by Crazy Domains

January 13, 2017

Website 4 min read

What should you look for in a hosting provider?

Although social media is proving to be a viable online marketing tool, it is still not a good enough replacement for a website. So if you are about to open up your own business, might as well invest in a good hosting service and create your own website.

This leads to the question: what are the qualities of a good hosting provider?

There are two factors you should consider: loading time and sufficient support.

Loading Time

A swift loading time helps reduce your website's bounce rate.

Why is this important?

The most crucial time to make a lasting impression is the first time users view a page. How long it takes for the website to load will most likely determine if a user would stick around or not. This period is called the time to first byte (TTFB).

What happens during this period is the user (or at least his/her computer) sends a request to the server, the server processes the request, and then sends a response to the user. As mentioned earlier, how quickly the TTFB takes place could determine whether a user stays or bounces.

How does a good hosting provider minimise TTFB?

How long or short the TTFB is could be determined by how effective their servers are. Ideally, the closer the servers are to the user, then the faster the sites would load. This is the reason most established hosting providers set up multiple servers in strategic locations around the world. But it's not enough that they are evenly spread out. The servers themselves should run efficiently on their own.

These days, cloud server is considered the most reliable because of its flexibility, cost-efficiency, security, and eco-friendliness. But how do they minimise downtime?

Unlike regular servers, cloud servers implement failover system.

Here's how it works: when one or several servers don't work or aren't performing as well, the system then switches the functions of the defective servers to an alternate one. This substitution method ensures that processes still go smoothly despite one or two servers going down. This may not guarantee that sites remain live all the time but it does significantly shorten down time and TTFB (depending on how fast the wonky server gets substituted) and theoretically reduce bounce rate. We, at Crazy Domains, happen to rely on Next Generation Cloud Hosting.

The point is knowing which server providers use could help you take your pick. And one way of measuring server reliability is to conduct TTFB checks. Luckily, there are several testing sites that could measure the TTFB for you, such as bytecheck.com and pingdom.com. If you are thinking about signing up with us, here's one of the results of our TTFB test:

 

Sufficient Support

Setting up a site can be hard, especially if it is your first one. Even if you know how to operate the CMS, there would still be instances where you’ll need help.

One of the benefits signing up for professional hosting is you can rely on customer support to resolve technical difficulties. This support can manifest in certain ways — the most common being going through FAQ pages and speaking with customer representatives to address concerns.

Ultimately, the goal of support is to solve customers’ problems — especially complicated ones. Support is actually one of the deal-breakers for customers. No matter how comprehensive services are, if they don’t feel adequate assistance, there is a big chance that they would switch hosting providers.

How can you tell if support is reliable or not?

 

1. Mindful of customer’s needs

There are two things customers want from any company: First, they want to be satisfied. Second, they want to feel appreciated. One way for them to feel valued is when their needs are met without much effort. Whether they are simply asking regular questions or are experiencing technical difficulties, what matters is you feel like you got what you want or something even better.

 

2. Notify downtime and maintenance

It is natural for hosting providers to encounter problems with their servers or networks. When this happens, customers should be notified as soon as possible. Since there is no telling when servers would go down, customers usually get a notification when they log on to their CRMS. It would be more impressive when customers are informed when their sites have been fixed.

 

3. Swift response time

Customers don’t like to be kept waiting. One way to minimise the waiting period is to give them several communication options. Here in Crazy Domains, for example, our customers can get in touch with our agents through phone and through chat. There are even some companies that have text support. These different mediums allow customers to speak to representatives sooner and not wait long in a queue.

 

4. New products and services

People appreciate a one-stop shop. A hosting provider does not have to provide every hosting package imaginable, but there are those that have other online products and services. For example, here are Crazy Domains also have a domain registration service. This way customers could register their name and set up their site all in the same place.

 

In short…

Support is a really important factor in web hosting. With proper assistance from your hosting provider, you can have a much smoother experience setting and maintaining a website.

 

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