As you can imagine, over the years of helping WordPress clients with their websites, I’ve spotted several common themes and challenges. One of the most common problems I’ve identified is the need for high quality web hosting for a WordPress website, particularly for a business website.
As business owners, it’s normal to focus on keeping our expenditure low and to maximise profits. Quite frankly, it makes perfect business sense. This is why it’s perfectly normal for a business owner to want to spend very little on web hosting, with the assumption that any ol’ hosting will do. To a degree, that’s true, particularly when everything is working just fine.
You only see the difference between cheap hosting and high quality hosting when there’s a problem… and my goodness, you’ll see the problems!
The most common problems that you encounter with cheap web hosting are around backups and security.
Issue 1 – Backups
Every web hosting company does backups (or says that they do). When you have a problem and you want to undo something that broke your website, your hosting company will happily restore a backup for you, but usually, there’s a problem. Of course, this doesn’t happen all of the time, but it happens frequently enough to be annoying. These problems include:
- Backups haven’t been working for a while, they haven’t noticed, and the latest backup they have for you is over a month ago. That means you’ve lost all of the changes you had earlier in the week that you were really happy with.
- They restore the backup, but it breaks several other things, and you need a developer to fix those issues for you. This therefore costs time and money.
- If they have a backup, you need to wait for one of the specialists to get to the office (e.g. if the base company is located in another country to you) before they can do the restore for you. This means your website is down for several hours whilst you wait.
Issue 2 – Security
All web hosting companies employ basic security protection for their systems, usually firewalls. These tools protect the servers from the most common types of attack. However, these tools usually only protect the servers, and not the software running on them (i.e. your website!).
It’s the equivalent of wrapping a car in several feet of bubble wrap to protect against collisions, but where the passengers inside the car don’t even have seatbelts to wear! It’s obvious from my metaphor that this doesn’t make sense, but it’s not obvious from a website perspective.
The web hosting companies either pretend that it’s not an issue (which, 80% of the time, it isn’t) or they just rely on you (or your developer) to set up protective software (such as using Cloudflare or Sucuri) to ensure that the website isn’t harmed if someone tries to attack your website.
I know from experience that cleaning up a hacked website is time-consuming (particularly if you don’t have a clean backup). If your website is hacked, there’s a lot of downtime, and it can affect your reputation with your customers if your website has been defaced or had malware installed.
There’s also a risk that cleaning up a website wasn’t 100% successful (due to the devious way attackers leave backdoors into websites), leaving you with the high probability of being attacked again.
yet, this is 2018, and things have moved on…
As a bear minimum, it makes perfect sense to have a business website that’s backed up and protected. If your website is generating leads for your business on a daily (or even weekly) basis, then you want to minimise website downtime so that you don’t miss out on new opportunities. However, given that it’s 2018, there are other factors you’ll want to consider.
Factor 1 – having a website that loads quickly is very important.
Search engines like Google have been using loading times as a ranking factor for a while now (faster website = better rankings). However, something that doesn’t get mentioned very often is that page loading times also affects how many leads you collect from your website.
Whilst it’s difficult to determine the exact penalties involved from a website that loads slowly, one reputable source suggests that every 1 second in additional page loading time results in a 7% reduction in conversions (reference on Kissmetrics).
It makes perfect logical sense really. Websites that load too slowly result in abandonment or decreased customer satisfaction.
Factor 2 – privacy is a big topic these days.
There’s talk of identify theft and data leaks hitting the news on a monthly basis (thankfully it’s not more frequent than that). A business, regardless of its size, has a duty to take steps to protect their customers (and prospects) from individuals with nasty intentions.
It’s a big ask, but even implementing HTTPS by having an SSL certificate on your website is a relatively simple, yet meaningful, step that you can take (find out more about HTTPS and SSL on the blog here).
Factor 3 – keeping your website software updated is a key way to reduce the chance of your website being attacked.
Updating your plugins and WordPress application might give you new features and functionality, but the key (business) reason to keep your installation updated is to keep your software updated with security fixes.
Most WordPress plugins and themes are created by talented developers, but these developers are not usually security trained. Issues and bugs are discovered all of the time in these publicly available tools. That means updating these plugins is important. However, unfortunately some updates break WordPress websites, so keeping your website updated without breaking it can be a minefield!
If you’re terrified, don’t be…
The point of this page isn’t to scare you half to death! If I’ve done that, then I’ve gone a little too far! I’ve tried to draw a balance between reality and worst case scenarios.
What I do want to show you is that for a business using a WordPress website as their main website really needs to have:
- the latest software patches for WordPress itself and plugins
- daily backups that are quick and easy to restore if needed
- proactive monitoring of the website to watch out for hacks or vandalism
- a SSL certificate so that your website content is delivered securely over HTTPS, as well as protecting the data your customers (and prospects) send to you via your website
- hosting that’s optimised for WordPress websites, so that the website loads as quickly as possible to maximise opportunities for your website to collect leads
Introducing WP Doctors Business-Grade WordPress Hosting
This is why I’ve created the WP Doctors Business-Grade WordPress Hosting service. Priced at just £50+VAT per month, it’s designed to give you fast, secure and decent backups for your WordPress website, and we’ll handle setting up your SSL certificate and do your plugin and WordPress updates for you.
If you compare the pricing of this hosting to other hosting services on price alone, it looks like we’re really expensive. Let me show you why this is ridiculously good value for business owners.
Fundamentally, we take away the worry and hassle of hosting your website, and ensure it runs as quickly as possible!
|Benefit||Our Business-Grade WordPress Hosting||Conventional Website Hosting||Specialist WordPress Hosting (e.g. WP Engine, Flywheel)|
|Price (per month)||£50+VAT per month||between £3+VAT to £15+VAT per month||between £15+VAT to £100+VAT per month|
|Hosting optimised to run WordPress as quickly as possible||-|
|Daily backups that are easy to restore by someone non-technical||-|
|Proactive security monitoring to check if the website has been hacked or not. And we’ll fix it if you do get attacked.||-|
|Monthly upgrades of your WordPress application and your plugins to keep you updated.||-||-|
|Urgent upgrade of plugins or your WordPress application when needed (such as if there's a potential security risk with one of your plugins).||-||-|
|Identification of potentially problematic plugin upgrades so that you don’t accidentally break your website if you do your own upgrades.||-||-|
|Free setup of SSL and testing to ensure it’s working correctly, so that your visitors see the ‘Secure’ padlock message when visiting your website from a browser.||-||-|
|Daily website monitoring to ensure that the website is loading correctly, so that we can fix any issues proactively.||-||-|
|Regular checks to ensure your website is correctly loading securely with HTTPS, as new content and pages sometimes can break HTTPS accidentally.||-||-|
|Daily checks to monitor your website for significant increases in your website loading time, to give us an early warning indicator that your website is slowing down (which may affect conversions).||Coming Soon!||-||-|
|Free 30 Mins of 30 minutes FREE development time every 12 months (worth £75+VAT) so that we can dive into your website and make any fixes or repairs to your website.||-||-|
As you can see, we’ve crafted a service that gives you peace of mind with your business website. To go a step further, we’ll also give you 30 minutes FREE development time every 12 months, so that we can dive into your website and make any fixes or repairs to your website based on any feedback the automated monitoring detects.
Who this service is for:
- Business owners who are too busy delivering a great service for their customer and clients, they don’t have the time (or inclination) to take on looking after their website
- Business owners who are paying to drive visitors to their website using services such as Google Adwords or Facebook Ads, and therefore are going to lose out on fresh leads by having a website that’s down or not loading quickly.
- Business owners who are actively using content on their blog to attract new leads, and therefore are relying on visitors from social media and paid advertising to generate new leads. Again, the website needs to load quickly to attract as many leads as possible.
- Brochure-style WordPress websites that are attracting at least 5 genuine leads a week from the website, as downtime of just 1 day could be the loss of a valuable client or customer.
- WordPress membership websites where visitors are regularly logging in, such as for an online training platform or client management portal.
Who this service isn’t designed for:
- WordPress websites that are generating lots of sales daily via an ecommerce plugin. This is because you’ll benefit from a dedicated WooCommerce or ecommerce hosting platform, and what we offer isn’t matched for you.
- Business owners who prefer to do their own WordPress and plugin updates, and consider themselves technical. The service we offer is for business owners who want to delegate the website management to someone else.
How to get started:
- Step 1 – Just send Dan an email via the contact page.
- Step 2 – Dan will be in touch to arrange a FREE audit of your website to check that it’s suitable for the new hosting service.
- Step 3 – If your website is suitable, then there’s a £125+VAT migration fee that is payable upfront before Dan begins the migration. The migration fee also includes your first month of hosting too!
- Step 4 – Dan will then perform your website migration, do the WordPress and plugin updates, add HTTPS (SSL) to your website and make any DNS changes so that your website is live using the new hosting (this can take up to 2 days, but there’s no website downtime usually).
- Step 5 – Dan will advise you on what to do about your domain name and your previous website hosting to ensure nothing gets lost.