A cost to be cut, or an investment to nurture?

This PCAdvisor article really annoyed me, as you can see from the comments. The line that really had me snorting and huffing like a hotel owner from Torquay was this:

32 percent admit to spending £100 or more per year on web hosting

This narked me on several levels.

Firstly, £100 a year is a very low price for professional, responsive business-grade and expert hosting on well-maintained kit. Very low. Numerous clients have come over to us crying with the frustration of dealing with a CHEAP hosting company who don’t give a damn about the client, their business or the problem they’re experiencing, and cheerfully leave them dangling for three days before bothering to reply to the support ticket. We don’t do support tickets, we respond in good time and in person. The stack ’em high sell ’em cheap hosting companies don’t care that your website’s offline and you’re losing business – when your hosting costs at the most a couple of quid a week they really aren’t bothered by your little problems. You get what you pay for in this instance.

Secondly, that comment reeks of the attitude that hosting is an unimportant cost to be pared down to the bare minimum – effectively, it’s not worth paying much for. Ha! Perform this simple calculation: subtract the cost of your hosting from the revenue your website generates one way or another. If the answer is a positive number then your hosting is well worth the money and is an essential plank upon which business success rests. Why is hosting the poor relation of business investment? We look after numerous online services that are vital to the continued smooth running of our clients’ businesses – from ecommerce to collaboration to CRM. If hosting and online services are essential to a company then a fair price must be paid, just as with all other expert and professional business services.

Now enough of this nonsense. Is your website central to the success of your company? How much revenue would you lose through three days downtime or missed emails? It’s a useful exercise to work out whether you can afford cheap hosting, and if you want something reassuringly expensive, you know where to come.

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