It’s Monday morning. You’re starting the week the same way you start every other one - with a cup of coffee in hand and a fresh bagel from the shop around the corner. You have a variety of tasks to complete today, but you’re feeling motivated. You go to your business’s website to start working through these tasks, and to your dismay, it’s down. An IT headache is not how you want to start your week. You know you’ll have to try and figure this issue out on your own, but your limited amount of knowledge of web hosting leaves you unsure on where to even begin. As your stress level begins to rise, you think to yourself, “I wish I could just pass this issue off to someone who knows what they’re doing so that I can focus on my work.” Instead, the day wears on while you try to get your website back up and running, and your tasks grow more and more urgent. It’s in this moment that you realize you need a better hosting solution. This isn’t the first time that something bad has happened to your site, and you’re exhausted from the stress and frustration. You want peace of mind about your website so that you can focus on what really matters for your business. You want to know that your site is secure, loads quickly, and has maximum availability. You want to have a team of experts you can rely on who are available to offer their resources and support when you need it. In order to have this peace of mind, you need a managed web hosting provider that will meet your unique business needs. With so many options out there, it can be hard to know how to choose the best managed hosting for your business. You might feel overwhelmed by the number of benefits that are promised or features that are promoted. We understand how difficult it is for you to sort through all this information and determine the essentials that your web hosting should have. We’ve made your decision easier by identifying 5 important fundamentals to look for in a managed web hosting provider.

1. Fast load speeds

We can’t overstate how important your website’s speed is for rankings and user experience. Today’s users demand faster results than ever before, which is why Google considers load speeds when determining site rankings. Load speeds also influence user experience. A 100-millisecond delay in load time can cause conversion rates to drop by 7%. Beyond this, slow pages impact revenue, with estimates stating that businesses experience a 1% loss in revenue for every 100ms delay in page load time. If your website is taking even just one second too long to load, your conversion rates and revenue are going to suffer. A variety of hosting factors will impact the speed of your website such as server response times, available network bandwidth, network connection speed, total server load and more. Choose a hosting provider that has proven their ability to increase the site speeds of customers with their hosting solutions. When your website loads quickly, you’ll rank higher on search engine results and improve the experience of site visitors.

2. Uptime and monitoring

Have you ever landed on a website that was down? Remember the frustration of having to go back to the site later or trying to find that information somewhere else on the web? A site that’s down is not only frustrating to users but can also result in major financial losses for your business. In 2018, Amazon’s website went down for about 75 minutes on Prime Day - their biggest shopping holiday of the year. It’s estimated that Amazon lost about $90 million in sales during this downtime. While your business might not be as big as Amazon, this loss in revenue clearly illustrates that any amount of downtime can be detrimental for your website. Pay attention to the reported uptime scores and uptime monitoring of hosting providers. Ideally, you should choose one with uptime scores above 99.5%. They should also offer 24/7 uptime monitoring of your website. By monitoring your website 24/7, your web hosting provider will be able to react quickly if any downtime is detected on your website.

3. Security updates

No website is immune to security threats. Hackers are always looking for ways to take advantage of vulnerable websites. Small businesses are even more of a target since they’re less likely to have the technical resources to safeguard against hacks. Security breaches can cause significant financial losses for your business. It’s estimated that cyber attacks cost US companies about $15.4 million per year. Investing in your website’s security is always worth it! To protect your website against security threats, choose a web hosting provider that will regularly check for security updates. As security updates are released, your website needs to be updated immediately to prevent any malicious activity on your site. Safeguard your website from threats by choosing a hosting solution that makes your website’s security their top priority.

4. Website backups and recovery

Data loss can cause a massive headache for your business. Human error, problems with installing updates, or security attacks are among a few of the things that can compromise the data on your site. The long term impact of lost data can be detrimental. It’s estimated that 60% of small businesses that lose their data will shut down within 6 months. Be proactive and don’t become one of those businesses! It’s crucial that you keep your data safe. Then, in the event of the unthinkable happening you must have a way to recover your data and get everything back to the way it was. Choose a web host that offers regular backups of your site as well as recovery in case anything happens. Choosing one that will back up your website daily is the best way to ensure the most up to date version of your data is stored securely. They should also offer a full restore and recovery option so that if anything goes wrong, you’ll be able to get your site back to how it should be with minimal data loss.

5. Customer Service and Support

It’s inevitable that you’re going to have questions and problems that arise with your website. You need a hosting provider that is available to answer your questions and resolve your problems. Better yet, why not choose a hosting provider that will proactively manage all maintenance, updates, and backups for your site so that you can focus on the other important elements of your business. At a base level, your web host should have a customer support team that is available to respond to any questions, comments, or concerns that might come up for your website. If you’re looking for an even more involved level of customer support, then managed hosting is the solution for you! Managed hosting will simplify the work you have to put into managing and maintaining your website. Instead, you’ll be able to trust a team of technical experts to take care of that for you.

Improve Your Peace of Mind with Managed Hosting

Let’s return back to that scenario we mentioned at the beginning. With a high quality hosting provider, the odds of something like that happening are significantly reduced because they’re proactively monitoring and updating your site. But let’s suppose it does happen. Instead of being left to deal with this issue on your own, you simply have to pick up the phone or send an email to your managed hosting service provider. They respond promptly, assuring you that they’re already investigating and will resolve the issue as soon as possible. Less than an hour later, everything is back in order. You breathe a sigh of relief and continue on with your day. There are a variety of things you must consider when choosing a web hosting provider. You need to find one that will ensure your website will load fast when you host with them. Uptime monitoring is essential to make sure that your business doesn’t experience tremendous financial and credibility loss due to downtime. Security updates are crucial to protect your website from security threats. Backing up your data is necessary in order to help defend your business against data loss. Finally, an unparalleled level of customer service and support can make a huge difference in your ability to operate your site from day to day. When you find a provider that ticks all these boxes, you know that you’ll be setting your website and business up for long term success. If you want to find out how our hosting can work for you, learn more about Colorado Digital's Managed Hosting Solution or contact us here.

Written By Shayla Frederick

After graduating from Villanova University with a degree in Marketing, Shayla Frederick returned back to her home in Colorado and joined the Denverdata Web team. She meets every project with a high level of enthusiasm and attention to detail.