How important is speed for your website? Do you need a fast site, or is it okay if it takes a few seconds to load. You have to be honest with yourself here. We live in a fast food world where we want access to everything right now, this second, and not ten or even five seconds from now. Speed is essential if you hope to have a successful website, especially in today’s hypercompetitive world.
What Is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is a popular option for those who want a website and who have a limited budget. While this might seem like a great deal for those who can’t spend much on their site, it’s actually full of disadvantages. You are sharing your resources on the server with other users. Everything is drawing from the same resources, and this has the potential to cause a number of different types of problems that could slow down, or even shut down, your site.
Consider the things that you will be sharing. You will have to share the memory, CPU, disc space, bandwidth, and more. Let’s look at a few examples of just how this can negatively affect your business and your site.
What would happen if someone else on the shared server suffers from a DDOS attack? These have been unfortunately common in recent months, and that means that there is a chance that it could happen to someone on the shared server. If it were to happen, it would cripple your site. Even if it weren’t an attack, a site suddenly becoming popular could be great news for them, but it could strip the bandwidth and make it difficult for your visitors to get onto your site and to browse smoothly. Server load spikes are unfortunately common, and even though providers work hard to minimize the problems, they still exist.
What Makes Cloud Hosting Better?
Now, let’s look at what makes cloud hosting different. With your website on a cloud, it’s not hosted on just one server. It’s hosted on several servers. This means if something were to happen to one server, such as an overload of visitors, the site would shuttle new visitors to the other server. Those who visit your site will never know the difference, since it is all the same material and technically the same site. You will not have to worry about downtime. You will also find that with today’s cloud capabilities, the load time for the sites are better than ever, so your customers will have a fast and seamless experience.
Does Speed Really Matter?
We said that people want a fast site when they visit, but how important is it really? Will it negatively affect your bottom line if you have a site that tends to load a bit slower than some of the others out there? The user who visits your site wants to have a great experience, and a site that’s too slow will simply not be able to offer that. Studies show that many shoppers, more than 50%, according to a study by Radware, are likely to stop shopping if a site is too slow. They will simply back out of their purchase and then go to another site to buy – even though it would essentially take them far more time to back out, go to another site, load the shopping cart, and purchase. This should be very illuminating for those who are wondering whether speed really matters.
Another study from the same company shows that people are getting even more obsessed with speed. A page that took six seconds to load had 40% of the people back out of the site. In 2014, the number went up to 50%. Users want to have pages that will load within two seconds or less, something that is simply not always possible with a shared hosting provider. Cloud hosting seems to offer a better solution when it comes to speed.
If you have a slow loading site, the moral of the story is that the customers do not have time for you. They will go to your competition to buy what they need, and this means that you are losing out on a number of sales on a daily basis. There’s no reason for this. Simply move away from the shared hosting site and start using cloud hosting. You can do a few other things to help increase the speed of your website as well, and it’s a good idea to employ these options.
Improving Site Speed
Once you get onto cloud servers with a great host, you should start to see a difference. In addition, you can use expire headings to set caching, which will make the site load even faster the next time the visitor arrives. Clean up the coding, and optimize the content on the site. Use the right size pictures, and instead of adding a full video to your site, have the videos hosted on another site, such as YouTube. You can simply embed your videos. However, limit the number of embeds so that the page continues to load quickly.
Also, make sure you test the speed of your site to see how fast it is working. Does it lag? If it were someone else’s site, would you click away? If so, you may want to talk with an expert about what you may be able to do to optimize your site. Do what you need so you can make it as fast as possible.
Website Speed May Impact Search Engine Ranking
Have you thought about where your site is ranking in Google’s results pages and wondered why you aren’t higher on the list? Even if you have great content on the pages, pay attention to the changes in SEO, and do your best to promote the site through social media and other outlets, you could still be placing a bit lower than you would like. Some experts believe that the speed of your site could actually affect where you place on the ranking.
While Google has been tightlipped about this, and still say that having relevant content is the most important aspect, research is indicating that speed and ranking may play a role with one another. Whether this is a fact – the research is not conclusive – does not really matter. If it does help though, combined with all of the other reasons that you need to have a fast site, then it makes sense to choose cloud hosting over shared hosting.
Now that you have a much better idea of the different between cloud hosting and shared hosting, and the reasons that having a fast site is so important, you can go about setting up your site the right way. If you have issues when it comes to optimizing or getting your site running, talk with a designer and IT expert about the best course of action for your particular site.