Jay Patrick

Oct 12, 2016

The 5 Signs of a Lazy Host

Is your host lazy? Here’s your 5 signs.

Bandwidth and disk space are only a couple of critical decisions to be made when deciding on the ideal hosting partner. Simply put, hosting has many moving parts, and they all need to work in unison to deliver a first-rate, continuous service. Choosing a low cost provider might seem like a rational choice, but in fact it could be a false economy due to the harm that it can cause your business. Don’t let your hosting provider get away with these five signs of laziness.

Illustration depicting a computer message box with a slow download concept.

Web pages that take longer than 5 seconds to load lose 50% of their users

1. Slow Website Load

Slow loading websites are annoying. In fact, web pages that take longer than 5 seconds to load lose 50% of their users. But it’s not just desktop users. Mobile browsing has overtaken desktop and laptop browsing. And if there’s one thing that mobile users demand it is rapid websites.

Oh, and can you guess what one of the variables that Google measures as part of its overall search algorithm? Yep – site speed. Fast and optimized pages guarantee larger number of visitors, better conversions, and higher sales. Do you know how fast your website loads? There are a number of free tools to help you test and analyze your website, like DareBoost and Pingdom.

The bottom line? Speeding up your website can takes considerable time and investment. But one area where you can get fast results is the type of hosting you choose. By upgrading to Solid-State Drives (SSD) and increasing your uplink speed, you can dramatically improve your load speed at a fraction of the cost of overhauling your site’s code.

2. Noisy Neighbors

Nobody likes noisy neighbors. They’re too loud, too rough, and they tend to bring the quality of the neighborhood down. The same is true in hosting. If what your host is offering seems too good to be true, then guess what? You’re likely not alone on that server.

Here’s the real problem. Although your host won’t publicize it, there will always be people on that type of offer who will “push the envelope” as far as they can get away with. They want to squeeze out every last ounce of processing power from their $20 per month hosting. Perhaps they’re using the server to blast out tons of crude emails to their seedy list or maybe they’re running dozens of RAM intensive tasks for their multiple affiliate sites.

Whatever they’re doing, one thing is for sure. A small minority of noisy neighbors will hog the server’s key resources and will often have a detrimental impact on the server’s performance.

3. IP Reputation

If the server you are hosted on is detected sending spam or hosting malware, then the chances are that its IP address is going to get blacklisted. That’s bad news for you. Once you’re blacklisted, you can be affected by a range of factors from email deliverability, to your search ranking, to insecurities that hackers can exploit.

Protection comes at a cost, and many hosts balk at the extra investment involved in protecting their IP reputation. On the other hand, responsible hosts will use tools to get ahead of the problems to ensure that their clients do not suffer from blacklisting.

4. Sluggish Performance During Peaks

If you’re hosted on a shared server and you have a busy e-commerce website, you may notice lethargic performance during busy periods. If so, chances are that your RAM hungry shopping cart application is running out of juice. While shared hosting may meet the needs of the majority, key server resources (CPU and RAM) are communal among all the websites on that server. So, to get the computing power you need, you must wait in line for your turn.

With a hosted provider you have the ability to scale up or down as needed. You can control the amount of CPU or RAM allocated to you, and you’re guaranteed the level of power required to run your business effectively and efficiently as your needs dictate.

5. Non-standard Software Not Allowed

Sometimes you may need to run versions of software that aren’t supported on a shared hosting service. For example, let’s say that the shopping cart software you need requires the latest version of PHP, but your host does not yet offer this version. Or what if your host supports standard software, but not more powerful, less adapted alternatives? For example, using Apache (strong on security) instead of LiteSpeed (open source and fast). If you want to run optional tools then a shared hosting environment may not be the best for you.

Your brand is a critical component of your business. Your online brand address resides in a server. In real estate it’s all about location, location, location. Much like finding a smart, proficient real estate agent with your critical needs in mind, make sure your hosting provider is operating the same way.

If they aren’t, then they are lazy.

Perhaps it’s time to find a better host.

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