Myth: All web hosting is the same.
Simply not true. There’s a huge range of types and qualities of web hosting providers and in the impact that that web hosting has on your business.
Hi, I’m Steve Johnsen and I’m going to talk to you today about web hosting. There is a myth out there that is very common, that all web hosting is the same.
The fact is that there are all kinds of web hosting providers, and a wide range in the quality of their equipment, how that equipment is used, the types of data centers the hosting is in, and–what’s most important and the bottom line–in the impact that web hosting can have on growing your business.
Now, web hosting is one of those terms that kind of makes people’s eyes glaze over, so I hope I don’t get too geeky and technical on you here. But it’s really important to understand what web hosting is. Your website is actually a collection of files sitting on a computer somewhere. Typically, it’s a collection of text documents with some HTML and CSS code, as well as some documents containing software code, along with some pictures and maybe some videos. And if there’s software, the computer it’s on needs to have the ability to run that software. But either way, your website lives on a computer somewhere. It’s a collection of files on a computer.
That computer may be a good computer, or it may be a really old, really slow computer. It may be on a computer with ten websites on it, or it may be on a computer with ten thousand websites. Now, you know on your own personal computer, if you get too many windows or documents open, your computer can really slow down.
Well, if you think about it, if you have a computer that has ten thousand websites running?which, by the way, is a very common scenario with cheap web hosts?that computer is going to be very slow. Not only that, it could be an older computer with not so much horsepower and not so much memory. And not only that, that computer could be stuck off in a corner, far away from the Internet backbone, which means that the person who wants to access your website has to go through a whole bunch of connections to get there.
The end result is that you can have a website that’s on a slow computer that’s running even slower because of the ten thousand other websites running on the same machine that’s far away from the Internet backbone. And that experience for your customer visiting your website can be less than ideal.
Your pages may load slowly. Occasionally those computers with ten thousand websites on them can be targets for hackers, and you can get some malware or some sources of spam (or worse) on the computer that’s hosting your website.
This is not only a bad experience for your users; the search engines don’t like those kinds of situations either. So your site is probably not going to rank nearly as well on one of those cheap web hosts. And I’ve seen many occasions where this got someone’s website banned from Google.
It’s also possible to host your website on a really fast, new computer, in a good data center that’s close to the Internet backbone, on a machine that has only a few websites on it (with a lot of resources dedicated to your site). In that situation, your site is going to perform a lot better. The search engines are going to like it a lot better. More people are going to be finding you in online search. More people are going to be liking your website when they do find you. And even though it’s very hard to measure and nobody’s going to tell you they hired you because you have a good web host, this usually results in your getting more business.
The difference in investment between a quality web host and a cheap web host can be significant, but when you compare it to the opportunity cost of how much business you could lose on a cheap web host versus how much more business you could gain on a high quality web host, to me it’s an investment that is well, well worth it. In fact, there is no way I would ever want to put any of my websites on anything but a high quality web host.
Steve Johnsen is a marketing strategist, a business coach, and the Founder of Cloud Mountain Marketing. He is also the author of the Amazon #1 best-seller, 5 Easy Steps to Make Your Website Your #1 Employee.