Specialist Hosting for Small Business Owners
Most people setting up a new business will need specialist hosting if they want an effective website to help their business get sales, communicate their business and get listings on search engines. There are a whole host of companies out there who provide hosting, but choosing the wrong sort of hosting can affect your business website visibility, security and support.
When you have a website you want it go gain visitors to turn into customers. You want it to communicate your service/products. You want a contact point for prospects to call, email or leave a form message to enquire. You want your site to be found and visible.
You have two options in essence.
One. You can rely on people visiting your site because you advertise and drive sales through adverts, you hand out leaflets, you ask others to share your page on social media, you have friends with email lists and they promote it. You are doing activity to drive traffic directly.
Two. You rely on search engines (Google has 90% of the search traffic, so that tends to get the focus) to drive traffic to your site. You want new people to find your site, you have researched the ‘traffic’ and your site has been adjusted to get visitors.
There are 10 businesses offering dog training within a county, each business has a website with a page offering dog training classes. A user searches for ‘dog training school in XYZ county’. How does Google decide in what order it should list the sites?
It uses an algorithm of circa 200 points to assess where the site gets listed. A fast loading site is 1 of the main ones near the top. If you are on a hosting package with impaired loading time and with constricted bandwidth of the data, it transfers and your site loads slower than a competitors (assuming they are not on the same or a similar hosting package), it becomes a negative factor in the algorithm. Now here is the ‘double whammy‘ the longer it takes a site to load, the more people will just leave it and browse elsewhere – it’s called a bounce. The higher the number of bounces the greater risk of a negative factor in the algorithm. This will affect where your website gets listed.
So having a hosting package not geared up to fast loading can affect your business. If you rely on point TWO (organic search engine traffic), or point ONE (driving traffic yourself), if your site loads slowly, no matter what method you employ you may find yourself struggling.
However, if you have a hosting package that is geared up for fast loading you tick 2 boxes, website speed load time and a reduction in the bounce rate. Your business, if you are dog training, gains a listing advantage over your competition and your visitors are much more likely to visit again as they waiting and load experience wasn’t delayed. Other factors such as site design also affect load speed and we cover those in other articles (click tags website design, CDN & site loading time) to learn more.
Security is a major issue for businesses these days, it is a common practice for people to ‘hi-jack’ your data. They can run a code that encrypts it, making it useless for your business (or anything that sits on your servers). That can be your email correspondence, website, database, accounts packages, digital output and work in progress. To free it, you have to pay a ransom. It happens to small businesses all the time and also happens to large businesses, universities and other public institutions – often they have no choice to pay.
Security is key. A good web hosting package will have several measures in place. It will insist on a more complex password structure for all email addresses, it will have daily back-ups for client sites, it will encourage all clients who have websites hosted to have security software on their sites to counter hacking attempts. Other measures on the server are also tailored behind the scenes, but the ones mentioned above are the ones our clients can access and set up with their own secure log in.
From time to time we all need to access a support team member, any software, hosting, training or anything we do, sometimes there are snags, hitches or just ‘how do I’ questions that need addressing. Having access to a fast support is critical. It allows you to address an issue fast, resolve it and move on.
Having a same day response, 24/7, gives peace of mind. Whether you need to access a file back-up, need training on how to set up an ‘away from the office auto-response’ or need to talk about setting up a sub-domain for your website: having a support package is vital.
At LifeTools Digital Agency we have specialist hosting facilities for small business owners, new business, charities, community organisations and others. Every hosting package comes with a free support package which includes:
- Access to support ticket platform
- Live website chat blog (not always manned 24/7 due to COVID)
- Access to our team on social media
- Access to a private training area with ‘how to’ videos and guides
- Access to our free marketing group (Facebook)
No matter who you use for your hosting, you should be looking out for those 3 key areas. Hosting speed with no bandwidth restrictions, security and support. Support will also include access to your own panel so you can set up information as required (e.g. upload a file to your server for a client to download, adding a new business email address on etc).
Hosting is the overlooked element in having a website. I have heard it be known as the unnecessary cost. Anyone with that attitude tends to look for the cheapest and this sometimes reflects back on them with website SEO issues, support issues and getting access to back-ups if their has been a security failure along the line. Be careful, look around and check what you get. A good hosting package is one you hardly notice when it’s all up and running, but it keeps your website and emails live and on-line.
Any questions, ask using the form below and our team will be please to help you.
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