In my experience, most business owners pay a lot of attention to things like web design layouts and search engine optimization plans. But web hosting packages? Not so much. In fact, I think the majority either select the one with the lowest cost, or simply use a garden-variety package from a provider they’ve used in the past (or one that’s been recommended to them).
That can be a big mistake, though, and it can actually kill the effectiveness of your website.
To understand why, take a look at what discounted web hosting packages actually are. They amount to what you can think of as “apartment space” on a crowded web server. Typically, that server isn’t going to have any background checks or admittance standards. So, while your website is taking up a certain amount of space, so are other small businesses, along with online casinos, adult websites, etc.
In theory, what happens in their “apartments” shouldn’t affect yours. Anyone who has lived in a cramped building in real life will understand that’s not going to be the case, online or off. And so, bargain basement web hosting can cause big problems, such as…
Websites That Go Offline
When other companies on your Web server are doing things that are unconventional (or perhaps illegal), it can lead to a shutdown of the server itself. That means your website could go offline without warning, and stay offline until the problem has been resolved or your site is moved to an entirely different disc.
Email Delivery Issues
Most spam originates from foreign and unknown servers. By sharing disc space with them, you run the risk of having someone who is a “virtual neighbor” blast out thousands of messages at once. When spam blockers react, they’ll stop delivering emails from any address on the same server just to be safe. That could leave you unable to contact customers for weeks or months.
Cyber Security Problems
If you’re using a bargain-basement hosting package, some of your unruly neighbors might be intentionally spreading viruses and malware. Or, they may forget to update their CMS software, and have their sites infected by a third party. In either case what begins as their problem could become yours if the software spreads to other folders on the same server.
Poor Search Visibility
Because shared servers have a higher potential for cyber crime, they don’t earn you much credibility with Google. Plus, shared servers tend to respond more slowly, meaning search engines might further punish you for offering a poor user experience. Either way, you’ll be losing ground to your competitors in the search listings.
Each of these can be a big problem for your company, especially once you find yourself trying to recover from them. That’s because the blocked emails, de-listed search results, and issues that trigger online security warnings are all semi-permanent. Find yourself on the list of websites or IP addresses that isn’t trusted, and you might have a very, very difficult time getting your business off of it.
Premium reliable web hosting doesn’t cost much more than a bargain package would, but you get a lot of big benefits. Perhaps the most important is that you get fewer web performance and security issues because of your bad neighbors.