User experience is everything in online business. It doesn’t matter how great your product is or even how low your prices – if users don’t like your site, you aren’t going to succeed. While there are hundreds of tips out there for how to make your site more user-friendly, most of them ignore a foundational issue – your website’s host. While you might have chosen your host simply because of cost, it’s important to remember that a good web hosting solution will have a huge impact on user experience.
How Web Hosting Impacts User Experience
It should generally be said that good web hosting is forgotten as a user experience improvement because it should be invisible to the user. When things are going well, absolutely no one will know what host you are using. In fact, there’s rarely a reason for most people to ever consider the fact that your website is hosted. A good host functions in the background, helping to ensure that all of your other user experiment improvements function. It’s only when things go wrong – and when you choose the wrong host – that anyone is going to notice.
Web Hosting impacts user experience because it’s the platform from which everything else springs. The stability of your host will have a direct impact on everything from your site’s uptime to how quickly your users will be able to load content. Without a good host, no one is going to be able to access your site at all – and basic access is at the core of user experience.
Of course, there’s more to look at here than uptime and speed. Good hosts will offer a wealth of features that will allow you to make better choices on your site. Whether you are looking at the growth potential of VPS hosting or just working with a shared host that will allow you access to a better website platform, choosing the right host will give you a chance to expand upon your site and help you in your attempts to learn how to improve user experience.
UX Considerations When Choosing a Web Host
Now that you understand the importance of web hosting when it comes to UX, it’s time to start looking for a host that can fulfill your needs. When you’re looking for a host, you’ll want to keep the following considerations in mind as you consider how to improve user experience.
Is this the right kind of hosting?
It’s very important to match your host with your needs. While there are some fantastic hosts out there, there’s no host that’s going to be perfect for every need. Find out how your potential host deals with surges in traffic or resource-intensive users. Your host needs to meet your user’s needs because they can’t be expected to know your host’s limitations.
Can the host improve user browsing experience?
What does your host offer that’s going to make your users’ lives easier? Do they offer any kind of web acceleration or load balancing that’s going to make your site faster or allow your users to connect more smoothly? These features aren’t available everywhere, but they’re not that uncommon. If your host doesn’t offer this kind of help, they might not be right for your business.
Can the host keep up with your site?
You’re going to be making constant changes to make sure your users have a great experience, so make sure that your host can keep up with those changes. They need to be able to support not just the plug-ins and apps you use now, but the software that you’ll be using in the future. You don’t want your users encountering broken functionality, so make sure your host can help you.
How responsive is the host to your needs?
Finally, try to think about how responsive the host will be to your needs. If you are planning an event that’s going to lead to a major spike in traffic, can your host help your site to stay up? If you’re planning on rolling out another site, will your host help you with the setup? These issues will end up impacting your users, so pay attention to them.
Choosing your host is going to have a huge impact on how your customers view your website and how they interact with your business. A good host is a silent partner who supports your endeavors to improve user experience across the board. If your current host doesn’t guarantee speed and stability, it is actively interfering with the user experience of your paying customers.