With many brick-and-mortar businesses adding an online version of their high-street store to their portfolio, it’s important that firms choose the right web hosting service. With myriad services offering cheap deals, firms ought to be wary regarding offers that appear to be too good to be true – because they usually are.
On the surface, purchasing web hosting that costs £20 a month seems like a steal. In fact, it is a steal. However the only thing that is being nicked is precious uptime for online retailers, as the vast majority of cheap hosts go hand-in-hand with downtime.
Downtime – a retailer’s worst nightmare
For online retailers, downtime is especially important; every second of downtime is potentially a lost sale. Would you rather pay a premium for quality web hosting that is reliable and constantly up, or pay a third of the price for web hosting that keeps going down? In the long-term, it may cost more for firms to pay for cheap, but less reliable hosting.
In addition, utilising the services of a web hosting service in your time zone could be important, especially for smaller firms. Imagine if your store goes down but your hosting service is half-way across the world. This is certainly not ideal for any stores looking to make sales. For example, let’s just say your UK-based store goes down at lunchtime. No amount of calls at 12pm is going to wake a firm located half-way across the world; tucked up in bed at 12am. It’s a nightmare scenario.
The importance of SEO over the last 10 years has changed the face of the internet. An increasing number of online retailers are producing fresh content in a bid to become a publishing authority in the eyes of search engines.
However, when a cheap hosting company offers dead links, 404 errors and other harmful downtime to a retailer, what are these search engines going to think? Bounced traffic isn’t going to look good in the eyes of Google or Bing.
Eventually, a retailer could slip down the rankings, and get flanked by its competition. It takes a lot of dedication to work up the search rankings, so don’t let a bogus hosting firm ruin your company and its prospects.
In addition, security should be a top priority for online retailers. The amount of hackers roaming cyberspace is vast and make no mistake – they’re ready to capitalise on unprotected websites. By opting for secure web hosting which features STFP and SSL, a business and its clients can feel assured that all sensitive data is kept in safe hands.
As you can see, the quality of web hosting is an absolutely integral part of the foundations of success for online retailers. In an era of cost cutting and tight purse strings, it might be tempting to lump with a cheap web hosting service from the other side of the world, but in the long-term you may end up opening your wallet more often than you think.