Do you even know where your website currently lives?
You have to own a spot on the internet through a hosting provider in order to have a website.
Did you know that where your website lives can have a huge impact on how well it runs? And that how well your website runs is directly linked to your appearance on Google and how many leads and sales you can generate?
I know many clients who don’t think twice about whether their website lives with GoDaddy, Bluehost, or WP Engine, but that one decision can be the difference between your business showing up on Google and growing your business.
I know that it can be incredibly overwhelming to pick a host. You go with a name you know and think you can trust them. Then something happens and you spend HOURS on Live Chat or the phone lines waiting for any kind of support.
Let’s make choosing where your website lives a whole lot easier. I’m going to teach you exactly what to look for in a website host so you can choose its home for the next few years a whole lot easier.
SquareSpace vs Wix vs WordPress
The first question you have to answer is what kind of website you have. Most hosting providers can support a variety of websites, but the package you purchase might be different. If your site was built with Wix, SquareSpace, or Webflow, those platforms are also your host. Your website has to live with them and can’t really be moved anywhere else.
Since WordPress currently powers 43% of the internet, if you have a WordPress website, you can probably host your site almost anywhere. You do still need to pick a plan that’s built for WordPress, but most hosts make that a fairly clear option.
Invest in a Good Web Host
Back when I started coding in 2005, it was possible to pay only $7/month for a decent website host. That’s no longer true. In fact, I highly recommend that you invest a little bit more into a host that at least starts around $20-30/month. While Bluehost and GoDaddy still have those “cheap” plans available that work for WordPress, they’re not really powerful enough to deliver a quality experience (in laymen’s terms…they load your site really, really slowly).
Depending on how much support and help you want from where your website lives, you can expect to pay a bit more per month.
Check Their Performance
Where your website lives has a lot to do with how fast your site loads. A web developer can build it as lean as possible, but unless your website lives in the right place, it can still load slowly (see: GoDaddy). Since we now know that performance affects the leads you generate, we know that we don’t want that!
One of my favorite hosts, WP Engine, only hosts WordPress websites and touts a 40% increase in speed on their server. That’s a big deal when you only have about 3 seconds for your site to load and keep your visitors.
You also want to make sure to select a host that promises consistent up-time. If they’re servers are always going down, that means your website is down. And if your website goes down, that means you can lose repeat visitors, interested browsers, and even sales.
Do They Offer Security?
I just had to rescue several websites for a client of mine. One website on their server was hacked and it was affecting several of their websites.
Their hosting company? Did absolutely nothing to help even though it was putting their own infrastructure at risk!
Where your website lives can be make or break in a situation where you’ve been hacked (or keeping you from getting hacked at all).
Spend a little bit more per month and you will find that there’s redundancies like daily or weekly backups, managed upgrades, and monitoring to ensure that you’re protected.
Customer Support is Key
You know what is a make or break thing for me when it comes to a website host? What their customer support is like. Here’s the thing – even though I’ve been a web developer for 17 years, there’s still plenty that I’m learning about servers. And with a hosting company, I might know what needs to be done, but I need one of their employees to do it for me.
I do not care to know how much of my life I’ve wasted on hold, waiting for budget hosts’ customer service to actually get back to me.
Check reviews of the hosting provider you’re considering and pay attention to what those reviews say about the host’s responsiveness to issues and how quickly someone is helping you. One of the main things I love about WP Engine? I think the longest I’ve waited for a rep is 10 minutes and they’re always extremely knowledgeable and go above and beyond to help me troubleshoot and figure out issues.
Choose Someone You Trust
Most of all, where your website lives should be with someone you can really trust. Who would you rather talk to if you had an issue? A different customer support rep or the same friendly face every time?
My clients host with me because not only do I partner with WP Engine to give them the best speeds and performance you can get, but then when something happens they just talk to me. No hours of waiting or someone that barely speaks the same language.
Just the person they already can count on taking care of their marketing foundation.
Plus, my team and I take care of all the security updates and keep backups so that you’re 100% protected.
I do more than host. I care for your website and treat it as the foundational piece that it is. Discover more about our website care plans.