Whenever we're out talking to people about how they can get their website to rank better on Google, convert more visitors into customers (or typically both), the conversation inevitably turns to hosting.
Why? For 2 main reasons:
Time To First Byte (TTFB) Correlates With Better Search Rankings
In his post What's My Time To First Byte Tim, (the MD of Bison Grid) talks about how the speed at which your website is able to interact with a search engine correlates well with higher rankings. Tim cites Matt from Zoompf's study of over 100,000 websites which gives some great data, if you need convincing.
From a ranking perspective, it stands to reason that if your website falls over a lot, this is a bad signal to be sending to Google. It doesn't want to send people to error pages. Uptime is so important to Google that it sends out emails to registered site owners about downtime, via Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools).
By the way if you're worried about downtime and aren't getting these notifications from Google, click the image and sign up to Google Search Console.
So, why do we recommend Bison Grid?
Bison Grid give great Time To First Byte. In fact because Ste and Josh harped on about TTFB so much, Bison Grid have pretty much set up their hosting from an SEO perspective and therefore TTFB is something for which they optimise and something they monitor (as do we, in our Monthly Online Tests).
Bison Grid give great uptime. While a 100% uptime guarantee is folly, our friends at Bison Grid come close to delivering this, year in, year out.
Hosting that costs you less than a few hundred quid a year won't give you this stuff.
Also, they're small enough to care and you can speak with a human being if you have a problem (well, nearly a human, they're VERY geeky).
Sure sometimes they accidentally baffle me with technobabble about "front end caching", "round robin DNS" and "latency, particularly with regards to the geolocation of the browser in question".
And sometimes, their support emails are a little confusing, maybe a little unfeeling.
You could say that about any hosting company.
But, Bison Grid are geeks who give a shit. They're on your side and they'll do their best for you.
When you get in touch, tell them I sent you. At some point I'm hoping Tim will start to pay me a commission.