They say you get what you pay for. It’s why picking the cheapest option can sometimes cause greater expense – and we’re not just talking in the monetary realm. Making a poor hosting choice can cost time, sanity and business opportunity.
Have you ever waited a really long time for a webpage to load? A really, really, really, really long time? There’s no denying it’s frustrating. Unfortunately, it’s also the kind of thing that can drive your customers away.
Not surprisingly, load speed is one of the things that suffers when you choose an overseas web host. This isn’t because the products are inferior, but because we’re just so darned far away from everything (except New Zealand).
To the contrary, using an Australian web hosting provider offers speed, stability and protection.
As a small business, it’s only natural you’ll look to keep costs down. It’s why picking the cheapest hosting service can be mighty enticing. But, as the Sydney Morning Herald emphasise, hosting is a service:
“This is a classic case of economies of scale. Being a smaller ‘sub scale’ market, Australian hosting providers will often come in at a premium. It’s important to remember that hosting is also a service-based industry, so it’s smart to consider the quality and location of support that your web host offers.”
This is not to say that Australia is in any way superior to other countries (we’re certainly not advocating any kind of nationalistic vibe here). Rather, with Australia being isolated in this corner of the globe, if you experience any problems with your website, your hosting provider may be in the pub or sound asleep when you need them most. What’s more, depending on their phone system, your efforts to contact them might result in a rather unpalatable phone bill.
Additionally, if you deal with an Australian company, you’ll avail of all the consumer protections inherent in the Australian legal system. They don’t call us a nanny state for nothing!
While their SEO algorithms are an oft changing and closely guarded secret, many people believe that a relevant local IP will rank more highly than an overseas IP in a Google search. In fact, UK content marketing company Built Visible reported suffering a discernible drop in their UK search rankings when they moved from a UK based IP to an American one, though their US ranking did improve! There are enough similar stories out there to lend credence to this theory.
Choosing your Australian web hosting provider
When choosing a local hosting service, it’s also worth checking where their data centres are located. Somewhat sneakily, some foreign operators have entered the market with deceptive .com.au names, when in reality they’ll store your site at an overseas data centre. Thus, you won’t benefit from the speed a local data centre can offer.
We told you – sneaky.
If you’re an Australian small business, targeting an Australian customer base, there are a whole host of benefits to choosing an Australian based hosting service for your website. Chiefly your loading speed will be faster, but you’ll also benefit from local support at a standard you’re used to and an increased SEO ranking.
While a cheaper outsourced service may be tempting, this is one instance where it pays to stay local. In fact, there are even some Australian hosting providers offering a very reasonably priced service… we hear BaseHost is one of them!