Stuff & guff about design, the digital world and what’s inspiring us at The Bold.

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Site Performance: Why it's important and how we deliver

Site Performance: Why it's important and how we deliver

Hosting, a.k.a where your site lives

Your website's performance is key. If it's slow to load, slow to react, then you will lose users. Users are potential customers for your business, so keeping them on the site and making it easy for them to get information is crucial. Anything we can do to minimise dropoffs is in your best interest.

One aspect of site performance is where it lives on the web. This is your hosting, your server. We set up every website on its own dedicated cloud server to ensure top performance from your website. This also removes the risk and performance issues that come with shared servers often provided by other website companies.

A server is a computer, so it has all the same hardware as the one you are using to read this article. It has a hard drive, memory, and a processor. When you have shared hosting, all the sites on that server are using the same resources. That means if one of the sites is getting a lot of traffic (or being hacked), it is using more of the servers resources resulting in all other sites on the server to slow down. Just like when you open lots of programs on your computer, the entire system slows down.

So having your own dedicated server, removes this risk. All the resources are being used on your site only.

The other key aspect of cloud hosting is scalability. This is the ability to change the servers technical specifications based on your needs. So if your site is performing beyond expectations, or you're running a campaign that has increased traffic to your site, then the server can be scaled up to cope with the demands.

Beyond hosting: Cloudflare

Cloudflare is a Content Delivery Network (CDN for short), and so much more. It increases performance, security, and reliability of your website.

Performance

Cloudflare has advanced caching options that makes your site faster. It can cache specific files, or the whole site, making it smaller in size and faster to load.

It also has hundreds of data centers around the world that it uses to serve the user your site. What that means is, if a user is located in L.A, it will use a data center in L.A to get your site's data. Not a server located in NZ. This makes for super fast delivery of content.

Security

Security was the reason Cloudflare started. It has advanced protection from external threats like hackers, and has reporting on all threats detected. Through Cloudflare you can also initiate a SSL certificate, which is the secure padlock you see when browsing secure sites. This means any data you input via the site, like credit cards, names, addresses, is encrypted so only the server can read it. No one else.

Reliability

Cloudflare is the largest CDN in the world, with over 35% market share. They have that market share because they are excellent at what they do.

With certain plans, they guarantee 100% uptime of your site. It will never go down.

Putting them together

By combining both these services, your site performance can be stellar. These, plus a well executed website design and development, can make for a smooth, fast experience for your users. And in a world where attention span is in the seconds, being fast is key for your website.

The price point

There is this misconception out there that dedicated or cloud hosting is expensive. That it's only for the big companies with money to burn.

That's not true. Our server prices are comparible to our competitors shared hosting costs, but how can they be the same? Mark up, that's how. Every industry has their dirty little secret, the one thing that costs them nothing but costs the client a lot. For example, electronics stores. They get their cables and wires in for cents, and sell them for $20, $30, or even $100.

It's the same with servers and our industry. A shared server will cost between $5 and $50 a month, which then has 10 sites or more set up on it. If every one of those client is paying $50 a month, and the entire server only costs $50, then that's 900% markup. 900%. And that's a realistic figure.

We find that dishonest. It's not in our client's best interest, it's only to line the agencies pockets. That's why we can sell our hosting at comparible prices, our mark up is minimal. We want to give the best product to our clients so in turn they can provide the best experience for their own customers.

^^^^^^