Digital Hospitality: 4 Ways Web Hosting Affects the Quality of Your Website

web development tips

Prime real estate space is highly valuable. This is why a plot of land of certain size in a certain area could be worth 10 times as much as another plot of land with a same size but in a less popular area. For new families embarking on a new beginning, a plot of land in a good neighborhood surrounded by good schools and good hospitals would be considerably more attractive than a plot of land in a lousy, remote neighborhood, making the former considerably more expensive. For businesses, the amount of traffic around and proximity to public attractions could weigh in your favor.

What happens though when this issue of space shifted into the digital world as online businesses are now the norm instead of the exception? You might think that the issue of where the website is located doesn’t really matter but it actually, just in a wholly different way. In the world of web development, businesses are so hung up on designing the perfect website that the discussion of where that website should be hosted isn’t a priority but I’m here to outline some arguments on why that needs to change.

Great hosts aren’t just for Airbnb

In this year alone, the Facebook family of apps, including Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp, suffers from several different outages, cutting off access to their billions of users. If you’re not among those billions of people, all the power to you but for those that rely on those services on a daily basis, these outages are highly infuriating because they were entirely unexpected. If there was maintenance and people were alerted ahead of time, they might’ve been more receptive.

I’m absolutely certain that Facebook as a company opts to use the best hosting option available for their servers but in the world of web development, even the best is far from perfect. Of course, with the number of users in the billions and where security threats are a constant, Facebook is a very extreme example but it does highlight the importance of web hosting when it comes to online businesses. The quality of your website isn’t just decided by the website itself; your choice of web hosting will also have a measurable impact on the quality of your website.

Website load speed

Let’s say you’re about load a shipment of boxes from a warehouse to a truck. Obviously, the amount of time and work you’re going to have to make depend on the amount of boxes you have to move but it would also depend on how the boxes are going to be moved. Using a conveyor belt would be faster and requires less effort than if you’re going to have to carry the boxes one-by-one through a series of hurdles. In this analogy, the amount of boxes is the size and complexity of your website while how the boxes are moved is the access provided by your web host provider.

The amount of access and resource available to your website is dictated by your hosting plan. A cheap, shared hosting plan means that multiple websites are hosted in a single server and the amount of resource and computing power of that server has to be shared between those websites which means slower loading times. A dedicated server, physical or virtual, doesn’t suffer from this limitation but they’re also considerably more expensive, especially physical dedicated server. Keep in mind that for a simple portfolio website, a shared hosting option might be enough so try to balance these options with what you actually need.

Website uptime

No hosting option will be able to guarantee you 100% uptime, that’s just simply a statistical impossibility, but the good ones should at least be capable of guaranteeing 99% uptime. The numbers however, are just one piece of the puzzle, you also have to ensure that the web hosting provider you choose keep the unexpected downtime to a minimum and that you’re always given a heads up when a scheduled downtime is about to happen. You know how the saying goes, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.

Website security

There are two ways a website can be hacked, by invading the administrator section of a website and by invading the actual server where that website is hosted. The former is your responsibility but the latter is in the hands of whoever owns that server. There’s a type of service referred to as colocation hosting in which a business merely rents the server space where the server is located and the business is responsible for the managing of the server itself but typically, this is left to the hosting provider, which is why it’s imperative for you as a business to go with a provider that takes the issue of cybersecurity as serious as it should be.

Website scalability

For the forward thinking business owners, it’s typical for you to look at where you’d like your business to be 5, 10 years down the line. In the physical space, this means having a good foundation for your property so that when it comes a time for you to expand your wings, you could just simply expand the space you currently have now instead of having to hunt for a bigger location. This scalability issue is also present in the world of web development as as your business grows, you also have to contend with a bigger, more sophisticated website and more traffic.

If you think that going with a dedicated hosting option is a bit of overkill at this stage of your business, that’s completely in your discretion but you’d want to make sure that your hosting provider provides you with a seamless and easy way for you to upgrade and scale your website when the time comes. If you think that scaling in web development is easier than in the physical space, you’re right but it’s still quite a complicated process and you’d want to attach yourself to a hosting provider that knows what they’re doing.

 

Make Your Website Unforgettable with These Effective User Experience and Usability Tips for Web Design

web design tips

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone that no matter how good looking, kind and rich the person is; you still felt empty as if it was not good enough? I have, and it was not that the person I was with was imperfect – I am also imperfect myself. However, something is definitely lacking. When you are dating, it is not just about looks, wealth and personality – it is the shared activity that must not be overlooked. Yes, when it comes to maintaining a relationship, shared activities are the ones making the relationship unforgettable because shared activities are done and experienced together in order to create meaningful memories that can always be remembered. Looking at this that way makes me believe that the same way of thinking can be applied to web design as well. When it comes to a website, it is not just about how it looks like, but it is more about how your website makes visitors feel. Did your website provide useful information? Did the visitors find what they are looking for on your website? Did the visitors feel encouraged to buy your products? Or did they feel happy after visiting your website? Whatever it is, at the end of the day, what matters most is how you make them feel and how unforgettable your website is to them. I know it seems hard to think that way because creating a magnificent website like that is almost impossible for businesses. Don’t worry! After months of researching, I found that it is also not impossible to create a website that is unforgettable for your website visitors with user experience and usability in mind. How? Keep reading to find out!

Make the website simpler but unique

Sometimes less is more and more is less – and it’s true. While the look and feel of your website is important, most visitors are not coming to your site to evaluate how stylish the design is. Instead, they are coming to your site to complete some action, or to find some specific piece of information. There are some unnecessary design elements that make the website too complicated to remember. Make it simpler and unique but not too plain. For example, colours. Colours if used and chosen properly can make your website easily recognised and remembered; however, don’t use too many colours for your website’s design as you might lose your business’ true colour if that happens. Also, the typefaces you choose should be legible at the very least. A common recommendation is to use a maximum of three different typefaces in a maximum of three different sizes. As for graphics, only use them if they can help a user complete a task or perform a specific function, not just randomly use them.

Organised visual elements

When you are optimising for usability and UX, there is only one goal that should be prioritised. The goal is to lead visitors to complete a desired action but in a way that feels natural and enjoyable. Visual hierarchy entails arranging and organising website elements so that visitors naturally gravitate toward the most important elements first. Ask your web designer to adjust the position, colour, or size of certain elements, so that you can structure your site in such a way that visitors will be drawn to those elements first.

Make navigation easy

Not many may notice this, but navigation is kind of the most important part of a website. It basically leads visitors to the right place on your website to encourage purchase decision (the end result). Having intuitive navigation on your site is crucial for making sure that visitors can find what they are looking for. For that reason, a visitor should be able to arrive on your site and not have to think extensively about where they should click next and clearly, moving from point A to point B should be as easy as possible.

When you have done the three tips above, everything would be so much easier later. Trust me, when you don’t have too many navigation options on a page, it will be easier for your visitors to find stuff on your website. When the colours used for your website ‘branding’ are balanced and unique, it would be easier for your visitors to notice your business colour patterns and in the future, your website would be easily recognised and always remembered.

A Guide to Website Speed Optimisation You Can Advise Your Web Developers About

web development tips

After years of living, we can’t deny the fact that what’s inside this Earth moves in a very fast pace. As time goes by, almost everything in this world is designed to be fast and easy. Remember when we used to look for a taxi if we don’t have much time to take a bus? I admit, life back then was very difficult, especially for me who lived in a very small village in my hometown. Even though I have a car, if the car is used by my parents, I have no choice but to take other transportation if I need to go somewhere. However, the hardest part of taking other transportation back then was the part where I had to find it. Living in a small village has its advantages and its drawbacks as well. While the air is cool and calm there (no pollution, no big buildings), taxis and buses are rare to find. Imagine if I was in hurry and no transportation passing the area. Sometimes I would call the taxi company but they always told me to wait for their call as they were also looking for the nearest taxi in my area. Thankfully, not long after that, my suffering finally met its end. Online transportation is now available in this world. Calling for a ride has never been this easy and fast before. I can get a ride in no later than 10 minutes. Thinking about this reminds me of my job. As a person who works for a web development, web design and SEO agency, I often have to face difficulties when it comes to website errors. Well, not really me, technically, since I am a content writer, not a web developer, but say, if there was an error in a website speed, I was also indirectly affected because people would get a hard time finding the content I have written, right? Therefore, we need to pay attention to details when it comes to website. Think about the last time you encountered a slow-loading website. You might have closed out the browser tab entirely or felt less inclined to patronise the site once it finally loaded. Don’t worry; if you have a business with a website as well as hiring a web developer, I’ve got a solution for you in this article. Keep reading to find out!

Before we begin this guide, first there is something you should do; find out if your website is really slow. One way to find out if your website is slow is to open a new private browser tab on your computer or mobile device, then type in your URL. Use a stopwatch to find out how quickly (or slowly) it loads. While his isn’t the most scientific approach, it’ll give you a general idea. If your website takes 10 seconds to load by your count, you know you have some work ahead of you. Once you are done with the testing, you have to…

Optimise image loading

Ever seen that circle spinning around when the image is loading? Oh, we all hate that. The easiest website speed optimisation tip for images is to upload the smallest possible version of your image for your site. For example, that your blog pages are 700 pixels wide. You would want to restrict your images to that width for optimal speed. However, make sure the images are not too small either. Test different image sizes on your site first to make sure they render appropriately on all screen sizes. After this step is done, start…

Optimising Javascript

Unless you know how to code, you will need a developer for this process. Javascript can prove fragile, and changing the wrong thing might break your site. Javascript allows you to put interactive elements on your website. For example, many forms work off a combination of Javascript, CSS, and HTML. If the Javascript has too much weight or is not optimised for speed, browsers will struggle to load and render it. That’s why it is important to keep communicating your needs to your web developers so that when you find troubles in your website, you can advise your web developers to fix it especially when it comes to coding and Javascript. Now let’s get to the next part.

Check your plugins

If there are too many plugins on your website, it will likely slow down your website in the long run. The browser has to understand what all those plugins mean and how to assimilate them with your website itself. Too often, business owners and marketers install every plugin that looks like it might do something fancy. Worse, when they deactivate those plugins, they don’t delete them from their WordPress installation. For that reason, communicating this with your web developer is very important.

Page speed is one of the most important considerations when it comes to optimising your website. You want your visitors to get your content quickly and navigate to different pages as easily as possible. Remember, consumers have short attention spans. You don’t want to give them a reason to exit your site before accessing the important content on your website.