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Why Cheap Website Hosting Costs More than You Think

Companies that choose the cheapest hosting providers can expect to pay for those savings in the form of lost potential business.

As a company that provides full-service web site design, development and search engine optimization services, it’s not uncommon for industrial businesses that have asked for a quote to want proceed with the core services we offer but scoff at website hosting.

After all, a buck is a buck, and if a company can save $20 or $30 a month by hosting it with a cheap national provider, why wouldn’t they do that?

From our 20 years of experience of saving clients from themselves, here’s a few reasons why:

1. Site Security and Maintenance – Hosting your site with an inexpensive hosting provider really only works if you have your own experienced, internal technical staff to keep up with the regular requirements of site software updates, security patches and other maintenance issues.

Sites built with common open-source Content Management Systems like WordPress and Joomla, regularly need to be checked for updates that fix bugs and protect sites from newly discovered vulnerabilities. A cheap hosting provider won't track notices issued by trade publications or software companies warning of possible issues that could impact your website (like this: http://www.thesempost.com/wordpress-plugin-admin-backdoor/) or provide technical assistance to keep your site up-to-date with the latest versions of your website or blog software.

Additionally, site performance issues caused by incompatibilities between the site’s CMS and server software can become a big headache to troubleshoot and fix since you won’t have access to or knowledge of the exact setup of the server your site is on. This can lead to many hours of a valuable technician’s time, which eats up any expected cost savings.

2. Site Speed and Performance – Ever clicked on a link in Google and waited, waited, waited for the chosen website to load?  How many pages of that site were you willing to wait for before you got frustrated, backed out and found another similar website to visit?

Companies that choose the cheapest hosting providers can expect to pay for those savings in the form of lost potential business.  Slow websites cause otherwise interested site visitors to reconsider their decision to visit your site, and oftentimes result in the dreaded bounce.  Check your bounce rate in Google Analytics – if it’s over 60% (meaning 60% of the people who visited your site left after seeing one page), you may have a site speed issue that’s causing you to lose out on many prospective customers.

The only way that inexpensive, “affordable” hosting is available is that those companies load hundreds of websites on a single server with shared bandwidth.  If your site is on the same server as a popular retail site at Christmastime, you can expect to see a big drag on your download speed. Worse yet, if the hosting company enables sites to send out e-mail spam, your site and company can find itself suffering when it gets blacklisted by Internet providers that associate your business site with that of a spammer because of a shared IP address.

3. Search Engine Optimization – So, you spent all the time and investment to optimize your website so that it would perform well on search engines, but then decided to host it on a cheap server. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

Google has added site speed to its search algorithm as an additional way to measure site quality. Their theory is that Internet users don’t want to waste their time waiting for slow websites, so Google pushes slow websites farther down the rankings, regardless of the optimization effort. Similarly, the search engine giant added mobile-friendliness to its algorithm, rewarding responsive sites with higher search rankings in mobile search because those sites would be easier for cellphone users to read and use.

Pilot Fish offers full-service hosting for all its clients so that we can control all the variables that impact site security, maintenance and performance. After all, why build a beautiful industrial website and optimize it if you’re not going to ensure that it performs at the highest level to generate new leads and business.

For information about our website design, SEO and hosting programs, fill out our form or call 877-799-9994 ext. 2104.