It happens all the time.
You want to get a website up for your business. The first step — choose a domain and hosting company. Your goal is to get the most affordable/cheapest solution. Okay, this is exactly where the story starts to go downhill.
First — hosting is NOT where you want to cut costs with your business.
But "You" do. Yes, the ads are tempting and their sites look impressive. They say all the right things to make you think "I can do this on my own and it's a great price!" — "Create a Website in 11 Minutes," affordable, plus, includes, and on and on.
I get it, if you aren't a technical person, it's not an easy landscape to understand. This is exactly why they use these bright loud advertising tactics — ya know kinds like the used car lot or the dollar store.
Here are a few you want to avoid — just to name a few: oneandone.com, godaddy.com, netfirms.com, and more.
Just Don't Do It.
Top 10 Reasons*:
- Slow Speed
- Behind on Technology
- High Prices for Necessary Items (example SSL certificate)
- Poor Customer Service
- Hard to Cancel the Account
- Billing is Hard to Understand
- Random Charges
- Account Dashboard is Hard to Navigate
- Hard for Your Developer to Use
- Will Make Your Developer Grumpy :}
*If you need any horror stories to convince you just ask me - I have saved many clients from the downsides of poor hosting.
Here are the two companies I recommend:
Flywheel and Siteground
Pricing: Starts as little as $13 a month*
Includes: an SSL certificate and a staging site (for testing)
Dramatic changes in Speed! I've seen dramatic changes in the speed of my client's websites once we moved their hosting to Flywheel. I offer a monthly maintenance plan for my clients. 90% of my clients are with either Flywheel or Site Ground and I can tell you when I do the updates it is by far much faster and reliable! Hence a happy developer 🙂 Note numbers 9 and 10 above.
The customer service is outstanding.
I use their chat service and they are always extremely helpful and offer solutions and explanations (I love that part!).
*I recommend getting your hosting with an agency account. If your designer or developer is offering Flywheel hosting through their business you will have the top-level support and plan. I do this for my clients.
Pricing: Starts as little as $3.95 a month*
Includes: an SSL certificate, CDN, (Does Not include a staging site at the lowest cost)
Again Much Faster than the Dollar Store Type Hosting: Typically I have clients on this site with a smaller budget. SiteGround is great. The sites are much faster with this hosting.
The hosting is very reliable. Their "help" documents are very easy to follow if you don't mind reading through how-to pages.
The customer service is good.
I feel like their customer service is a tad harder to navigate than Flywheel.
User Experience in Account is "Okay". As well as the user experience of the site. I'm familiar enough with their site but feel like for the novice it can be trickier than Flywheel. This would come down to the billing and account settings.
The bottom line is where you host your website can make a huge difference to your customer's online experience.
Given the choice you would choose the storefront location that gets the most visual traffic versus the space around the back of the strip mall.
Do you have a slow site or poor hosting and don't know where to start? How to move your site? Slow speeds? Charges you don't understand?