Company websites live on the internet, but brand marketers don’t give much thought to how that happens. They only really notice it when their website suddenly fails to load with a dreaded 404 error page or when the order form or contact form won’t successfully send. At that point, the level of offline activity towards the company accelerates as the online delivery falls down.
Only after problems have arisen do company executives wonder whether their web hosting provider was to blame or if they need more powerful hosting for their site—but by that point, the damage is already done.
Let’s look at a few ways that a company’s brand reputation could suffer due to web hosting issues:
The site is down. Did the company go bankrupt?
When a web server is overloaded and fails to load the website at all, customers start to panic. They don’t really understand how websites appear on the internet, so they have a tendency to worry that the business behind the site may have just gone under. Websites that get too much traffic on a given day can be subject to a fair-use policy where they’ve either exceeded their allotted bandwidth allowance or had their site’s resources severely restricted to let other sites receive more visitors without slowing the web server down.
This daily restriction mostly occurs with shared hosting where up to 1,000 websites are hosted on a single web server. One option is to upgrade from shared hosting to the best VPS hosting UK based that hosts company websites on faster servers with fewer other sites using the same server. Doing so tends to avoid the problem and companies can pay for the bandwidth by the GB to avoid being shut-down by a fair-use policy.
Negative Facebook comments due to slow loading times
When customers cannot load a website when their personal internet connection is speedy then they have little patience. As they feel they cannot reach the company online, they’re likely to take to Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts under their control to voice their disapproval at the bad experience that they are having with the company.
Other customers may also be experiencing the same issue, see the comment and reply sharing their own negative experience. This situation creates a domino effect of negativity and bad word of mouth for the brand and its service which is seen as an extension of website performance.
Customers move to Twitter when contact forms won’t load
Just when the company website isn’t loading the contact form is when the trouble really starts. Companies need to be on their toes because customers won’t go quietly into this good night. No, no, they’ll pop on over to the company’s Twitter account and blast you a negative tweet about how they wanted to contact you online but are unable to do so.
At this point, Twitter becomes the impromptu customer service desk for the company with staff forced to respond to tweeters who have real issues as a customer but are unable to contact them via the usual channels. Staff have to ask people to call which doesn’t suit everyone used to doing things more efficiently online. And for companies who have most of their customer service contact automated, they’ll likely not have enough call centre staff to handle the flood of calls coming in which leads to extended call waiting times, only exacerbating the issue.
Web hosting isn’t something to pay too little for. When it works, no one notices. But when something goes wrong, then all hell breaks loose. Be sure that you have the right hosting account from your business to avoid a PR disaster to come.