See Web/Email Hosting as an Investment (and don’t skimp on your online infrastructure)

Keeping costs down is important in any business, since profit is defined as income minus expenses.  However, many business owners are temped to use bargain-basement web/email hosting as a area to cut corners.  For most businesses, this is not a wise approach.

Examples of the problem

Some businesses will go with the absolute cheapest web hosting, spending just a few dollars a month.  That generally means shared hosting, which is where your website  – and hundreds or thousands of other websites – are packed onto a single server by the hosting provider.  This can lead to a situation where your website runs slowly or becomes entirely unavailable when another website hosted on that server becomes very busy.  There is also the risk that the hosting provider will “oversell” the server to increase their own profits, leading to a habitually slow web experience for your customers. Finally, there is usually a minimal level of separation between accounts as well, which can lead to security problems. On the email side of things, the same basic concerns apply as to slowness and security.

Why your web and email infrastructure is so important

Nowadays, many customers find a business through their website and see the website as more important that then business’s physical address.  As an example, if a business’es website is defaced by a hacker, the impact is likely to be much more significant than if someone were to spray-paint graffiti on the business’s storefront.  Even leaving aside active harm to the website, just having a slow website will result in fewer customers sticking around to suffer through the slowness.

Since email is so vital to business operations, and often contains confidential information, it is difficult to overstate the harm that can result when there is an outage or security breach.  Indeed, anyone who doubts this need only consider the far-reaching ramifications of the Sony email hack.

See web and email infrastructure as an investment

Given the tremendous importance that a website and its email service will have for a business, it is only wise to treat such infrastructure as a vital aspect of the business and to invest accordingly.  While $9/month shared hosting for a website and email may be useful for a high-school club, a business that generates thousands of dollars a month in revenue should invest in a more robust platform.  Consider a business (e.g. a law firm, a mechanic, a towing company, etc.) that expects to make at least $100 (or possibly much more) from each customer who employs their services.  Skimping on website hosting in a way that costs just a single customer is not cost effective.

As an example, dedicated servers can be had for under $150 per month from many reputable hosting providers, ensuring dedicated resources and improved security.  Coupled with the appropriate backup strategy, such a server can provide a cost-effective solution to email and web hosting.


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