When shopping for a new car, some people will look for the cheapest deal. They look past high mileage and body rust to find the lowest price. The savvy shopper, however, takes a different approach. They research cars within their budget and take the mileage and body condition into consideration to find one that will hold up over time. The same is true when shopping for a server. You can always find a cheaper deal, but what kind of server management comes with managed hosting? Will you have the tools and support to accomplish your web hosting goals?
Server hosting, like all business expenses, should meet your minimum requirements and strike a balance between price and function. Rather than finding the cheapest option and ticking it off the to-do list, you can choose a hosting provider that will add value to your organization.
Just like with anything, you get what you pay for with web hosting. While you may not need to pay the premium cost for a server, it is important to at least have the basic management covered for your server by a reliable and established service provider. This will maximize the value of your investment and provide you returns in the form of uptime, viewership of your site, and income if you are in the eCommerce industry.
Sticker Price vs. Total Cost of Ownership
The cheapest web hosting available offers bare-bones service and generally does not include the features to meet the minimum requirements of running a web server. Basic necessities like firewall protection, a server control panel, and backups are generally hidden costs that are added on after the fact, in addition to the base hosting price. The true price of the cheapest servers includes the extra cost of these add-ons and more.
Liquid Web offers several backup strategies with multiple layers of protection, painless recovery options, and flexible scheduling.
Even more expensive than the software needed to make a server secure, manageable, and reliable, is the cost of actually managing the server.
If you decide to manage the server yourself, you will incur the additional cost of hiring a server administrator or adding the task onto your IT professional that may already be overburdened. It is important to determine if you have the additional resources to pay for this person, or if the IT professional already working for you has the resources to take on the additional tasks that managing a server can entail. For most businesses, a small investment in a managed server hosting solution ensures that IT staff deliver the highest value to the team, and non-IT staff can perform their jobs without being hindered by delays from IT. With server providers like Liquid Web that offer fully managed hosting, pricing is transparent and includes the proactive monitoring and management, guaranteed uptime and support from Helpful Humans that let your team reach its business goals.
Risk and Consistency
In addition to the predictable extra costs that a cheap hosting solution incurs, there is a range of potential hidden costs. Downtime, data breaches, performance issues, and support delays can have major direct and indirect costs and are all too common for businesses relying on cheap web hosting service.
The importance of consistent website performance, for instance, is easy to overlook. According to marketing analytics firm Kissmetrics, 40 percent of consumers abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, and a single second delay in response time can reduce conversions by 7 percent.
Security breaches are also very expensive, especially compared to a good server host. The average cost of a security breach to a small or medium sized business is $86,500, according to a study from Kaspersky Labs. This means that a single incident on a server hosted by a slow-to-respond provider will wipe out years worth of potential savings.
While it may be tempting to try to save money by finding the server with the lowest price, this approach can fail to deliver the intended benefit while costing more in the long run. Paying a little more each month for quality managed web hosting provides more value to your organization, ensuring website performance while saving employees’ time. The contrast between cheap hosting and high-value service providers becomes striking when an issue arises. When those who choose the cheapest option are left standing beside a smoking wreck at the side of the road, a web host like Liquid Web earns its reputation for excellent value by providing services like protection against malicious attacks and Helpful Humans who answer customer support calls, keeping your business running smoothly.