Opting to make your services or products available through your website is a great way to boost your sales. And with the right website hosting companies, you can get the results you are aiming for.
Web Hosting Explained
In order to see how the hosting company you choose can affect your online sales, you first need to understand how web hosting works. Despite how technical the process may sound it is in reality quite easy to understand.
What is web hosting? There are quite a few misconceptions about web hosting companies so the best way to define it to start at the basics. Hosting providers basically provide you with a virtual storage space for what will be shown on your website.
If you have a clothing business and sell your merchandise on your site, then you would probably have pictures of your products online. Without the images, your customers will not be able to see what the shirt or dress looks like. Those pictures need to be stored on a server so that it can be shown on your site, and that’s what web hosting providers offer.
Types of Web Hosting
To enjoy positive results from working with web hosting firms, it will be important to know your options. The best fit will be one that can address your needs without breaking the bank. Below is a quick description of the different types of web hosting to help you decide on the right hosting service for your business.
- Free Hosting – According to com, a site builder and hosting company, defines this type as ideal for site that is non-critical. Some providers need you to have your own domain name to receive the free hosting services. There are some companies though that will provide you a subdomain.
Tech Terms, an online computer resource, defines a domain name as the name that a site is identified by. While the net functions on IP addresses, numbers such as 22.214.171.124 can be more difficult to remember. Domain names are what online users use to access your website. For example, if your company’s name is ABC Shirts, you may purchase the domain name “abcshirts.com”. Your customers can find your site faster by using that instead of an IP address.
When you use hosting companies that provide subdomains, it may appear as, “webhost.com/abcshirts/” or “abcshirts.webhost.com”. These subdomains may not be transferred to a different host.
While this service may not require a big investment, it may not be the most efficient for a site used for business. The connection is often slow, the website may experience frequent downtime and there are automatic ad banners included.
- Shared Hosting – This type of hosting is the most common option used by most businesses. Multiple websites are hosted by one server hence the term shared. Resources and bandwidth are also shared by the sites so it doesn’t cost too much to subscribe to.
Servers used for this type of hosting can accommodate up to 30,000 visitors a month. This makes it an ideal option for start-ups and sites that don’t generate a massive amount of traffic.
While shared hosting can be a cost efficient solution for your website, it does come with one major disadvantage. Your sites performance which includes speed and uptime is dependent on the other sites sharing the server. If these other businesses have high traffic, you site may experience loading issues.
- Cloud or VPS Hosting – This type is a new hosting technology that is quickly gaining popularity. Whereas shared hosting uses one server to host multiple websites, cloud hosting utilizes a giant one made up of multiple servers.
This means, despite sharing servers, your sites performance will not get impacted by the traffic received by the other sites. There are advantages and disadvantages of using cloud hosting, but it is a cost efficient option more and more businesses are beginning to explore.
- Dedicated Hosting – As the term denotes, dedicated hosting means having a server exclusively for your own site. You can expect excellent services as you will not be sharing resources with any other site.
If your site gets a lot of traffic, this is the hosting option that can address your needs. It can handle more 100,000 visitors per month and offer superior loading speed. However, dedicated hosting can be expensive. It can be two or even five times more expensive than shared hosting.
In addition, since you will be given root access or permission to make changes on the server settings, you may need to hire an administrator to oversee these tasks.
- Self Hosting – Simply put, web hosts are computers that function as servers. That means you can opt to host your own business site. This will require quite an investment on hardware as well as a continued operating expense on maintenance, upgrade and not to mention the salary of your technical team.
While this gives you absolute control on the quality of hosting, you will also need to worry about data center space, power back-up in case of outages and equipment and software upgrades.
In order to determine which of these types would be the most cost efficient for your business, you have to identify your needs. This will prevent any unnecessary investment for hosting services you might not have to use. Website hosting company reviews can give you a better insight of which type would work best for your needs.
Web Hosting Impact on Online Sales
The quality of the website host that you choose can have a considerable impact on your online sales. Keep in mind that your site is an extension of your business. It is similar to any other location that you may have. Physical stores have to make sales to generate income. Your online store has the same goal. Below are some ways web hosting services can affect your sales.
- Less Downtime, More Sales – When your site is down due to technical problems, it basically means your store is closed. And when stores are closed there is zero chance of making a sale. Losing sales affect your revenue and of course your profit.
One of the features you need to consider when choosing a provider is uptime. Uptime is measured by 9’s. Anything lower than 99.9% is unacceptable as it means it the system would experience a lot of downtime. 99.999% means only seconds of downtime per 30 days.
When you choose a host that has a high uptime, you can guarantee that your online store will always be available to prospects and loyal customers.
- Easy to Navigate Shopping Sites – While web design is a huge factor in ensuring that the site is easy to navigate, e-commerce web hosting allows shopping carts to be added on. It makes buying and selling of services over the web possible which can certainly improve your sales.
Without these features, customer purchases will take longer to complete which may result in canceled sales. It works the same way as when shoppers get discouraged to buy at a physical store when it’s hard to find the check-out counter or when the line there is too long.
These lost opportunities can hurt your business as your site is not able to generate the revenue it was created for.
- Loading Time Impacts Customer Behavior – Top web hosting providers can deliver a faster loading time. While this may not seem like a revenue driver, loading time does have an impact on your sales. Below are some numbers that may help you understand why,
- 40% of consumers decide to abandon a website when it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
- 79% of customers opt not to purchase again from a site that had issues such as slow loading time.
- A 1 second delay in page loading may result in up to 7% reduction in traffic conversion.
- Over 40% of consumers expect a page to load in less than 3 seconds.
These numbers all state the same thing. The speed of the website can affect a consumer purchasing behavior. If your site averages 100 visitors a day and the minimum purchase they would make is $5, losing 40% means you’ll only have 60 possible purchases. Your business can lose over $70,000 a year with a 1 second delay.
- Email Accounts Increase Credibility – One of the biggest factors in increased sales is consumer trust. Having an email account that’s not provided by a free domain can increase the customer’s confidence in doing business with you.
Web hosting firms provide email accounts as an added on features to their services. This can help you communicate with your customers more efficiently as well as increase your trust rating.
With more customers willing to make a purchase from your online store, you can generate more revenue and improve your business’ profitability.
With the right host, you can add more value to your website. Check out the list of web hosting companies on CrowdReviews.com so you can start exploring your options today.
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