The SME scene is booming in 2022. With more online entrepreneurs than ever before, getting a site up and running amongst a myriad of competition can be tricky.
As we step into a digitally dominated future, site performance is the key to small business success. While UX/UI design, site SEO, and CX personalisation demands drive the online strategies of tomorrow, business leaders must also consider their web hosting platform in their battle to the top. As of 2021, 1.2 billion hostnames were registered online. Prioritising a web hosting solution has not only become vital in maintaining a robust online presence but investing time and money into professional platform hosting comes with a vast number of benefits ranging from improving site loading speed to boosting a company SERP score.
With the web hosting industry tipped to be worth $76 billion by 2023, let’s delve deeper into what it could mean for online entrepreneurs, and explore some of the key benefits of introducing web hosting to your digital strategy in 2022.
What Is Web Hosting?
Every website you’ve ever clicked on belongs to a host. Web hosts are known for allocating space on a server so the files that make up a running site can be shared on the web.
A web hosting platform is a key ingredient required for an SME to appear within a digital realm. Choosing the right web host is a make-or-break if you want frequent site visitors and solid site performance.
From private servers to shared hosting options, global web hosting is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 15.1% post-pandemic, with cloud hosting currently ranked as the fastest-growing industry sector. In fact, just under half of all leading SMEs are now utilising the benefits of private cloud hosting when running their workloads in 2022.
While there are multiple web hosting options available, it’s important to choose the right one for your website, engagement goals, and, most importantly, your budget as you jump into the world of online hosting.
The question is, how much does it cost to host a website? And which option will gather the greatest return on investment for your company size? Here are some of the most common web hosting options used by startup enterprises in 2022:
- Shared Web Hosting: Known as the most affordable form of web hosting, averaged at approximately £1.99/month, shared hosting grants you a shared space within a server for an affordable price. Perfect for startups looking to get off of the ground, on a shared server, sites divide processing power, data storage, and user bandwidth between them.
- WordPress Hosting: For a simplified approach to a web hosting platform, WordPress-based hosting is great for business leaders familiar with the site builder’s plugins.
- VPS Hosting: Using a virtual private server is more costly, but comes with a number of ROI benefits for larger enterprises. For tech wizards, a VPS host provides the user with complete control and a privet server. Equipped to deal with large traffic surges, this is best for fast-growing sites, with high user engagement peaks.
- Cloud Hosting: For large-scale site designs, cloud hosting is the most secure option of the bunch. With a high-reliability rate and unlimited scalability, most SMEs have invested in cloud-based hosting in 2022. However, with the highest average cost of around £70/month, smaller startups could struggle to get on board.
Exploring The Benefits Of Web Hosting For SMEs
There are a wide number of benefits associated with web hosting. Prioritising your hosting platform can boost your organic search success and vastly improve site performance, speed, and structure, for a healthy user experience.
As internet usage accelerates in the wake of Covid-19’s digital shift, web hosting infrastructure has become essential for the e-commerce industry in particular. Dealing with increased traffic surges from mobile devices and the continued rise in data breach scandals, retailers are continuing to turn to cloud hosting platforms, and private servers in order to keep site functionality at an all-time high.
Here are some of the key benefits SMEs could see when introducing a web hosting platform to their site strategy.
Increased Site Performance
Did you know that 32% of mobile users are likely to bounce off of a slow-loading website in less than 4-6 seconds?
Not only can site loading speed affect your conversion rates, but Google actively indexes site performance when calculating a business’s SEO score and organic search ranking. If your site takes too long to load, you won’t only see a dip in engagement, but also a lack of visibility in a search string.
Investing in a high-functioning web host can significantly improve site accessibility. Using a platform designed to host a larger bandwidth of users, and spikes in consumer traffic, web hosts provide increased site accessibility and can cut bounce rates in half, making your site desirable for consumers to keep coming back to.
A Cyber Security Boost
According to Verizon, 43% of cyber hacks are directly attributed to small and medium enterprises. With SMEs named the number one target for data breaching in 2022, it’s no surprise that they are increasing their site security using cloud-based hosting platforms.
The foundation of a site’s security starts with a host platform. This is where your data is stored, and your files are shared. Investing in a quality server host ensures that these files are protected, encrypted, and backed up.
For SMEs concerned about their site’s cybersecurity, investing in a cloud-based web host is vital. As cloud data models aim to secure data in a decentralised environment, site controllers can enjoy transparency as they are able to monitor data sharing at every level.
This can help an IT team stay on top of site security, and can enhance recovery plans in the event of a data breach.
Improving SME SERP Scores
Last but not least, it’s time to talk about that all-important SERP score. After new stats from Finances Online found that just under 20% of all clicks go to the first organic listing, SMEs are constantly battling to make it onto the front page.
For SMEs looking to improve their site SEO, taking a step back to review your web host could be the key to success. In fact, finding the right web hosting platform can provide business leaders with more control over their SEO strategy. From UX design and structure to templates, copy, and codes, web hosts are pooling resources for companies to utilise.
In turn, watch your SERP ranking rise and consumer clicks follow.