How The Hosting You Choose Affects Your Website Speed, Security And Reliability

Wednesday, 6 May 2020  |  Posted in: Most Recent, News  |  6min read

Your website’s hosting server, while often overlooked, is a fundamental part of your online footprint and is vital in keeping your website and other online resources visible and available for everyone on the internet.

There are lots of different hosting services on the market and a key point of difference between many is whether you have ‘dedicated hosting’ or ‘shared hosting’. Both options have their advantages but it is important to understand the differences to ensure you are using the right product.

Dedicated Hosting Vs Shared Hosting

The role of the server is to hold all the information required to display your website and then provide it to visitors as they come to read your content or buy your products. The performance of your server is determined by the resources it has available and the protections it has installed, this is where the decision to use a dedicated or shared service becomes important.

Dedicated hosting means that the entire server is sold to one customer, while a shared service is when multiple customers all use the same server. When purchasing a dedicated hosting server you have a lot more control as you can purchase exactly the resources you need, but, it is typically more expensive because you are also solely responsible for all the maintenance. While shared servers are generally cheaper it comes at the expense of speed, security and reliability.

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The Importance of Speed

For a website to load quickly it requires bandwidth from the server, generally speaking, the more bandwidth you have the better load speeds you will experience.

Page load speed is hugely important for a range of technical and user experience criteria. For example, Google uses page load speed as part of how it works out if your site will be returned in search results. Just as importantly, slow websites cause users to leave, fast.

According to Kissmetrics.com, 47% of users expect a website to load in less than two seconds. Longer than that and you’re at risk of them using that pesky back button. In mobile environments, the demand for speed is event higher which has driven the development of new content frameworks such as AMP to optimise content for display in Google and delivery to mobile users.

The simple premise behind speed and efficiency is the user experience. You have to give people what they want and give it to them quickly.

To speed things up you can make your website ‘lighter’ by removing excessive redirects, render-blocking JavaScript or oversized images, which we would definitely recommend, but you can also purchase more resources for your hosting environment.

With a dedicated hosting service if you want more bandwidth you can simply pay to upgrade your server and your service will improve. Shared hosting customers, no matter what resources they are paying for, they have to be shared with the other customers on their server. For this reason, it is often not possible to upgrade a shared server and even if you could, you still might be slowed down by another customer’s resource-draining website.

Securing your server

Modern websites handle a range of information about both the people that own them as well as the people who use them. Personal information such as names, email addresses, uploaded files etc. all pass through the server at different times so securing that information is very important for you and for protecting your customers.

Server security can be rolled out in a number of ways with lots of software, firewalls and monitoring systems already available on the market. Any server environment can be made secure through proper maintenance but a dedicated service adds an additional layer of security.

On a well-managed dedicated service, you can be confident that the server has been finely tuned to your needs and requirements, including your security requirements. On a shared service, the security for all customers can only be as strong as the weakest link. This might not mean that other customers are doing the wrong thing, only that if they need security relaxed in order to do something on their website the security across the entire server drops affecting all shared customers.

Ensuring server uptime and user reliability

Server uptime is a measurement of how often the websites contained in it are accessible. Most hosting providers will guarantee 95%+ server uptimes which gives you confidence that your website will be available when your customers come to visit.

Servers go down for a range of reasons but often it is because they have used all the available resources or they have been compromised in some way.

Here again, a dedicated server provides the most reliable option for your customers as only you are using the resources you have paid for and you can control the security conditions to suit your needs. Shared environments often have lower uptime only because they bear the burden of multiple websites draining resources quickly. The result can mean that when your next prospective customer comes to visit your website can’t be reached because another website is hogging all the bandwidth, resulting in a lost visit or even sale for you.

Dedicated to you

The Digital Embassy offers fully managed dedicated and shared hosting services to our customers but we believe the best option is always to opt for a dedicated hosting environment where possible.

Dedicated environments are typically faster, more secure and more reliable compared to shared options and we are able to provide local maintenance and support to further improve our hosting products for our customers. If you choose to host your website with your web design agency, make sure that they specialise in the type of hosting that’s right for your business.

You can find out more about our hosting and support options in the Service section of our website.

Get the first month of a 12 month Managed Dedicated Hosting plan FREE! Offer for a limited time only.

Find out more about this offer and get in touch today.

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Phone us on 1300 375 368 for an obligation-free chat with a digital specialist about how we can help to scale up your business online.

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