5 Times It’s OK to Pay More for Hosting
Finding a good hosting account isn’t just about finding the cheapest account that you can survive on, it’s about finding the best one for both you and your site, meeting your needs at the best possible price.
But while no one likes to overspend on hosting, there are plenty of situations where you should be prepared to open up your wallet and spend a bit more money. There are situations where the extra money is more than worthwhile, making it more of an investment than an expense.
With that in mind, here are five such situations where there’s no shame in paying more than your peers; in fact, you may be the wiser one for it.
1. You Need More Support
If you are on a VPS or dedicated server but aren’t 100% comfortable with your level of server knowledge, you probably want your hosting company to take much of the heavy lifting off you, at least when it comes to server management.
However, since VPS and dedicated hosting providers aren’t stuffing thousands of accounts on a single server, they have to charge extra for support costs. As such, if you want your hosting company to maintain your server, check its security, perform updates and generally watch after your account, you’ll need to plan on spending at least a little bit extra.
Furthermore, the more help you need the more you can expect to pay. Some basic managed hosting plans can be fairly cheap but a truly “hands off” approach will likely cost 2-3 times what you will pay at an unmanaged provider. However, it can be worth every penny.
2. Your Account Needs Protection
Though most hosts provide decent server-level backups, they aren’t always reliable and they are often server-level only, not account-level, which means they can help if your server goes belly up but not if you mess up your account or get hacked.
Some hosts do offer account-level backups for an extra price and there are also services, such as Site Auto Backup, that will perform them for you. However, you should be prepared to pay a few dollars per month for either service.
This kind of protection is like buying insurance for your site, which is fortunately much cheaper than insurance for just about anything else.
3. You Need or Want Specialized Hosting
Even if your host didn’t create the tools they are specializing in, such as WordPress or osCommerce hosts, they will be providing additional support for their chosen platforms and that support requires time, knowledge and expertise, all of which you have the prepared to pay for.
So, while going with a dedicated host may cost you a few dollars more, you know that if something breaks in your WordPress installation, your host can help you fix it, something you can’t say for most traditional hosts.
4. Your Account Has Strange Needs
Does your site require a feature that isn’t enabled on most shared hosts? Do you have low traffic most of the year but see spikes either seasonally or on random days? Do you need a script that might be especially taxing for a server, even at low traffic volumes?
If your site has any kind of peculiar needs, you can expect that hosting will be both harder to find and more expensive to obtain. Even if your traffic levels might work with a shared hosting account, if you need a bizarre feature, you may have to upgrade to a VPS or find a specialty host just to enable it.
5. You Do Online Commerce
Generally speaking, ecommerce sites can expect to pay almost twice as much per month for hosting. Not only are the sites more demanding to host, but such sites need additional features such as SSL certificates and stronger security to truly be viable for selling online.
Though you may be able to host a shopping cart on a normal account, it usually is not recommended as both Google and customers will punish sites that aren’t up to speed or don’t have the proper security in place.
As such, having a true ecommerce account can actually help you make more money and will easily pay for itself in the long run.
To be clear, hosting is not a straightforward game of spending more to get more. There are many times where one spends more money and doesn’t benefit at all. Those are situations that we all have to work to avoid.
However, there are still plenty of times where paying more is a good thing and the extra amount is more than worth it. These five situations are just some examples of that.
The main thing with hosting is to honestly and completely evaluate your needs and decide what kind of hosting is best for you. Once you’ve done that, you can then set about doing comparison shopping on the basis of price (as well as reputation) and then seek out the best deal.
If you blindly look for the best deal with looking for hosting, you may find yourself being sucked in by a plan that can cost you far more in headaches than it saves you in money.