One of my greatest pet peeves is when business owners try to cheap-out on their web hosting contracts. Most of the time we are talking about taking a $6/month hosting fee and upgrading to a $20-30/month fee and this can make all the difference in the world. You would not believe how many business owners balk and this and don’t want to agree to the extra spending. As the webmaster, this decision can be the difference that determines how much we can help you.
So what is it costing you to save the $168 each year?
Cheap Hosting Website Disasters
The following are all real-world examples that we have been faced with in 2015 and problems traced back to cheap hosting.
No Retrievable Backup
This cheap hosting company was backing up the client’s website, but the backup was stored in the same folder as the original website. They only keep the most recent copy, so only one backup was available.
The server was hit with a malware attack, bad enough it crashed the server the website was hosted on and the web host could not bring the server back up. Since all the backups as well as the website were on that server, the website was down and the host had no solution. Since we had worked on their website the year before, and we had a copy of the site on our server. Otherwise they would have started over.
They saved their $168, their cost to restore the website, $1200 to fix the host’s mistake. (Note: The cost could have been more, luckily we had the design files, if we hadn’t they would have paid for a new website.)
Unable to Stop Malware/Hackers
This client first became aware that their site was a subject of attack because Cybervise had noticed that the site was down first thing on a Monday. We contacted the host and were informed at that point that they had taken down the server the client’s website was on because it was under attack and they could not get it stopped. The client’s site was on a shared server. Their site files had not been infected, the cause was somewhere else on the server. We were told that the site should be back up in a few hours.
Eight days later, we were still waiting for them to bring up the website. The client started to calculate how much business was being lost with the website down and decides they couldn’t wait any longer. Again, we had a backup of the site on our server, so we were able to get them up and running again on business class hosting.
So yes, they saved their $168, but we will never be able to calculate the money lost by the client when their host took down their site for 8 days. We do know it cost them $450 in webmaster time to get their site setup again. Also note, this would not have been possible without the additional backup on our server.
Slowing Down Business
Our client was just relaunching the new version of their ecommerce store. They had a new website but wanted to keep their old discount hosting account. They had a major trade show coming up and finally they were going to be able to offer their entire product line for sale on the website. There were hundreds of products that needed to be loaded on the site, they enlisted the Cybervise staff to help them get this done in time for the show.
But what should have been a pretty easy job stretched into a couple of weeks. Turns out their hosting account had a limit on how many times you could access their server. Every time we hit the update button, it counted towards the limit and after about an hour’s work, we were not allowed to make any additional updates to the website. After calling the host, we found out that we would be locked out for 2 hours and then limit would be reset and we could start again. For the next two weeks, we work until we hit the limit, stop, come back two hours later and pick it up again. A job that should have taken 1-2 business days, stretched across a couple of weeks because of the hosting limits.
We begged the owner to switch hosting, but he did not want to spend the money. Instead, he was more willing to risk not having the product on the store for the trade show.
It’s a good thing he save his $168, because it cost an extra $900 in webmaster time trying to work around the hosting limitations. We won’t talk about the product not being sold because it was not available on the website.
Stop Being Website Cheap
Trying to save a few bucks each month on website hosting is not the way to run a professional website. If you have expectations that your website needs to help grow your business and you can’t invest $20 per month in hosting, as a webmaster, there will only be so much we can do to help you. Hopefully our stories will help convince you that a quality hosting platform is an insurance policy to keep your business up and running.