I purchased a new dedicated server a couple of weeks ago and today I’m moving my blog over to this new box. In fact, if you are reading this post, then you are doing so via my new server. I did a bunch of research before making my decision since it’s not something I want to be changing often. It’s also a big investment for my new company at $220 per month / $2,640 per year. Since I don’t have heavy traffic (yet) I could have gone with shared hosting, but you sacrifice so much with shared hosting including intermittent performance issues and downtime. Since Terran Marketing is an online affiliate marketing company, I think it’s important to have a good backbone in my hosting company. In the end I selected HostGator as my hosting company.
I went with HostGator for several reasons. 1) Their pricing was very competitive. 2) I’ve used them before via a HostGator reseller (SEO Hosting) and their support proved to be quite good. They have 24/7 email, phone, and chat support. I’ve just been using the chat support, which takes an average of less than 3 minutes to connect to. They’ve been able to answer my questions within minutes every single time. Since I’ve been out of the IT game for quite a while this has been invaluable. 3) All their servers come with cPanel, which I’m used to working with at my previous hosting company. Since I don’t know Linux very well this (cPanel) is another nice feature.
I selected HostGator’s “Standard Dedicated Server” package, which is one level above their lowest package. The bottom of the line package is $174 a month vs the $219 that I’m paying. An extra $45 per month is a decent chunk of change, but there were some features I really needed. I really wanted 4 GB of memory, dual hard disk drives (so a drive crash can’t take me down), and the 13 dedicated IP addresses. I plan on running about 10 sites on this box, so the IP addresses were important to me. I already moved one of my projects, WordPress Themes, over to the new server and I couldn’t be happier with everything so far.
Why good web hosting is so important for your website
A good customer experience: All of us have been to a website that loads slow – it’s frustrating. Many customers / readers will just click away when this happens. You know the old saying, you only have one chance to make a first impression. There are so many sites on the Internet that your first chance will most likely be your only chance in most cases. Google has done a study about how speed effects visitors. It’s very interesting. It’s also leads to my next point…
Faster sites = Higher rankings: Back in April 2010, Google admitted that website speed now effects SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Google says that “we’re obsessed with speed” which makes me obsessed with speed. There are 100’s of things you can do to make your site load faster, but all of them are useless unless you have a solid web host. I’ll be posting a follow-up article about several things you can do to decrease load times on your site apart from a good web host.