Reliable web hosting is worth paying for

Web hosting is not something to be skimped on. Too often small businesses, charities and the self-employed go with the least expensive option, regardless of the practical implications. And too often these businesses and charities come to regret their decisions.

Let me give you a prime example:

I have a particular client for whom I have done a fair amount of print work: magazine adverts mostly. After working together for over a year, my client has asked me to design and produce a new website for them – which of course I was happy to do.

Screen shot of a CpanelAs we dug into the project, I had occasion to interact with the hosting company that my client uses. (My client had an existing website and therefore had this ramshackle of a hosting company in place by the time I became involved.) Whilst the initial hosting package may have seemed reasonable, it did not come with any of the normal packages. No Cpanel control (see screen shot to the left) – just some limited functionality login system that allows for nominal control. When we enquired about a subdomain (to use in building the new website), the company said that that was too much like another hosting account, so if we wanted one, they would charge the full hosting account price! The hosting company also does not offer the download of raw access logs via FTP; that can be done only via its control panel and only by individually accessing one day’s log per download. (Oh, and their system will only store 14 days’ worth of logs.)

What may have seemed to be a less expensive offer in the end costs my client more money and more time. This web host is a classic example of the sort of company I recommend against using.

So how much should you pay for web and email hosting? Well, it depends on what sort of functionality you need, but most small to medium businesses should be fine with packages starting at around £100.00 per year … which is not a lot of money when considering the importance of a company website in today’s marketplace.

Web hosting is just like everything else in business: it’s value for money that counts. Paying £25.00 for web hosting may seem like a good idea when on a budget, but if you then need some sort of tech support, how much help would you expect to get for £25.00?