How cheap hosting can cost you a small fortune

How cheap hosting can cost you a fortune // erineflynn.com

This was originally released as part of my newsletter-exclusive content, but people keep asking me for hosting recommendations, so I’m re-posting it here!

Hey!

You may (or may not) have noticed that I didn’t send out a newsletter in May. The reason why was because I was SWAMPED with moving clients and myself off of a certain (very popular) host to new, reliable, servers.

I think it took about 40 hours and $800 to get everything squared away.

That’s not counting the income I lost by my website and email being down (and a potential client walking away), or the projects I was unable to take on because I was busy moving clients off my reseller account and fixing problems.

Plus a lot of mental energy and stress.

In total, my old website host cost me somewhere between $800–$7,000.

Which is why in this newsletter I’d like to talk about the importance of GOOD hosting and my new recommendations.

Where you are hosted matters!

It’s incredibly important that your host have great uptime and support services. What good is a host you can’t even get in touch with or that is always down?!

Keep in mind that actual 100% uptime is pretty much impossible.

But your website should never be down for HOURS at a time. My website (and consequently my email) was down for about 24 hours, which KILLED a deal and made me seem unreliable. Who wants to buy a website from someone whose own website isn’t working?

Customer service is vital!

Do you know how to get in touch with your host? Do they respond promptly? Do they actually know what they’re talking about? The host I was with claims that they have great support, but when it really mattered, it was terrible. The best I got was a tweet saying they were “working on it” which wasn’t very helpful when I had to report back to clients what was going on.

Don’t host clients.

Unless you really want to be their sole point of contact at all hours of the day and night and not be able to help them. This was the worst part of the server problems–I had a reseller account and hosted clients; when the server was down, not only was MY website and email down, but so was theirs! My poor choice of host affected their businesses as well–and there was nothing I could do to help get things back online.

Hosts I’m digging

I did a LOT of research and finally narrowed down to three hosts that I am really loving.

Flywheel – If you’re looking for easy-to-use WordPress hosting, look no further! Flywheel is designed JUST for WordPress, and whether you’re a designer or a DIYer, they make it easy–they’ll even migrate your site for you, for free! Since they ONLY host WordPress sites, they know exactly how to pinpoint problems and provide great support! And if you’re a designer, you can create your client’s site and let them check it out before making it live and paying for hosting! (The downside to Flywheel is that they don’t host emails, so you’ll need to setup email accounts through Google apps or similar.)

LiquidWeb – As much as I love Flywheel, I run other applications than just WordPress, so I needed a host that could handle the weird stuff I throw on my server. Liquid Web has got to have some of the best tech support I’ve ever experienced! They are SUPER fast to respond, helped me fix all sorts of errors and problems I had migrating my site, and so far I’m thrilled with them!

Piece of Cake Hosting – I almost went with Piece of Cake, but it wasn’t the perfect fit for what I needed (as I mentioned, I really like to mess around with stuff), but they offer AMAZING service with their hosting. A bit pricier, I think they’re totally worth it and will likely be using them for any clients who need more than just WordPress installed.
One of the things I love about Piece of Cake is that they’re a small team, so you always have the same support team to chat with and get help from. PLUS, they help clients get everything set up, offer backups and security, and are run by the lovely Erin Pheil who is a kick-ass person who goes waaaay out of her way to deliver amazing customer service.

tl;dr

I realize this is quite lengthy, but long story short: pay the extra money for a GREAT host, don’t go with a cheap alternative–it may cost you a lot more in the end.

Where do you host your website?

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Comments

  1. Liz says

    I host with HostClearly, but I also work with them (a year after I became hosted), so having clients hosted through it just makes it easier for me (and for them), because I can still manage something directly if I need to.

    Some hosting companies may actually partner with designers and the like, and offer support to their clients in return for discounted design services for them/their clients. Just takes asking. :p

    In addition to the 100% uptime being nonexistent, I think it’s also worth mentioning that unlimited space doesn’t exist, either. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers freak out over their cheaper host with the unlimited space suspending their blogs/having many problems/etc. because they didn’t get “unlimited” like promised, which is usually also defined further in the company’s legal documents. It’s the same as advertising a spill-proof sippy cup that leaks when you don’t close it right and expecting it to not leak anyway.

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