What to look for in website hosting with prices
Website hosting only is just asking for your business to fail and not grow. As business owners, we all want our businesses to grow, thrive, and reach our expectations. Website hosting alone is a "Field of Dreams" where you build it and "Hope they come."
What is website hosting?
Website hosting is the actual "plot of land" your website is on. Whether you have a shared hosting (think apartment complex) account or dedicated Hosting (think of an individual house), your website has to sit somewhere in the cloud.
Webhosting alone is like hiring an employee, welcoming them in, doing a quick one-time introduction to the staff, giving them a chair, and putting them into the corner in HOPES they bring your business. You could hit the lightning in the bottle, and your business grows, or, most likely, your website does nothing, and you blame your web developer for doing a horrible job marketing your business. In this case, the problem isn't the web developer but you, the business owner. You ASSUME that just by having a website, your business will grow. That is the furthest thing from the truth.
What type of websites need web hosting?
All of them! Whether you are on WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or plain HTML, you need web hosting. If you chose WiX or Squarespace, you have to host as well. WiX and Squarespace manage it for you as part of their core services. When your Hosting is managed for you it's called managed Hosting.
What is managed website hosting?
Managed Hosting ranges from the bare minimum to more advanced. I will outline what every managed web hosting should include and what other tears of hosting will offer. Different levels of managed Hosting will cost you more money as they provide more features for you.
Every plan offered by Business Yeti offers everything below and more no matter what solution you provide.
All Managed Hosting Provides
- Website Hosting: Yes, you get website hosting where your website is seated as you do in unmanaged hosting above.
- Core Updates: You receive the core updates to your content management system (CMS) for WordPress. Joomla and Drupal sometimes cost more depending on the host.
- Backups: Your website will be backed up. Normally on a weekly basis. Some are more or less frequent.
- Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN is a way to speed up and offload processing power from your website and put information closer to your customer. Most managed plans will include a level of CDN, often the free teir.
- Monitoring: Your hosting company will monitor the web server that it is operational. This will include the hard drives, network interface, and operating system are running and active.
Additional Managed Hosting Provides
These items may or may not be included as part of your managed plan. For Business Yeti clients everything below is included, even on our Core Plan.
- Advanced Monitoring: Taking the standard monitoring and adding additional monitoring options.
- monitoring your website page(s) you define as running and returning a status code of 200 (everything loaded OK).
- monitoring your website page(s) you define as running, return a status code of 200, and specific text exists on those pages.
- Content Delivery Network (CDN): You move beyond the free tier and receive additional CDN features.
- Backups: Your backup frequency increases to daily if it isn't already there. Some will move you from monthly to weekly but these are now, thankfully, rare.
- You will also be able to store more backups for restoring. You want to make certain that there is a plan to test your backups and not when you need them do to a problem.
- Test Servers: You will receive the ability to create a test server to test the program updates. You will make a clone of your live website so that you can avoid as much site disruption as possible.
- Create a test site (copied from the live site)
- Perform updates
- Test that the updates "took" and everything appears to be working
- Merge the test site back to production (live website)
- Note: Test servers are also key in testing that your backups are actually working!
- Plugin Updates: Updating your core system is important. The problem with just the core system being updated is that the core CMS (Content Management System) are secure. It is the plugins that cause security issues. With plugin updates, you can be assured your plugins are continually kept updated.
- Virus / Malware Protection: You protect your computer and phone from malware and viruses. You need to do the same for your website as well.
- Firewall: To help protect your website from hackers you should have a firewall. There are two types of firewalls and we encourage the use of both.
- Hardware Firewall: This is a physical device, basically a dedicated computer, that helps protect your website.
- Software Firewall: This type of firewall runs on your website.
- Form Testing: You have one or more forms on your website. Do they work? Is there a plan to test them to make certain they are working? Are they being delivered to the right individuals? You should be testing your forms on a monthly basis.
- Developer/Designer Time: This can be used for either updates to pages, adding new pages, tweaking graphics, etc. The number of hours will always vary based on your needs but this is often one of the most critical components as it helps force business owners to use their web developer which helps them grow their business.
- Email: Not everyone needs Google Docs or Microsoft 365. This is where our email services come into play. You can have email at yourdomain.com rather than @aol.com or another consumer-level email address. Part of marketing your business is putting your best foot forward and email is often one of the first items someone sees, even before your website!
Often not included but you need
- Local SEO: This is where you can talk to Alexa and ask a question and have your business come up, type in "X business near me", business name, etc. You want to be found so that your business grows.
- Web Development / Updates: Beyond
For complete transparency, all of the solutions Business Yeti offers include the above, with pricing starting at $99.95/month.
- Website Hosting - Free - $30/month
- Managed Hosting - $30-150/month
- Managed Hosting (with additional services, like Local SEO) - $100-300 / month
The reason there are ranges is every company charges based on several factors and their business model determines the price. We have seen hosting alone for $199-299/month. The prices are all over the board and shoping around will help you make an informed and educated decision. The worst thing any business owner can do is just going with the first solution, even if it's us. We want you to make a great choice to grow your business!