The web hosting industry has been growing on the back of increasing internet penetration. According to estimates, the global market for web hosting services will reach $143.8 billion by 2020 as companies look to reduce the cost of ownership.
The web hosting industry has matured since its beginning as the cost of web hosting has hit all-time lows and specialized hosting solutions have emerged. The industry has also shifted from the traditional shared hosting to managed hosting and cloud hosting. Some of the key players in the industry include WordPress that powers one in four websites. This titan has over 76.5 million active sites. Go Daddy is another prominent player in the market with a 21% market share of the entire internet.
Good web hosting service is of the utmost importance for businesses. Unfortunately, companies often fail to realize this and do not give much thought to this decision.
Even if they do, the main focus is on the cost, which is a mistake. There are several factors that need to be considered since web hosting can have a direct impact on your business’s bottom line. Here is how web hosting can affect your revenue;
1. Search engine rankings
Web hosting server impacts your search engine rankings and consequently your website’s visibility. Before deciding on a host, you need to see the location of their server. For example, if you want to target US consumers, but the server is located outside the US, then you would have less chances of getting ranked in US search results.
This can have a drastic impact on your revenue, especially if you have an e-commerce website. In case of shared hosting, a number of websites have the same IP address. If you are sharing IP address with websites that are suspicious or involved in over-promotional activities, then your website is likely to be penalized by search engines. Conduct regular SEO audits to make sure that your website performance is up to the mark.
Your website’s speed determines the number of visitors. In 2010, Google included page load speed as a ranking factor. This means if your website loads faster, its chances of ranking higher increases.
Google itself claims, “two seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half-second.” Your website speed also impacts conversions and ultimately sales.
Kissmetrics’ research shows that a 1 second delay in website response can reduce conversions by 7%. Moreover, 40% of consumers leave the website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
In case you are an e-commerce website that makes $100,000 per day, 1 second delay in page load can cost your company $2.5 million per year. Kyle Rush, the manager for Obama’s America campaign site, increased donations by 4% after reducing the page loading time from 5 seconds to 2 seconds.
One of the most important factors you need to consider while deciding a web host is their uptime guarantee. Imagine the loss you will incur in case your customers encounter a blank screen or an error message when they visit your website.
In 2013, Amazon went down for only 40 minutes and it cost the company as much as $4.72 million in sales, given the company’s sales of $117,882 per minute. A similar situation happened with Google in the same year.
The company’s page went down for only about 5 minutes and cost the company $545,000 in lost revenue. Downtime loss is not just in terms of revenue, but in terms of your company’s reputation as well.
Imagine a customer who wants to make an important transaction, but can’t because your website is down. You are likely to lose your customer to someone else.
Imagine there is a sudden spike in your traffic, but you don’t have enough bandwidth to cater to it. Scalability is another important factor to consider while deciding on a web host. Your webhosting plan should expand as your business grows.
Hence, you should choose a host that offers different plans so that you can upgrade anytime you want to. Also, it would be better if you can change plans without paying for cancellation costs. In case, your existing web host does not have scalability option, you will have to switch, which comes with its own disadvantages, the most important being downtime.
According to 2017 cybercrime study, 130 breaches take place per year on an average and the annual cost of cybersecurity is $11.7 million. A security breach could mean death for a small business.
Hence, your web host security is of the utmost importance since the web host provides you with the infrastructure of your website.
Although, no website is completely safe from malware attacks, a reputable web hosting service can provide you with better data protection and backup options so that your website can be restored as soon as possible.
While selecting a web host, make sure you check a few things such as its SSL security certificate and server maintenance plan.
In addition to security, back up plan is very important because accidents happen. Even if your website does not get hacked, it is still vulnerable to crashes, and employees’ mistakes.
According to a survey, 44% of data loss happens due to deletion by mistake or software corruption. In case an update goes wrong, your website can go down for any period of time.
The cost of backing up data is quite low as compared to the benefits it offers. In a survey, 54% of small and medium-sized businesses said that they suffered data loss because they could not find time for backup.
Your website is a major source of your revenue that provides you with business leads and allows you to connect with your consumers.
Choosing the right web host is one of the most crucial decisions that is often overlooked by companies.
Usually, small businesses are enticed by free web hosting services, and fail to realize that a low quality service provider could cost them their entire business. While choosing a web host, remember to evaluate its past performance and customer support service.
Evie harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs.
Find her on Twitter:@iamevieharrison
I'm SEO specialist and certified Adwords consultant. I have been working in Search Engine Marketing for over three year. In addition working in SEO, I love writing about the subject and contributing to forum discussion in forums about various aspects of Search Engine Optimisation from link building to content development. Read more about me here