For most organizations, especially eCommerce stores, the brand’s success is directly linked to the website’s web hosting platform.
Succinctly stated, the success of your digital marketing campaign is directly related to the architecture and health of your online store. You can design and implement the best digital marketing strategies and campaigns. Still, if your website is not functioning optimally and converting visitors into returning customers, driving up sales numbers, you won’t achieve the ROI required and expected from the proven marketing strategies.
Conversion rate optimization, a term used to describe the art and science of converting visitors into returning customers, is metrics-based, with dozens of factors to consider, including your web hosting platform and infrastructure. In fact, web hosting is a foundational element of a successful SEO campaign, a significant part of a digital marketing strategy.
One of the most popular and common types of web hosting is a Virtual Private Server (VPS). There are multiple advantages of signing up with a web hosting and cloud service provider for a VPS. However, before we look at several of these benefits, let’s first consider what a VPS is and how it is structured.
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What is a Virtual Private Server?
A Virtual Private Server is defined by Wikipedia.com as a “virtual machine sold as a service by an Internet hosting company.” It runs its own copy of an Operating System (OS) and customers have super-user access to the server. In other words, a VPS is a virtual copy of a physical dedicated server. Because it is software-defined and sits on a physical server, it is more easily created and configured.
A typical business use case for a VPS is a web hosting service. In other words, web hosting companies own or lease physical servers where they install many VPS instances and offer them to their clients to install and maintain their eCommerce websites.
As an aside, a web hosting service is a “type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web.”
Note: An eCommerce site is not the only website capable of being hosted on a VPS. Any website can be hosted on a VPS. The eCommerce use case is discussed in this article as an example of VPS web hosting.
The advantages of a VPS
There are several benefits of a VPS, including:
1. Dedicated resources
As highlighted above, a VPS is a virtual machine that is used to host web-based applications and websites, facilitating their access by potential, and returning customers. Each VPS has its own dedicated resources, including CPU and memory availability, disk space, network capacity, giving website and web app owners total control over their applications.
2. Increased speed
Since 2018, website speed has been included in the many different ranking factors that Google uses to rank websites on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), including mobile search.
The Google developer site explains the rationale behind the decision to include speed as one of Google’s ranking factors. In summary, when users experience a slow website, especially on mobile devices, they are less likely to find what they are looking for or purchase from a site that is not optimized for speed.
Statistics show that 50% of visits to a website are abandoned if a (mobile) web page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Consequently, the brand misses out on the sale. Therefore, it is in the brand owner’s interest to ensure that websites and web applications are optimized for speed. One of the ways to achieve this is to utilize a VPS as a web hosting platform.
3. Reduced cost and maintenance
Another advantage of a VPS is that the cost is much lower than that of a physical server. There are very few comparative costs available for public consumption, for this information is of commercial value. Suffice to say; because many virtual private servers are hosted on hardware or physical server, the cost of running a VPS is substantially less than sourcing, purchasing, installing, and maintaining a physical server architecture.
Additionally, the web hosting company handled all the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to worry about hardware components breaking and needing to be replaced. All you are essentially responsible for is the installation and maintenance of the website or application.
Websites and web applications that are not well-protected are at risk of being attacked by hackers. 2018 cyber-attack statistics show that there were over 80 000 attacks per day or more than 30 million attacks for the year. And these numbers have increased exponentially every year, especially during 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic.
A Deloitte article titled “COVID-19’s Impact on Cybersecurity,” reports that the pandemic has “forced organizations and individuals to embrace new practices such as social distancing and remote working… While the world is focused on the health and economic threats posed by COVID-19, cybercriminals around the world are capitalizing on this crisis.” There has been a marked increase in the number of phishing attacks, Malspams, and ransomware attacks since the start of the global pandemic.
Consequently, organizations have had to make drastic improvements to their company cyber-security practices. Hosting your eCommerce site on a VPS makes light work of ensuring that your site’s security is on par with current best-practice methodologies.
5. Uptime and support
Extended downtime due to severe malfunctions is not good for business. Returning and prospective customers will look for a new brand to support if they want to buy from your eCommerce site and are told it is down or not available. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that your site is up all the time.
Therefore, it is essential to partner with a VPS web hosting company that will guarantee an extremely high availability to ensure that your site is always available.
Additionally, the reality is that things do go wrong. Therefore, the web hosting service provider must offer a highly available support service to help troubleshoot and solve issues, preventing them from scaling into a scenario where your website is down for any length of time.
As highlighted above, web hosting directly correlates with SEO and digital marketing success. And digital marketing success drives long-term growth and sustainability through the steady and consistent increase in sales figures. Therefore, choosing the right website hosting service is imperative for any business or individual who wishes to be successful.