In order to get a website active and live on the internet, you need a host. There are lots of hosting companies out there, the market is very competitive, and it’s tempting to go for a cheap and cheerful option. But don’t lose sight of what your website is really for: to convert traffic into new patients.
Just like runners crossing the finish line, the first website to load wins. Web hosting performance has a direct impact on the traffic your site attracts, the bounce rate and how many visitors you convert to new patients.
Often your website is your target audience’s first impression of your business and it should be aimed at enhancing their experience. A website that is unavailable due to down-time or is slow at loading won’t give the best impression and likely won’t have a high conversion rate.
On some of the cheapest hosting plans, often selected by aspiring developers to keep costs down, you’ll be sharing a server with hundreds or thousands of other sites and your performance will be constrained, which in turn may have an impact on your Google rankings.
Website performance becomes all the more important if you’re investing in digital marketing – you need to give your website the chance to provide you with the best ROI.
One of the most often overlooked aspects – yet one of the most critical – to any successful website strategy is ongoing maintenance. While the initial website project is critical to creating a digital presence, the ongoing maintenance and upkeep is where you’ll really see your website shine. That is where you’ll really start to maximise the return on your investment.
At Hive we offer a monthly hosting and maintenance package to keep your website up-to-date and therefore optimised for SEO.
So, what do you get?
Hosting with a WordPress provider
We always recommend building your site in WordPress, as a platform it gives you an advantage with SEO because the code base is clean and logical so search engines can crawl the information better – meaning WordPress sites tend to rank higher than other sites in Google and other search engines. It’s estimated that around 30% of all active websites are built using WordPress. So choosing a WordPress-optimised hosting provider helps to further optimise your site for Google.
Hosting with a WordPress hosting provider means everything from the operating system to the servers has been tweaked and streamlined to best suit WordPress, ensuring optimal performance and server side caching means that your content can be delivered 4 to 6 times faster.
One of our client’s websites went from a load time of over 7 seconds to a load time of less than 2 seconds without any other changes being made to the site when it moved from their general hosting provider to our WordPress hosting provider.
HTTPS secure site
Have you noticed the little green padlock in the browser next to a URL? Or the ‘connection not secure’ warning? They’re based on whether the site has an SSL certificate giving it an HTTPS URL – or not. Not only does HTTPS add another layer of security to your site because the data is encrypted but if there are two sites that otherwise rank the same, Google will always favour the HTTPS secure site so it’s beneficial for SEO.
The process to install an SSL certificate can involve lots of back-and-forth between your hosting provider and the certificate provider but with Hive’s hosting and maintenance package we manage all of that for you.
WordPress theme and plug-in updates (including notification of plug-in issues)
Nothing is ever 100% secure from hackers but WordPress maintains a high level of security by regularly releasing security updates to protect your site from any vulnerabilities. So by updating your site every month to the latest WordPress version and using updated themes and plug-ins that we trust, we can minimise these security risks.
Performing updates to WordPress, themes and plug-ins can cause potential errors on your site which is why it’s important to have a backup of the site to restore it if something goes wrong.
In the event that your site did get hacked or you lost crucial data from your site, having a backup ensures that you can be up and running online with little downtime or knock on effect to your business.
Losing a site with no backup would mean a re-build – costing both time and money.
Malware & virus scan and hacking mitigation software
We’re invested in a robust security environment offering several built-in security features such as firewall and DDOS protection, as well as running regular vulnerability scans.
We’re confident that our hosting and maintenance package security systems will protect your site but in the unlikely event that if your site gets hacked, we’ll fix it for free.
Staging development environment
You might be wondering what a staging site is – it’s a copy of your live website in a development environment that’s inaccessible to the public without a password.
As a general rule, your live site shouldn’t be used for making edits to the website – it’s much safer to make changes or experiment in a staging site. This allows a better workflow where you can be confident that changes can be tested and you can sign things off as correct before being applied to the live site.
Monthly development time (optional)
Because your business is always evolving, your website is never truly finished – it needs to keep up.
Keeping your website up to date with staff changes, new treatments or current offers helps keep your site up-to-date and relevant to your audience. Google also favours sites that are updated regularly because it thinks the information will be more relevant to their search audience.
Outside of your business the online world is changing all the time. The difference between a website from five years ago and now are huge. What customers responded to a few years ago isn’t what they respond to now. You need to adapt to the needs and demands of your target audience.
Technology is constantly changing and – even if those older websites don’t look great today – that was the best that could be created with the technology available at the time. As technology changes, so will websites. If you don’t keep up with your competition, you will steadily fall behind and lose your market share.
Google is always changing the rules. Last year it rolled out one of the largest search engine algorithm updates it’s ever done – nicknamed the ‘Medic update’ primarily affecting organic rankings for health, fitness, and medical websites – including dental websites. With your organic traffic numbers relying almost entirely on SEO, this is something that can’t be ignored.
To keep you up-to-date with resolved security issues and any updates that have been made to your website, we provide a full monthly report.
Is your website living up to expectations? Is it driving traffic and revenue for your business?
If you would like to review your hosting and website performance then get in touch and ask us to carry out a digital audit.