Bad hosting can ruin your eCommerce business. There, I said it. So why is hosting such an important factor in the success of your eCommerce business? It is not just eCommerce sites but bad hosting can take the charm of any website away. Let’s see how.
Once you’ve built a website, think of it as the structure of a house. Now, you will need to put it someplace, right? So think of hosting as the piece of land where you’ll put your house. The analogy isn’t perfect, but I’m sure you get the point. Finding the right hosting service is a huge challenge and if done right, can be a big boost for your website.
There are, by some accounts, more than 30 million eCommerce stores on the Internet. Only a small number, around 7,00,000, of these actually make
Close to 80% online shoppers said that if they experience trouble with a website’s performance, they would never return to shop with them again. And they would not remain quiet about it. Nearly 45% of them would tell a friend about the poor experience they had.
Loading time – the lesser, the better
This means that speed and other site performance parameters play an important role in whether visitors will actually browse through your site. In an effort to add aesthetics and other functionalities to your e-commerce site, you compromise on loading times. But that can be a fatal mistake – one that could signal the end of your online business. Not only is speed an important factor for assuring positive user behavior, it is also one of the search signals that determines page rankings.
A 1-second delay can affect your conversion rate by 7%. This means that if your site is making, say for example, $100,000 dollars a day, you could potentially lose $2.5 million a year in lost sales!
Bad hosting can have a serious effect on page loading times. If the site takes long to load, the visitor is more than likely going to press the “back” button. This increases your bounce-back rate, which is signal enough for Google to penalize you with lower page rankings.
Factors like RAM and bandwidth dedicated by the hosting company to your site play an important role in the speed of your site. If you aren’t short on resources, you should go for a dedicated hosting server where you won’t have to share hosting space with tens of other websites.
If you are a small to medium enterprise, you can leverage the powers of content delivery systems which are essentially data centers scattered across the world at various geographical locations. This reduces the fetching time and greatly enhances loading speeds.
It is worthwhile to use reliable sites to check loading speeds of your site on a regular basis. If you find that the loading times are greater and the problem is not with your site, it is very likely due to a problem with your web hosting company. It is then time to shift to a better one.
How often is your site down?
Downtime is when your site is inaccessible due to problems with the server on which your site is hosted. Throughout the day search engine spiders will crawl to your site. If they find your site inaccessible, they will record this and move onto the next site. If this happens often, your site will be labeled as unreliable and this severely affects your page rankings.
Nobody can guarantee a 100% uptime but it is not unreasonable to expect 99.9% uptime. Anything less than that will have an effect on your page rankings because search engines will be wary of showing an inaccessible site to its users, lest it gives a bad impression of the search engine.
In the initial stages, you can look at shared hosting options. Once your e-commerce store becomes popular and starts to see some traffic, the next option would be to shift to VPS or dedicated hosting to ensure good loading speeds and less downtime.
Where is your server located?
The geographical location of your server greatly impacts page rankings. For example, if you are targeting US citizens through your eCommerce store, you should consider using a web hosting company that has servers in the US and it hosts your site on one of them. This will also improve loading times and uptime.
Search engines will rank a site higher if it is based in the country where the search originated. To determine the location of your website, it will check many indicators, one of which is the IP address of the website. The IP address depends on the location of the server your site is hosted on. So if your site is hosted on a server that is located in the US, it will rank higher in searches originating in the US.
Does your hosting offer security and a versatile payment system?
Online shoppers trust only those sites which offer them state-of-the-art security for their personal and financial details. Before choosing a hosting service for your e-commerce site, it is essential to understand the security features your site will be receiving in order to protect your customer’s data. Also, the hosting service should be able to integrate and support a variety of payment options (cards, net banking, PayPal, etc.) to offer versatile payment options to customers.
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Bad hosting can ruin a perfectly planned eCommerce business. It is just not enough to have a beautiful, function-rich site if it is not hosted properly. For maximum control over how your site functions and to enable it to absorb irregular bursts of traffic, you should look at custom hosting solutions.
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