Taking ownership of your WordPress hosting could save your business money, as well as a great deal of time and stress.
When I began freelancing I made the decision not to offer web hosting. I was, and continue to be insistent that clients purchase their own web hosting and domain registrations. Now that probably sounds counter intuitive for anyone developing websites. After all it’s an opportunity for an additional revenue stream. I also appreciate that for some clients it would actually be quite helpful. However a decade of experience in dealing with hosting related issues for client projects has convinced me it’s the right decision.
Having ownership of your web hosting can reduce friction for all parties involved. Whether it be better cost control as the owner, smoother development and management processes for the web developer, or improved site performance and availability for the audience. Additionally it can reduce long term costs by mitigating common issues encountered with web hosting.
Why web hosting can be an issue
Let’s consider the most common web hosting issues I have encountered when developing for clients:
- inappropriate or subpar hosting for the website
- a lack of access to the current hosting platform through lost credentials or more commonly not knowing who controls the web hosting
- communication delays between the client and a third party supplier or reseller when resolving issues
- spiralling costs to the client due to a lack of transparency to verify the value of the hosting
Issues like these can cause websites to perform poorly, delay projects and increase costs. In the worst cases they have the potential to result in lost or inaccessible data and income.
By taking ownership of your web hosting you put yourself in control – that gives you the leverage to better manage hosting quality, resources, access, and costs.
You shouldn’t be put off by the technical jargon surrounding web hosting
Many businesses I speak to are quite unsure about purchasing their own web hosting. I suspect the main reason why so many companies delegate the purchasing and management of web hosting to developers is due to a daunting array of choice and technical jargon. It can appear overwhelming, but it not too difficult to find the correct hosting for your WordPress website. All you need is the time to do a little research, and have a clear channel of communication with your developers and wider team to understand your needs.
But before I discuss how to identify the appropriate web hosting for you, I want to make one thing abundantly clear.
Do not buy the cheapest web hosting you can find. This is a sure fire way to end up spending additional money in both the short and long term. As is quite common in day to day life cheap products often have little in the way of value and return, particularly in relation to business. Traditional web hosting for the most part is no different.
What to consider when looking for web hosting
So how do you choose the correct web hosting for your project? In most cases its straightforward, you need to do a little research and have a clear conversation with your web developer. Nine times out of ten this will be sufficient to determine your requirements and ideal budget. Your developer will then likely be able to recommend you a supplier.
So what should you discuss with your web developer when it comes to selecting hosting for your shiny new website?
You need to consider a realistic budget for hosting your website. A budget should be appropriate to the project at hand. For example a simple blog, or marketing website is going to have considerably fewer resource requirements than an e-commerce website. As such your budget for a blog is going to be smaller than an e-commerce website, particularly when you first launch. With time you may find your need to scale to meet visitor numbers and storage for assets like images increases. At which point you may need to review your budget accordingly.
Project requirements and resources
The next consideration is to find a hosting service that meets your projects needs with your budget. As I just mentioned different types of websites have different requirements when it comes to resources and technology. Finding a hosting solution suitable to your project can be more cost effective and most importantly help your website function optimally. Simple static websites could leverage a service like Netlify (potentially for free), whereas a WordPress based website could use a dedicated WP service like Onyx from Kyrstal. On the other hand an e-commerce website might want a managed VPS or dedicated server depending on it’s size and scale – however you will need a larger budget for this type of option. There are too many possibilities to give examples for all here, but just make sure to discuss the needs of your website build with your developers.
Data centre location
Data centre locations are often overlooked when it comes to web hosting selection. Being mindful of your audiences geographical location can be quite important. Whilst the web is a truly international tool, your proposed audience might reside within a particular country or region. As such hosting your website on a data centre within that region or area is beneficial in order to reduce latency for network requests. This can be surprisingly noticeable to users so be mindful of this. Most hosting providers list the countries in which they have data centres, and typically you can choose the one you want. Where this is not the case just be careful to check beforehand. If you do need a more global network then you should consider cloud hosting.
A number of website hosting companies are now offering solutions powered by 100% renewable green energy sources. Krystal are currently my choice as they are UK based. It’s worth shopping around and researching the potential suppliers who meet your initial needs to see if they can also provide you with an environmentally friendly solution too. After all the web is growing in size and using a tremendous amount of power, so lets do what we can.
Let’s wrap this all up then
There are plenty of excellent digital studios and agencies than can help you by providing web hosting solutions. They shouldn’t be discounted, just be sure they are providing you with a good value. If you’re in doubt get a second opinion if possible.
However if you want a little more flexibility and transparency then taking control of your web hosting is a great move:
- You’ll know where your data is hosted and have access to it at all times.
- There won’t be any surprises when it comes to paying your bills.
- You’ll be in a better position if you choose to switch to a new developer or digital agency.
Finally remember it’s important to have good dialogue with your developers about your websites needs, and make sure to allocate an appropriate budget.