Understanding costs for your charity Wordpress website

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We host (and support) websites for our charity clients. 

We tailor our hosting solutions to meet our clients’ needs. We host on 100% renewable Digital Ocean servers. We do everything possible to keep those sites secure and running at optimum performance.

At the same time, some potential clients who come to us question our hosting prices. Typically, if a client has been hosting a site with a large agency, we seem fairly inexpensive. However for clients who have been running their sites on a cheap provider then we seem expensive. I want to address the issue of why some clients have an expectation that hosting should be cheap.

To begin with, low priced hosting services are much more visible than high priced services. If you have bought a domain through a service like GoDaddy or 123-Reg, you’ll see website hosting packages that are incredibly cheap and appealing. More expensive hosting that might provide better quality offerings are harder to find. Higher cost service providers may sometimes be cagey about pricing as they worry that even though they are offering a better product, potential customers won’t go beyond the headline price.

Pricing complex products is difficult. Where consumers are not technical experts, price is a key factor. What’s more, hosting appears invisible (until it goes wrong). It might be seen as being somewhat similar to electricity - it’s all the same so why not buy at the lowest price?

However, not all hosting is the same and selecting your hosting provider is a complex, mission critical decision. These are some things you may want to consider when moving your hosting:

How many sites share your hosting environment? What happens if your site is hosted on a shared server environment and another site hogs all the processing power (perhaps because it is hacked) bringing your site to a halt?

What if the operating system on the server is not regularly patched with performance and security fixes? Are you sure this is being carried out?

What about back-ups? We have encountered clients with sites that were supposedly backed up only to find that the back up procedures were not working.

What if your hosting goes wrong? Are you sure you have a support package that will prioritise you and resolve your issue quickly?

Your website hosting is the foundation upon which your digital presence is built. I do urge anyone looking into hosting to go beyond cheap hosting solutions and seek robust and secure hosting arrangements that they can trust.