Are you here because you searched for ‘Why Is My WordPress Website So Slow’ and later on searched ‘Network Solutions Sucks’? If so, then I have already correctly guessed that there are people that have had those searches in that exact order. If not, maybe you have only searched for one of the two. You may notice that this article has nothing to do with you buying our hosting – that’s because we don’t sell hosting (our clients are all free to use whoever they want to for hosting). We want our clients to use who they want to for hosting, but we also want them to have the fastest website they can, and that means trying to help them understand what poor hosting looks like so they can avoid it.

If you’re like most WordPress website owners, you want your site to be fast and responsive for your visitors. If you don’t care about your users but do care about your profits, first keep it a secret (you jerk) but also, Google really cares about your website loading speed and a really slow one can also push your website down the ranks of search results (resulting in less visitors/leads/revenue for you). Fixing the slowness can be a challenge for most laypeople that haven’t done it a number (or hundreds) of times. But still, there is a simple fix for many trying to figure out why a website is slow and it starts with your website’s hosting.

Before You Start Trying to Fix the Speed Issue

First off, use a website speed testing tool like GTMetrix (it’s free) to find out what issues are going on with your website and to provide a foundation of site speed. Tools like GTMetrix give you a list of things that need to be fixed to improve your website’s speed. There are a ton of other tools we occasionally use to provide a broader look at what is going on with your website – you may want to try them as well. Both Pingdom’s site speed tool or Webpagetest’s tool can help provide a broader look at the existing website loading struggle.

Only once you know what the exact issues are, you can start working on fixing them.

The Primary Cause of Slow Websites – Garbage Hosting Like Network Solutions

The most common issue websites face is utilizing commodity hosting companies that haven’t had their server infrastructure updated in decades (seriously). While this is a rant specific to Network Solutions, a large hosting company that holds millions of business websites hostage, it is a problem found with many shared hosting companies.

Network Solutions (in my estimation, the worst mass website hosting service in the world) is owned by the same company that owns Web.com. Their issues are many (and include absolutely horrendous support), but the crux of their issues are actually physical. Based on personally using them for years, digging through all of their online documentation and asking many questions of their support team, these are my findings of their offerings.

  • They have no ability to use SSD hard drives – these are the drives used on your phone, memory cards, and most modern computers. Instead, Network Solutions still uses antiquated tech called HDD’s. “HDDs can copy 30 to 150 MB per second (MB/s), while standard SSDs perform the same action at speeds of 500 MB/s. With an SSD, you can copy a 20 GB movie in less than 10 seconds, while a hard disk would take at least two minutes.”
    • Network Solutions only offers the old-style hard drive disks (HDD’s) – the ones that have metal platters inside that physically move when they look for data. This tech has been phased out by almost every top host in the business for anything other than backup drives and is causing your website’s data to load slowly.
  • Server memory helps website’s process PHP and JavaScript code and is critical to a smooth-running website. Network Solutions plans don’t provide enough memory allocation for modern day websites. And while they don’t tell us how much memory their plans do include (neither their documentation nor customer support teams say), based on my experience with them along with many other web design agency owners I’ve spoken to, it isn’t enough for a website built in 2022. It seems likely based on my tests that they offer 128MB or 256MB which is 4-8x less than the minimum amount of memory I now recommend.
  • Processing speed is incredibly important when loading a website. Like memory, it helps parse your data and make sense of the code, so it loads your website as quickly as possible based on the action the visitor takes. What type of CPU’s are running on Network Solutions’ servers? How many cores are provided, or CPU cycles can they utilize? Network Solutions provides no details whatsoever in their documentation, marketing copy, and their support team either doesn’t know or won’t tell you based on my experience. You’ll find that every other large company that provides commodity shared hosting on the following list provides this basic modicum of information – GoDaddy, Ionos, Bluehost, SiteGround, Namecheap, DreamHost, and InMotion.
    • Note: That doesn’t mean those companies are great – it just means they provide a modicum of basic knowledge a company can use when selecting their service. Why doesn’t Network Solutions provide this info? The reason is obvious – they provide awful hardware specifications straight out of a 2010 computer magazine.
  • No option to use a dedicated server. Having a dedicated server has a multitude of benefits and though not right for every company, is an essential offering for any website host tailored to small and medium sized businesses.

So what does Network Solutions provide within their marketing copy and documentation to sell their wares? Network Solutions’ documentation and marketing offers things like ‘more email accounts’ for higher tiers of service – email accounts?! As if anyone would want to use an email service provided by a company with the tech issues I mentioned above. Take a look at their Twitter feed – it is riddled with people that have not been able to get their emails for weeks or longer, websites that have been offline for days without an answer, etc.

And you may think that a company with such poor support, hardware, and lack of development would be cheap – you would be wrong. Their renewal prices for basic items like domains, SSL licenses, and email accounts are among the highest in the online world.

In short, as of 2022, if you have more than 10 employees, you are too big to use Network Solutions and if you have less than 10 employees and rely on your website for growth, you’ll never make it to 10 employees.

So Why Do People Stick with Network Solutions and Other Poor Hosting Solutions?

1) Inertia. It is hard to leave something that you have used for a long while. The company may not even know where their login details are for their domain, hosting, etc. They may not know who to reach out to about migrating to a new host and they are scared there will be downtime. Or sometimes, they are in industries that don’t allow for them to easily change vendors.

Solution: Many of the hosts now offer a free migration to their systems. That means they will move your existing website for you and take care of the technical aspects of the move. Search for ‘free website migration’ and you should come up with some hosts that provide this service. Before moving, make sure that the host you are moving to has good reviews – I’d recommend a website like G2Crowd to get a better feel of real people that have used the product before.

2) Money. Network Solutions locks people into 3-5 year paid upfront contracts as often as possible. Once locked in, some smaller businesses find paying for hosting at another company hard to take.

Solution: How many clients would it take for you to gain or lose to leave your existing poor hosting solution. For example, what if it cost you a $5,000 client due to someone not filling out a lead form because your website was so slow? What if it cost you a lot of those leads? The opportunity cost of having an awful website host is simply enormous.

3) Inexperience. Most companies have no one on their team that routinely migrates users to a new host. Or if they have, they haven’t gone through it in a while and they are scared that moving to a new host may not fix their existing site slowness, may cause more problems, and would be blamed on them if it fails.

Solution: As mentioned above, moving to a new host is easier than it used to be. With many companies now offering free migrations if you move to their hosting, it can made easier. Another little-known fact, it is not necessary for you to change anything about your email accounts if you would like to keep them as they are. And of course, if you need help migrating and want more hand holding with folks you can reach out to, you can reach out to the Sharp Guys’ team.

Ready to Switch? Be Realistic About the Move

By moving hosts you are taking your website from a foundation built on sand and moving it to a more solid foundation. But that doesn’t mean it will automatically load as quickly as you or your clients would like. For that, it may require more work – reducing image size, cleaning up JavaScript and PHP errors, using caching, a CDN, and more. But in order for those things to make much of a difference, you have to resolve the foundational hosting issue. But take heart my friend, once you get the hosting right, everything else around website speed is comparatively easy!

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