It’s always tempting to make price the ultimate consideration. After all, as Ben Franklin said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” But when it comes to web hosting, making your decision based on the price alone could actually be very costly for your practice. Here are a few reasons why.
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 autobilling 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 Netflix on a Saturday night on your home Internet.
So your website takes a few more seconds to load, so what? Slow-loading websites are a concern. 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. And what happens when a server is overloaded? Your site loads very slowly.
Slow load times are not only annoying to the potential user. Google isn’t a fan, either. The Google search algorithms reward “quality” in their searches — quality content, quality page descriptions in the background, quality sitemaps, and quality page loading times. 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 happy site visitors, which likely translates into more business for your practice.
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. Who’s site do you think is going to slow down?
At Advice Media 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 an HOV lane 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. If you thought dealing with a cable company on a support line was fun, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
At Advice Media, 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. We’re not big on 800 numbers.
Hacking ’r us
When you’re living on your crowded little server with thousands of your other website friends hosted by a cheap provider you’re also ripe for hacking. Do you think your “free” service paid for high-quality security? Hacking such crowded servers makes for easy access to vast amounts of data, so they are prime targets. Before you know it, your website has been hijacked and redirected to a third party domain. That’s probably not going to be the best thing for your practice.
We pride ourselves on our security at Advice Media. Because our servers aren’t hosting myriad sites, it’s easier for us to protect our servers and your site.
The moral of this story? 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 Media 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 right now and ask away.