5 signs you’ve outgrown your web hosting

Web hosting is a modern commodity. You need to have the right abound of storage, bandwidth and speed to enable your customers to buy. Fall down at any of those hurdles and you’re leaving cash on the table. So, you probably know not to simply go with the lowest quote you can get. Chances are, when you make your hosting selection, you carefully compared the packages to make the right fit. But now you may be feeling something is off. The arrangement isn’t as comfortable as it was before. Here are 5 signs you’ve outgrown your web hosting:

  1. Hungry neighbours taking more than their fair share.
  2. Show load times are costing you money.
  3. Poor IP reputation is getting you flagged.
  4. Bad performance at peak times.
  5. Non-standard software is banned.

5 signs you’ve outgrown your web hosting

Hungry Neighbours

With any shared service agreement, resources are pooled and used across all subscribers. But not everyone has the same needs. You can bet that for every few low-bandwidth users, there’s a super consumer who is pushing that load to its limits. If your host doesn’t have limiters in place, you probably have noticed a drop in service levels as your host has gained popularity.

Slow Loading

If you notice that your site’s page loading time has taken a nosedive, it’s time to consider a switch. You can monitor that here. And don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by good desktop loading times. Mobile traffic is fast overtaking desktop browsing as the primary medium. If your mobile load times are slow, you’re missing out on custom.

Bad Reputation

You must monitor your IP too. If they’re getting flagged for spam and malware, that’s going to affect your business. There are several tools available to keep track of your host’s reputation. If there are any warnings, it’s possible another client of your web host has been exploited. This can happen if they’ve not kept their website up to date or failed to enact good security. But it will hurt you, so it’s best to look at making a change.

Peak Time Struggle

Shared server resources share demand too. So, during busy periods, the RAM and CPU may struggle to keep up. As a result, you’ll see a temporary reduction in loading speed and hang time on processing functions. The downside is that this may cost you consumer trust. If a payment screen hangs, a client is unlikely to attempt the purchase twice for fear of being double charged.

Standard Only

Out of the box tools will rarely suit a growing business. When you began, basic software like MySQL was just fine. But now you need better, non-standard software like Percona. If your web host won’t allow you to integrate the systems you need, it may be time to move on. You don’t need to settle for basic programs.

 

We’d love to help you evaluate your web host. Let’s talk about what our hosting packages can offer if you have noticed any of these five signs you’ve outgrown your web hosting.

Best Web Design Trends for 2020

As we approach 2020, we are starting to see some obvious trends appearing across various sectors

As we approach 2020, we are starting to see some obvious trends appearing across various sectors – not least the online world. Website design is one of the areas that has inevitably seen the most change in recent years. Web design trends change as we take technological leaps towards the future of online.

In response to the threat of a new year and predictions coming in from all angles, this article deals with some of the most obvious trends we can expect to see in 2020.

Adaptive Design

Adaptive design refers to the ability to enjoy a website – from any device. Being adaptive quite literally means adapting to suit all manner of devices. The content has to alter its format in line with the size of a screen. For example, a black of photos on a laptop screen may become a single file line of photos down the page of a mobile device – increasing user readability.

One of the most important things to look for in an adaptive design is an edited Menu design. This includes an obvious menu button and an easy-to-use menu list.

Notifications

When you sign up for something, it’s likely that your phone will pop up with an automated message to allow push notifications. If you’re anything like us, you typically say no. (If only to avoid the constant stream of notifications that apps and games can send to you every single day.) However, in 2020 the notification trend is set to rise. Users are acknowledging the value of knowing when something is about to happen or when an important news story hits the headlines.

Motion Design

Motion design refers to short videos – known as GIF’s – which allow users to interactively engage and explore something they may be interested in. GIF’s are especially useful when compared with more standard videos as they take up less space on the webpage and result in much quicker load times, keeping the user engaged and preventing them from clicking away in frustration. However, it is also worth noting that GIF’s are typically small bits of video content and will not provide an in-depth exploration of your product – for that you may well need a video.

Video

On to the more standard videos now, and despite the rise of GIF’s, video content is still set to increase in value as 2020 approaches. After all, if a video interests us then we are likely to watch to the end – just look at the sheer number of views on Facebook videos all over social media. The content is nothing special, yet the interest is peaked and users tend to watch to the end.

Users like relevant, simple and minimalistic videos that provide the information they need without extreme explanations or lengthy introductions.

Robo-Chat

This one comes back to AI – something we all know is coming! Artificial Intelligence sounds quite frankly terrifying, but the chances are that the invention of AI will make life easier for many of us, if for no other purpose than they can screen user questions and provide an engaging FAQ feature. ChatBots are created to mimic a real conversation, using built-in responses that are pre-determined by real humans. These responses are instant for users, with 24/7 service and an ability to help with basic issues regarding the website.

While they won’t replace human interaction; because some users will want to talk to a real person, their value is set to skyrocket.

Interactivity

People like to interact with tech. To feel like they are getting real value from a site, the more interactivity present, the better. This could cover everything from videos to animations and much more!

Minimalism

This might seem pretty contradictory considering we just covered interactivity, but minimalism is often as effective. Minimalism involves a simple user experience in a number of ways. This includes the design, colour scheme, volume of buttons and graphic details. It’s easier to understand and it will convert better.

What’s on the Out?

There are a few things we are likely to say goodbye to in 2020. First, one of these is in line with our final trend, and that is a complex design. The more complex the design, the harder the site is to navigate – and that’s simply not good enough anymore.

Lastly, a feature we can wave goodbye to is background scrolling. This means longer load times and an annoying pause as the background took a few seconds to catch up. This is unacceptable as we enter 2020.

The building blocks of a website

Building your own website has never been easier. With the tools now available, building a website today is easier than the building blocks we played with as children – with far fewer instruction manuals and trip hazards.

Whether it’s a small marketing site for your business, a blogging hub or an eCommerce online shop, we’ve compiled a list of the tips and tools you need to employ to safely build a website of your own.

Let’s start with the set up – what to do before the building begins.

The Foundation

First up you need to determine what route your website creation is going to take – on the assumption that starting from scratch is not the best way forward (unless of course, you are a technology whizz in which case this post probably isn’t for you!) The most obvious route is to start with a Content Management System or website building tool – populating templates with the relevant content and images of your choice.

By Content Management System (CMS) we tend to mean WordPress, so your choice here is between WordPress and an alternative website builder. WordPress is responsible for over 30% of all the websites currently available in the world, showcasing its popularity and ease of use. After all, if 30% of the website population can use it, I’m sure you can too. WordPress is ideal for everything from small blogs to large online publications and even online stores – all in a highly customisable and professional format.

If customisable and flexible isn’t what you’re looking for however, a website builder is the best option. These tend to follow similar designs and patterns and allow the user to input their relevant information easily and quickly. It’s simple to use and quick to customise, with no added dragging and dropping of different features and content blocks. Essentially you pick a template and you stick to it.

The Build

So, you’ve reached the build. The first thing you need to do is secure your hosting and a solid domain name. The host of your site is where all your online files will be stored so must be reliable with adequate space. The domain is what you will get your visitors to type into their browser to access your website. Typically, it’s easiest to purchase these as a package deal, as this saves technical admin further down the line, although you can get these separately if needs be.

To sign up for website hosting you need to select a plan through your chosen host site. These tend to start from a basic package to a more premium option, and which you opt for depends entirely on your requirements for the website you want to build. Ensure you read all the fine print before agreeing to any package. Once this is selected, you will be asked to enter a domain of your choice – if your first choice is taken, keep trying variations until you’re happy with the one that is also available.

Assessing the building site

Do research. What do your top competitor’s sites look like? Are they focussing on anything? How will you make your site stand out? What is the purpose of your website? Only when you know the answer to these questions can you start to build an idea of the visual aspect of your site and how it should appear to your visitors. This, in turn, will inform your template decision.

Once that’s decided, you need to create some kind of structure plan. Generally, these are not complicated – after all, we’re creatives, not techies. However, making sure you have an idea of which pages need to build will make your job easier down the line.

The Design

Everything available to you both on WordPress and a website builder has been created by a professional website designer. They’re user friendly, easy to personalise and all already available. You’d be a fool not to use them.

With WordPress, you need to first install the app on your host. Once this is done you can add a theme – this will inform the design of your entire site. Spend some time going through the available themes. When you finally find the right one, click ‘Install’ and then ‘Activate’ to set it on your own site. Once selected, the theme becomes customisable through the settings. This will allow you to add new pages, changes the colours and fonts, alter the display of the menu and many more options. You can also add plugins to increase your cybersecurity and SEO, as discussed in other blogs.

A website builder is far simpler to use, with a multitude of potential themes available for all manner of industries. The theme you select will become the template for your site. Basically, what you see in the theme selection box is very like how your final site will look. Though perhaps, with different colours. So, choose wisely and make sure you play around to work out the extent of the changes you can make.

Building a website is as easy as it has ever been, and with our simple instruction manual, you should be up and running in no time. The choice between WordPress and a website builder should be made after considering the time scales. Plus, the ongoing time it will take to manage and update regularly.