Medical and dental practices are small businesses. As such, you’re always searching for ways to save money, as that directly impacts your profitability.
But there are areas to save money and there are areas where saving a few dollars could be costing you plenty. Web hosting is one of those.
We offer web hosting at Advice Media. Here’s why we think your practice website should be on one of our 90+ servers in North America and around the world.
Don’t get stuck in the loading zone
Low-price, even free, website hosting is usually a come-on to get your site on the server and into the monthly auto billing system. The question is, how many other sites are on there with you? And how does “free” pay for the necessary server capacity to adequately host all of those sites? Maybe adequate capacity wasn’t included in the “free” offering.
Overstretched servers, just like overstretched workers, are slow. There are too many bytes of data trying to squeeze through the overloaded circuits. Think of your home internet and how it can slow down at times of high demand. You don’t want to have that happen to the server hosting your practice website.
But if your website takes a few more seconds to load, what’s the big deal, right? Well, it’s not a big deal if you don’t mind users instantly leaving your site. Think about it. How long are you willing to wait watching the wheel spin as a website loads? Industry surveys have found that website visitors expect websites they are visiting to load in two seconds or less. After three seconds — yes, just three seconds — if the page hasn’t loaded the potential user abandons the site.
When you choose a low-cost hosting service such as GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostGator, and the like your site is placed on a server with thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of other websites. Hopefully, those other sites aren’t getting much traffic because your site will be vying with them for server resources. An overloaded server means your site is going to load slowly.
Slow load times are not only annoying to the potential user. Google doesn’t like them much either. The Google search algorithms reward “quality” when ranking websites — quality content, quality page descriptions in the background, quality sitemaps, and quality page loading times. One of the algorithm ranking factors is page loading time. Google views pages that load slowly as poorly constructed, equating these pages with a poor search experience and pushing down your ranking.
In comparison, Advice Media places only hundreds of client websites on a comparable server. This means your site isn’t competing for working resources, so it can load much faster. This means your site visitors can interact with your content on your site rather than fighting slow load times, and that makes them more likely to sign up for a treatment or procedure.
Unlimited vs. dedicated website resources
Many low-cost hosting providers tout their “unlimited” options: unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, unlimited email addresses, etc. While this sounds quite impressive, this unlimited world has to exist within a crowded server. Remember, you’re sharing your server, so you’re at the mercy of your website roommates. Let’s say someone decides to upload 10 gigs of photos onto that same server. Whose site do you think is going to slow down?
At Advice we limit your resource usage. While this can sound limiting, it actually can help your site perform better. Because we limit usage, your site has its very own channel to use for web traffic, kind of like a carpool lane on a crowded freeway just for you. These dedicated resources keep you from fighting with other sites on the same server, which makes your site load quickly and efficiently.
Impersonalized customer support
Have you ever tried the technical support offered by a cheap hosting provider? Call the 800 number or open the chat window and hope for the best. More often than not, these support personnel aren’t even in the United States. Think of interactions you’ve had with a cable or satellite provider and then make them even worse.
At Advice, you have a specific technical support team or a single personal contact that will address and resolve your issues quickly, effectively, and with minimal hassle.
Crowded servers are also fertile ground for hackers. There are lots of targets in one location with lots of data, and they aren’t well protected. Do you think your “free” service paid for high-quality security? Before you know it, your website has been hijacked and redirected to a third-party domain. Now you have a problem.
We pride ourselves on our security at Advice. Because our servers aren’t hosting myriad sites, it’s easier for us to protect our servers and your site.
Bottom line? As with many things, you get what you pay for when it comes to website hosting. On important issues such as load time, resource allocation, customer support, and vulnerability, we may not be the cheapest website host, but we feel the service we provide at Advice is second to none. And since most potential patients now engage with a practice for the first time online, don’t you think that’s worth every penny?
If you have any questions about our website hosting at Advice Media, call your representative and ask away. Or, if you’re not yet a client, fill out the contact form or give us a shout at (800) 260-9497, and let’s talk.