What allows a cheap hosting company to be cheap? An oversimplified answer is the resources – the server processor, limited RAM (random access memory) and a shared server. When you compare processing power with other services, it’s more likely to be slower. The more RAM, the faster your website can pull information, for instance, photos, maps and/or the results from a directory or shopping search. Play it forward. Do you like to sit and wait for webpages to load or do you move on to the next search result? If a potential customer finds your website slow to display, would that indicate to them that any contact online or in person will be just more of the same? A shared server means the activities of others will impact your website. Think about the processing power video games demand. Not everyone wants to afford a dedicated server but it is an option if you want total control.
Something you may not realize is that Google takes site speed into consideration when they display search results. This is particularly true of mobile sites. Bloggers indicate Google penalizes slow sites. Use the stopwatch on your smartphone and see how long it takes to load your website on various devices. Most website analytic tools also allow you to see this data. One of the de facto tools for testing website speed is: https://tools.pingdom.com/
Two more things to consider as you do your homework as it relates to a website built in WordPress (which pulls content from a database). RAM affects the speed at which you site and content can display. Make sure to look for “managed WordPress hosting” information if you plan to use WordPress.
The original intent of this blog was to recommend several hosting companies based on our research and online reviews. However, a company (that had been on our radar as favorable) was recently purchased by another company. Word on the street is users are heading elsewhere. If you encounter a frustration, spend a little time online seeing if others are reporting the same results. It may be an indicator that it’s time to move on. Yes, it will be a bit time consuming but so is the worst-case scenario.
Your website hosting needs will change over time. That’s a promise. The particular company you use today may not be the one you’re using 5, 10 or 15 years from now because technology changes each and every day.
For more information on this topic:
It’s One of the Most Frequent Questions I’m Asked
An Explanation: Hosting, Servers and Tech Support
So What’s This Thing Called WordPress?
Let’s Get Started Building Your Website Pages
The Combo Package: A Theme and A Page Builder
Online Merchandise Sold Here: Shopping Carts
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