Web design and development best practices – the importance of hosting with a tier 1 provider

Any website crash significantly affects ROI. Every second your website is down, you’re losing opportunities, revenue and the confidence of your users and visitors. Therefore, every business should consider hosting with a provider who appreciates the importance of a website being up and running reliably and who has the expertise to manage mission-critical IT environments and infrastructures.

A Tier 1 web hosting provider is crucial today because one of the biggest Internet trends is that your target market is information hungry and wants more of it delivered faster. Internet surfers have an “on demand” mentality, meaning they want to consume information when and how they please. Furthermore, it’s more likely that people find and visit your website via a keyword search on a search engine rather than by receiving marketing material from you via an outbound marketing campaign.

To satisfy your target market’s need for information and to make it easy for them to find you, ensuring a positive user experience resulting in longer and more qualified visits to our website, is to have a website that performs well and that is always up.

These requirements are especially true if the goal of your website is lead generation or ecommerce. A sluggish website will result in visitors exiting before they’ve taken action to convert into qualified leads or into buyers. A slow website will also result in less inbound traffic from websites that refer business to yours because these visitors will not wait for your website to load. How well will your online marketing campaigns work if it takes forever for the landing page to load or if your site is down? Delivering a positive ROI on your website investment is a requirement in today’s economy, so it’s crucial that your website be high performance.

When choosing a Web hosting provider, consider the following:

  • Customer Service
    • If you have a problem, will you able to reach someone knowledgeable who can speak to you in a language you understand?
    • Does the provider offer a support team that will be available to you 24x7x365?
    • Does the provider have a commitment to handle your urgent requests with special care?
    • Will a live escalation contact will be readily available to you at all times?
  • Expertise:
    • What certifications does the provider’s support team need to pass in order to be employed by the provider?
    • What certifications does the provider have?
    • Are the provider’s support team personnel subject matter experts who know how to identify problems and offer solutions, and provide advice about your Web hosting environment based on industry and technology expertise?
  • Multiple Web Hosting Options:
    • Does the provider have a hosting option that supports the requirements of your content management system?
    • As your site grows and becomes more complex, you may need more storage, bandwidth, and/or a new database and applications to support your growth. Look for a provider that offers upgradeable hosting plans. Otherwise, you’ll have to move your site to a more powerful provider when you grow beyond your current hosting plan, potentially resulting in downtime.
  • Network Uptime Guarantee
    • Does your provider have a 100% Network Uptime Guarantee? This guarantee is accomplished by multiple redundancies in the flow of information to and from the data center, separate entry points into the data center for every fiber carrier, and network management tools to monitor route efficiency and end-user performance, automatically improving the network’s topology and configuration in real-time.
  • Longevity
    • Does the provider have the financially stability and have the expertise, support, services and solutions you’ll need now and ten years down the road?