It’s an unfortunate fact that while your customers might technically despise the service from your web host, they’re going to blame you. Sometimes slow page loads are out of your control, and when the server’s down you have nothing to do with it (unless, of course, you have a dedicated server on-site that a team is in charge of). All a customer knows is that your website is slow or down and they’re not happy. You’ll be getting all the complaints, but there really is something you can do about it.
As a business owner, you don’t have the luxury of a slow website or down time. Your customers want instant gratification, especially in a mobile ready world. If you can’t deliver, the competition will. Even if the speed seems fine from your end, that doesn’t mean it’s working for all your customers. If you get more than a single speed complaint, your first step should be contacting your web host—there are often a myriad of things they can do instantly to help.
Being in charge of service
Your job is to provide great customer service to your customers, and when they’re online that means an efficient and functioning website. It might be your web hosts fault, but you’re the one that chose them. It’s very unlikely that you’re locked into any kind of contract with a web host, and even if you are it might be more financially savvy to break it. On the other hand, it might just be a matter of changing your package.
The vast majority of businesses use a shared server, which is exactly what it sounds like: You’re sharing a server with other clients. How many clients are sharing a single server can vary greatly. Great web hosts offer a variety of packages, and if your traffic has been increasing it might be a simple matter of choosing a costlier share package that has a smaller amount of clients using it.
Ideally, your web host will inform you periodically that you might need to upgrade. However, those warnings are easy to ignore.
What your customers expect
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes: Would you deal with a slow website, one that’s constantly down or wait for what seems like hours to check out online? Certainly not, even if you were previously a loyal customer. However, you might not take the trouble to formally complain and instead find another business and website to suit your needs.
Don’t assume that just because you aren’t getting complaints your customers are happy. Many of them might just go elsewhere, but your traffic reports will let you know. Has there been an overall decrease, are certain pages not performing like they should, or are people spending less time on your website? These are all signs that something’s wrong, and it just might have to do with speed.
Fixing the issue
While slow page loads can often be fixed by web hosts, if there’s been a lot of server downtime, it’s time for you to move on. There’s no excuse for that. Every second your site isn’t accessible, you’re marring your reputation, losing customers and missing out on profits. Find a web host that promises nearly 100 percent uptime (there are plenty) and give your customers the service they deserve.