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Whatever your business, the chances are that your customers are using the internet to research, compare and buy products and services just like yours. Having a good quality SEO friendly website has never been more important for business.
A user friendly design with plenty of high quality fresh content is an absolute must, but what about your web host? The choice of web host is often overlooked when it comes to putting a business website together, but in fact finding the right host is an absolute necessity.
So what are the risks if you choose the wrong web host? And how do you choose the right one?
What Makes a Bad Web Host?
The main problem with the wrong web host is website downtime. Several problems can spring from too much downtime as you'll see in the next paragraph. An unreliable host can also increase your page loading speeds or put your website at risk of a security breach. Not to mention that if you choose a web host that's lacking fast and reliable customer service, you'll find it hard to get any problems resolved quickly. An unreliable website carries some risks that can damage your business.
Risk to Your Reputation
If your website is frequently down or slow to load, your customers' perception of your company will not be favorable. Your visitors will expect a professional, intuitive browsing experience from a website that is reliable. As well as not being able to view your page, customers will find it harder to contact you. If you found a shop was closed more often than it was open, you'd take your business elsewhere, and the same principle applies online.
Risk To Your Income
If customers can't gain reliable access to your web page, they can't spend their money with you. Frequent downtime or loading errors will make shopping your online store, if you have one, frustrating at best and impossible at worst. Amazon suffered a 40 minute outage last year that expert’s estimate may have cost the shopping giant up to $4 million in revenue. Your numbers might be lower - but you're still looking at a potential cut to your earnings for every minute customer’s can't shop in your online store.
Risk to Your Search Engine Rankings
Web site outage problems can negatively affect your search engine rankings. Not only will this make it harder for potential customers to find you, but you'll find it harder to attract traffic and therefore revenue. Search engine spiders trawl the web constantly - if they find your website down too often it will be reported as unreliable. The more that happens, the worse news it is for your website as you'll find your search engine ranking downgraded.
Finding the Right Host
With so much at stake, how do you go about finding the right web host? The key is research. Don't make your decision based on price alone, or on the web host's own marketing materials. Look for user reviews and ask around. When considering a web host, ask questions about their uptime record, customer service response times, and data backup facilities. Even the best web site can expect a little bit of down time on rare occasions, but it's not unreasonable to expect a minimum of 99% uptime.
Your choice of web host is a vital part of building your website.
Putting in the time to do your research now makes much more financial sense than running the risk of lowered search engine rankings and loss of revenue in the future.
Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing, business, and SEO.View Tristan Anwyn`s profile for more