The majority of website owners have only two web hosting choices (and that’s all you need!): Basic shared plans and virtual private server (VPS) hosting. There’s also a third choice, dedicated hosting, but you need a multi-million dollar business to make that a financially feasible option. Let’s focus on the first two, and consider how mobile readiness is an underlying factor. In 2015, there were more people in the US and throughout North America using mobile devices instead of desktops. They were shopping, working, being entertained, and searching on tiny devices (at least tiny compared to desktops and laptops).
Mobile readiness is no longer in the “nice to have” category, but an absolute must. This encompasses responsive design as well as apps and mobile versions of sites. In other words, people are on the go, dealing with smaller screens, and wanting the websites they visit to keep up with this lifestyle. Curiously enough, studies show that people also expect mobile devices to load pages faster than desktops. This doesn’t make sense from a technical perspective, but it does from the user—when you only have a few seconds as you wait for your coffee, you need that celebrity gossip blog to load at lightning speed!
What You Can Do
Embracing mobile readiness for your site starts now. You will likely need to commission an app developer if you think an app is the way to go, and make sure the web developer you’re working with knows responsive design and how to craft a mobile site version. However, don’t forget about your web host—another comrade in your tech support brigade. Unlike app and web developers, hosts are often thought of as a one and done deal. Once you picked them (likely when registering your domain), you probably don’t give them another thought unless something goes majorly wrong.
Due to this, it’s almost certain that you have a basic shared plan (most businesses do!). Upgrading to VPS is a great way to increase your site’s speed and security. There are many aspects of a website that impact speed, and hosting is one of them. There’s also cleaning up your site, getting that mobile readiness in order, and looking at both back end and front end issues that can change the speed. Overall, VPS is simply a faster experience than basic shared plans.
The hardware and software your web host uses also trickles down to your user’s experience. You should know what kind of maintenance and upgrades they’ve been prioritizing, and what kind of physical server you’re sharing. Whether you have basic or VPS, you’re still technically “sharing” a physical server with other clients. What’s the quality of that server? When was it last serviced? Is it outdated? These are all questions your host should be happy to answer.
Being mobile ready also means ensuring your site is safe and secure even if your site visitors aren’t following best practices. Data breaches happen all the time, and most go unreported. You can help your site visitors stay safeguarded by choosing VPS, mainly because hackers are opportunists (and few want a challenge!).