Website hosting is often overlooked—yet it is one of the most important factors in protecting your investment in your domain name and your website. We hear from so many people that they first select cheap, shared web hosting, then research how to build a website. We think that is the wrong approach. The right approach is focusing on performance and speed.
Most businesses rely on their internet presence for everything from branding, to marketing, to sales. Website hosting is critical for any online business. Selecting the wrong host and web server will ruin your hosting experience. BizBudding is a web hosting company. We’re not a reseller of another web hosting service. We’ve built our own niche hosting service called Touchstone.io that lives on dedicated servers in data centers.
Touchstone is not your typical web hosting company. We don’t provide support for website builders or email accounts. We provide a great support team and great customer service. And we provide blazing fast WordPress hosting. In fact, if you’d like us to run an analysis on your website (note – we won’t use any of the free tools that you could use yourself), let us know.
A Secure Web
Everyone should have a secure site with an SSL Certificate installed. SSL is a general name for the technology that encrypts and protects web pages during network transmission. According to the Google Security Blog, 81 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default. You should too. Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “Not secure.” This can hurt your trustworthiness, which is especially problematic for small businesses trying to get off the ground and build a name for themselves.
Touchstone.io provides SSL certificates for free for every site we host. We are experienced in site migrations and know how to convert a website to HTTPS. Talk to us about how to convert your website to HTTPS.
Shared web hosting is popular among many hosting providers. Shared hosting means that your website runs in a shared environment with multiple websites as a low-cost way of hosting your website. Some hosts charge as little as $2 a month for this type of service. It’s often hard to determine if the hosting provider has allocated enough server resources to the shared account.
Touchstone offers shared hosting plans to our Level 1 accounts. We ensure that your hosting plan has enough resources for pages to load quickly. In order to qualify for our Level 1 hosting and the server performance shown below, you need to be running your website on the content management system, WordPress, and on Mai Theme, our self-built theme for WordPress and the Genesis Framework.
Hosting plans that use a virtual private server—also known as VPS Hosting—are set up to provide dedicated hosting. When hosting in a cloud environment, these cloud hosting accounts are often using virtual servers. Hosting accounts that experience higher levels of customer traffic, sell ecommerce products, or host membership sites should leverage the performance benefits of dedicated hosting.
Touchstone offers three levels of dedicated hosting, serving websites from 50,000 to 30,000,000 monthly pageviews.
What Does the Best Web Hosting Account For?
The success and foundation of your website are underpinned with website development and website hosting. The best web hosting magic happens when your web developers understand web hosting and performance.
The Touchstone.io hosting platform includes the following features:
- We include a staging/development site.
- We always use SSL to protect you on the Internet (even on dev sites).
- We focus on page speed and user experience.
Testing the performance of hosting is very important. There are three important tests that you should run: time to first byte, time to render start, and time to document complete. You should also account for web page response and page size.
Time to First Byte – TTFB
The responsiveness of your web server is very important. Time to first byte measures the time period it takes from your web browser to receive a response from the web server. TTFP is measured in milliseconds and is calculated as DNS + Connect + Send + Wait times. When you try to load a web page, the browser connects with the web server. The web server then sends a response that contains the first packet of information for the browser to load. Web pages require multiple packets (or round trips) to load all the content.
A smaller or lower TTFP, also known as response time, is seen as a better benchmark for website hosting performance.
The time to first byte measurement is used as an indication of the responsiveness of a web server or other network resource. TTFB measures the duration of time from the user or client HTTP request to the reception of the first byte of the page by the client’s browser.
Time to Render Start
Time to Document Complete
Web Page Response
Page size, or downloaded bytes, is the amount of data that had to be downloaded in order for the browser to completely load the page. Leaner is definitely better when it comes to page size. As page size increases the time it takes to load the page increases, which also increases the likelihood that your visitor will bounce. Google recently found that “79% of all web pages were over 1MB, 53% over 2MB and 23% over 4MB…Simply compressing images and text can be a game changer—25% of pages could save more than 250KB and 10% can save more than 1MB that way.”