Why is Hosting important?

By January 1, 2013 Hosting

Security

Do you store your client’s information on your server?

Then you’re legally responsible for the security of that data. Poor website hosting often means sub-standard security, this means a higher chance that you are legally liable for not properly securing your clients data as per the Data Protection Act 1998.

 

Your emails are hosted on your web server too!

What’s in your emails?.. Names, addresses, login information, bank information? Poor hosting often means sub-standard security,  therefore the higher the chance of your emails being compromised and the higher the chance of the personal information in your emails being accessed by un-authorised users. Is it worth saving a few pounds to significantly increase the chances of someone getting hold of yours or your client’s personal information?

 

Cheap hosting means cutting corners… how often is your server software updated?

Cheap hosting very often means that corners are cut, this leads to no/late software updates and, in turn, higher possibility of security loopholes. We’re talking about hundreds of exploits in software that, unless kept up to date and patched, makes it very easy for people to get into your website.

9 times out of 10, when you have a virus on your server you are completely unaware of it. This gives viruses the potential to monitor and steal yours and your clients information, completely undetected.

 

Cheap hosting = shared hosting, do you know who you’re sharing a server with?

When you think of hosting you have to think of a computer, used by lots of people.  The cheaper the hosting, the more people you’re sharing (600+ other websites) your server with. Most of the time these people are like you and me, normal website owners. But you also end up sharing your server with people & websites hosting things that you may not want yourself or your website associated with – porn, gambling, illegal content, spamming etc.  You have your own little space on this server, but they also do too. You’d be surprised at how many hosting companies offer private space, but this is only virtually private and a lot of the time, content and usage does overlap.

Who are you sharing your server with? What’s your host’s stance on Porn and Gambling?

When you cut corners with your hosting, you’ll find very undesirable answers to these questions.

 

Bad Hosting = Bad SEO

Where is your server? Who do you share it with? Does it have a unique IP address? Who else is on this ip address? Is this ip address blacklisted? How quick does your website load? How fast is your Server? What happens when your server hits high/burst demand? What’s your DNS information like?

Lots of questions, all ones that Google asks when they look at your website to rank it. What’s the point in your £250+ a month SEO campaign when you don’t even have the foundations in your hosting to achieve good rankings in the first place?

 

Shared IP Addresses

If you’re on shared hosting, you’re sharing the IP address of the server with everyone else on it. So if someone is spamming out thousands of emails per minute (or has been hacked and a hacker is spamming), the actions of that user impact your website and email deliverability also.

If there’s a spammer on the same IP address as you, the whole ip address range gets blacklisted (that’s you too not just the spammer), meaning extremely bad SEO rankings and complete loss of the ability to send emails.

Google, Bing, Yahoo, Mail Servers, and Email authorities do not differentiate between your website and someone else’s if they’re on the same ip address, they ban the IP address and range, your website and emails included.

 

Server Load

How powerful is your server? Well if you’re on cheap run of the mill hosting, not very powerful, and then that not very powerful server is then shared between your website and all the other sites on the server.

You may be thinking, “well my website is small, we don’t get a lot of hits..”

This may be right, but is this the case for the up to 600 other sites you’re sharing your server with?

Usually not..

When a website that you share your server with gets lots of hits, it slows your website down too. An average server when shared will have up to 600 other websites on it, when one of those sites gets high demand – it slows you down.

I’ve been there, where my site loading time went from 3 seconds to 47 seconds – this was on shared hosting. In the end I had to cancel the server and the hosting and move to a higher quality server/more private server.

No one’s going to wait around 50 seconds for a website. You may think this scenario unlikely, but in my 10 years hosting websites this has happened dozens of times when people opt for poor quality hosting.

 

Support

What’s your hosting support like? What’s the support response time? What’s the service level agreement in place? What’s the guaranteed uptime?

If you can’t answer these questions, you really need to pay more attention to your hosting.

Most of the time you’re hosting your website through your website design company. If they’re giving you a really cheap hosting deal for your website, it’s often at the cost of support. This means reliance on a third party with customer support typically based abroad and with very poor turnaround times.

Think of your website like your car, sooner or later it’s going to need maintenance and without support you’re broken down on the side of the road with no-one to help you.

 

At the end of the day  you get what you pay for when it comes to hosting. Sub-standard, cheap hosting means that corners are being cut in quality to bring the cost right down for you. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in  order to get your website live on the internet, and if you cut corners with your hosting and opt for a sub-standard hosting package, you’ll end up with a sub-standard and insecure online presence.

Chris

Founder and Managing Director of Creative Brand Design.