It occurred to me recently that hosting costs can sometimes be a false economy: people often attach a low value to their web hosting despite it being the heart of their business. With this in mind, here’s a short blog outlining my thinking.

I should start by saying that everyone at ServerChoice works hard to make sure our services represent good value. We’re flexible on our pricing where possible and realise the importance of being a cost-effective prospect for our customers. That said, however, I’m amazed when we lose a deal purely based on price, and usually so the prospective customer can save a fairly trivial amount of money. The provider they end up choosing might be slightly cheaper, but more often than not they are usually much less secure, resilient and efficient – and their SLA is often inferior too. Now I can fully appreciate that, for smaller businesses, cost is sometimes the most bottom of lines and they may not have the necessary funds to go with their first choice hosting provider. In fact, we’ve often significantly reduced our margins to help out a business that’s just starting up.

But what I struggle to understand is when hosting becomes purely a pricing issue for more established companies who are looking at price over security, resilience and uptime. For these companies, who might spend hundreds of thousands on their offices, marketing, lavish events, executive luxury company cares etc, often a large proportion (if not all) of their revenue comes via the web. This makes hosting the most essential part of their business. Rather than take the short-sighted view of saving £100 per month, shouldn’t they be looking at the bigger picture and think about the best way to protect their revenues? These bigger-picture things include comparing SLAs, seeking testimonials/references, and taking a good look at the key fundamentals that are going to keep their business running: features like security, performance and reliability.

We understand price is important and we believe that our services are highly cost effective, but a business that buys purely on price is taking a gamble: does the company who hosts the money-making bit of your business have the necessary credentials and reliability?