(Photo above | Cascade Business News)
Because a Slow Website Kills Business
The Internet backbone, just like roads in Central Oregon, were not designed for all the traffic on it today. And waiting on slow websites is as frustrating as driving around town during rush hour in tourist season. Nothing will turn off your customers faster than waiting for your website to load in order to locate your contact info, complete a purchase or make an appointment.
Latency is the technical term for delays caused when the amount of data flowing through the Internet is greater than the major backbones can handle. Unfortunately, this problem is only getting worse as more devices, high resolution video and pictures continue to flood the network. The Internet is not able to prioritize traffic, so your business customers are competing for the same bandwidth as non-essential entertainment.
One solution is to host your website locally where many of your customers are located. For example, Web Mentors is one of the few web companies that has high speed hosted server computing located right here, which is unique when the industry trend is to pack many websites onto aging machines located far away.
Bottom line: less physical distance between the computers hosting your website and your customers means less likelihood they will experience latency even during periods of high demand.
In addition to latency, overutilization is another factor that causes websites to be slow. You may be surprised to learn that discount website hosting companies typically have thousands of sites on a single physical machine. And while that arrangement may work for a while, eventually one of your neighbors are going to throw a big party that you’re not invited to and all their friends around the world will dine at the buffet of limited physical computing resources making your website slow and unresponsive.
Although they may save a few bucks initially, it is a huge risk for a business to invest resources into a hosting provider that does not offer any service guarantees. The switching costs: time, money and effort it takes to relocate your website, customer data, and branding are much higher later on.
For example, one of the reasons that Web Mentors’ got into hosting and continues to invest in state-of-the art servers, infrastructure and bandwidth was to be able to provide a better solution to our customers. We run a boutique hosting specifically designed for local businesses and all our customer sites play by the rules of being good neighbors.
So remember, buy local is not just for clothes and food –it’s also a good idea for hosting your website, especially when your business depends on reaching local customers in Central Oregon.
Michael Curry holds a doctorate in business and has been using information systems such as highly responsive websites to add value for local businesses since 2002. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-323-2932.