Basics: time your site

The quality of your website hosting can make or break your website. Humor me for a second, well a few seconds. Count to five in your head or out loud.

Choosing the wrong hosting for your WordPress website can make visitors wait at least five seconds every time they try to load a page on your website.

Five seconds may seem like an insignificant amount of time. In real life, it feels like not much time passes at all. However, it’s a crucial time if you’re looking to generate leads or sales through your website.

People want to get information immediately, you + I are included in that. We’re used to having fast information at our fingertips. The internet has spoiled us with increased speed + access to answers within seconds. Which means that if your website is slow, visitors will look elsewhere for help. They can easily click back in their browser + visit a competitor’s website instead.

So, how do we define good hosting?

Good web hosting is typically a specialized service known as Managed Hosting. It’s designed + set up to load websites as quickly as possible. A well-optimized website on a good hosting service should load in under 2 seconds.

Poor-quality hosting is usually cheaper. It’s even sometimes sold as “unlimited”, which is really just a marketing gimmick. For example, there’s no such thing as an unlimited hard drive. There are always limits. They’re just hidden away in the hosting company’s terms of service. And if they mean unlimited as in you can have as many websites as you want, the folks you’re sharing server space with get that option too. Which means there could be hundreds of sites (or more) sharing the same resources.

A good rule of thumb is that if your website hosting costs less than a cup of coffee each month, it isn’t the best option for your business.

We host websites for our clients using Flywheel, a cloud-based Managed WordPress Hosting provider. Their platform is optimized for speed and performance. Our clients’ websites load quickly for visitors — often 35% faster by simply moving from their $9.99/month hosting option to our server.

Website speed is an important ranking factor with search engines + an essential visitor requirement. A faster website has a much better chance of ranking higher in the search results.

Thinking back to the exercise we ran through at the start of this email. Try loading your website + counting to five.

Does it load before you reach two seconds? Does it load before you count to five seconds? Or does it take longer to load?

If your website isn’t loading in under two seconds, there is definitely room for improvement. You can make it easy by upgrading to a better hosting company or DIY by working through the steps to speed up your site. Both routes will help your website visitors have a better experience + benefit your future performance in the search engine rankings.

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