companies will pay $3,000 or more each month for SEO, but then will balk about paying an additional $50 per month for their hosting.  In most cases, that’s because people don’t understand the importance of good web hosting and how it affects their website.

So, rather than thinking “how can I get the best deal on web hosting?” or “there’s no way I’m paying 4x as much for web hosting,” the best way to look at your hosting cost is “how is this going to affect my users” or, more importantly, “what is the ROI vs. cost that this web hosting will bring me.”

Any extra cost for hosting DOES NOT MATTER if it is bringing in revenue beyond the additional cost.  In our experience, that happens almost every single time.

When you’re thinking about web hosting, here is what you need to consider:

Website Speed for SEO and User Experience

Different website hosts and different plans will affect your website speed. The proportional cost may seem like a lot, but the actual dollars spent, as it relates to the other money you spend on your website, is actually very little.

Let’s be honest here, we all open the microwave door with 1-2 seconds left because at that point we’re done waiting for the thing to be finished and beep.  If you can’t wait 1-2 seconds for your Hot Pocket, do you think people are going to wait for your site to finish loading when there’s 100,000 other search results Google just gave?

Your site needs to load fast, and your hosting is a critical part of that.  Consider that:

  • A 100-Millisecond delay in load time can cause conversion rates to drop by 7% (Unbounce)
  • Pages that load within 2 seconds have an average bounce rate of 9% while pages that take 4 seconds to load have an average bounce rate of 38% (Unbounce)
  • 40% of consumers will leave a webpage that needs more than 3 seconds to finish loading (Webgazer)
  • Google has directly indicated that site speed is one of the signals it uses to rank pages (Moz)
  • Slow page speed means that search engines crawl fewer pages with the allocated crawl budget (Moz)

If your site is slow, fix it now.  Most likely, a change in web hosting is also due (You can see how your site performs by using Google Page Speed Insights here: ).  Hosting can change your website speed by doing things like:

  • Providing faster response times
  • Using resources dedicated to your site (or shared with other sites, which results in slower speed)
  • Hosting images on a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Hosting at a closer location

Website Uptime

The only thing worse than a website that is slow is a website that is down altogether.  Most web hosting today has reliable uptime.  There are some outliers though.  We recommend using a tool like to monitor your website and get an alert every time your site goes down.  If you’re getting a lot of emails, change your hosting immediately!

Most companies look to provide 99.999% uptime (5.25 minutes of downtime per year), which is considered “high availability.”  If you’re not critical (such as a hospital or major financial institution), 99.99% (52 minutes, 36 seconds/year downtime) or 99.98% (1 hour, 10 minutes, 7 seconds) are considered good uptime ratios.

Hosting Support

You’re bound to have issues at some point with your hosting.  Hopefully, this is rare, but it happens.  You may need support during migration, have unexpected downtime, or some other hosting issue.  Most people don’t worry about support until they need it, but then it’s too late.  This is one that’s worth the cost.  If you have an issue, and the hosting provider has bad web support, it’s much more costly than it’s worth.

If you have an agency helping you with support at a cost of $100-$150/hr, and bad support requires them to be on the phone with your host for 5 hours, that cost has probably exceeded the cost of premium hosting, with the added cost of significant headache.  Not worth it at all.

Who We Recommend

In most cases, we recommend Pagely for hosting (not an affiliate link – again, we don’t make money on hosting).  Among other things, Pagely has:

  • Incredible reliability and uptime
  • Great cache to help web speed, and a CDN powered by Amazon
  • The best support we’ve encountered in hosting (and it’s not even close)
  • High level security

It is a premium hosting service, and is priced accordingly, but is worth every penny (compare it to what else you’re paying for your online presence – a lot of add for relatively low cost all things considered).

The other host we recommend is WP Engine.  The cost is definitely lower than Pagely, and you do sacrifice with a lower cost.  The support and uptime are good, though you will sacrifice some speed comparatively.  If for some reason you can’t quite spring for Pagely, WP Engine is a solid second choice.

Let Us Know if You Need Help

Have more questions or need some guidance?  Just let us know through the contact form and we’ll be happy to give you a hand.

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