In Random Stuff, Websites

It’s all about speed

This post is a bit “salesy” but I feel compelled to share a couple of resources that I found that I’m really pleased with.

With users moving more and more to mobile, website speed is increasingly important. Everyone wants information at their fingertips 24/7/365 and if your site loads slowly, they will move on to the next one. Perhaps more importantly, load speed is a critical factor in SEO.

I’ve used a number of registrars and hosting companies through the years. What I’ve found is that speed is an important consideration for your company in addition to your customers and SEO. When you have a CMS-based website like WordPress, host speed is a major factor when you are setting up and working within your site. Nobody likes to wait longer than they have to for a page to save and preview.

NameCheap vs GoDaddy

About a year ago I discovered two companies that sped up all of my sites in a major way. One was obvious, the hosting company. What caught me by surprise was how much switching domain registrars sped things up as well. I highly recommend NameCheap as a registrar. Yeah, the name sounds dicey but I’ve moved all of my domains there and have been exceptionally pleased. Not only are they about half the price of GoDaddy (my previous registrar) I noticed a significant improvement in load times on my sites simply by transferring the domain to NameCheap. Unfortunately I don’t have metrics to demonstrate this. The load times were so obviously faster that I switched everything as quickly as I could and didn’t do any A/B testing. I’m glad to have GoDaddy out of my life, there’s no clearer way to say it.

Aside from speed, NameCheap’s user interface is clean and uncluttered! I love that. They are not constantly trying to sell you something like GoDaddy does. I’ve had many clients through the years who registered domain names with GoDaddy before starting to work with me and all of them purchased many unnecessary services simply because their interface and process was designed to foster confusion and up-sell every step of the way.

If you have your domain at another registrar, NameCheap makes it as simple as possible to transfer domains. I experienced zero downtime in all of my transfers. And you can get started today because they will set your expiration date to include the time left at your current registrar (ie. if you have 6 months left at your current registrar and you purchase a 1 year registration your new expiration date is 18 months from now). This is amazing and makes it so you don’t lose the investment you made with another registrar. NameCheap support is through chat and I’ve found them to be knowledgable, helpful, and quick to respond.

If you are interested in checking NameCheap out, click the banner below.

NameCheap Banner

A2 Hosting Review

For years I was really happy with my previous hosting company. This was primarily due to their quick support whenever I had issues. That being said, it felt like there were molasses in my connection any time I was editing a CMS based site. Yet I stuck with them because moving sites is labor intensive.

If you can relate, you need to check out A2 Hosting right now. Click below.

I have the Turbo plan and can’t emphasize enough how this hosting has changed my life for the better. You still need to be smart with your web design and resources, but having all SSD drives on the server it is amazing how quick and responsive your formerly sluggish sites become.

I will post some A/B test results soon. Purely from a perceived load time basis, I was blown away at how fast A2 sites load.

There is one area that A2 Hosting is not as stellar at as my previous host and that is support. Don’t get me wrong, they respond to every inquiry and resolve issues that have come up. It’s just not as quickly as my previous host. And my previous host would admit when there was a server that malfunctioned, A2 says that everything is A-OK yet whatever service didn’t work will suddenly start working again after I notify them. I would prefer to have an explanation vs. being expected to believe things miraculously fix themselves. If you rebooted the database server, just tell me that.

Fortunately, issues will A2 have been extremely minimal. In one year I’ve had to interact with A2 support staff maybe twice. At my previous host it was a couple times a month or more frequently if I screwed something up and had to call in the cavalry.

Thanks for reading! I know this post won’t interest everyone but I’m sure it will help some. Let me know in the comments.

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