As a savvy business/website owner, you’re always looking out for the best deals and ways to save. That’s a smart move, but at what cost? It’s very tempting when you see all those ads for free web hosting to just sign up and never think about it again. After all, isn’t all web hosting the same? You can’t afford dedicated hosting (and don’t need it anyway), so this should be an easy task to tick off your to-do list, right?
Not necessarily, because not all hosts are created equally. There’s a lot more to their difference than price alone.
If you’re looking at a basic shared plan, you should really be looking at BlueHost. They can give you the safety and speed of a dedicated hosting plan. In some instances (like with BlueHost) a hosting package might be a few dollar per month.
The Costs You Don’t See
Does it really matter if you have a subpar plan or host, and your website page loading time is slowed down by a single second? Yes, although you may not realize it.
Every second that your visitors have to wait equates to a percentage of those visitors abandoning your site, while others will decide your site isn’t that great. They may or may not stay on the site, and they certainly won’t be telling other people anything positive about their experience either. Even if you vastly improve, customers are fickle and will always remember your site as “the slow one”. You have one shot to impress them, make it count.
It’s even worse if you have a data breach and the story is picked up by the media – either way you’ll need to tell your customers though. It’s really easy to undo a glowing reputation in the digital era, but immensely difficult to repair it. Consider hosting as part of your branding and security.
Taking Care of Business
If you’re a business owner or freelancer, the cost of web hosting (and all business site related expenses) is a tax write-off. Make sure you include that in the data you give your CPA at the end of the year. The more write-offs you have that are carefully organized, the lower you can get your tax bracket. This can lead to great savings, and a savvy CPA will work with you to ensure you don’t pay anything more than what’s necessary. When an expense is a write-off, suddenly you have a lot more wiggle room.
When it comes to web hosting, the upfront cost is just the beginning. Unless you get into dedicated territory, it should be affordable, but don’t let price alone dictate your decision.