Quite often I will get asked why our web hosting is a little more expensive than other web hosting companies. Strangely this is a question I love to answer because a lot of website owners do not fully consider the real cost of cheap web hosting.
First of all I will say this is something neither myself or my company will ever apologize for. We provide a quality, reliable and lightning fast service for businesses and quality does cost a little more.
We all love a bargain but do you really want to cut corners on a vital part of your web business?
While at first glance cheap hosting looks attractive allow me to point out a few things you may not have considered.
To run a business website good support should be your number one concern. If you do not get first class support from your host you spend more time worrying about and fixing your site, this is the time you should be spending promoting your site and serving your customers.
It never ceases to amaze me how many clients we gain from big hosting corporations. These clients (to put it politely) are miffed at the level of support they have received with their £15 a year “Unlimited” hosting package. Let’s have a little reality check here, we are not bashing our cheaper competitors here, they can only do so much for the fees being paid to them for budget hosting accounts.
1. How much support can they really give you for £1.25 a month? Bearing in mind that in addition to support staff your £1.25 a month also has to pay for the servers, the hosting, the maintenance and give the company some profit. Do you really think this is what a good effective service will cost your business?
2. “But they offer 24/7 support!” Do they really? When you have an issue and open that live chat at 3 am because your site is down, does the person you are speaking to have access to the servers? Do they have the know how to fix your site there and then? Do they know enough to even diagnose the problem? Again we are not digging at their support staff they are always there but knowledgeable staff do not come cheap.
Are your hosting company employing knowledgeable staff with hands-on access to your site and the servers for your £1.25 a month? Or are you getting a support rep who will copy and paste a canned reply and then pass the ticket to another department? Who knows when that department will reply? We have heard stories like this over and over again.
If you do not get the support you need and start jumping up and down and threatening to leave, how hard will they try to retain your custom of £1.25 a month? You will find that smaller hosts as well as offering better support will value you as a customer.
Without getting technical servers are just large computers that are running 24 hours a day in order to show your website to the world. Computers that are on 24/7/365 need maintenance and lots of it. More importantly just like computers servers vary massively in quality and performance.
Let’s do a non-techy example. You can buy a nice cheap laptop for £300 which will probably be perfectly good for browsing the web or typing up letters, but what if you want to play games or run big programs like photoshop then you need something better right? A decent laptop will cost you at about £750 to £1000 and a really fast one £1400 upwards. Obviously, the higher priced machine will be way faster and more reliable than the cheap version and will be able to handle a lot more.
Servers are no different, you can fill them with cheap or expensive components depending on how fast and reliable you want them to be. If you were selling web hosting accounts at £1 a month what do you think you would opt for when it comes to replacing components? I wouldn’t blame you for selecting the cheaper option you are practically giving the hosting away so why buy top quality?
Remember your site is online 24/7/365 if it gets a lot of visitors then the server it is hosted on will need to do some serious processing. It can only do that if it is a decent server.
This is closely linked to the server quality. Here is a well documented and researched internet FACT if your website does not load in under 3 seconds 40% of the people that arrive will leave before they see your site at all. Most your clients and Google expect your site to load in under 2 seconds. Don’t believe me? Go search the web for a term like “how fast does my website need to load” and read some of the results.
So now we have a challenge, the nice cheap hosting that is using the lower spec servers is not going to deliver pages quickly.
Just out of curiosity go test your site speed now here. (opens in new window) Before you test, click the settings button and choose the test server nearest to your country.
Did your site load in under 2 seconds?
You also need to bear in mind here for these companies to make any profit on cheap web hosting they have to cram thousands of sites onto your server. All these sites are sharing the same resources, memory, ram, bandwidth etc this will slow your pages down.
So your pages are taking more than 2 -3 seconds to load and you are losing 40% of your visitors. Let’s say you have a small website that sells homemade items. Last year you sold just £2000 worth of items from the 60% of visitors that did make it to your site. Doing some basic math you lost out on £800 of sales.
Let’s imagine your site was blazing fast and all your visitors saw your site, you could have made another £800. Now let’s say a lightning fast quality hosting account would have cost you £9.99 a month that’s about £120 a year, just do the math £800 of extra sales less £120 for the fast hosting you would have had an extra £680 in your pocket plus the money you spent on the cheaper hosting. Oh and don’t forget wasting 40% of whatever money you spent on advertising.
You lost that £680 in extra sales so your nice cheap £15 for a whole year hosting actually cost you at least £695. Our fully managed WordPress hosting is only £191 a year or our fast professional hosting £120 a year.
The figures above are just made up, you can apply your actual sales and work out how this may have gone for you. If your site is slow this is happening of that you can be sure. Forget the money for a moment. How hard did you work to actually get people to your site? And 40% of them left without seeing it?
There is an old saying I know you are aware of “You get what you pay for” this without any doubt applies to your web hosting. Good hosting is the foundation of any website it is a really bad place to cut costs. Speed is everything if you want to survive online! Do yourself a favour get a decent hosting account from a company that will offer you quality support for your business.
If you want to change hosts we will even move your website to our servers for you.
About The Author
Gary McHugh is the owner of 3001web.com a company that offers Managed WordPress hosting, professional affordable web design and a full range of services for website owners.