Slow hosting got you down? There are many things you can do about it, many potential culprits, but don’t give yourself more work and headaches than necessary. If you suspect slow hosting problems, the first thing to do is simply contact your host. There are a myriad of things they may be able to do on their end to put an end to slow speeds for good. Unfortunately, most people don’t do the requisite research necessary to choose the best host or package for them from the get go.
If you have trouble actually connecting with your host, that’s your first red flag. When researching hosts, make sure they have knowledgeable and accessible staff around the clock. They should be responsive, and it should be easy to reach them via phone, live chat, email or whatever method you prefer. If this isn’t possible, it’s best to start looking for a new host regardless of speed.
Here are a few of the most common causes of slow hosting and what to do about it:
- Improve your resources
You can pay as little (ahem, free) or nearly as much as you’d like with hosting. However, this is one service where you really do get what you pay for. While free hosting is abundant, you’re sharing those resources with countless other clients. The more hands in the pot, the slower things get. If this is the issue, it may be time to upgrade your package so you’re not splitting resources with as many people.
- Tackle down time
While your customers might be complaining about “slow” speeds, the real issue might be that the server is down more than what’s acceptable for you. A great host promises over 90 percent up time. If that isn’t happening, you’re losing business and frustrating your clients. A website should rarely, if ever, be “down” especially if growth is your goal.
- Keep it simple
Having too much of just about anything on a website can slow down the speed. However, the biggest offenders are flash animation, pop-ups, videos and really big images. While it might look great in the testing phase, it doesn’t matter if your customers have to wait seconds for it to load. Clean things up and remember that simple might be better.
- Be empathetic to your consumer’s technology
Maybe the speed seems fine to you with your top of the line tablet or laptop, but what if your target audience doesn’t have the latest technology? What loads instantly for you might take several seconds for your users. The weakest link (or lowest tech equipment) should be the standard, not your premium tech.
- Consider connections
There’s little you can do about your visitors having a poor connection. However, understanding where your market is can help you decide just what type of website to develop and hosting that’s necessary. If you appeal to a rural audiences, then chances are their Wi-Fi won’t be the best so you may need to simplify your site.
The biggest questions you may face is when, if ever, to switch to dedicated hosting where you’re the only client. Is it expensive? Yes, but for some businesses it’s worth it.