December 7 2021

How to recognize and choose a great WordPress hosting?

A real case of a former customer of ours who migrated to another supplier losing speed and performance

Fast hosting for WordPress
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What is the best WordPress hosting and above all what advantages does it offer compared to another WordPress hosting? What is different among the many offers on the market?

These are roughly the doubts and the most frequent questions that many WordPress or WooCommerce users ask themselves when they have to choose a hosting, perhaps having to understand the often substantial price difference.

How to choose fast WordPress hosting?

In a world where marketing reigns supreme, able to deceive the decision-making process of each of us, made up of unlikely slogans, as much as of false reviews obtained by paying bloggers and affiliates, answering these questions is the most necessary we feel the need to Do.

Always any hosting provider and Web Performance expert who has something real to say, show and demonstrate uses the American before / after comparison to want to measure the added value in terms of improvements it has made, in the eternal and always right philosophy "Measure to decide".

This time we want to approach in a different way to what is de facto a standard rule, that is to measure the Google PageSpeed ​​score first and measure the Google PageSpeed ​​score after to measure and show screenshots in hand how much we have been able to improve the scores, perhaps by acting on the new metrics Core Web Vitals.

This time we want to do the opposite, that is to measure the values ​​of a site of one of our customers and then remeasure them on the hosting of the new provider and show you what is lost by not having us as suppliers.

The Asso360 affair

Asso360 is ̶u̶n̶ THE software of accounting and management for associations, a Cloud platform for accounting and management dedicated to sports associations, non-profit organizations and third sector entities that helps the management of associations day after day in an easy and optimal way.

The software was born modular, with a management component that resides on Microsoft environments and a commercial part used to promote the product and related services, that is a website created entirely in WordPress that lists all the features of the software and communicates the points of strength of successful software.

We as Managedserver.it have always taken care to better manage the availability of the WordPress site asso360.it and related third levels excluding the management part, offering a WordPress hosting service and related technical / system consultancy, also solving collateral situations when requested with our precious contacts.

Asso360 was born in the Marche region, from the challenge of its creator who over time with audacity and perseverance and the collaboration of trusted developers manages to create a practically new market, that of third sector associations and entities.

This does not go unnoticed and with the interest of most of the major national players in the field of management and office software, it was decided to enter into collaboration with Buffetti, a name that needs no introduction whose history and fame is now a tradition for generations.

The story is reported by the main national newspapers and relaunched everywhere.

Buffetti buys Asso360

The purchase of Asso360 and the migration to the Buffetti proprietary platforms.

As we have learned over the past 5 years, success always involves a phase of reorganization. If we also want to remember different experiences, in the success phase we always tend to reorganize the company, change some variables, some components, some suppliers. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it goes wrong, it always depends on whether decisions are made with full knowledge of the facts, in the always valid and eternal entrepreneurial rule "measure to decide".

Sometimes decisions are the result of habits, of written and unwritten rules, of "it has always been done this way" and of the desire to continue to "always do this".

It therefore happens that sooner or later the request arrives to move the site to their servers supervised by their technicians because this is how things must go, and Buffetti, the new takeover, acquiring the software, certainly has all the technical figures and all the know-how in the company to be able to manage. the best company official website of Asso360.

Or maybe not ?

Measure to decide.

We therefore wanted to measure some KPI "Key perfomance Indicators" to show and demonstrate that sometimes, in good faith, perhaps out of traditionalism, perhaps out of superficiality, even the giants make mistakes.

Far be it from us to criticize absolutely legitimate choices of a company that does not need “Buffetti” explanations and presentations. This article is not for them, too high up and with traditionalistic models that would make any conversation in vain in an extremely sparkling and dynamic historical and technological context.

This article, this post written at 3 am is for you reader. To make you understand that a hosting is not the same as another hosting and that probably after you have finished this article you will not make the same mistake as Buffetti.

We measure the PageSpeed ​​score obtained on our WordPress hosting.

During 2020 we focused a lot on the new ones Core Web Vitals by Google. Since it was introduced looking just like a Vanity Metrics, until Google announced that the site speed found in Core Web Vitals it was also a good ranking factor we tried to develop suitable skills to provide solutions not only on the server side but also on the application side.

Therefore, at the beginning of 2021 we introduced satellite activities to our Hosting Performance services in order to guarantee a double benefit to the customer, speed for the navigator and speed for Google or as Google expects it.

In summer 2021, we decided with the developer to optimize asso360.it as it had never been done before. We have therefore implemented all the best practices on the server and application side by processing changes to our software stack to obtain what on November 12 (one week before delivery to the new supplier) we can see in these screenshots, both mobile and desktop of the Google PageSpeed ​​test Insight:

PageSpeed ​​Insights Asso360 Mobile

PageSpeed ​​Insights Asso360 Desktop

Two very important scores in the "green zone", which indicate a good 93 on the Test on Mobile devices, and a perfect 100 on Dekstop devices.

In short, two scores that in some way mean that although the WordPress site was originally problematic and at times disastrous, with a little work, commitment and dedication we were able to bring it to values, if not perfect, at least very high, certainly worthy of a brand worthy of the Asso360 management software, the flagship of management systems for associations, but also worthy of the new takeover Buffetti who, as already stated, does not need any further introduction.

This improvement has a value, both for the browsing speed of the user who finds a lean, fast, responsive and snappy site and for Google which tends to better position a site that is fast and satisfying the criteria introduced with the Core Web Vitalsrather than a slow or non-compliant site.

For some time, in fact, the Mountain View search engine has been looking for an improvement, to make users' navigation effective.

It should be remembered that, in addition to these parameters, there are other positioning factors considered indispensable by the search engine:

  1. Optimization mobile friendly
  2. Using a protocol HTTPS for the security of a website
  3. Minimize loading time of the pages
  4. Better structure advertisements present.

On Core Web Vitals we have written several articles and posts like this one Core Web Vitals : A Guide to Google's Vital Signs Core Web Vitals as well as a real specific commercial service to improve the WordPress performance and performance of WooCommerce but also of other CMS that you can find here Optimization Core Web Vitals

We measure the PageSpeed ​​score obtained on their WordPress hosting.

We therefore wanted to repeat the operation and measure again the values ​​obtained on their new Hosting which also benefits from CloudFlare.

We navigated the site of the new company Linux system assistance that follows the Buffetti products and colleagues, however, we denote preparation and competence in this regard, reading about many virtualization solutions, containers, until we are pleasantly surprised that they also use backup software like Borg and Restic and in exactly the same purpose and order.

In short, if their systems engineer ever reads this article, we want to express our sincere compliments.

However, even the best of systems engineers who have objectively high intrinsic skills, if not verticalized on the new challenges on the Web side and specifically on Google Core Web Vitals, will end up giving an excellent service but with the same modalities that we had a few years ago that today, with increasingly stringent and difficult to reach metrics without specialization, produces gaps and problems to the detriment of the site owner and also of the navigator of the site itself.

Repeating the same Google PageSpeed ​​Insight tests this is what emerges today Tuesday 7 December:

Mobile Score

Desktop Score

It can therefore be seen by comparing the initial situation that we went through from 1,9 to 10,5 seconds as regards the Mobile user experience e from 0,5 to 2 seconds as regards the Desktop user experience.

Practically with the transition to a new supplier the site was 4 times slower from Desktop and 5 times slower from Mobile.

What does a slow site mean for a visitor?

Un website it is considered slow when it takes more than 3 seconds to charge, regardless of the device used.

Statistics show that a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load has very high abandonment rates. People are in a hurry and those on the web are even more in a hurry. For an online business, a slow site can lead to a sharp decline in revenue.

A slow website is characterized by having three major negative effects on the operator's final result, elements that heavily influence one's online success. Specifically they are:

  • usability. The ability to engage customers and theirs retention they are influenced by the loading time of the web pages and by the response time of user requests. The better the performance of the site, the greater the satisfaction of the consumer, who therefore lends greater confidence in the brand and the offers proposed. In this way it is possible to consolidate and expand one's customer base;
  • conversion. Their rate decreases as a website's load times increase. It was found that 40% of customers completely abandon the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load the pages. On the other hand, 47% of the waiting time that they are willing to allow is a maximum of 2 seconds. As a result, access speed is critical to maintain its operations. Secondly we must not forget that the first impressions they matter.

Therefore a user tends to no longer refer to a slow website, preferring that of a competing operator who knows how to offer better performance in finding information about his hotel, offers or to book. If the loading time is high, customers are dissuaded from a future return. For 52% of people, the faster the website is, the more they tend to be loyal to it, while if the loading times are slow 79% abandon it. Furthermore, 44% would advise their friends not to use a site where they have had a negative experience;

  • visibility. In most cases, users access a website after searching for certain keywords on a search engine, most often Google. The latter uses for displaying the SERP (search engine results page) site speed as a ranking factor. This is a device designed to ensure the best possible online experience for users. So loading times directly affect the likelihood that the site will be easily found by search engine users.

What does a low PageSpeed ​​score mean for Google?

In May 2020, Google announced the introduction of the Core Web Vitals, a series of metrics to evaluate the quality of the user experience on web pages.

Google's idea is to encourage the development of pleasant and easy to navigate websites so that the user can find what he is looking for quickly and with satisfaction.

Presto i Core Web Vitals they will become ranking factors adding to the many parameters used by Google to decide the order in which web pages appear on the search engine. In short, it is better to make their acquaintance immediately because from 2021, doing SEO will also mean taking care of the website user experience.

With the Core Web Vitals Google will introduce a new range of ranking factors that transcend SEO work and affect the web design and development sectors. So what? SEOs will work more closely with web designers and developers; at the same time, those who do SEO will have to embody at least some of these other professional figures by acquiring or enhancing those web development skills that allow you to design, build and position websites that are beautiful, fast and easy to navigate.

Conclusions and reflections

Often and not infrequently, large companies and large groups have serious difficulties in understanding and objectively weighing the decision-making choices and the reasons behind them. The lack of verticalization on some issues and the desire to keep "everything in the company", without delegating externally unfortunately leads to a situation similar to a limbo, in which "everything works" but not at its best.

In short, it is certainly easier for a CTO or a CEO to realize that something is not working if you are faced with an unreachable site down or with a conspicuous 500 error, rather than having a site that works well, opens and browses everything. summed up well, but with speeds 4 or 5 times lower than in the past and potentially obtainable by relying on reference figures like us and specialized and verticalized personnel on some issues such as i Core Web Vitals and web performance.

Who cares about evaluating the actual goodness of the choice made and the change? What advantages has it brought? What disadvantages has it brought? These are the questions that every manager should ask himself when he decides to change supplier in any context, according to the good principle of measuring to decide, thus avoiding the choices of gut, or tradition "because it has always been done like this“, And meritocratically acknowledging the competence of whom numbers in hand show and prove that you can achieve brilliant results (better than competitors) and obtaining a win - win balance with advantages certainly in favor of the client.

For our part, the "two of spades" (pleasantly speaking) obtained by Asso360 (forgive the pun) instead led us to understand some communication shortcomings on our part which are among other things the reasons why some customers they do not understand what we do and why we are different and better than other hosting providers.

In this regard, we wrote this post, with the hope of creating awareness in the understanding of the differences that exist between many Hosting services in which everyone rightly or wrongly says and claims (without any proof) to be the best.

 

 

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ManagedServer.it is the leading Italian provider of high performance hosting solutions. Our subscription model is affordable and predictable, so customers can access our reliable hosting technologies, dedicated servers and the cloud. ManagedServer.it also offers excellent support and consulting services on Hosting of the main Open Source CMS such as WordPress, WooCommerce, Drupal, Prestashop, Magento.

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