The world recognizes user experience as the set of steps or processes they go through when using a website or accessing a computer application. The experience might not sound like a make or break factor; however, user experience (UX) becomes the differentiator between a good offering and a great one when considering design.
Therefore, when it comes to websites, designers and strategists are responsible for creating a website’s layout and navigation to ensure that from the moment a visitor lands on the homepage, they can easily navigate to the location they want to go without significant downtime in between. Consequently, UX then becomes much more than the appearance of a website or application.
Since the journey encompasses several features, the website’s backend, including the choice of host, has a significant impact on the end-user experience; some experts even liken the decision to a rent location for brick-and-mortar businesses. We will dive into detail on each of the benefits below.
Web Hosts Are a Determinant of Speed
The second a user clicks on a website, they expect it to display the information they seek instantly. Therefore, if they must spend a significant amount of time waiting for a website or webpage to load, it is likely that they will become frustrated, angry, or bored. In extreme cases, these feelings have been enough to deter the visitor from returning to a website altogether. Website hosting resolves page loading concerns since a good provider will enable a webpage to load at the fastest speeds possible.
Part of the reason some hosts offer faster speeds than others is due to their server location. Since servers exist in a physical location, some providers will be in closer proximity to where your audience is, and others may not be in the same country. Therefore, many website owners have greatly improved their site speed by strategically selecting their host based on the server location.
Additionally, some web hosts may market additional tools for web acceleration or faster cache loading. These additions are proven to do as provider’s market and accelerate page load time and improve customer satisfaction.
While hosts greatly influence the page load speed, website owners can further optimize the experience by limiting the number of plugins and large media files they incorporate. These features often take a longer time to load, thereby reducing the total page load speed overall.
High Availability Ensures Users Have Something to Experience
One of any website owner’s major decisions when choosing a host is their uptime. Uptime is the amount of time a site is available and running. In contrast, downtimes are the opposite, often occurring in the event of a natural disaster, power outage, server error, human error, broken code, traffic spike, or hosting problem. Consider that if a website isn’t available, it becomes impossible to deliver a positive experience, if any experience at all. Therefore, website owners often rely on professional hosting to ensure no single point of failure or glitches that hurt the end-user experience exist.
When comparing hosting providers, website owners will often find values expressed as a percentage of total availability. Although users can find these details in their Service Level Agreement (SLA), the provider will also widely market it if it is high. Although no site can guarantee with 100% certainty that it will remain up, hosts are often transparent about their values, offering very close to an always-on guarantee. Industry analysts recognize 99.9% to be the industry standard, with many of the most known platforms offering up to 99.98%. While this difference may sound minimal, consider an example. Website hosts that guarantee 99.9% availability mean a downtime of 10 minutes, while 99.98% is only 2 minutes.
Additionally, when considering points of failure, many professional hosts will duplicate all the components of their infrastructure so that if anything were to happen, a backup plan would exist. Only if multiple cracks in the infrastructure emerge would there be any downtime.
Ability to Adapt to Growth
Although uptime is important on a given day, it is also worth considering what might happen if your content goes viral and your website experiences a sudden uptick in traffic. While some hosting providers enable you to scale up in response to traffic surges, others might not be able to meet the increasing demands, resulting in the website crashing. Naturally, if this is a first-time user’s first experience with your website, the inability to access your content may become a permanent deterrent for your offering.
When choosing a web host, users are encouraged to consider the difference between shared, cloud, dedicated, and VPS alternatives to determine the best option for their expected traffic levels and price.
Collaborate for Extra Support
Some hosting providers excel in customer support, offering availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The benefit of an always-on provider is that you may have the added support of your web host when it comes time to troubleshoot. Having support can be particularly useful if you believe that your site might experience a traffic surge that could crash their page or run into other concerns around load times affecting page speed. Since two brains are better than one, improved customer support is a nearly sure-fire way to keep your site running incredibly fast.
Provision for Live Editing
Part of a top-notch experience is ensuring that the little things, including grammar, images, and other pieces of your website, are in their proper place. While the little things may be hard to notice at first glance, mistakes will appear over time, and fixing them might be a matter of taking a page down, finding the time to edit, and making it live again. In contrast, live and mobile editing is often made available as part of some website host’s platform builders. Therefore, website owners can easily make little adjustments such as spelling errors in real-time and without disruption.
Web hosting continues to be one of the best ways to improve user experience. The decision will then come down to finding the right hosting service based on server location, availability, ability to adapt to growth, support, customer service, and live editing provision. By carefully considering these factors, users’ websites will stay live and running, ready to serve visitors at their convenience.