If your WordPress website is a critical part of your business, a $3.99 hosting package will no longer suffice. Here’s why:
Hacked sites are usually immediately shut down by the hosting provider. Most hacked sites typically have no security or very poor security. Many site owners pay hundreds to have the malware removed and the site restored.
If your site is hacked, Google will add this message to your search results: “This site may have been hacked.” It can take weeks to get this message removed, resulting in a big reduction in site traffic.
Here are the facts:
- Hackers, malware and spyware: In the last year more than a dozen of my clients have had their websites hacked… some more than once. The bare-bones sites with no or limited security are being hit the hardest.
- Really slow: In order to make money on $3.99 websites the hosting companies need to get as many websites on each server as possible, similar to the way airlines like to fill up every seat. Unfortunately, this means that during the busy hours all the sites are running in slow motion. Your prospective clients will give up and try your competitor’s websites. Sadly, for many of the hosting companies the strategy is to pull in customers with the low price and then upgrade them when they become dissatisfied.
- Poor customer service: Customer service at most of the WordPress hosting companies has continually declined over the years. It’s taking longer and longer for Support to pick up the phone, reply to support tickets, and fix problems. Some of the hosting providers now take up to an hour to answer the phone and even longer to respond to online tickets.
- A lower search engine ranking: If your site pages load slowly and if your site isn’t secure, don’t expect to get a good search ranking from Google, Bing or Yahoo.
If your website is critical to your business, leave the $3.99 websites for the personal bloggers and for your competitors who don’t know any better.
My #1 recommendation for hosting is SiteGround. Honestly, I no longer have a #2 recommendation. After being frustrated with Bluehost, HostGator, GoDaddy and Dreamhost I spent nearly a year researching WordPress hosting companies and reading endless reviews. SiteGround almost always appears in the top 3 of all reviews (it’s usually #1). I was a bit hesitant to move my own sites to them, since they are comparatively small. However, in April 2015 I switched my own personal websites over to SiteGround.
I would give SiteGround the highest marks of all the hosting providers… here’s why:
- They are using the new HTTP/2 servers. The HTTP/2 servers are much faster, more stable and more secure. Google is giving extra SEO points for sites on HTTP/2 servers.
- The cost for an SSL lock (HTTPS) in included with SiteGround. A site with an SSL lock has a padlock in front of the URL. This prevents the hacker’s software from seeing your user name and password when you log into your site.
- Their proprietary server optimization (loads pages real fast).
- SiteGround adopts the newest technology before their competitors.
- Their customer service is excellent… they even answer the phone within 3 rings!
- Their technical support team is both fast and WordPress-knowledgeable.
- There is no charge to migrate your site to them.
- Their system automatically backs up your site and keeps the last 30 days of backups.
Most hosting companies, including Bluehost and HostGator, will give you a refund for all of your unused months if you cancel their service. Please check with your hosting provider for their current terms.
Today bad bots make up 25% of the traffic on the Internet. Many hackers are stealing user names and passwords because users often the same passwords used for online financial accounts. Some of the bad bots are generating backlinks to improve their search engine ranking and some are tricking you into visiting their website.
I haven’t seen a website yet without bad bots knocking at the door. Just look at where your traffic is coming from on your Google Analytics report. Not only are they trying to hack into your site, but they are messing up your Google Analytics reports and hurting your search engine ranking.
There are no guarantees when it comes to search engine ranking since Google, Bing and Yahoo are constantly changing their algorithm, and your competitors can make changes that will affect their position. There are over 250 factors Google uses in their algorithm to determine site ranking. However, some weigh more heavily than others. Page load speed and security are high on the importance list, along with lots of original content, carefully crafted titles and description meta tags, and the right incoming links.
According to research by Chitika the number one Google position gets 35% of the clicks. Other studies show similar numbers.
My current hosting provider has some packages that will provide a faster page load speed and promises no “slow downs” during peak hours. Should I consider this?
Yes. If you’re happy with the customer service of your current provider just compare their packages to SiteGround.
Is there a risk that my website will be lost during this move?
No. SiteGround copies all of your files from your existing hosting provider. You will only cancel your current hosting service after your site is setup and working on SiteGround.
Will my email move to SiteGround?
Yes. Your email boxes will be moved from your current hosting provider to SiteGround. If you download emails to a program like Outlook or to a smartphone, your incoming and outgoing mail server setting will change. I can help with that as can SiteGround.
Will my site be down during this process?
No, once you domain name is pointed to SiteGround and propagated throughout the internet, site visitors will see your site on SiteGround instead of your current hosting provider.