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The question of where to host a website gets asked a lot less than I wish. There isn’t one perfect answer, but it would be nice if we were allowed to weigh in on this topic.

From our perspective as webmasters, we like to recommend services that are easy to use — for everyone, not just our client, but for us as well. Sometimes we encounter hosting solutions have already been set up by our clients, which may be inexpensive, but are ultimately so time consuming to use we have to pass these costs on to our client, because billing for our time is how we are paid.

Why does it take more time?

Sometimes the hosting platform is new to us, and at first, we may need time to become familiar with the hosting interface. That’s not usually a big deal. Once we’ve jumped the learning curve the amount of time dealing with the interface will decrease.

Many times the hosting platform itself is slow. Not only does this impact time spent on maintenance, it can impact a website visitor’s experience too.

Slow is not a word you want associated with your website. Today, SEO ranking algorithms test website speed. In case you’re wondering if your site passes muster, check with Google and they’ll tell you how fast (or slow) your website loads.

It’s true, there are many instances where a site is slow due to its architecture. Sometimes being slow comes from being on a server with too many websites on it or the shared bandwidth is getting slammed with a lot of visitors or overtaxed by websites that are not sharing equally in the amount of resources – you just never quite know.  For instance, if a neighboring website on your hosting server has a lot of large videos not hosted offsite on a service like YouTube or Vimeo, your website will suffer.

Nonetheless, choosing the right hosting is something you can control, and while there is no particular solution we recommend, if the hosting service’s monthly fee is under $10, you might want to reconsider and spend just a little more.

How much should you spend on hosting your website?

In our opinion, a reasonable starting range for reliable website hosting service is $25/month.  Granted you may find that paying annually vs. monthly will yield a nice discount.

Consider your own time into the equation. If services are “cheap” and the number of customers being served is LARGE, then your wait time on a service call could be LONG.

Consider… If you charge $50-$100/hour for your time and you spend 1/2 hour on the phone waiting for service, how will you feel about the $25-$50 you just spent sitting on hold? Oh sure, we don’t often think that way, but it does come down to valuing our own time.

Let’s face it. Many businesses large and small rely upon their website as the foundation to their marketing plan.

Here are 7 Ways Low Cost Hosting Can Hurt a Website’s Success:

  1. Slow websites are penalized by Google’s ranking algorithm.  (I originally wrote this article back in June 2015.  Website speed is even more important than it ever was, when it comes to ranking well in Google’s search results.)
  2. Visitors may not be able to load the website in a timely manner, and, therefore, not stick around to see your terrific website.
  3. Website maintenance takes longer and is, in the long run, costlier.
  4. Low-cost website hosting is often over-taxed by too many websites and the owners, who don’t realize the importance of optimizing images for fast download, create a tax on system, leaving their neighbors sharing a bogged down bandwidth. (This also impacts maintenance support services that are bogged down in the process of uploading website files.)
  5. Limits on services, which may be needed to meet your website’s technical requirements.
  6. Add-on costs for every little thing.
  7. Time lost sitting on hold for customer service.

I can think of a few other reasons, but I’m guessing you get the drift.