Web Hosting for Small Business

small-business-website-hostingMy company launched a managed web hosting service in 2011. When clients see what we charge for web hosting, I’m often asked why we charge so much. For the record, the pricing (although this is subject to change in the future of course…this is just a blog post), is as follows:

  • $50/mo for the first website
  • $27/mo for the second
  • $17/mo for every website after that

I’m often reminded that companies like GoDaddy and Bluehost offer hosting for a much lower price tag. This is true.

And it’s not so much an issue of one solution being better than another. It’s simply a matter of finding the solution that’s the best fit for you. We didn’t launch our website hosting service to compete with the likes of Bluehost. That would be foolish. The reason we launched a hosting service at all was in response to client needs.

Clients were hosting their websites on inexpensive servers, and this is what we were running into:

  1. Most clients weren’t maintaining regular backups of their websites. This means if anything ever breaks or gets hacked, there’s a high probability that your website can, literally, be gone for good. As in, straight up gone. Unrecoverable. No way to get it back. Gotta start all over from scratch. Backups are very important, and very few clients were keeping up on that.
  2. Databases were not being optimized. This causes websites to run slowly, which causes visitors to get impatient and leave.
  3. When something needed tweaked or when something was broken, clients were getting frustrated that their web host kept telling them they didn’t support their website. They were being told that the server their website was on was working fine (which it was), and that’s all they covered. If there’s something going on with your website, it’s up to you to figure out how to fix it. Bottom line, cheap web hosts cover hosting. That’s it. Anything you install on that hosting account is up to you to maintain.
  4. Clients wanted to grow their business. They wanted to get more traffic to their website. They wanted to get more leads and better conversions. They wanted to make their websites work better and get better results, and their web host left them hanging on all that. Go figure it out on your own.

Let’s be honest…how much support can you expect for $5-10 a month? Would you work for your boss, take all their calls, help them with anything they asked for and be at their beck and call 24 hours a day for a month straight, for $10? Of course you wouldn’t. Neither will your web hosting company. It’s just not a business model that works.

How Web Hosts Make their Dinero

So what’s the solution? What these cheap web hosts do is they set up one server, and they sell 1,000-2,000 websites. And they host all of them on that one server. Seriously…that’s not an exaggeration. That way they can maintain one server and make $5-10k a month off that one server. You would work full time for $5-10k a month, wouldn’t you? So would your web host. And that’s what they do. And they can even afford to hire some help with all that money coming in. But keep in mind, they still need to field support calls from a lot of people now. Not one, not two…but TWO THOUSAND. Two thousand people now want their websites to be working well, and your cheap web host has to take all those calls, answer all those questions and provide all that support. Two thousand people is a lot of people.

By the way, how does your computer run when you open up a program and try to use it? Probably works just fine, right? How does it work when you try to run 50 programs all at the same time? It starts to run a little slower, doesn’t it? Imagine what your computer would look like if you tried to run 2,000 programs…all at the same time, 24 hours a day. That’s what these servers at your cheap web host are doing. So when things run slowly, that’s why.

So…Dang! What’s the Solution?

Again, it’s not about what solution is better or worse. It’s just about finding the solution that’s right for you. Let’s be honest. $5-10 a month for web hosting is a damn good deal. It’s just that you also get what you pay for. You knew that was coming, didn’t you? You get what you pay for. Dammit! I was trying not to say it, and then I went and said it twice in one paragraph.

Let’s get straight to it. What did R World Properties (that’s the name of my company, if you didn’t already know) come up with? And why do we charge so damn much for web hosting? Well, here’s the deal. This is what we do that the cheap web hosts don’t do: 

  1. We maintain daily database backups of your website. This means your content, your main website settings, your search engine optimization settings and all the main data on your website is backed up every day, automatically.
  2. We maintain weekly complete backups of your website. This means all your pictures, your theme files and all the big stuff (video files, images, photo galleries, etc) are all backed up regularly also, automatically.
  3. We keep three copies of your website in the cloud and three copies of your website locally on two different servers. This means at any given time there are 9 copies of your website in existence on multiple different drives. This means that multiple computers in different locations would all have to fail…simultaneously…in order for you to lose an ounce of data. Your website is secure.
  4.  We protect your website with the latest security protocols. While other websites on the internet are being hacked and attacked on a regular basis, yours is secure. No doubt you’ve heard how common it is for people’s facebook and email accounts to get hacked. Hackers use access to your accounts to send spam and various other illegal activities. Websites these days are hacked just the same way, with the same technology. We protect your site against this common activity.
  5. Internet browsers regularly come out with updates and security patches. Google is constantly updating it’s criteria. Is your website keeping up with the changes? Is your sitemap up to date? Is your robots.txt file properly configured? In other words…is your website properly optimized for search engines and keeping up with the constantly changing web? We manage all of this for you.
  6. When your website isn’t doing what you expect, you have a single point of contact. You can contact my company for marketing advice, lead generation help, search engine optimization tips, traffic generation tips, help with changing or tweaking anything on your website…all in one place.
  7. We watch over your website vigilantly to ensure it’s up and running, loading quickly and working as expected.
  8. I’ve personally created nearly 200 training videos to answer client questions and provide high level support for every client inquiry we receive, and the inventory of documentation is growing every day. As a client you have access to every help tutorial video we create, and if there’s something you need covered that I haven’t already addressed, I’ll make a video just for you. My philosophy is that if one client has a question, it’s likely that many others do as well. So it’s to all our benefit to continue to improve and grow our support tutorial archive.

All of this is included with our managed web hosting. Additionally, we load your website up right alongside our own. That is to say, if you’re website is having issues it literally means that ours is too. We run on the EXACT same gear as you, so it’s in our own interest to keep things running smoothly, because our business depends on things working well.

So bottom line…what type of web hosting is right for your small business? It’s totally your call. We do what we do very well. It’s not a solution for everyone, but it’s a solution I invite you to try out. If you like the idea of having all the tech stuff handled for you, so you can focus on running your business, give me a shout.

Think about it this way…you could always hire someone else to do all this stuff for you. Do you see anything on the list I just provided you that you think isn’t necessary? Feel free to omit whatever services you want to omit! It’s your business…clearly you can run it however you see fit 🙂 Regardless of what you decide to follow through on and what you decide to ignore, what would it cost you to have one of your admin people do this work for you? If you can find someone to cover this work for you for as little as $10 an hour, it would still cost you several hundred dollars per month. And the truth is, most $10/hr type admin assistants don’t know the difference between cpanel and plesk (a little web hosting geek humor for you, because I know you love it)!

If you hire a qualified web developer to fix your website even once, it’s likely going to cost more than managed web hosting…for an ENTIRE YEAR. That’s the criteria I laid down when we came up with the service. Clients were hiring me left and right, fixing stuff on their sites. I was running myself ragged fixed broken websites, and I was charging everyone a highly discounted rate because they were all clients. I was shooting for a win-win, because I wanted to make everyone happy, but I realized they HAD to be a better way of doing business. So I came up with our managed web hosting solution.

For the price of one single visit to a highly discounted web developer, you can have your website hosted for an entire year. All in. Everything included. Anything that ever goes wrong gets fixed for you. No headaches. Any question you ever have about how to change or improve your website gets a prompt and personal reply. In other words, the level of service you deserve and expect. Just my opinion. Our clients seem to love not having to deal with geeky tech stuff. They just want to run their business and not fool around with web stuff if they don’t have to. I totally sympathize 🙂

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this little manifesto of a blog post I just wrote for you. Hit me up 🙂 

Psssssttt…

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