Today Liz discusses the importance of good web hosting. She’ll go over four aspects to consider when choosing a hosting provider.
Why Good Website Hosting Is Important
Sandro : [00:00:03] Welcome back to Liz & Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We’re the podcast that helps your small business stay on top of the ever changing digital marketing landscape. We talk social media SEO email marketing reputation management and so much more. Today Liz is going to tell us why good Web site hosting is so important.
Liz: [00:00:22] So we’ve always pursued what I will now call budget hosting. We had used one company for years probably five or six years and we were really happy. We never had any major issues. Support was always very helpful. Until a little over a year ago. Oh my gosh it was. It was one issue after another. I mean I could go on and on but it was not good. And around that same time we also started working with a new Web Developer: Developer Dan. I thought I knew a lot about hosting but wow. I mean he he spent a lot of time really educating me on the differences between budget hosting and some of the, you know more expensive options. But you know why they are a larger investment and why it really matters.
Liz: [00:01:07] For some of the newbies out there. Let me clarify a couple things that may be new terms for you. You’ve got your domain name that you need to purchase so W W W dot HershPR dot com that’s your domain name. Your site needs, it needs a home. And it’s going to live on Web site hosting. So that’s really what I want to dig into today. You know the companies and the types of service that they provide.
Liz: [00:01:34] So truthfully I didn’t think too much about the business model for these hosting companies. You know I just wanted to get my clients set up on good hosting and you know on to our marketing services because that’s really what my focus was. But when you’re paying 3 – 5 dollars a month for hosting that’s not where these companies are making their money it’s not going to be profitable for them. It’s the upselling opportunities that are profitable. That’s where they’re making their money. So for example the big thing right now is SSL certificates. These a lot of these budget hosting companies are selling SSL certificates. You know I think I’m seeing them for 80 bucks a year now. Used to be a lot cheaper honestly. Great way to generate some more revenue for your company. But you know I’m working with a hosting company now that just has that built in. It’s so simple you know it’s one less thing I have to think about and worry about.
Liz: [00:02:24] The other reason why these budget hosting companies are, the service is so cheap is because they are just overcrowding their servers. They’re trying to consolidate resources that ultimately results in performance issues. There have been so many times where I’m trying to get into a client’s Web site doing some work and it. I mean it just won’t load. You know wait an hour. Everything’s fine. You know clearly some other site on that server was hogging a lot of the resources and slowing down my attempts to make edits, so that that can be very frustrating.
Liz: [00:02:56] The other thing I would point out before I get into some of the nitty gritty of why good hosting is so important. I want to point out that my focus today is on WordPress websites. That’s what we build. So my recommendations and my thoughts on this are about managed WordPress hosting. There are obviously other Web site platforms out there and I would encourage you if you are working with another type of platform find the best hosting for that platform. And one of the other big things that I’ve learned as Dan was educating me is that a lot of these companies will say that they are managed WordPress but they’re really not. And we’ll get into some of the reasons why that’s not always a good thing.
Liz: [00:03:36] So why is good hosting so important. I’ve got four reasons.
Sandro : [00:03:40] I want to know because for my last event we found GoDaddy. $12 for one year! Dollar a month hosting!
Liz: [00:03:50] What?! Oh my gosh. You Had a coupon code.
Sandro : [00:03:51] We had a coupon code. No SSL certificate no. Very barebones and it was down a few times because . . .
Liz: [00:03:58] Oh, I believe it.
Sandro : [00:03:58] . . . other Web sites were probably sharing that server so I thought all hosting was the same you’re teaching me a lot. I’m sorry to interrupt. . .
Liz: [00:04:05] No it’s all good. So first and foremost I’ll start off with support. Having a hosting company that’s going to provide you good support is so important. From where I’m sitting I get an email from a client frantic, “Oh, something’s wrong with my website!” And they seem pretty angry and you know I get a little panicky. And I’ve learned that just a simple “Hey I’m working on this. I’ll get right back to you.” The next e-mail. is “OK great. Thanks!!!!!” You know five exclamation marks.
Liz: [00:04:35] So it’s really frustrating to be attempting to work with a company that doesn’t have good support you know to be sitting on hold for up to an hour. That’s really frustrating you know. I want someone who’s going to get on the phone quickly answer my questions. I don’t even care if the issue is going to take another 24 hours to resolve, I just want to know that someone is there to help me. And again, if you are paying a dollar a month for for your hosting. You know what kind of service are you going to get with that? You know, probably nothing helpful. Be willing to invest a little bit more in your hosting and I think you will see a world of difference in the support that you get from these companies.
Liz: [00:05:17] The other reason why. Good Web site hosting is so important is because you want good performance. And there are a lot of nuances to what I mean by performance. You know there’s some really technical components to that that I won’t get into in this episode. I could go on and on. But again I will say if if it’s managed WordPress that hosting environment is designed specifically for WordPress which is so important we have all found ourselves searching for something clicking on a website that takes way too long to load. What are you doing? You’re clicking the back button. You just don’t have the patience to wait around. Good performance. Good site speed. This matters.
Sandro : [00:05:57] SEO it matters.
Liz: [00:05:58] Matters to SEO too.
Sandro : [00:06:00] Yeah, Google likes a speedy site. It’s got to load in under 3 seconds. You know the faster the better, the better rankings you’ll get.
Liz: [00:06:06] So yeah if you want to avoid frustrated customers get in get into a hosting plan and with a hosting company that places an emphasis on speed and reliability for your website.
Liz: [00:06:15] The other thing that I think is really important is automatic backups. Now a good hosting provider should include this for no additional charge. With a lot of these shared hosting environments budget hosting companies typically these backups are not included. And again it’s another way for them to make money. Something very simple but I do think you know if there’s ever an issue it makes a big difference.
Liz: [00:06:41] And finally security. This is another area where I could go on and on about but I’ll I’ll give this example. I was I was listening to a webinar a couple of weeks ago. It was actually about insurance. They were talking about data breach insurance and different security issues and he gave the example of the Target hack which most people know about many of us were affected by what I actually didn’t realize was the hackers didn’t go for Target directly. They actually gained access through a vendor. I think it was an HVAC vendor. They got into their network or their site whatever it was and then they were able to access Target. So his takeaway was that: don’t think that just because you’re a small business you’re not a target. Actually hackers are targeting much smaller sites looking for potential access to larger companies that you may be doing business with.
Liz: [00:07:41] So I take security very, very seriously even if you think you’re just some, you know, Uber small mom pop business. No one’s ever going to bother me like, no, you can’t say that now. It’s like I said hackers are going after smaller and smaller companies. So like I said there are many more benefits to picking good hosting companies. I picked four of the biggest ones that I always point out to customers I could go on and on. We can always do a second episode if you guys are interested in more details. But yeah those are the four big reasons why I think you need to seriously consider investing in better web site hosting.
Sandro : [00:08:15] So, once my $1/month expires I’ll look at maybe $2/month hosting? What’s the average price for hosting? Or good hosting?
Liz: [00:08:24] Dan gave me a great example when we started really digging into this. He said that these budget hosting companies have really conditioned us to only want to spend a couple bucks a month on hosting. But if you’re an established business that relies on your web presence you should have no trouble investing $20, $30, $40/month in good hosting. And if you’re an e-commerce site and you need more resources you know you’re going to have a lot of shoppers on your site you need that extra bandwidth, you should again, have no trouble investing $100/month. That should be nothing.
Sandro : [00:08:56] Yeah I have a friend, or just met someone he sells his own web hosting he has his own servers and he told me he charges forty dollars a month for hosting and I was shocked because I come from the $1/month plan obviously. And I said “Well what do you get for forty dollars a month?” And he said “What do you get?! You don’t get hacked.”
Liz: [00:09:12] Yeah and if he is keeping everything really secure. Oh my gosh that’s absolutely worth forty dollars a month.
Liz: [00:09:19] So honestly I am getting some pushback from clients that I’m encouraging everyone to move away from the existing hosting that we’ve got. I’m trying to get everybody on Flywheel. There is some pushback which is frustrating but I’m just again really trying to reiterate the fact that we’re going to get better security, good performance and good support. Like, all of these things really matter if you’re depending on your website. So there’s going to be a lot of education involved. I have, I think I told Sandro I’ve got like a 30 slide SlideDeck that I’m sharing with clients and going through it’s got a lot of comparisons and really gets into the nitty gritty of of the two platforms that I’m recommending now. One I mentioned GetFlywheel, which I really like the other one is Kinsta. Kinsta is again more for sites that are larger something like an e-commerce site that’s going to get a lot of traffic. It’s really about finding the best platform that’s right for you and staying as far away as you can from those budget hosting sites.
Sandro : [00:10:18] I’ll be out $9 if I switch now but maybe it will be worth it to switch over to Flywheel.
Liz: [00:10:24] Totally worth it. And also Flywheel is where our podcast website is hosted.
Sandro : [00:10:28] The marketing podcast dot net?
Liz: [00:10:30] Yes yes. I think for for a hot minute we were we were looking at GoDaddy and I was like “No. Don’t do it!” Yeah. So yeah we’ve Yeah we haven’t had any issues . . .
Sandro : [00:10:43] And we have an SSL certificate.
Liz: [00:10:44] Built in! I love it.
Sandro : [00:10:46] We didn’t have to link it up or anything else. And one last thing Liz so if I have Squarespace or Wix or Weebly, I don’t get asked for hosting.
Liz: [00:10:54] No you don’t. Because that’s built in. That’s part of what that platform is providing.
Sandro : [00:11:00] So I’m paying $20 a month for Squarespace and that includes hosting for that.
Liz: [00:11:04] Yeah the other site platform the ability to build it and do what you need to do and the hosting and you know what I don’t do a ton with Wix, Weebly or Squarespace, you know WordPress is really our area of expertise. So I actually can’t speak too much too to their hosting. You know what their up times are I’m not sure. But you know if you are at that stage where you are considering a Wix, squeebly. . . squeebly!
Liz: [00:11:34] If you are at a point where you’re considering a Wix, Weebly or Squarespace, do a little research into what their hosting entails and how reliable it is. I actually don’t know.
Sandro : [00:11:43] Great thanks so much Liz you answered a lot of questions things I certainly did not think about and I’m glad you insisted we go GetFlywheel or something other than GoDaddy.
Liz: [00:11:54] Yeah.
Sandro : [00:11:55] Cause I remember going Liz going look Liz go daddy.
Liz: [00:11:59] He was so excited!
Sandro : [00:12:01] Dollar a month!
Liz: [00:12:01] And I’m like NO! Absolutely not. I won’t allow it.
Sandro : [00:12:07] Yes, so thanks for steering me the correct way. Thank you for listening. You will find us wherever you find your favorite podcast including iTunes and Google Play. If you like what you hear we would love a review. Also find us on Instagram, Twitter Facebook and if you have a question we’d love to hear it. You can send us an email We’ll answer it on the air, give you a link back and a shout out. Thanks again for joining us. We will see you next time.