How much does web hosting cost really?

When I first began as a freelancer during college I found it really easy to get clients based on one thing.

Don’t rip off clients for web hosting.

It’s not about the cost. Really.

It’s just over promising and over selling what they actually were giving to the client. People who were told they were on a virtual server and were actually on a reseller shared hosting package.

Shared hosting is like a server being used like a bad landlord. They just want anyone in the door. They add restrictions to prevent one tenant of the server from using up too many resources. Sometimes when one website gets infected all of the websites will get a similar problem.

More like if your website is a .com address all day long some hacker is probing and trying different password combinations to your admin login pages.

Do you use a secure password? If your password is a word then it isn’t good enough. Dictionaries of words and all known passwords. Think about it how likely is it someone else used the same password? Is this password on a list already? Not only that password hashes are being decrypted at an alarming rate. If your password has any likelihood that anyone else on earth has used it and they’ve been hacked??? Then your password is likely compromised too as it’s probably on a list or the hash has already been cracked.

There are a lot of advantages for just paying for your own if this is the case. Your web design guy is probably still pretty new in the business if he’s using shared hosting. There are pros and cons of using a learner. As for the price when comparing to a professional? It works out the same if the learner works tirelessly and doesn’t bill for all the hours lost when they had no clue what to do. One benefit of shared hosting is that if you ensure that you bought and paid for the domain name with your own account they should transfer the website files to you if you are having disputes with the web designer –but you might have to buy a hosting package from them yourself in order to do this.

A VPS is a next step up. It’s like renting out an entire floor in the building (continuing with the web server as a building analogy). Not only that, you also get a private entrance with a  guaranteed size of doorway (A constant speed which cannot be affected by the other people using the hardware) and full control over the web server with nothing being shared with any other users.

So lets now talk about the price.

Shared Hosting
£5 - £15, per month
1 website
limited email accounts
limited number of databases
no direct server access
Reseller Shared Hosting
£40-£60, per month
unlimited websites
unlimited email accounts
unlimited databases
Only the reseller has direct access
Virtual Private Seller
£10 - ludicrous, per month
unlimited websites
unlimited email accounts
unlimited databases
Direct access as the norm

Now there are some points you need to know about the Reseller of Shared Hosting. When the web guy signs up for reseller he essentially pays a fixed fee for the ability to cram as many people as they can into their providers shared hosting packages. Now normally this might seem like a bargain that you are a customer would be able to take advantage of unlimited websites, unlimited email accounts etc.. but you most likely won’t be able to. Reselling companies allow the reseller to be able to turn things off or limit your usage of the server. You see, this is how the reseller expects to make their money. They turn off the unlimited services and give you limited service and then bill you extra for turning them back on again. The reselling company also expects this so they don’t assume that resellers will start filling up their servers with a thousand websites each at 10p a month hosting. They really could do this if they wanted to though but it’s not sustainable for either the reselling company or the reseller themselves so this is why this doesn’t happen.

You see, this is how the reseller expects to make their money. They turn off the unlimited services and give you limited service and then bill you extra for turning them back on again. The reselling company also expects this so they don’t assume that resellers will start filling up their servers with a thousand websites each at 10p a month hosting. They really could do this if they wanted to though but it’s not sustainable for either the reselling company or the reseller themselves so this is why this doesn’t happen.

So what is my honest opinion and verdict on all of this?

Are you paying a lot for hosting and its taking more than 5-10 seconds to load the page? Your web guy has you on reseller hosting.

You are paying a lot for hosting and you never really need website updates or management all too often? Just buy your own shared hosting package and save money and keep control.

If your website is vital to your business there is no excuse not to get a VPS. You can have something 3x the speed of shared hosting for around £20 a month. The caveat? You need someone who can first set it up and maintain it when things go wrong. Now, this is the big downside because what does your management screen look like for a VPS?

See below…

Now for the untrained eye, this might seem a bit confusing but what I actually did was just synchronise the local files on my computer to the web server. What happens if something is wrong? I just type a command and it reverts back. In fact, I can have a copy and save point for every single line of code. You just cannot do things like this on shared hosting.

Now I’ve been tooting the horn of running your website on a VPS but is there something else? I’m a Geek with a capital G. In fact one of the very first things I did when I came on board with Jem Digital was to remove all of our websites from a shared hosting reseller package and set up a dual server setup which can perfectly provide the needs of our customers and I will try to explain how.

Private Server
Contains the Databases
Contains Incremental backups of all website changes for every website.
Has server backups (can restore the entire server from weekly backups)
High level security with Secure Socket layer
Grows Vertically
Public Server
Contains the website files and any files that users would upload
No backups
Low level security
Grows horizantally
 

We keep all the websites in what is known as the DMZ (demilitarised zone). The website that everyone visits is the same level of security as any other kind of shared hosting but not everything vital to the server remains here. The private server holds the databases and the backups and isn’t even accessible using a password. Only special verified computers may access this server using the key file. It is so secure you could theoretically keep one copy of the key on a USB stick and only people with that USB would be able to edit the private server. A vertical growing server means that in order to increase performance the power and size of the server will need to be increased this means the price of this server would increase.  A horizontally growing server would mean that in order to increase performance we would just create more copies of the same server.

Would you like to chat with me about your current hosting to decide which option is best for you? Don’t hesitate to contact us and quote this blog post in your subject header and I will personally give you a little email or call back to discuss your wants and needs further.

Contact JemDigital

–Best Regards,

Stephen

May, 23, 2017

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