Take advantage of local Amazon Cloud Farms
My name is Stuart and I have been working freelance with websites for over 15 years now. In my time I have worked with almost all of the website hosting providers in Ireland.
These days I can only recommend dedicated cloud hosting to my clients because it's the only solution that gives the speedy and reliable performance that a modern website needs to stand a chance against the competition.
I utilise Amazon Cloud Farms located in Ireland through Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide hosting that's performance and cost effectiveness is unmatched. For Irish based websites, there is no faster hosting.
Speed is important
User testing shows that people are very impatient with websites and they will not wait very long for a web page to load. In fact, if a page on your website takes more than one second to load you run the risk of losing the visitor's attention.
Additionally, Google and other search engines will not look favourably upon a slow website as they want to provide seachers with a good website experience. You should run this test on your website right now (make sure to test from the location most appropriate to your business).
Say "No" to shared hosting
A worrying amount of websites that I have been hired work on have been set up on cheap shared hosting packages provided by the likes of Blacknight, Letshost, Hosting Ireland and other local hosting companies. While these may represent good value for someone running a personal blog they are a bad choice for a company which relies on its website for business. This kind of shared hosting is prone to slowdowns during peak hours and each website on the shared server becomes reliant all the others. Any one of these websites has the potential to slow down your entire server.
Modern cloud instances, on the other hand, ensure that a website is guaranteed a fixed amount of CPU and resources any time of day or night.
You can read more on my blog article "The Fastest Hosting in Ireland" here.
Free SSL Certificates
If you don't know already, the green padlock icon in the address bar of your browser indicating that your connection to my website is 'Secure' is down to something called SSL certificates. These ensure that any data sent between my website and your machine is safe and encrypted.
SSL certificates are becoming increasingly important and Google is already giving precedence to websites with proper SSL certificates in place. A site with SSL will rank higher in the search results.
Some hosting companies charge for these certificates but they come free with any websites that are hosted on my cloud hosting packages - *Letsencypt SSL only