How to Choose Web Hosting to Optimise the User Experience

There is a range of things to consider when choosing website hosting. Those things include cost, customer service, the email services that are available, ease of use, and more. In this article, however, we are focusing on user experience.

While top website design companies Like Kiwi Website Design always focus on user experience, it is not something that is always looked at in enough detail when it comes to website hosting.

Arguably, user experience should be at the top of your priority list when choosing a website hosting provider. Where your website is hosted will impact user experience, from speed to security to uptime and more. In fact, the impact of your website hosting provider can be critical to ensuring a smooth experience for your users.

Before looking at the user experience factors to consider when choosing a website hosting provider, let’s first look at common types of hosting.

Common Types of Website Hosting

  • Shared hosting – shared hosting is usually the cheapest form of website hosting and is often regarded as an entry-level option. Providing you choose the right provider, it can be a good choice. With shared hosting, your website shares space on the server with other websites.
  • VPS hosting – VPS stands for virtual private server. With this type of hosting, your website is stored on a server with other sites. However, unlike shared hosting, your website is allocated its own space and resources.
  • Dedicated server hosting – dedicated server hosting is a more expensive option as you rent the entire server from the hosting company. Therefore, the only things on the server will be the things you put on it. In fact, you can control everything, including the operating system and the configuration of the server.
  • Cloud hosting – cloud hosting works differentlyfrom the previous hosting options on this list. With the previous three options, your website is stored on a single server in a datacentre. With cloud hosting, however, your website is hosted on a network of servers, both physical and virtual. This option is easier to scale, plus, as your website is not hosted in a fixed location, it has geographical benefits. The latter is particularly beneficial if your website visitors come from different countries around the world.
  • WordPress hosting – WordPress hosting could be set up using any of the above options. With WordPress hosting, the hosting company optimises the server for websites built in WordPress.

Most Important User Experience Factors to Consider When Choosing Website Hosting

As with most services that you purchase, web hosting providers are not all the same. They offer different products and services, some can specialise in certain areas, and the quality of service can vary.

In terms of user experience, the following factors are the most important for the experience of users visiting your website.

Speed

Page load speed is the big one, as fast loading pages are an essential part of good user experience. Of course, there are steps you can take to optimise your site to make it as fast as possible. However, the speed of your hosting provider plays an important role too. So, web hosting providers that get good reviews for website speed are a good option.

Web hosting providers optimised for your type of website are also a good option. If your site is built in WordPress, for example, this means WordPress hosting.

Some of the things you should look for when considering speed are the web acceleration features that the hosting provider offers. Examples include pipelining, cache loading, and load balancing.

Scalability

If your website starts to grow or experiences a spike in traffic, the last thing you want to happen is for it to go offline. However, for most small businesses, this is exactly what happens. In fact, traffic spikes or sharp increases in visitor numbers can make large websites go offline too.

The hosting provider you choose should make it easy for you to scale up during traffic surge situations. In fact, it is this scalability that makes cloud hosting such a popular choice, particularly for businesses aiming for high levels of traffic.

Location

Most website hosting involves your website being stored on a server in a physical location. The further your website visitors are from that location, the longer it will take for pages to load.

So, if your customers are in New Zealand, it makes sense to use a web hosting provider in New Zealand. If your customers come from around the world, you might need to consider a cloud hosting solution to mitigate the location issue.

Security

As a small or medium-sized business, you are unlikely to have the knowledge or resources to ensure the server hosting your website is secure. Therefore, you need your website hosting company to do this for you. Most look after security as standard, but it is worthwhile checking reviews as well the steps they take to secure their server infrastructure.

Optimising the User Experience

Optimising your website for user experience is an ongoing effort that you should continuously seek to improve by making changes, tweaks, and adjustments. However, changing your website hosting provider is not something that is easy to do. Therefore, it is worth spending time doing your research to make the right decision from the start.

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