Whether you’re an entrepreneur, SMB, digital marketing agency, or blogger; you’re most likely always on the hunt for new strategies that can help take your business and clients to the next level. Some days it probably feels like an obsession. Competition online is downright tough and the game is changing constantly.
Throughout all the chaos and daily tasks, it’s important to remember that your website is one of your most important marketing tools. The question you should ask yourself is, have you invested in it? Many marketers are so focused on CRO, funnels, and analytics, they forget to first spend time building a good foundation. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself never reaching your full potential.
You wouldn’t put regular unleaded fuel in your Lamborghini, so don’t do it with your website.
According to W3Techs, as of writing this, at least 31% of you are probably using WordPress to build and power your site. So today we’re going to dive into 5 ways a managed WordPress host like Kinsta can help propel your business and gain that competitive edge you’ve been searching for.
Insider tip: If you’re not running on WordPress but want to be, you can use a service like CMS2CMS to convert from any other platform (hands-off), even a plain HTML site.
The Ultimate Guide to Blogging for Small Business
1. Reclaim your time
With only 24 hours in a day, time is always one of your most important assets and it’s something you can’t afford to waste.
Image Source: Make a Meme
Do you want to spend your time troubleshooting errors on your site or scratching your head trying to learn how foreign concepts like DNS works? Probably not, you want to focus on what you do best; and that is marketing, strategizing, and building your business.
This is where a premium managed WordPress host can help. They go above and beyond typical hosting with a knowledgeable support team that is available to help you 24 x 7. Automatic daily backups and uptime monitoring are the new normal. If your site is hacked, no problem… they’ll fix it for free. If your site goes down, they’ll proactively reach out to you before you even realize there’s a problem.
Image Source: Kinsta
If you’re not tech savvy or simply need access to better tools developed specifically to help make using your WordPress sites easier, than a fully managed service is the way to go for your business.
Not only that but you’ll get access to a beautiful and intuitive management dashboard (as seen below) developed specifically for WordPress from the ground up. We’re not talking the old and dull cPanel you’re probably used to. Do all of your daily tasks with a single-click, such as:
- Install new WordPress sites in seconds.
- Backup or clone your WordPress site.
- Set up a staging environment.
- Restore backups to production or staging.
- Add a free SSL certificate.
- Drill down through insights about your site that include everything from visitor statistics, resource usage, performance monitoring, cache analysis, and even security.
Image Source: MyKinsta
Fully managed WordPress hosting can save you hundreds of hours each month by letting you focus on growing your business. Leave the complicated stuff to the experts.
2. Boost performance and page speed
You should hopefully know by now that page speed is a ranking factor used by Google, not only for your desktop but also for mobile. So if you want to chat about ways to help increase your SEO rankings, making your website load fast is a good place to start. This is especially important for those of you pumping out long-form content as more images and assets on a page is going to require more server resources.
If you’re curious about conversion rates, Soasta ran a study and discovered on mobile pages that are 1 second faster experience up to 27% increase in conversion rate. How awesome is that? 😮
Image Source: Soasta
You can optimize and apply all the crazy tricks to your website that you want, but in the long-term that only goes so far. You should find a WordPress host that is obsessed with performance and utilizes the latest and greatest software and technology.
Kinsta, for example, is powered exclusively by the all mighty Google Cloud Platform which means you get to choose from 15+ different data centers (North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia) to host your site. You should always choose the closest location to where your visitors and customers are coming from. Checking your geo and conversion data in Google Analytics is an easy way to find out which location to use. If 90% of your customers are coming from the UK, then you should host your site in the UK for lightning fast load times.
Have you ever dealt with WordPress caching plugins? They can be a downright pain to setup and you’re never sure which of the dozens out there are going to get you the best results. Many WordPress hosts utilize server-level caching which means all the caching is taken care of for you! Isn’t that nice? It’s one less hassle you have to worry about.
Ever heard of PHP? If you haven’t don’t worry, basically PHP is the language and code that makes up your WordPress site. The problem is that there are different versions of PHP out there which drastically impact speed. Yes, old code = slow code = a slow WordPress site.
According to WordPress stats, as of writing this, 31.1% of users are still using PHP 5.5. Why is this bad? Because PHP 5.5 is no longer even supported or updated. Yikes! There are then a various number of users on other versions: PHP 5.6, 7, 7.1, and 7.2. This is important because PHP 7.2 is 3x faster than PHP 5.6. 🚀
If you aren’t running on the latest version of PHP, you should be, as this is an incredibly easy way to see a huge boost in the performance of your WordPress site. Usually, there is no extra work involved at all! At Kinsta, you can change the PHP version running on your site with the click of a button.
Image Source: Kinsta
Using a WordPress host that is performance-focused will instantly put you at the top of the pack! In fact, it might even leave your competition wondering how your site loads so fast.
3. Secure your investment
For most of you, your website is your livelihood and the primary way your business or clients generate revenue. Whether you run a blog with Google Adsense or a WooCommerce shop, you should think of your website as an investment, not just a marketing tool. And as with any wise investment, you should secure and protect it.
Image Source: Meme Generator
There is a multitude of WordPress security plugins out there you could use. But just like with caching, this can be confusing and time consuming trying to sort through all the security lingo, settings, and “best security plugin” reviews. And boy are there a lot of those!
Kinsta takes a different approach and actually doesn’t allow most WordPress security plugins in their environment. Instead, security is handled at the server-level for you. Firewalls, IP limiting, GeoIP blocking, enforcing strong passwords, and restricting everything to only secure encrypted connections helps keep the bad guys at bay!
According to a Q3 2017 study by Sucuri, a multi-platform security company, WordPress continues to lead the infected websites they work on (at 83%, up from 74% in 2016). With WordPress holding such a large market share comes greater risks of being attacked.
Image Source: Sucuri
This is why choosing a host with automatic backups and one that will fix your site if it’s hacked is so important. You can then rest easy, knowing your data is secure in case something bad does happen.
4. Scale for future growth
With every successful business comes the difficult learning process of how to scale and grow it. A lot of times you have to figure this out as it’s happening, which can be stressful! Should you hire more employees? Do you need to outsource work? There is a lot involved, and this includes scaling your WordPress site.
When it comes to hosting you usually get what you pay for. If you go with a cheap shared host, you receive a portion of resources to use for your site. Once you start outgrowing those resources or get a sudden surge of traffic you’ll end up getting CPU limitation warnings which are no fun. Or even worse, the host might suspend you.
You deserve the best for your business and therefore you should go with a WordPress host that scales from the get-go.
Kinsta, for example, takes a unique approach to its WordPress hosting as it uses a container technology that allows for 100% resource isolation. This basically means your resources aren’t shared with anyone else or even your other sites. Think of it as a complete silo just for your WordPress site, but one that can expand as needed.
You shouldn’t be penalized for being successful.
5. Importance of implementing a CDN
According to The HTTP Archive, the average web page size has grown by 268% between 2010 and 2018. That’s why we can’t stress enough how important it is to use a CDN. CDN is short for “content delivery network.” Basically, these are a network of servers around the globe that host a copy of your images, videos, and scripts.
For example, when you host your website you have to choose a physical data center location. Let’s say you choose one in the United States. When people over in Europe visit your website it’s going to take longer for it to load versus someone visiting it from say Dallas, TX. Why? Because the data has to travel a further distance. This is what is known as latency. Latency refers to the time and or delay that is involved in the transmission of data over a network. The further the distance the greater the latency.
And that is where a CDN comes into play. It helps to reduce that latency by loading your site’s content from servers closer to them. As you can see below, depending on the location, a CDN can decrease total page load times by over 50%!
Image Source: Kinsta
You might be wondering with these kinds of speed increases why isn’t everyone using a CDN? Well, for less tech-savvy users, they can be confusing to set up. A lot of them also aren’t free and calculating the true cost can be difficult.
Many managed WordPress hosts include a CDN with their hosting plans. This makes the setup and configuration super easy. Just flip a switch and you’ve got a CDN running on your WordPress site instantly, decreasing page load times around the globe.
Once you have a good foundation for your website, your other marketing efforts will multiply. From reclaiming your time to faster page load speeds and scaling, managed WordPress hosting can help propel your business to where it needs to go. The great news is you don’t have to be tech-savvy to get the same results from your website that huge fortune 500 companies are getting. Kinsta, for example, was developed with everyone in mind, from bloggers and small businesses all the way up to huge enterprises.
Many of their plans even include free migrations. Let their team move your WordPress site over while you sit back and relax. When it’s ready they’ll notify you and you can preview it before it goes live. The transition couldn’t be easier!
Ready to take advantage of everything managed WordPress hosting has to offer? You can get started today over at kinsta.com.
Not the one in charge of your website? Then forward this to the individual or team who is.
Guest author: Tom Zsomborgi is the Chief Financial Officer at Kinsta. He is responsible for accounting, forecasting, and internal audits. He has a sharp analytical mind and a zeal for data. He is a big fan of extreme sports and cars. Connect with Tom on Twitter.