Frequently asked question - what website hosting should I use?Website hosting is simply where all your website files are stored, and your ‘host’ makes your website available for everyone to see on the web.

Your website hosting is an important choice for any business. Why?

Here’s 3 quick reasons to choose your website hosting carefully:

  1. Customer experience. You want your website to reliably be available to potential customers 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. It damages your reputation, your search rankings and loses you leads and sales if your website isn’t available or ‘down’ – or even if it’s simply ‘slow’.
  2. You want your website host to have a serious focus on cybersecurity, so that any information stored on your website is safe, and so that your website doesn’t get hacked (it’s a thing sadly).
  3. Your time and resources. Over the years, we’ve seen the amount of lost time, stress and frustration caused when for one reason or another website hosting causes issues with your website working.

There is no ‘perfect’ website host. Hosting relies on many, many moving parts and cybersecurity has never been a bigger issue than it is today.

What website hosting do you use?

The website host we use is Siteground.

Why? Because over the years, it’s the host that has been the most reliable. It’s not the cheapest. It’s not the most expensive. It meets our needs and I know that if things go wrong, we get back up and running quickly thanks to reliable backups, good customer service and an easy to use customer portal.

Siteground allows us to self-manage our hosting easily, and their customer service is responsive. There are also few ‘hidden costs’ (we do opt-in for Site Scanner). The hidden costs we have come across on other website hosting includes upgrades when we want to do (what we call ‘simple’) tasks like:

  • add a subdomain,
  • setup email hosting through Microsoft 365 or Google Suite
  • setup security certificates (SSL)

Siteground is not the cheapest and not the most expensive. If you are looking to move your WordPress website they do the migration for you. We also opt into the Site Scanner for security (peace of mind).

Their backup is reliable and very user friendly.

The first year IS cheap, but the second year the price goes up (the non-discount price). Still, it works and that’s what you need – and compared to the cost of ‘downtime’ their hosting is very fair and reasonable.

We have worked with customers on many different website hosts, and seen many issues, so something that just works is (for our peace of mind) worth it to avoid the hassle, disruption and impact on customer experience.

The cost of website hosting outages

Many businesses don’t know the cost of their website being down – until it happens. The cost varies depending on the type of business (for larger ecommerce stores it can be an eye-watering amount). “The average cost of downtime is $5,600 per minute, according to a 2014 study by Gartner. A more recent report (from Ponemon Institute in 2016) raises Gartner’s average from $5,600 per minute to nearly $9,000 per minute. For small businesses, that number drops to the lower-but-still-significant tune of $137 to $427 per minute. And where your company falls on this very wide spectrum depends on a number of factors, including industry vertical, organization size, and business model.“ – read the full article on Atlassian.

It’s fine, our website developer looks after our website hosting

Great!

If you have a good website developer, and they look after things that’s fantastic. BUT here’s a couple of things to consider:

  • Have your own set of keys. Seriously – you might have a caretaker you trust, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have your own set of keys to your building / business / store. We all know the say that “XXXX happens”. Your website is a valuable asset, protect it like you would a physical asset. This is simple risk management – and trust me, managing it before it becomes an issue is the best path forward.
  • Setup a free account using a service like Uptime Robot that can notify you if there’s issues with your website (like downtime) then you can be notified of any ‘downtime’ and work with your website developer to resolve. Please note, all websites will have some downtime. Website hosts normally have an ‘uptime’ guarantee or some performance guarantee.

What else should I look for when choosing my website hosting?

Website hosting can get complex when looking at and evaluating options. There’s a range of tech language and developer level considerations. Then, as mentioned, there’s the hidden costs you won’t know about until you’ve made the leap. Frustrating, I know.

Suppliers also play an essential role in your sustainability and social governance journey.

For example, Siteground uses Google Cloud as their main data center (all website hosts have their data stored somewhere). Google Cloud have “achieved 100% annual renewable energy matching every year since 2017, we’re now focused on achieving our moonshot goal of 24/7 carbon-free energy (CFE) by 2030, purchasing clean energy generated from an increasingly diverse set of technologies to decarbonize grids across the globe.”. You can learn more on the Google Cloud website.

Does this mean Siteground is the most sustainable? No. We haven’t gone that deep just yet!

Has this article been useful? Is there anything else you would like to know? Get in touch.