One of your first decisions when creating a new website for your business is determining your best hosting option. And you should be aware from the get-go that your host choice can either open doors— or invite dire consequences.
Unless you have technical personnel or a technical background, for most small businesses having an agency or third party host your website and provide regular maintenance is preferable. There are many reasons for this; let’s look at a few of the most consequential.
Generally speaking, if you don’t have someone on staff with a technical background, you’ll want to spend a little more monthly to have a third-party host and maintain your site. Getting some help is especially important if you have an ecommerce website handling sales for your business. If you get a hosting package without regular maintenance built in and your website suddenly breaks after a browser update, do you know how to get it back online? What if you can’t figure it out, and potential sales are missed because customers can’t access your site? This could be detrimental to a small or new business.
Expert-level technical knowledge is crucial for some issues that may arise if you’re responsible for hosting your own site. Unfortunately, if you have to hire someone with those skills, the hiring costs can add up quickly!
Consider: is that your most cost-effective option? For example, the average IT tech makes around $50k annually. And a freelance web developer could charge $75/hour or more. So choosing a $120/year hosting package over a $1,200/ year hosting package may not actually save you money.
Missing sales and opportunities because your website is down is stressful. But the stress goes beyond just missing opportunities: it can affect your sense of well-being. If you’ve chosen to self-maintain your website, YOU (or a staff member you’re paying) will always be on call if there’s an issue, even at odd hours or over holidays.
It can be a pain to deal with, even when you or your staff have excellent technical skills. And if you don’t? What a nightmare!
You’ll have to deal with handling and maintaining servers. You’ll have to choose, maintain, and update your software. For someone who has never done that before, it can be overwhelming, intimidating, and occasionally downright impossible.
Not properly maintaining your server will cause slow load times, buggy software with broken features, and even security issues.
And none of this touches on the amount of time you’ll need to invest in order to keep everything running smoothly. If you’re a business owner, you probably already have most of your time tied up in other aspects of your business. So dealing in-house with website issues could be a genuine inconvenience and a terrible time-suck.
You can save money by opting for a seemingly small monthly fee to host your site, but be sure to take into account the amount of time you and your staff expend. For example, if you find plugins and PHP maintenance to be strenuous, if you struggle with limited server memory, if you spend hours trying to keep your website current only to then face slow loading speeds, it may not be cheaper— you may be adding thousands of dollars to your annual expenses.
If you’re doing everything on your own, you’ll spend more money than if you had chosen a hosting plan that includes regular maintenance and content updates. All of these small costs add up over time and will cost you more in the long run.
So do some calculations. Take everything into account to determine if you’ll end up paying far more with an “inexpensive” plan than other hosting choices— or not. Saving $20 a month should not cost $2000 a year! And the peace of mind is worth something, too.
So the three consequences of your website hosting choice will affect…
- Whether or not you have adequate technical support
- Whether you experience high or low-stress levels
- Whether you achieve cost-effectiveness
If you don’t have the skill level to maintain and host your website, save yourself from the headache and contact us to discuss our different hosting packages. We have various options sure to fit your needs and provide them exclusively to our website development clients!