Web hosting has a big impact on site performance – including search visibility and visitor engagement.
Every website needs a home on the internet. It’s where your website files are store. And more importantly, it’s where your website files are served from to display on your visitors phone or computer screen. It’s not difficult to find very inexpensive website hosting. Particularly if you have a relatively small website. But regardless of the size of your website, the hosting service you use can have a big impact on things like how fast your website loads. And how fast your site loads can impact how search engines regard and rank your website on search results pages.
Many website design companies will also offer website hosting – just like this. And as a general rule, it’s not a bad idea to run with the hosting provided. But there are a couple of things to look out for.
Dedicated WordPress Hosting
If you’re website is built on WordPress, you consider using dedicated WordPress hosting. Dedicated WordPress hosting is specifically designed with the unique demands of WordPress in mind. Managed WordPress hosting can also come with useful automations and protections built-in. The WordPress core software is regularly updated. Generally these are minor tweaks to the software which won’t effect your website or CMS experience. Less often, WordPress will release a major upgrade.
Most WordPress website’s make use of a small or sometimes vast number of plugins. And the developers of these will also provide periodic updates. Sometimes the update is to the functionality of the plugin, other times the update is to maintain compatible with WordPress core upgrades.
And if your website uses an off-the-shelf theme, there will sometimes be updates to these as well.
Managing software updates.
The thing to be aware of here is that for the most part, all these software upgrades are not necessarily compatible with each other. This means that making upgrades can be a delicate exercise – with WordPress core, plugins and themes possibly causing conflicts that can take your website down altogether.
Some managed WordPress hosting services provide automated upgrades with conflict testing. This means that the software on your website will always be up-to-date, without the costly hassle of dealing with plugin or theme conflicts.
If you’re using website hosting provided by your website designer, it’s a good idea to ask whether it’s dedicated WordPress hosting. You can also ask about how WordPress and plugin updates are to be handled. Will they occur automatically, will they be done for you, or do you need to look after it yourself? Remember, keeping WordPress core and plugins up-to-date is essential to keep your site secure and performing at it’s best.
If you choose to arrange your own website hosting, it’s likely your website will exist in a shared hosting environment. This quite literally means that your website is sharing disk space and bandwidth with other websites. It works on a similar principles to banks lending money. That is, their counting on everyone not wanting to withdraw funds at the same time. Shared hosting environments work on the principle that not every site is going to be using its allocated bandwidth at the same time.