Expert Blog: Website Growth In 2021 – The Role of Web Hosting

Simply getting a website live is just planting a seed. Left alone with no attempt at cultivation, it won’t achieve much: just wait there with no traffic or meaningful presence in the SERPs, serving only to marginally sap your resources. For you to get any meaningful value from your website, then, you need to work on it: to give it the time and resources it needs to grow.

What we’re going to consider in this piece is the extent to which the hosting you use can impact the growth of your website. If we keep the seed metaphor, the web hosting is akin to the soil in which you plant it. Given that location is immensely important for a plant, does this suggest that web hosting is of similar importance? Or are things not that simple? Let’s consider it.

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Covering the Basics of Technical SEO

Many web hosting companies can do far more than simply ensure that your website is accessible. They can also provide you with simple CMS rollouts (CMS being content management system) to get you started, and even continue to monitor your selected CMS to ensure that no issues arise (such as the .htaccess file for WordPress being compromised) to interfere with your search engine visibility.

If this is something that interests you (which it probably should be because outsourcing core tasks is an essential part of growing a website), you should take the time to search for a web hosting provider with expertise in the CMS you intend to use. WordPress is the most popular by far, but there are web hosts out there that focus on Wix, Magento, Shopify, OpenCart… Just about any platform that has a half-decent amount of support will also have some niche web hosting available.

Knowing that you can rely on your web hosting provider to report on any concerning website slowdown and keep all your plugins updated will free you up to spend time on more creative tasks like creating outreach assets or making guest appearances on other websites in your niche. In this way, a good web hosting solution can prove a hugely influential asset.

Preventing Damaging Website Downtime

When your website goes down for a while, it probably won’t impact your search rankings much – but it might have a notable effect on the perception of your website (and your brand by extension), something that matters greatly when you’re trying to grow it. You need to be seen as reliable if you’re going to pick up a lot of momentum. When a website is inaccessible for quite some time, it’s seen as a clear indication that the owner simply doesn’t care about it.

In truth, though, this isn’t a big concern at this point. Just about every reputable web hosting provider (and there’s a large assortment to choose from) has an uptime guarantee of 99.5% or more, and will realistically come much closer to 100%. Just be sure to read plenty of reviews before making a commitment, and pay attention to negative social media comments.

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Accommodating Increased Website Traffic

The more you grow your website, the more traffic it should attract – and it needs to be capable of fielding that traffic or else the growth will soon slow down. The important word here is scalability. Great web hosting for a small website will scale up the resources as required, making it possible to start with a handful of visitors each month and eventually hit tens or hundreds of thousands each week without needing to manually request a new performance tier.

What performance guarantees can a given web hosting provider offer? You won’t generally find specific loading times listed because every website is different (affected by everything from the number and size of images on the homepage to the loading order of the required files), but you should be able to find information about the number of simultaneous visitors that can be accommodated.

You should also look for information about natively supported CDNs (content delivery networks). If your preferred web host can enable and maintain a CDN for your website, that’ll speed things up without needing any manual effort from you – so it’s certainly worthy of investigation.

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Providing General Business Support

Web hosts derive their success from that of their hosted websites and brands. The bigger your website gets, the more you’ll need to pay to accommodate the traffic, and the more money they’ll make. Additionally, a web host that can lay claim to being the foundation of a hugely-popular website will pick up a lot of positive press as a result. This means there’s clear incentive for a web host to go the extra mile in various ways.

Let’s say that you’ve never created a website before and want to build your first. Well, no matter how prepared you are, you’re going to run into problems that you couldn’t have anticipated. Some of these will be technical issues, but not all of them. You’ll also encounter broader issues: maybe legal conflicts with your brand name, or maybe uncertainty about how to formulate a worthwhile marketing strategy.

Now, your web hosting provider should never serve as your marketing advisor or anything too broad. If you want a marketing advisor, hire a marketing agency. But a smart web host will always make an effort to help you, no matter what you’re looking for. In some cases, that’ll mean giving you some simple advice, and in others it’ll mean referring you to relevant support services. So, if you’re reviewing hosting options for your website, remember to read the support-service terms closely to see how willing the companies are to help their hosted companies.

Overall, then, web hosting plays a key role in enabling, accommodating and encouraging website growth, so you shouldn’t settle for mediocrity. Find a web host that can support the goals you’re aiming for, and you’ll have one fewer thing to worry about in the near future.

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