08 Oct 3 Ways Your Website Design Affects Your Choice Of Web Host
A Guest Blog by Jann Chambers
When you consider setting up a website, what are the first steps that come to mind? I’m willing wager it goes something like this:
1. Domain name
But, what about your web host? You can’t have a website without one, so why is it so far down most people’s list of priorities?
Choosing the right host is not just a matter of finding the fastest service with the most impressive bandwidth and data entitlements. The best host for your website will depend a lot on its design.
Make the wrong choice and you could end up with a site that’s slower than your users are willing to accept, driving them into the arms of your competitors.
In this blog, I’ll discuss three of the main web design features you need to think about when choosing a web host, so you can find the perfect match and get your online business off to the best start.
Graphics and images
The single biggest consideration when choosing the right host for you is how graphics and image-heavy it will be.
Byte-munching, high definition images and complex, responsive graphics are going to require a larger data allowance than websites that focus on text.
But that’s not where the issue ends. A good website needs to be fast. A page needs to load within 3 seconds to retain a viewer’s interest. If it doesn’t, they’ll just leave.
You also need to consider how graphics and images load during rendering. If complex design elements are set to load all at once, most web hosting plans will struggle to meet the 3-second goal.
Work with your developer to make sure the most important features load first and everything else follows in succession. Doing so will take the off your web host and avoid compromising your design.
Dynamic or static
While the majority of static sites will do fine on free hosting plans. Most modern websites are dynamic, and the way these websites are coded, as well as the kind of data they store, can cause a real headache when finding a suitable web host.
For starters, most hosts don’t support PHP or Ruby on Rails, so they’d need to find specialist providers. A dynamic site also required increased security because of the sensitive data that is stored by its database.
There are some fundamentals that all businesses should look for, like SSL certificates, security checks and backup systems.
You’ll need all of the above if you intend to include user logins and account information, host a forum or content-sharing element, or if your site is an eCommerce platform.
How much and what type of content a website will hold will have a big impact on your client’s choice of web host.
If you intend to go hell for leather on content marketing immediately after set-up, it would be unwise to choose a shared server-based hosting plan because viral content and inconsistent demand would lead to significant site downtime.
A website that focuses heavily on content, such as artist’s portfolios, photography studios and others that use a lot of mixed media also need to be wary of slow page loading.
Most people aren’t aware that it’s often their host and not their design or internet connection that’s causing a slowdown in page loading. To avoid disappointment, always estimate your new website’s hosting requirements based on your projected traffic data volume and leave a 30% margin of error in your hosting entitlements to allow for rapid growth.
To sum things up…
Building a website that is as fast and usable as people expect takes a lot of thought and work. By understanding the link between design choices and web hosts, you give yourself a head-start in making it happen. So, do some calculations and make sure you get the right web hosting plan for your website.