Through the Internet, the world has become a village, and you can connect with any website from anywhere in the world. Yet, it will be good to see how South African web hosting companies fare with the rest of the world. By the way, what is a web hosting company? It is one that stores websites on its server, and keeps them accessible to people via the Internet.
Some say that it is a better choice to have websites hosted by international companies in the US and Europe. But is that true? Perhaps offshore bandwidth costs may be somewhat less, but there are some serious disadvantages concerning the use of international web hosting companies, which we will now look at. A bandwidth refers to a range of frequencies found within a band, when a signal is sent.
When starting off with a new website, traffic each month may not be all that much, amounting to perhaps a few hundred visitors looking at a few pages. Big news websites or community-based websites would likely show larger traffic volumes. Traffic volume that is typical of a small- or medium-sized company, and which displays contact details and a list of several clients, translates to pageviews of not more than a 1000 per month, which, in turn, require the use of about 300 – 500MB per month. A pageview is the moment when an Internet user visits a page on a website.
Besides bandwidth costs in South Africa coming down slowly, let us examine some serious disadvantages when you would like to use international hosting companies.
Actually, speed plays a critical role when considering an international hosting company. If the pages take too long to load, you will lose lots of traffic, and end up with frustrated users who can’t be bothered with waiting, and who will leave with a bad impression of what your website had to offer.
Obstacles to speed can be exacerbated when making contact from South Africa with some international hosting companies, because there could well be some time delay in communication.
This refers particularly to a phenomenon called “latency.” This is the time a data packet (a basic unit of communication) takes to arrive at your computer after it was sent from an outside server. For instance, such data packets may take only 4 milliseconds to move from a server in Johannesburg to your computer somewhere in Gauteng. But this time delay or latency increases dramatically when contacting a server in London, where latencies as high as 150 milliseconds can be expected. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to address latency.
So, for this reason, there is faster access to websites with South African web hosting companies compared to their international counterparts.
Service support is critical when it comes to the client and the web hosting company. The issue to consider is that service support may well differ depending on where the web hosting company is located. Think about it – a South African web hosting company is much more accessible for obtaining technical support compared to accessing an international web hosting company for help. Why should that be so? Well, with you and the web hosting company being both in South Africa, means you are both in the same time zone. So, when you have issues with your website during your working hours, the South African web hosting company is also open during those hours, and can be contacted by telephone. It may well be a lot more difficult to obtain technical support from a web hosting company in say the USA, because they are in different time zones, making telephonic contact difficult. This may force you to make contact via email.
A higher percentage of internet uptime is experienced with South African web hosting companies. Uptime is when a computer is online. The percentage of international uptime can be seriously reduced when, for instance, one of South Africa’s international Internet links are disrupted.
The fact that both the client and the web hosting company are geographically positioned in South Africa, means a better local SEO. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the name of an activity that tries to improve a website’s visibility in Google Search via improving search rankings for the website without the use of search adverts. So, because your South African service or business is physically situated in South Africa and as well as your website, it produces stronger signals to Google Search that your website is more locally relevant, and this may give your website an advantage over international websites in some cases. This means that local clients will be able to locate you more easily via Google Search.
Another point of concern when an international web hosting company is offering you a cheap deal for your website is their reliability. Your pocket may find out the hard way when dealing with such companies. Checking the reliability of local hosting companies will be a lot easier.
Finally, you are most likely to be better off choosing rather a local web hosting company, which is reliable, and which will not affect the daily running of your website through poor performance. If need be, rather pay a little more for a local web host and be safe.
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