Whether you’re a brand new startup or a well established business, it’s important to keep an eye on the competition. They can help dictate your next move, and they’re a great tool for figuring out where you are in the grand scheme of things. However, when your competition has better web hosting than you, they’re at a clear advantage. Stop giving them that head start and ensure your own website has a stellar host.
You probably aren’t going to flatout ask your competition who their host is or for their latest traffic reports (and they likely wouldn’t share that anyway), but there are still ways to figure it out. Are you concerned that your own web host situation could be better, or that it’s the cause for not being top dog?
Here are some of the biggest signs your competition has a better host than you and what to do about it:
- Their site is faster
There are many factors which impact the speed of a website, but the host is one of them. If you use the same browser to poke around on your site, then do the same with the competition, is theirs faster? It might also be because your site has a lot of rich content like pop-ups or videos, which is another issue you need to tackle. Speed is paramount because customers want instant gratification.
- You’ve never seen them down
A smart competitor keeps a regular eye on the competition and an open ear to hear about positives and negatives from their customers. If you’ve never noticed their site (or server) being down but you’ve experienced this more than once, they probably have a better host than you. Sometimes servers have to go down, which is why no web host can promise 100 percent uptime. However, if it’s obvious that the competition is down less than you, that’s a red flag you need to change hosts.
- They’ve switched hosts recently
You may or may not be able to get this information, but if it’s leaked that your competition has recently switched hosts, there’s a reason for it. They’re clearly smart when it comes to researching and upgrading hosts, and they might know something you don’t. Why are you with your current host anyway? If it’s because “you’ve just always used them” and nobody on your team can point to any research used to select them, you’re probably not getting the best service.
- They’re a bigger business than you but still fast
As a business grows, they’ll likely need to switch from a shared server to a dedicated one. The general rule of thumb is once you have more than 3,000 visits per day, you might want to start looking into a dedicated server. If you’re a startup but you’re eyeing the competition that likely has thousands of visitors per day, they’re probably with a “better” server (i.e. dedicated) while you’re sharing a server.
That’s perfectly okay—for now. Just make sure you watch your unique visits and start researching dedicated server upgrades should you get to that point.
Competing in a digital world is cutthroat, and you can’t skimp on any details. A great web host can vastly improve your customer’s experience and is a lot more affordable than people think.