Hosting your website is a very big deal for many reasons that we’ll discuss in this article. Siteground is a hosting company (click to see Siteground’s current offer) we often recommend, even though they tend to be a little more expensive than their competitors. We’ll answer why and what you should look for in your hosting company.
If your website “goes down”, you’re out of business online. Siteground hosting can be considered expensive compared to some competitors because they have incorporated costly, but vital components to ensure your website is working when someone comes searching.
What are those ‘vital components’ and why do they matter? Let’s look at hosting and what really matters to your business while understanding the price differences between a good host and a sub-par hosting service.
Cost of Siteground Hosting versus Comparable Competitors
It’s important to know, that although the price should not be your main consideration when choosing a good hosting company for your business, it often amazes people that the difference between a good reliable hosting company and cheaper companies is often quite small.
But first, let’s identify a few of the components of hosting that affect price and those which should be of concern to you.
Support – hosting support can be divided into two categories. One is basic support (ie.” how do I accomplish this? “). The bigger concern when it comes to supporting you and your website is when things go wrong, and inevitably, things will go wrong. Your site goes down because a plugin fails, your SSL expires, or a myriad of other reasons.
You need to know, that 24 x 7 you will be able to connect to a helpful person, that really cares about getting your business back online. This is when support matters most, and this is when Siteground really shines.
With 24 x 7 chat, email, and phone support, Siteground takes your website seriously. Some of their larger packages even include free site transfer.
con: Now if I were to identify one negative, it would be their identification of “Advanced Priority Support”. It drives me crazy when companies identify a vague statement like that which makes me question, “what am I not getting”, and “will I be satisfied with their support”. On a plus, with Siteground’s support being so good, I really don’t know how it would get better, nor do I feel the need to find out.
Speed – This one when I was starting out really didn’t really make sense to me.
I mean isn’t one hosting company speed going to be similar to other companies hosting speed? In short, the answer is absolutely not!
In fact speed is one of the biggest reasons why companies will change hosting providers. Much like when you buy a new computer there is differences in RAM, and Drive Space, and Processing Speed (CPU), in hosting these things matter as well. But so does capacity.
When you are purchasing shared hosting, you are purchasing an allotted amount of space on a computer that will be shared with other companies and their own allotted amount of space. The problem arises when those other companies have significant traffic or load on the server.
Large traffic on a shared hosted website means the website starts using up resources (RAM, CPU), and other sites on the server can pay a speed price.
Siteground counters this with limits and precautions in place to ensure a server performs for all the sites on a server and they’re transparent about it. On their packages, they even identify the traffic volume a hosting package is typically good for.
Reliability/Uptime – Reliability and uptime goes way beyond promises. Siteground invests a lot to ensure their customers business are up and running;
- Servers located in USA, Europe, Asia and West Pacific providing the best in user experience
- SSD Drives to provide 1000X increase in simultaneous inputs and outputs (regular drive operations) over regular drives
- Free Cloudflare CDN account with even their most basic package. CDN makes your website load faster in any part of the world by caching (storing) your website content on multiple servers in multiple data centres.
- SuperCacher is Sitegrounds own in house caching system to increase the number of visitors a site can service simultaneously while drastically boosting load speed.
Of course, there are many more features to their hosting packages, and some will be important to your business, and other features really won’t mean much to you. However, as long as the hosting company has the features you require, then what matters most is what we’ve just discussed.
So now let’s compare the pricing of a few hosting companies below (a good, better, best comparison) to gain and understanding of the the price differences.
|Suitable for Monthly Visits
|Multi Server Redundancy
|Full Package Details
How Much Drive Space Do I Need for My Website, and How Does this Affect Cost
Often hosting companies will provide unlimited or unmetered drive space (same thing). And this can sound very attractive, I mean who wants limits right?
But if you consider the hard drive in your computer (and your host computer) is in fact, not unlimited. Now also consider how your own computer performs as your drive starts to fill up. Typically when a computers hard drive capacity is exhausted beyond 70%, the computer speed is affected, as it works harder to allocate remaining space.
So if that’s the case, and other users, are taking full advantage of unlimited space, is it actually a good thing? The reality is that it’s not, and a contributor to what will cause your website to run slower on one host over another.
Generally 10GB of drive space will be way more than what you require for a single website and is a good benchmark when looking at space limits versus the number of websites you intend to host.
You’ll notice that Siteground limits the drive space (visit Siteground for current limits) for each customer, whereas HostGator and Bluehost (review and compare Bluehost latest packages), provide unlimited space. Now you know why this might not be in your best interest.
What is the Value of Freebies from Hosting Companies
Hosting companies frequently offer freebies with their packages, such as SSL, or Google Ads credits, etc. What’s the real value of these and how should they be considered in the price you pay.
Again this is a scenario where more is not necessarily better. More only matters if there is real value and you intend to use those freebies.
Here is a list of some valuable freebies, I recommend you consider with your website host selection;
- SSL – SSL is something all websites should be looking to add to your website. Google has been very clear in stating that SSL encryption on a website is a ranking factor and should not be ignored
- Shopping Cart Install – If you’re running an e-commerce site, having a pro set this up for free is a definite plus.
- Automated Daily Backups – I can’t tell you how many times this has saved me. Getting this included in your hosting is a real bonus.
- Spam Protection – Unfortunately this is needed in today’s crazy spam world. So to have it included is a nice feature.
What are some Additional Hosting Features I Should Want for My Website
It’s now time to geek out a little. There are a few things you’re going to want for your website, that may not sound important but for future opportunities and helping your developers out, you want to ensure they are a part of your package.
Don’t get too bogged down on the technical components of these, just know that you want these feartures:
- Data Transfer Unmetered – You don’t want to be paying for usage or worse, having your account suspended due to high traffic volumes. Let’s face it, we all want more traffic, not less
- Power Redundancy – Sounds simple, unless there is a power outage 🙂
- Hardware Redundancy – machines fail, its a fact. When your server fails, you want it to be invisible to you and the world
- Free SSH and SFTP Access – your developer will be glad you have this
- cPanel – it is just a much more complete and all encompassing backend to manage your hosting
It’s important to know that your website is a clear extension of your business. Much like you wouldn’t rent a store without clearly knowing and understanding the pros and cons of that store, the area it’s in, the amenities, the traffic, the clientele, etc, you need to ensure you apply the same scrutiny to your website hosting.
If you’re interested you may like to know why we changed hosting providers to Siteground. (Tips on what really impressed us)
The amazing part, it costs very little extra to have a great hosting company like Siteground over a sub-par hosting company. Do your due diligence and make sure you know what you’re paying for.