I wanted to share one of my client’s experiences with you. It’s a story I share verbally on a regular basis and it’s saved our clients’ reputation, money and a mountain of frustration over and over again. Hopefully, this story will help you too.
You don’t know what you don’t know about hosting
Simon asked us to redesign, develop and optimise his website for Google but wanted to host his website elsewhere. You see he’d found a cheaper web hosting provider… We explained the benefits of hosting a website with the same company that developed it, educating him on a topic he was unfamiliar with. Unfortunately, he dug his heels in. At this stage, we offered advice on what to look for in a hosting company, encouraging the essentials and offering recommendations on who to approach and avoid.
Nobody expected what happened next
Unfortunately, our advice was ignored, and 6 months after successfully launching Simons’ new website, we received a frustrated call from him. After noticing a severe drop in enquiries, he tried Googling his key phrases and realised he was nowhere to be found on Google. He was no longer on page one of Google for his five key phrases (like he was after launching the new website). Given the fact that he was not actively working on his SEO, there were plenty of reasons that he could’ve dropped off page one. But after investigating, we realized that it wasn’t only page one he was missing from. There wasn’t a single reference to his website, company or services online. Google was completely ignoring him.
How did cheap hosting ruin Simon’s SEO?
Simon’s hosting company had updated their platform in a manner that clashed with his website. While the website continued to operate, the change sent conflicting information to Google and as a result, they removed his website and stopped indexing it completely. But the above high-level overview of the problem doesn’t even touch on the real issues:
- They did not communicate the change.
- They did not check if the change was compatible.
- They did not test their change after implementing it.
They operated completely independently of all of their clients, with no regard for the impact their actions had. And they’ll probably do it again. But not to Simon. His website is hosted with us now, and a number of his friends’ websites too…
If it seems too good to be true…
Then it probably is. And website hosting is the perfect example of this. You can’t pay $20 per month for web hosting and expect good communication, customer service and internal processes. If however, you are getting those three things, then they’ll be cutting corners elsewhere – your website will go down on a regular basis, display errors, load painfully slowly or will be open to malicious access. You really can’t afford cheap hosting. It seems too good to be true because it is.