What is the true cost of hosting a website?
Consider how the following items will be managed when selecting your hosting platform.
SSL: A factor for successful search you can't afford to let slip
Do you have time to update your SSL certificate every year? Recently, a client, the owner, reached out for help to update the SSL certificate for their site. The SSL provider was a legacy service set up years before with a popular, low -cost, domain registrar and SSL certificate provider. This company was still being leveraged after a site redesign. Got into the self-serve platform and what should have taken a few minutes, took multiple phone calls with long hold times, emails, and verification attempts just to get the new certificate created and in-hand. Then it still needed to be sent to the hosting team to upload.
Upgrades, Updates, and Security
Who is maintaining and upgrading the server software that is necessary to provide infrastructure for your website’s installation on that server? Who is keeping all those major Word Press, Drupal, Joomla, or—insert your CMS platform here—upgrades up to date for you? If they are not updated along with all the plugins that support any customized or special functionality your website requires, then your site is at risk for security issues and brute force attacks. Does your hosting have all the most up to date security tools in place to protect your site or does that come at an additional price or are you hoping that a forward-thinking developer added those plug-ins for you.
Did you move some content to a new URL? There are more processes to support create that redirect and potentially involving multiple people and platforms. Now you need to create a .txt file with the coded details of the redirect and upload that to the right place on the hosting server or set up the redirect as a new record where you have the root domain registered
Do you need a CDN to accommodate hosting all the content and assets on your site? Does it have capacity limitations that can stop the post of a great new piece of content to your site while a developer is pulled in to address the settings or a server administrator increases the level at an additional cost. How many people are involved at your expense—whoa, what? Expense? This was supposed to be an inexpensive hosting solution….
Back ups and version history
Your site went down. The server crashed or was hacked and now it is a scramble to get it back up. When you finally do get the site back up, you discover that many recent updates have disappeared. The staging site was not up to date or the developer did not have all the recent code changes in the repository. Your hosting provider may have snapshots but the only renew weekly or monthly and did not capture the recent changes. Now you wonder why you did not have real time back-ups.
Bottom line, cheap costs more for hosting websites. Consider platforms that are going to provide more robust, integrated solutions. The upfront costs will seem much higher than the cost of many popular hosting providers but once you add up everything listed in this article along with the number of people and disparate systems involved, the pricer platforms become more attractive.
We like HubSpot. For $3,600 a year we never have to think about:
- SSL renewals
- Asset Storage
- Software Updates
- Integrator updates
- Back Ups
- Version History
All this is addressed in one spot by a vast team we never need to interface with—saving time, frustration and $$$$$$$.