One of the easiest and least expensive ways to improve your ranking on search is to make your website load faster. It seems simple enough, yet most business owners don't understand what it takes to have a high performance website. All you need is high performance hosting and WordPress support.
It's the easiest and cheapest thing to fix
For some reason most people have it in their heads that all hosting is the same. This couldn't be farther from the truth. The fact is, every host is different, with different infrastructure, and different performance results.
I've spent time researching performances of major hosting providers and it was difficult to find the information I was looking for. So after many hours here's how I would break it down:
Tier 1: Cheap Hosting
There are lots of providers in this space fighting for the bottom. If you have a small site which fits a small business or organization you may be OK with that service. Prices are generally $5 to $10 per month.
Tier 2: WordPress Hosting
Over that past few years there's been a lot of buzz around companies who specialize in WordPress hosting. This is a purely marketing tactic to brand a type of hosting. Companies like WP Engine charge $35/mo for this.
Tier 3: Premium Hosting
Independent companies (like ours) will offer hosting on a VPS or dedicated server. This means you're not sharing the same server with other websites. The server can be optimized and maintained based on needs of the company. Prices are variable but usually around $200/mo to start.
What I usually see is not a lot of options between cheap hosting and premium hosting. Yet there is a huge difference in performance when you host on high performance servers. Over the years we've rolled out products such as WordPress PRO Support which covers everything from high performance servers, enhanced security, training, and support.
Our last hosting migration cut page load times from 7.5 seconds to 3 seconds
We recently migrated a website from another host that we measured the home page load times. The website was slow and lagging and took too long to load. Our benchmark was 7.4 seconds on average. Once we migrated the website we took another measurement and found the same website loaded in 3.5 seconds without any additional optimization! That's a huge improvement with very little effort.
Once we cleaned up the website with unnecessary plugins, optimized, and secured the site, we measured a 3.0 second fully loaded home page.
How did we do it?
- We recently rebuilt our hosting structure away from a traditional VPS to Google Cloud.
- Our hosting stack is next generation with new technology.
- We use premium plugins (software) that do not drag down the website performance.
- We have premium managed services for our servers.
One easy way to measure your website is to use Google Pagespeed. These benchmarks are pretty strict so don't be too discouraged by a poor grade. My pet peeve is they do not show time to load factors which seems obvious.
Another tool I like better is GT Metrix. This tool uses Pagespeed and Yslow but also shows different times like time to first paint, ..etc. This means you can tell how long it takes until something appears on your screen. For me it's all about time and we generally want to have a colorful paint within 3 seconds.
If you are experiencing slow websites, intermittent downtimes, or hackers, learn more about how we can get your website running faster and better!