Hosting charges are often an interesting debate. With so many hosting companies to choose from, how do you pick what’s best for your site?
If you are looking to improve the performance of your website, your hosting is the first place to start.
Most businesses will tell you that their website is a crucial part of their marketing strategy. There are (as of now) roughly 1.27 billion websites on the planet (source). Everyone has a website – from small clubs to larger businesses – they’re all out there online and trying to rank in the search for their own niche and good hosting plays an important part in ranking.
If you’re struggling to work out what hosting is best for you, below are some ‘how to’ tips to choose a hosting package based on requirement, not cost.
1. How important is your website?
Sounds obvious, but it’s one of the first questions we ask our clients (it’s on our website briefing document).
Is your site just an online version of your brochure, an under-used marketing channel or something that is mission critical to your business?
Before you consider a hosting package, simply answer this question – it will inform your hosting choices.
2. No one waits around for a slow website
How many websites have you visited that take just that little bit too long to load?
You’ve Googled something and you’re waiting for the page to load… if you have to wait that extra second – you’re off and back to the next result in your search.
That website that didn’t load in time could have been exactly what you were looking for.
3. What sort of uptime do you want?
100% uptime is a must, correct? If you want your website live 99.99% of the time with allowed outages for maintenance etc then cheap hosting probably isn’t for you.
You’re going to need something far more robust, and that comes at a cost.
4. How much do you value great support?
The cheaper your hosting package, the less likely you’re going to get great support. By this, we mean help from people when you need it that know what they are doing – not a chatbot telling you that your site is not working and it’s your problem.
5. Do you really know enough about hosting to manage it yourself?
Even if you know quite a lot about hosting, it’s very unlikely to be your full-time job to manage it. From our experience hosting is best left to the professionals so you can go and get on with what you’re meant to be doing.
If your website is running slow we can fix it. Try our hosting risk-free for 30 days.Get started with a free site audit
You’ll rarely find great hosting for the price of a pint.
You’ve got a mobile phone – it’s a crucial bit of business kit and it probably costs you between £40–£50 per month.
Your website is also a pretty crucial part of your businesses marketing toolkit, so why think that you can get hosting that’s going to perform well for £3 per month?
Truth is that you can’t.
You can get some form of ‘hosting’ for the price of a pint, but you’re not going to get what your site needs.
Cheap hosting leads to frustrations
We’ve built a lot of sites that our clients then host on cheap accounts.
A lot of time and money goes into designing and building the site, it goes live on a cheap hosting account and then:
a. The site becomes much slower than when it sat on our development servers
b. It frequently ‘hangs’ which makes working on it near impossible
c. It starts to break
d. Vistors start to drop off
The truth here is that the site, whilst being mission-critical, is hosted on a cheap package. There’s probably 100s of other sites hosted on the same server and it’s working to full capacity.
The ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ approach to hosting just does not work for you if your site is important to your business.
Don’t just take our word for it
When we move WordPress sites to our hosting account, we benchmark the site speed before and after the move so you can see for yourself how the move to better hosting has improved your site.
We use tools like:
- Pingdom to measure the load speed
- Google’s Page Speed Insights to look at server response time and other issues that might affect load time
- Time to First Byte to check just how quickly your hosting serving up data to the browser
Free for thirty days
Our hosting accounts will be beneficial for your website (whether we built it or not).
We’re so confident that your site will benefit that we offer 30 days free hosting for your site, providing it meets the following critera:
- It’s built on WordPress
- It’s a single install, not a multisite
- It doesn’t use WooCommerce (we can help with that too, but contact us first)
We don’t even have to touch your current live site.
We’ll run some tests on your live site to benchmark it and then clone it to our secure servers on a temporary domain to demonstrate what a different great hosting makes.
How much does Toast hosting cost?
We can’t answer that without first looking at the resources and environment to best suit your site.
It’s not going to be as cheap as a cup of coffee, it might be around the same as a mobile phone contract, or it could be three-figures a month.
It all depends on your site, but we will not charge you to find out and make suggestions for the best hosting for your website.
Dave is Toast’s Managing Director and also heads up the digital team. He’s been a designer, illustrator and WordPress designer/developer for over 25 years and has worked on various projects across many industry sectors. Dave’s primary area of focus nowadays is website planning, design and UX, SEO and website optimisation, which makes a real positive difference to businesses bottom lines.