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The Biggest Reason For Managed WordPress Hosting Churn: Slow Sites and Hacked Sites

The Biggest Reason For Managed WordPress Hosting Churn Slow Sites and Hacked Sites

As pro service program operators for Managed WordPress web hosting companies, we have seen firsthand the difficulties of retaining demanding customers. When customers have a slow or hacked website, they are considered to be on the verge of churning as they will start seeking help elsewhere. Hosting providers who do not offer Hacked Site Repair and Site Optimization services to their customers are at risk of losing them to:

  • Other web hosts offering these services
  • Agencies that self-host
  • Agencies with affiliate interests in other competing web hosts
  • People just fed up with it

Of course, there are others reasons for churn in this competitive industry and with SMB customers, but you are disservicing yourself by not plugging the plug holes on the large number of folks who churn due to a hacked or slow website.

Hacked Sites

WordPress is the largest CMS globally and powers over 40% of all websites. Considering that the total no. of active websites is gauged at over 1 billion, around 400,000,000 websites are using WordPress today! About 30,000 websites are infected with some type of malware daily.

How sites are hacked:

  • Insecure Web Hosting Using weak or duplicate passwords.
  • Unprotected Access to WordPress Admin (wp-admin & wp-content Directory)
  • Incorrect WP File Permissions
  • Outdated WordPress Installation 
  • Outdated or vulnerable WordPress Plugins or Themes
  • Using Plain FTP instead of SFTP/SSH 
  • Using Admin as WordPress Username
  • Not Securing WordPress Configuration wp-config.php 
  • File Not Changing WordPress Table Prefix Outdated Salt Keys
  • Corrupt WP tables

WordPress Security Breakdown

Here is a breakdown of the stages of Hacked Site Repair:

  1. Monitoring and Detection (Website Care and Software): Security Scans, Malware Detection, Security Anomaly Detection, Blocklist Monitoring, File Change Detection, DNS Monitoring, SSL Monitoring, Instant Notifications, Log Correlation Integration (SIEM) 
  2. Protection (Software): Bandwidth Limit Web Application Firewall (WAF), Intrusion Detection System (IDS), DDoS Attack Mitigation, Brute Force Protection, Block Hack Attempts, Prevent Zero-day Exploits, Protected Pages, Heuristic Correlation Engine, Load Balancing / Failover, Custom Rule Sets, Dedicated Network Resources, Custom Firewall Block Page, Enterprise DDoS Support 
  3. Repair & Response (Seahawk HSR): Hack Cleanup & Malware Removal, Malware Removal Request Limit, Manual Cleanup, Security Analyst Escalation, Full Website Cleanup, Backdoor Removal, Quarantined Backups, Post-Cleanup Report
  4. Performance (Seahawk Site Optimization): Troubleshooting plugins, Fast Page Speed, Reduced Server Load, Smart Caching Options, and more.

HSR Solution: Repair & Response

We follow a simple standard operating procedure to ensure hacks are flawlessly fixed.

  1. Hack Cleanup & Malware Removal
  2. Malware Removal Request Limit
  3. Security Analyst Escalation
  4. Full Website Cleanup
  5. Backdoor Removal
  6. Quarantined Backups
  7. Post-Cleanup Report

Site Optimization

Site Optimization or Site Speed Optimization at Seahawk means to get a site super fast and ensure we get the performance scores on GTmetrix in the green.

Why Site Optimization?

Did you know? According to Microsoft research, the average attention span of a human has dropped from 12 seconds to 7 seconds today- shrinking nearly 25% in just 15 years. As a website owner, what does this mean for you? You only have a few seconds to capture users’ attention within 12 seconds or less through your website content and convince prospects to stay on your website (bounce rate). 

A slow-loading website means users will quickly leave your website before the content has even loaded. 

According to the Aberdeen Group study, a 1 second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction. 

Google and other search engines have finally begun to penalize websites that are slow to load by pushing them down in the search results, lowering traffic for slow websites.

How are sites slow?

There are various reasons a site can be slow. Here are some of the common ones we see with our hosting partners:

  • Web Hosting – If the web hosting server is not configured correctly, it can cause your website’s performance & speed. 
  • Code Optimization – Code optimization is a program transformation technique that involves assessing the code and database queries and discovering the spots where the code is not efficient and where database queries are slow. Once you successfully find these “hotspots,” it’s the developer’s job to fix these problems.
  • Page Size – A large volume of unoptimized files (esp images) that are on the web. 
  • WordPress Configuration – If the WordPress site does not serve cached pages, it will overload your server and cause your site to crash entirely.
  • Bad Plugins – Using a poorly coded plugin will significantly make your website slow. 
  • External scripts – External scripts such as font loaders, ads, etc., can also significantly impact your website performance.
  • Page Caching – Most websites are dynamic nowadays, meaning that they pull data from the database, insert it into templates, and then serve them to you. This occurs every time someone requests a page from the server, and the time it takes to complete this process is determined by the efficiency of the code and the computing capacity of the said servers.

The Solution

As mentioned previously, our goal is to get the site from red to green on GTmetrix. We follow a simple process to achieve a positive outcome on 99% of orders:

  1. GTmetrix report scan and analysis
  2. Create a staging site to work on so it will not impact the live site
  3. Manually troubleshoot and optimize the site based on root causes from the GTmetrix report.
  4. Send back optimized staging site and GTmetrix report.
  5. Good to go with a fast website!

Why Web Hosts Need HSR and Site Optimization Services In-House?

Web hosts need these service offerings in-house to keep a continuous experience for their customers. There are also other tremendous benefits in starting a Pro Services retention program like:

  • bringing more solutions and value to your customer base, 
  • an increasing amount of reviews on Trustpilot and NPS scores, 
  • keep customers sticky on your core products; 
  • the program cost is fully covered through the revenue it generates (free support team),
  • and new top of the funnel for net new users seeking these services.

You can contact Seahawk to discuss a Pro Services program setup done in-house, fully white-label.

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