Website hosting: What are your options?


There are so many options when it comes to hosting, and it get get confusing. So we thought we’d break it down, let you know your options so you can make an informed decision.

Knowing your options

We’ve split this into 4 sections:

  • Hosting through GoDaddy or whichever company you bought the domain through
  • Choosing a different cheap third-party provider
  • Hosting your site on a dedicated server
  • Opting for a Hosting and Maintenance package through a company like Dawn.

Free hosting through your domain provider

If you choose to host through GoDaddy, 123Reg, Wix, or any of the “Free” hosting providers which you may have bought your domain from, you’ve got pros and cons.

Pros

  • Can be very cheap
  • You already have an account with them
  • Directly associated with your website already
  • Multiple servers across the globe
  • For a small business or startup, this will likely be all you need

Cons

  • May not have enough storage. For example, free Wix sites only come with up to 500MB of storage and up to 1GB bandwidth.
  • Plugins aren’t updated for you
  • This isn’t “managed” hosting, meaning your website isn’t being constantly checked for updates
  • The “99.9% uptime” you see has its caveats. More detail below, derived from GoDaddy’s Ts and Cs:

If GoDaddy fails to maintain its promised 99.9% uptime in a particular month, customers can request a credit of 5% of their monthly hosting fee for that month. This credit can only be used for the purchase of further products and services from GoDaddy and is exclusive of any applicable taxes.

However, it’s important to note that the uptime guarantee does not apply to service interruptions caused by several factors, including:

Scheduled maintenance or repairs undertaken by GoDaddy; Interruptions caused by customers from custom scripting, coding, or the installation of third-party applications; Outages that do not affect the appearance of a website but merely affect access to it, such as FTP and email; Causes beyond GoDaddy’s control or that are not reasonably foreseeable; Outages related to the reliability of certain programming environments.

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Choosing a different cheap third-party provider

Pros

Prices can be really cheap. If you have a simple website that drives low traffic and you don’t rely on it too heavily in terms of sales (and could afford for something to happen to it), cheap hosting is probably going to be good enough for you.

Cons

When choosing a hosting provider, you need to consider speed, reliability, uptime, security and that the hosting package has enough resource for the site and its potential growth.

Cheaper hosting providers may not provide the reliability you want, or the support you might just need if something goes wrong with your website. There’s definitely something to be said for being able to drop someone an email or call and get things fixed on the spot.

As a general rule, the cheaper the hosting, the more likely it is that the servers will be slow, go down more often, have a less reliable provider who will take ages to respond and fix any issues, have smaller server space and could be more prone to being hacked.

Hosting your site on a dedicated server

If you’ve got the money and you want complete control over your server settings, operating system, configuration and resource usage, this is the option for you.

Pros:

Your own server

If you go for a cheap hosting option, you’ll be on a shared server. With dedicated hosting, you’ve got the place to yourself.

Peak Performance

Without the competition for resources, dedicated servers mean increased performance. This is perfect for high-traffic websites, extensive data storage, or running multiple sites at the same time.

Better security, more flexibility, higher scalability and management of the server are all further benefits that can come with dedicated servers.

Cons

The biggest downfall here is the price. Prices for dedicated server hosting range from £30-£150 (£180-£900 in extreme cases) each month (source).

Hosting and Maintenance package

Packages that offer both hosting and maintenance add another level of convenience to you and your team. Managed hosting means not just offering space on a server; but ongoing maintenance of the website/s, making sure they’re fully updated on the latest versions with updated plugins so that the website is as secure as possible.

Pros

Your website will remain fully updated, which positively impacts the speed of the site. You’ll have a direct contact who will be able to assist in not just updates to the plugins, but in some cases will be able to help with any other request relating to the website.

If for any reason your website did go down or you did something in the back-end that has somehow made the whole website crash (we’ve seen it happen!), we’re always on hand for emergency calls, too.

Our hosting and maintenance packages start at £50 (the majority of our clients use this package).

Cons

£50 per month is more expensive than some are willing to spend on hosting, and if you’re happy to update your plugins yourself and have a web developer who can do the maintenance for you, this may not be needed.

(Craig pictured below, our Digital Director who manages many of our clients’ websites)

Looking for a better hosting partner?

Get in touch

If you’re looking for a hosting and maintenance solution for your business, get in touch with the digital team at Dawn today.