How website speed affects business growth & types of web hosting

Your business or organization website goals need people’s attention.

People visiting your website are called visitor’s traffic.

To grow visitor’s traffic, there are many factors such as having good content, good search keywords and a fast network that gives a speedy experience.

A good web hosting is like having a good location of a property. Placing your business or organization in the wrong location can affect your growth. You want the place to have a large area and ample parking space for the convenience of your potential customers. Likewise, a wrong web hosting will hinder the traffic growth with hidden and costly issues. In this article we will explore how a web hosting environment can impact your website and its traffic.

There are Two Kinds of Visitor Traffic

There are two types of visitors that comes to your website. Google search robots and humans traffic.

Both of them love a stable and fast browsing experience.

Humans can be both your visitors, customers or your internal staff managing the website.

Bots or robots traffic are automated code sent by search engines like Google or Bing to check out your website and put it on their search results when somebody searches with the correct keywords.

Google will give higher ranking priority to websites that give their robots a faster experience. This is also an important factor in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ,

Websites that are sluggish, take time to load with each action will not be visited often by the bots or the people. Therefore, you will get less traffic no matter how good your content or is your products.

To make a website load faster and provide a good experience to the human and robots traffic, you will need to use a better web hosting computer and network that can give you more speed.

Types of Web Hosting and Speed

You want your website design to be loaded as fast as possible and always on tip-top condition according to whatever your budget allows.

When planning an online expansion strategy, one of the critical decisions an organization need to make is choosing a hosting provider that gives you the :

There are generally 3 types of web hosting environment :

Traditional Web HostingModern Web HostingHigh Performance Cloud Hosting
Normal dedicated computer or a shared computer to host the website.Powerful dedicated computer or a shared computer to host the website.Scalable virtual computers on Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platforms.
Rotating harddisk that takes time retrieve the website files.Non-rotating harddisk that can retrieve the website files instantly.High speed data transfer on matured platform.
Standard software to display the website to your visitor.High-performance software to quickly display the website to your visitor.High-performance software to quickly display the website to your visitor.
Limited backup and restoration function if issue arises.Limited backup and restoration function if issue arises.OnDemand instant backup checkpoint and for immediate restoration.
Any changes are done on the live website which may cause downtime.Any changes are done on the live website which may cause downtime.Duplicate/mirror site to test changes before applying on live website.

Speed Factors That Affects Business

Now let’s explore some of these technicalities that can affect a web hosting server speed in two aspect; the time taken to display the website and turnaround time when problems arise.
1) Single live site vs duplicate/staging site environments

What is a staging site?

In the simplest terms, a staging site is a copy of your live website. It is used to test your plugin and theme updates or when you want to test a new feature to your site.

The site is usually non-public facing, keeping your testing safely away from your customers. Plugin and theme developers will often ask to have access to a staging site to do testing while they provide support. This ensures that any changes they make do not interfere with your business on the live website.

How it affects the speed of your website and business?

This directly affects the speed of time taken to go to market with the latest features and upgrades of the website software.

You may want to use certain new marketing tools or improve the website SEO ranking with newly available plugins but without a staging environment, any updates to the live website might bring down the entire website.

Having a staging site to test this is an absolute must. When your site goes down, you will most likely lose money and search ranking in the process. The costs of having a staging site are so small that it should be included in your initial business plan before you even consider building your site.

At Skytomato Web Management, we perform any debugging or testing on staging before sending it to live sites for this exact reason.

Which web hosting platform in Malaysia provides 3 environments such as development / staging & production environment?

Not all web hosting services offer a website staging option. Usually this feature is available at higher plan hosting packages and with WPengine staging environments, the feature is much more user friendly than others. This makes the speed of upgrading and testing the website a lot faster.

2) Instant backup checkpoint and instant restoration

What is a instant backup?

The most important thing you need to do before upgrading WordPress website is to create a complete website backup. Even if you have an automated WordPress backup plugin set up. You still need to make sure that you create a new backup and store it safely before any upgrading is performed.

Most web design or web hosting companies in Malaysia will provide automated daily or weekly backup of your WordPress website. But a high performance website hosting like WP Engine Asia-Pacific or International web hosting will have features that can easily create checkpoints at any time.

How will instant website backup affects the speed of your business?

The freedom and ease of creating checkpoints or snapshots of the live website before any changes makes it easy and quick to restore the website if any problem arises.

If there isn’t a feature to make instant backup, the website designer will have to restore from an older version of the website. The business will lose valuable time by having to redo any changes.

A very important aspect that provide speed in restoration is the user experience of a platform. Most hosting companies use Cpanel backup and restore that have more steps to take. Skytomato’s partnership with WPengine provides an extremely fast way for Malaysia’s organizations to backup and restore at a click of a button.

3) High speed network and data transfers

What is network speed?

This is quite a complicated topic but we will try to make it as easy to understand as possible.

When a user types in your website address the browser and press enter button, your computer will send a request through your modem, to the telco, to the satellite and reach the data center where the server computer hosts your website files. The server computer will then process the website and send response back through cables in the data center, passing through all the hubs and routers, back to the satellite, back to your own telco and finally to your home modem and your computer screen.

During this journey of request and response, we have terms like bandwidth, latency and TTFB (time to first byte – or the time it takes for the first text or image the comes back to your computer screen).

These 3 terms are very technical and can find more details when you google it but for this article we will briefly touch on the surface.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is a measure of how much data can be transferred from one point in a network to another within a specific amount of time. It is like a highway and your data as six cars traveling at the same speed. A highway with high bandwidth would have six lanes allowing all cars to arrive simultaneously in 1 second. A highway with low bandwidth would have a single lane allowing all cars to eventually arrive in 6 seconds.

Latency

Latency measures how much time it takes for your computer, the internet, and everything in between, to respond to an action you take (like clicking on a link). This is like driving a road with many corners and potholes will be slower compared to an optimized road for a smoother drive. For most of us, latency won’t affect our web browsing but it might have an impact on search ranking if the website too slow.

Time To First Byte (TTFB)

Time To First Byte (TTFB) is measurement of responsiveness of a web server. It measures the amount of time between creating a connection to the server and downloading the contents of a web page.

How to ensure all these gives a better loading speed of website?

To create a good bandwidth, latency and TTFB, the web hosting provider will need to optimize the network and server performance. With many web hosting providers to choose from, it is very difficult to know which ones are optimized unless it is tested thoroughly.

How is WPEngine hosting better and faster in network quality?

Here is a comparison of the most popular hosts for WordPress and see why WP Engine is better than the rest.
https://wpengine.com/more/hosting-comparison/

With WP Engine’s renowned speed technologies, WP Engine has become the first managed WordPress host to adopt Google Cloud Platform’s newest infrastructure, the Compute-Optimized Virtual Machines (VM) (C2).

WP Engine offers performance that is 40% faster. This is on top of software optimizations which have resulted in a 15% platform-wide performance improvement. Read more https://wpengine.com/more/fast-wordpress-hosting/

The Proof: Building on the Fastest, Most Reliable WordPress Hosting Platform
https://wpengine.com/resources/building-on-the-fastest-digital-experience-platform-for-wordpress/

4) Website caching

What is caching?

A website cache is a system that temporarily stores data such as web pages, images, and similar media content when a web page is loaded for the first time. It remembers the content and is able to quickly load the content each time the web page is visited again. Website caching can be performed as part of website optimization.

It is very similar to how fast food is served. When you order a hamburger from a dine-in restaurant, the chef will need to prepare the burger patty, the toppings and sauce for each order. And each customer will need to wait a certain time for the order to arrive. So instead of preparing each hamburger on demand, the chef pre-prepare all the burgers and server the customer immediately once an order was placed.
 

There are generally 2 types of caching methods. One is based on WordPress software plugins while the other is built into the computer server that processes the website when it is requested.

In an optimized environment like WPEngine managed wordpress hosting, all the important severe based caching are tested and optimized to ensure a better speed of your website.

5) Website security

What is website security?

To minimize the risk of your website being hacked with spam ads, defacement, redirection to other malicious sites and losing data, it’s important to ensure that the web hosting server is set up as securely as possible.

There 3 levels of security that can be added to a website:

Server security – A good web hosting company will ensure that the server itself is set up as secure as possible with the relevant antivirus and malware scanners

Software security – The website developer will need to set the relevant WordPress security scanners and plugins.

Website Application Firewall (WAF) – The owner of the website can subscribe to another layer of website security protection using a WAF. This means all traffic will be filtered before arriving to the website.

How it website security improves business online?

A good secured website will help the website stay online as much as possible and maintain page ranking. Any malware attack will take time to clean and therefore loses value time and reputation. A secured website decreases downtime.

It is important for websites of medium and larger business or organisations like NGOs. associations and portals to have all 3 layers of security.

Learn more about WPEngine Security https://wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Enterprise-Grade-Security-on-WP-Engine-.pdf

Conclusion
Usually It is only in higher grade cloud hosting that you get better features that are difficult to achieve compared to traditional physical hosting. Cloud hosting solutions can provide higher levels of web traffic support and quicker turnaround than a single dedicated server can provide and are increasingly becoming an essential aspect of keeping the most popular websites and mobile apps hosted online. They also bring another interesting tidbit of news: a well-designed website architecture can help resolve corporate cultural issues because there is one topic less to be concerned about. The team can focus on the quality of website design and digital marketing instead of worrying about web hosting and web security problems. Learn more about Skytomato Website Maintenance and WPEngine Malaysia, International and Asia Pacific website hosting here : Asia Pacific & International Web Hosting for Malaysia Companies Complete WordPress Website Maintenance Solutions for Medium to Larger Corporations.