So your brand new business website is up & running. You’ve got a fairly cheap hosting solution with a bundled domain name, web space and email and you did not burn a hole in your pocket. All is well, you can go on managing your business without worrying about your website. After all, once it has been setup, it will run flawlessly without intervention, right?
Not quite. Apart from the obvious cost savings, there are downsides to cheap hosting solutions that you should be wary of, such as:
- Shared resources – Budget hosting packages are usually hosted on shared servers; which means that your site is shared with several other sites unrelated to yours. If one or more of these other sites are using up extra resources (CPU, memory or disk) then the performance of the whole server will degrade, and your site will also be affected.
- Low latency or transfer speed – You wouldn’t know if your server is located in a datacenter with huge bandwidth, or in a suburban office with NBN (or worse, ADSL2!). It could also be hosted somewhere overseas, which is okay if it is local to your website visitors.
- Reliability – You definitely want to know that your servers are supported by qualified engineers and technicians to take care of all the nitty-gritty stuff behind the scenes. If there is a hardware failure, you want them to be rectified ASAP with minimal impact to your site’s availability. Cheap hosting providers might be a one-man-job where the technician is also the guy taking the trash bin out every week. Or, it could be a team of technicians with more servers than they can handle. Sites can be down for days or weeks in extreme cases. If the hosting provider does not have good backup plans, you might find that you’ve lost a good chunk of your site contents and be forced to revert to outdated versions.
These are all issues that we at Cuckoo have faced in the past. We have used budget hosting and as a result were faced with problems such as performance degradation and inaccessible sites, none of which are acceptable to us or our clients. There are definitely good budget hosting providers out there, but sometimes you need the peace of mind that you’re not taking a gamble and land your business on a lousy one.
Currently we are using Amazon Web Services (AWS), as the backbone of the sites that we develop. AWS is a suite of cloud services offered by Amazon. It was originally built to support their enormous shopping business but has branched out as a separate offering itself. Now AWS is even bigger and rake in more profit than their retail side! AWS provides us with a solid infrastructure to run our businesses. Their Service Level Agreement states a service commitment of 99.99% in server uptime and 99.9% in their storage availability. This means that you can be rest assured that your site will remain online and all tech gremlins will be dealt with immediately.
Good and solid tech infrastructure is more important than ever, now that Google is directly attributing mobile site performances in its web ranking. Site performance, along with Search Engine Optimisation and a host of other factors will help your site appear higher in search results and increase the likelihood that visitors will click on your link. We offer several services to help you gain new visitors, keep them on your site and let them engage with your business.
Web visitors are also getting more impatient in getting the information they seek. Where it was once acceptable to wait 30 seconds for a page to load, now they want everything to appear almost immediately after they’ve clicked on the link. We are in the age of instant gratification, and website slowdowns can cause a visitor to look elsewhere for information, cancel their intended purchase, or give up altogether. Worse still, it could leave a bad taste in their mouth and swear off your brand for good!
Websites are no longer just a directory for people to find your products, address and phone number. It is your digital storefront, office, and meeting room. Treat it like a nice establishment and build it with a solid foundation, reliable materials and beautiful furnishings. Make it easy for your visitors to come and go, and comfortable to stay in. Get in touch with us and let us help you build it.