Transcription of Episode

Jared Lowry:
What impact can hosting and server technology have on your online marketing? We’re going to talk about that today on Marketing Chairside.

Hello. Welcome to Marketing Chairside. My name’s Jared Lowry, and I’m the director of account management here at Pro Impressions. And we’re doing things a little bit differently today. Today, in the hot seat, we have our fearless leader, Jonathan Fashbaugh. Jonathan, thanks for joining us.

Jonathan Fashba…:
Hey, yeah. This is fun. Let’s just do this this way all the time.

Jared Lowry:
Yeah, it’ll be a blast. So today we’re just planning on doing some rapid-fire questions about hosting and server tech, like we mentioned. So with no further ado, let’s just get into it here. So, question number one, what is a domain name?

Jonathan Fashba…:
Yeah, so people sometimes get this confused with their website. They think their .com, or what have you, is their website, but the whole picture of how a website gets to a user’s screen involves so many moving parts. And the domain name is literally that .com that you have. So, for our company, it’s proimpressionsgroup.com, and that’s called a domain name. That’s what Google visits and uses as the address. That’s another kind of somewhat synonymous term, is a web address. But your domain name is just the stuff that you would type into your browser in order to get to your website. Yeah.

Jared Lowry:
Okay, and closely related to that is the idea of a registrar. Can you walk us through what a registrar is?

Jonathan Fashba…:
Uh-huh (affirmative). A registrar is where you would register your domain name. It’s kind of a weird thing. No one truly owns your domain. You don’t own your domain name. You register it. There’s a central organization that keeps track of who’s using which domain name, because they’re, in a way, a finite resource. There’s only one .com with your name on it, but they don’t want that to be registered and then sticking around forever if you’re not using it. And so, if your domain name ever expires, then it goes back into the pool to be registered again. And the services that do that registration for you are called registrars.

So probably, the biggest name one that everyone will recognize is GoDaddy. GoDaddy is a registrar. Network Solutions is a registrar. Namecheap is a registrar. There’s so many, I mean, hundreds of registrar companies that work with the registry to say, “Okay. Well, this client has paid us to register this domain name.” And so, you pay usually by the year. You can register your domain for multiple years, but that’s all done under the registrar. So when a client comes to us, one of the first questions we have to find out is who controls their domain. Where did they register their domain? And so, we have tools that allow us to look up who your registrar is.

Jared Lowry:
Okay. What is a web server, and how is that different from a register?

Jonathan Fashba…:
A web server is literally a computer somewhere that houses the files of your website. And so, there’s some connective tissue involved, if you will, between your domain name and your server that then says, when you go to proimpressionsgroup.com, that that domain says, “Okay. Well, service provider…” whoever you get your internet from, Comcast, Cox, CenturyLink. There’s so many internet service providers out there too. When you put in that .com, your service provider has to know where to go with that web address.

And so, they have records that say, “Well, registrar, where should this go?” And that will point them to a web server. And so, every user is literally calling up files from a server, and sometimes it’s more than just one machine, but your files sit on a server that has software installed on it to say, “You serve up websites.” And much like when your computer is bogged down with a lot of stuff, you’ve got to be careful who you use as a server company because, if they’re not investing resources and making sure that their servers are taken care of, your website can have downtime. It can be slow, and so, it’s really critical that you have a good server company.

Jared Lowry:
Can you tell us what email hosting is?

Jonathan Fashba…:
Yeah. This is a weird thing that people don’t think about. Your email lives on a server too, just like your website. And so, when you switch marketing companies, a lot of times those companies have helped you set up your email or have inherited hosting your email. And so, you have to make a switch in your email hosting as well as your website hosting when you switch web companies. You don’t have to, but that’s what happens a lot of the time. There are companies that will just host email, and that’s kind of cool. The company that we use, we use, actually, Google to host all of our email for Pro Impressions and for all of our clients that need email hosting. And we do that so that if they switch companies again, we hope they never do, and thankfully, we have a great retention rate with our clients, but we always treat our clients the way that we would want to be treated. And we know that switching email hosting is a giant pain in the butt.

And so, again, your files for your website, sit on a server, but they don’t have to sit on the same server as your email hosting. And, in fact, these days it’s usually a good thing to have a separate service for your email hosting. The analogy that always comes to my mind is the all-in-one entertainment systems that used to be popular, where you had your TV and your DVD player and sometimes your VCR, if they were really new, and they were all in one box. Well, when one of those systems went down, you felt like an idiot for buying the all-in-one system because then you had, like, your TV was broken on your VCR or your DVD player, and then you couldn’t watch stuff.

It’s the same kind of thing with this where you don’t usually want to have your email on the same server as your website because if the website went down, then your email’s down too. Or your company might be great at hosting email but stink at hosting websites or vice versa. So you want to choose the best for each need, and I have a hard time finding companies that do things better at scale than Google. So that’s why we use Google for our email hosting.

Jared Lowry:
And you mentioned it could be a pain in the butt, and I will say it’s an even bigger pain in the butt if you’re on Outlook, speaking from experience.

Jonathan Fashba…:
I didn’t name-drop them, Jared. I wasn’t going there, but sure.

Jared Lowry:
All right. Cat’s out of the bag. All right. Question number six, what is page load speed?

Jonathan Fashba…:
Oh, so page load speed-

Jared Lowry:
I’m sorry. I skipped question number five. What is site hosting?

Jonathan Fashba…:
That’s all right. I mean, we kind of covered it already too. So site hosting is literally your relationship with the company that houses your website in their servers. And so, when you change marketing companies, most of the time you change your hosting company too. The reason is just servers are, again, they’re computers, and different companies have different ways of doing things, different software that they’re familiar with. And we have a server environment. That’s a fancy word for saying a set-up and a set of software that we use to run our websites. And that’s what we’re familiar with. That’s what we get the best results with.

And so, if a client came to us and said, “Hey, we have this need. We want you to take over our marketing, but we don’t want to move our website,” that’s kind of a red flag already that could be a problem because if that website has a problem with the server and the server goes down and it’s not our server, then we just are almost powerless. We have the same ability as the client to call up the server company and say, “The website’s broken,” and since it’s not our server, we can’t really do anything about it. So site hosting is an important part of your web marketing because it’s where your website lives.

Jared Lowry:
Okay. Now question number six, what is page load speed?

Jonathan Fashba…:
So, like I said, the computer analogy of your laptop or desktop, what have you, even your phone, when you’ve got it clogged full of a bunch of programs and things maybe are out of control. Maybe you’ve got a bunch of photos and video on your system, and it’s bogging your system down. Then, every time you launch an app, it takes forever for it to fully load, right? And it’s the same thing with a web server. If it’s not properly maintained, if it doesn’t have proper security, if it’s programs aren’t up to date, or if the websites just aren’t tuned, when a user does that .com and gets connected to your web server, if it takes forever for that website to load, that’s called page load speed.

And it’s a real bad thing if your website takes a long time. I mean, I’m sure you, the viewer, and you, the Jared, have punched things into your phone and it’s just crawling. A lot of times, I’ll just hit the Back button and go to the next one because I don’t have time to sit and just look at a blank screen. You get antsy, and you just want to get what you need to move on. And Google understands that, and they’ve done a lot in their algorithm to reward websites that provide a good user experience on mobile devices, especially. But they do look at that like, “Hey, if I’m going to help someone who Googles something,” they want to provide a list of websites that are going to kind of leap to the screen when people click on them. And so we’ve made that a huge priority over the last couple of years, and I’m really proud of our server environments. I mean, they’re really second to none, and we continue to make improvements.

Jared Lowry:
Awesome. Well, thanks for your answers, Jonathan. Maybe finally, as we wrap up here, you can tell us just a little bit about the practical application, why dentists need to know this stuff, and what sort of impact hosting and server technology can have on a dentist’s online marketing.

Jonathan Fashba…:
Yeah. I mean, if your server environment is slow like that or your website’s unstable, it provides a bad user experience, and that’s going to impact your visibility, but also your conversion rates. If your website’s painful to use because it’s so slow or broken looking… I was on a website yesterday where it had just a bunch of codes built across the page because the website wasn’t well maintained. That’s just going to turn people off. It doesn’t make a ton of sense that people would say, “Well, if your website’s slow, then you must be a bad dentist,” but subliminally, that’s at least the net result. If they bail on your website because they’re frustrated or even just, because of those frustrations, don’t take that last step of contacting you, then all of that work to get them to the website has been wasted. And so, all of this stuff is technical, and it’s probably not going to be our most popular episode, but it’s definitely important to the success of the client’s website.

Jared Lowry:
Awesome. Well, thanks again, Jonathan. We appreciate you filling us in on those terms, and thank you for watching. We’ll see you next time on the next episode of Marketing Chairside.