The next time that your hosting plan renews with Three Strands Marketing the bill will be higher, but I feel that this is a good thing and I’m hoping that you will too! If you don’t care why my prices are going up, that’s great, you can just skip to the end and see what the new price will be. But if you want to understand what additional benefits you are getting for your money, please keep reading…
Why do I offer hosting anyway?
First, I want to go back to why I started offering hosting for my web design customers in the first place. I love building websites that help my customers grow their business, both in Southern Idaho as well as other states, but I do not really enjoy the technical side of the business dealing with servers and hosting. When I first started my business, if they did not already have hosting for their website, I would provide a link to customers that were wanting hosting to a large hosting company, that I was also using. They would sign up for a hosting plan and I would build the website. Whether they used their own company or the one I recommended, frequently there would be a technical glitch that I would have to get involved with the hosting company, but since it wasn’t my account, trying to get access and/or helping them was always a challenge. I soon realized the easiest way to be able to help them was to offer hosting myself.
Now starting a hosting company from scratch is very expensive and it’s not very realistic for me to try to build and support a server in my home, although I did actually look at that as an option at first. I soon realized that there were businesses designed specifically to offer website designers, like me, a hosting option for our customers. The basic way that they do this is by selling me space on their servers that is specific to my customers.
These services are certainly not cheap, but they have already invested in the equipment and infrastructure and have the support and technology in place for an easy transition. When I first started offering hosting, I was my only customer. My Three Strands Marketing website was the first website that was hosted there. It took a while before I had the customer base to be in the black, financially, but I felt it was a worthwhile investment for my business and a long-term benefit for my customers.
My current hosting plan is Shared Hosting
The hosting plan that I initially signed up for was a Shared Hosting, similar to what the many other national hosting companies offer for their new customers. An analogy that is frequently used is that of an apartment building with a bunch of individual apartments. The kind where you never know exactly what kind of neighbor you will have. Some may get a little older couple that are quite and nice and you almost never see. Others may get the neighbor with a bunch of kids and loud barking dogs and still more may be in a seedier area with drug dealers and prostitutes. Some may be by the front door or elevator with quiet wide-open hallways and others are on the top floor in a corner with narrow congested hallways that take a long time to get through. You just never know what you will get. Are you starting to see the picture? A Shared Hosting server is the same way. You don’t know what your neighbors will be like and even if you start with the quiet elder couple you could end up with the barking dogs.
The different types of websites that you are hosted near will slow down you server speed, take memory space and other resources from your website. Sometimes it may run fast and smooth and other times slow and glitchy. This is just one aspect; the other issues are security. If you have a website in your neighborhood that is not updated and does not have good security, you run the risk of viruses and malware affecting your website as well.
We’re changing to VPS hosting
This is where the price increase comes into effect. I recently acquired enough hosting customers to be able make a jump up to a VPS hosting option. This option will cost me about twice as much as my current hosting plan, but the benefits to both my customers and myself are well worth it.
VPS is short for Virtual Private Server. This is essentially a server that has a portion of it dedicated specifically to me (and my customers). A comparative analogy would be the same apartment building, but instead of the apartments (websites) being randomly placed throughout the entire building (server) I have rented an entire floor. A floor where I am able to control the tenants and have security at all the entrances and the doors all open to a wide-open hallway that is close to the exits. The floor also has a high-speed elevator so that getting in and out of the building will happen much faster and not be congested at the door ways.
Why does it matter to you?
Without getting into all the technical differences between the two type of servers, which you can Google yourself, the primary differences for my customers should be 1) faster loading websites for your customers, 2) better security and less susceptible to malware and viruses and 3) the ability to handle more website traffic. There are some additional benefits that will help me to service my customers as well in the form of improved server resources, administration and reliability.
I truly expect this to be a worthwhile improvement for my hosting customers and will be worth the little extra cost in the long run. For right now the Small Business Plan will increase to $179.88 per year ($14.99/month) and the Professional Plan will be $359.88 ($29.99/month), a 50% increase for both plans, but still a small investment for your business’s success! The price change will go into effect the next time your hosting plan renews, so for some of you that will be in the near future and others almost a year away.
As always, if you have any specific questions, please feel free to give me a call at 208-539-9351 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much for your business as we work together for your business.