The horrible state of Web Hosting services and how we can fix it

Web HostingOur iControlWP and WorpDrive backup services puts us into direct contact with many web hosting providers… we have to adapt our services to work with all of them.

You would be amazed at the crazy configurations that many of them use in the name of “security” and “performance”.

You name it, we’ve seen it.

But what is the number 1 problem we see our customers face with these hosts?

Frustration.

How do web hosting companies frustrate their customers?

Because they treat us like cattle.

Make no mistake, your website isn’t special. It’s no more special to your web hosting provider than the guy next door. It’s just 1 of hundreds on that little server trying to get their air time.

When a web hosting service provider changes a configuration, we know it instantly because it normally directly impacts our clients and the services we provide them.

And they do it all the time.

Do they notify customers in advance or otherwise of these change?  Never.

Do they update terms of services? Never.

Do their tier 1 level support know anything about these change? Rarely.

How can they continue to do this and get away with it?

Because enough people give them money to host with them.

Why do we continue to host with web hosting providers that stick it to us?

The answer is simple – because they nearly all do the same thing and we’re left with very few options.

If it makes their lives easier (i.e. less to pay on support costs) by putting in a new policy, they’ll do it.

If they can cram lots of websites onto 1 server and thereby cut costs while giving you terrible performance, they’ll do it.  And they do do it.

If, when you report a problem to them, their tier 1 support can shift the responsibility of solving the problem onto you, or other websites or service providers, they’ll do it.

Ask yourself… how many times have you contacted support from your web host, and they have managed to pass the buck to you and your site?

What’s the solution to cheap web hosting?

Again, this is quite simple – pay more.

If you think the solution to this problem is down to the web hosting providers, you’re dead wrong.

It’s you. It’s me.  It’s all of us. That’s the harsh truth.

We need to stop demanding a web hosting service that performs super amazing, in exchange for a few dollars a month.

When we demand more, we must be willing to pay more.

Hosting a website and doing it well, requires ongoing work and expertise in certain key technical areas.

If you manage websites, you are either one, or both, of the following:

  • you manage all your own websites personally and directly.
  • you manage websites for other people and businesses.

If you’re the first type, you need to take a moment and accept the fact that to host a website isn’t actually trivial – it’s technically quite involved and requires expertise in several areas.

If you’re the second type, you need to take time to educate your clients that hosting a website properly isn’t actually trivial – it’s technically quite involved and requires expertise in several areas.

Expertise means you need to pay the service provider what they’re due.  It’s simple economics.

When we, or perhaps one of our clients, is willing only to invest $4/month to host a business website, we are effectively saying that their primary method for interfacing with our customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is worth only $4/month.

It is our responsibility is to educate ourselves and our clients of the importance of high quality web hosting for businesses.

If a business cannot afford more than $4/month to host their site, then they don’t need a website, they need a new business model.

Stop. Think about what your business is worth. Pay more for your hosting.

Given the recent shifts in web hosting in recent years, we feel there’s a change coming – for it must come. The market will drive it.

As the huge web hosting firms continue to merge and consolidate, and deliver even more crappy web hosting, businesses will begin to learn the true value of their website hosting.

There will eventually be a change in the thinking that good web hosting should be available for a few dollars per month. It’ll be treated like any other specialized service provider.

Then we’ll really see the growth of quality web hosting at realistic prices.  Something to look forward to…

Fingers crossed at least.

Who do you host with?

This article paints a bleak picture of web hosting… but we’re always interested to know who you host with and how is your experience with them?

Would you recommend them?  Let us know about your experience in the comments below…

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