I’ve noticed over the years that website owners don’t seem to give their website’s hosting much thought. They should.
You might be surprised to learn how much the quality of your hosting directly impacts how Google and Bing rank your site.
So if SEO and website user experience are important to your business, you should start questioning your hosting now. And question it every month with regular monitoring to make sure you’re with the right hosting company and right hosting configuration. Because you may not only be surprised with what you find, you might be shocked. There was a time when we were shocked at what we found.
Here are a couple sample questions to ask your host and real-world scenarios that relate.
“Mr. Web Host, how often do you take back-ups of our site?” A good example of how often would be “full back-ups daily and saved for 30 days.” A bad example would be a no reply or “we don’t take back-ups.” Real world example: A host was attacked by a virus and, subsequently lost entire websites on their servers. They were unable to restore them because they didn’t have any back-ups. (Happy ending: one former client sought out Ad Ventures, their original web development company, who was able to restore their website from an original copy. It wasn’t the most current copy that the host had been hosting, but it was better than nothing.)
Another sample question to ask your host and a real-world scenario:
“Mr. Web Host, how come my site is generating a “slow server response?” A good example of a reason would be, “your server is full and you need to upgrade to the next level so you have additional bandwidth.” A bad example is stating this response when the actual reason is because the server’s equipment is old and obsolete. Real world example: Weeks of email and phone call tech support requests reporting several hosting technical issues from slow server response to uploads not appearing right away always generated the same, tired responses from the host not only denying any responsibility, but denying issues even existed. Tables turned when another department at the hosting company did an email send announcing they were retiring their “old, obsolete equipment” and transferring clients to shiny new hardware. (Why didn’t they just say so to begin with?)
If you want to stay on top of your hosting, ask your website maintenance company if they are savvy with hosting and, if so, to include hosting monitoring in your package. They’ll run multiple tests weekly or monthly and act as a go-between on your behalf. With all the good and the bad in hosting companies out there, this is an absolutely must-do.
Google ranks websites weighing in several factors, including site load speed, popularity and time spent with your website. So it’s crucial that your host company serve up a fast server response time for your website.