Hosting is probably one of the most overlooked and undervalued decisions a business makes regarding its website. Now every business has some core needs and generally at first glance, the list is fairly small when it comes to hosting a website. You might even think that those needs are fairly basic, at first glance.
But as time goes on, typically challenges arise regarding a website, and unfortunately, many of these challenges stem from the initial (bad) choices regarding the hosting provider. Then you find yourself in reactive mode. This is one of the worst places you can be when making a decision on your hosting provider.
This is where we found ourselves about six months ago when we started to experience challenges with our host at the time. The challenges were mainly related to speed issues but frankly, it almost seemed to be a domino effect, where issues escalated fast. Here are a few more of the issues that were on the rise;
- Hacking: Several (thankfully) unsuccessful attempts were made to hack our website. It was an eyeopener to how little protection we had or support we could get on the issue.
- Speed: Even with the best code optimization, the servers our website was put on constantly caused slow page load. This heavily affected our ranking and conversion rate.
- Server Downtime: server downtimes happened way too often for our liking, with little to no explanation or support. There’s no way of accurately reporting how much that cost us in profits, but it was a lot.
- SEO Ranking: Everything that was wrong with our choice for hosting began to cost us in ranking, affecting our website’s authority. You really don’t want this to happen to you.
- Support: with the almost ridiculous quality of service we were getting, you would think support will always be available to users with hosting issues or questions. Long story short, it was not. Let’s just say, a lot of patching was done over time, with little to no guidance.
So enough was enough and we jumped ship. Leaving was an easy decision but where to go was not. Regardless, this time we dug in an did the due diligence we needed to ensure we felt good about our next hosting provider. After all, changing hosting companies can be a pain in the “you know what”, so you really want to make sure you’re confident in your choice.
Why We’re Ready to Rave About SiteGround
We made the decision to go with a hosting provider named SiteGround. Now the short story is, they make us very happy. The long story, SiteGround has been able to address hosting issues we have been struggling with. After all, that’s really all we really expect from a hosting provider, but yet it seems to be so hard to find.
So what exactly impressed us?
Beyond the basics, that SiteGround is a service that effectively provides shared hosting, cloud hosting and servers for website hosting, they are actually quite well known (although at the time, not to me) with over 800,000 current users. Thanks to SiteGround, we no longer have to worry about issues that might seem basic, but until recently were very problematic.
Below are the highlights that we love, and frankly are what we consider critical for a service to provide:
1. Impressive Uptime
SitreGround takes pride in publishing their monthly uptime stats, and it is truly impressive. Website servers are maintained directly and constantly, supporting their promise of 99.9% uptime. Ad campaigns and other marketing campaigns are all dependent on the performance of your website. Users will easily get discouraged if they have to struggle with your website. Our site has been up 100% since our move, which definitely makes us happy.
We feel comfortable relying on SiteGround because they are dedicated to maintaining this record and fulfilling their promise to their customers. So far, so good!
2. Super Tight Security
If you’ve ever had issues with site security, then you know how frustrating and time-consuming it is, trying to resolve the issues and evaluating how much damage was done. The first time we were ever hacked, I remember wondering, “why me?” I never had even considered my hosting partner as a component of the issue.
SiteGround provides effective security solutions that are constantly being tested and improved on to avoid any possible bypasses. These add-ons are reasonable, and we highly recommend them. You don’t have to have a tonne of traffic to be hacked, so protection from this by your hosting service is key.
We opted to go with the add-on (SiteGround Scanner) protection, to ensure peace of mind. It has been well worth the decision.
3. Better Page Load Response Time
Being a provider of marketing services to businesses of all sizes, we are constantly touting the importance of page load speed. So this one is absolutely imperative to us. Check out the stats as a part of their latest reports on their loading speeds:
The industry’s average loading time is 4.7 sec, meanwhile,
- SiteGround’s loading time without cache: 1.7 sec
- SiteGround’s loading time with cache: 1.3 sec
Personally, we can confirm that our pages load faster since we made the switch. This has also improved our conversion rates, and we have noticed that users spend more time exploring our website. User experience is not only great for conversions but also keep the search engines happy for SEO.
4. Lower Pricing
Now if cost isn’t important to you, skip this section 🙂 …but if you’re like us and most small businesses, we’re always trying to control rising costs.
One of the advantages of SiteGround is that it costs significantly less than most of the highly recommended options, with even more benefits.
For small to big businesses, the price for setting up and maintaining your hosting plan will hardly make a dent in your budget. SiteGround also offers impressive discount deals for students, teachers and other educators. This goes to show how much thought they put into who their users are, and how they can serve them better.
5. Quality 24/7 Support
This is crucial. We often realize something has gone wrong with our web properties at the most inopportune times. So having access to the right support when we need it, is a relief.
SiteGround provides quality, round-the-clock support through online support chat and voice calls. So far, we have only encountered friendly representatives who were able to help us sort out issues quickly and effectively. This is a nice change from our previous host who was most willing to blame someone else for the issues.
Their support team is clearly dedicated and you can tell from one conversation that the representative you are talking to is experienced, and not a generic sales representative put behind the help desk.
Interested in using SiteGround?
The process is quite easy!
STEP 1- SELECT YOUR HOSTING PLAN
There are three hosting plans available, depending on your website needs. They include:
StartUp: an option for new website users who just need the basic functionalities of a website. This plan supports one website.
GrowBig: This plan is perfect if you have one heavily-trafficked website or multiple sites with average traffic levels. It also offers a backup system with a 1-click restore tool.
GoGeek: If your website is visited heavily, contains a large number of resources, or is an e-commerce site with a large product line, this is the best-recommended option for you.
Evaluate your website needs and choose the option that is best suited for them.
STEP 2- DOMAIN SETUP
If you already have a registered domain you want to transfer, you will be prompted to type it in. You’ll then be guided through the transfer process.
If you want to register a new domain, you can insert your domain name to confirm that it is available. Quick Tip: Be ready with different variations of your chosen domain name in case it is not available. SiteGround will also provide you with other variations if this happens.
- Related: How to Choose Wisely SEO Domains
STEP 3- FILL, REVIEW AND COMPLETE
Fill the provided boxes with the required information, review the information submitted, and complete the process with a payment!
Hopefully, this quick article gives you some highlights of whats important with choosing a hosting provider. One thing’s for sure, hosting should not be taken lightly.
If you’re happy with your provider, its a great checklist of concerns before a problem happens. If you are ready for a better hosting experience, Click here, to begin with, SiteGround.