Cheap Shared Web Hosting Crashes New Website
It’s been years we’ve been harping at anyone who will listen to get rid of their cheap shared web hosting. Instead, do yourself a favor and choose more reliable VPS hosting or managed WordPress hosting. If you have a WordPress website and it contributes in any way towards earning revenue for your small business, it’s time to give it the love it deserves with reliable web hosting. Keep in mind, WordPress is seriously dynamic. There’s a MySQL database and an array of functions pulling bits and pieces from the database using PHP. Although cheap shared hosting may work, you will NEVER get the performance you hope for. Simply stated, if you use WordPress and you are NOT a developer, your best choice is WordPress managed hosting. Even better, sign up for our WordPress website management service.
If you are one of our regular visitors you know how important it is to start your online presence off on the right foot with a great website. The next step is to insure your site is using a reliable and high performing web hosting solution. Nowadays, you want a host using PHP Version 7+ because it’s light years faster than version 5.6. Then, you’ll want an SSL, auto updates and built in backups. There’s so much more to choosing web hosting, but that’s for another post.
True Story of Web Hosting Gone Wrong
Today we share a true story about how inexpensive shared web hosting contributed to the demise of a new, income earning website. The site was down for about 11 days, resulting in an estimated loss of $110,000 in revenue. As we share the story, please keep in mind we will not get into the difference between good hosting vs poor, and we’re not going to compare one web host to another. We have no ax to grind other than my professional opinion about how important it is for us all to be using reliable and fast performing hosting.
Nice New Website Generates Leads
We recently developed a new WordPress business website for a reputable home improvement company based here in the US. The site turned out great and the client was pleased. We later noticed they were averaging almost two form fills per day from leads many salespersons would kill for. The business obtains leads via various advertising strategies, directing prospective customers to visit their website or call to set an appointment. An in home appointment is scheduled, a salesperson visits and sells home improvement services ranging from a couple grand to much more. Making some conservative assumptions, if the average sale is worth 10K each and they convert a 100 deals per year, that equals $1,000,000 in revenue attributed in part, to their website. Not bad!
Bad Advice Leads to Poor Decision
Upon completion of the site the client elected to keep their site at their existing cheap shared web hosting account. They passed on our offer to move them to our Liquid Web Virtual Private Server and provide ongoing management. Some might call this crazy thinking! Personally, I’ll NEVER understand why any small business, relying on their website for leads, uses cheap shared hosting.
This decision was made based in part, on poor advice from their trusted in house IT person. The client also decided against signing up for our ongoing website maintenance package which includes the VPS hosting, regular backups, updates and security. As much as we disagree with the cheap shared hosting decision, they are the client, it’s their money, and their decision. However, as the saying goes, you make your own bed, but then you have to lay in it.
Cheap Shared Web Hosting and Backup Plugins Not Allowed
Just before turning this site over to the client we attempted to install our favorite backup plugin. We were NOT being paid for this, but we wanted something, just in case the cheap hosting backups failed. Unfortunately, because the web host wants to charge the client extra for their own website backups, anytime you try to install a good backup utility plugin a message pops up stating this was not allowed. At that time we could only hope, if there was ever a problem the web host’s backups would work. As most of us know, hoping almost never gets the job done!
Houston, We Have a Problem!
Fast forward two months and something went very wrong with the website. Upon our review we discovered all the posts, pages and images had disappeared. After our investigation we determined the cause could have been due to some work their ad agency was doing. Alternatively, we supposed it might have simply been a WordPress update gone wrong, occurring at the same time as a major server event. Regardless, the cause doesn’t matter and we know from experience it’s NOT worth the time and money to troubleshoot and fix. The best and most cost affective solution is to simply restore the website to a previous backup. Of course, in order to do that you must have reliable website backup files and database. Oh, oh!
Web Host Website Restore Failed
Continuing our story, after another day or two the client got back to us and requested we work with his web host to fix the site. Using the resources provided by the web host, we performed a full website restore, which repeatedly failed! Then, the web host agreed to perform the website restore for us. More time passed and during which the shared web hosting provider tried on multiple occasions to restore the site. We even received emails stating, your site has been restored and this support request is considered resolved. Yeah, right! The bottom line here is, the website backups our client had been paying a small premium for, failed when they were needed most. We really wanted to childishly point our finger and yell, “THAT’S WHAT YOU GET,” but we held back.
Finally, the web host kicked up the support request to their top level developers. Even the top level support people were unable to restore the website. Sometimes, after a restore process was complete, the site and it’s files would be available for a few minutes. Then, poof, the site and most of it’s files would disappear. Luckily, we were able to download some of the files while they were available, knowing they would help with what was to come.
The Worst Case Scenario Comes True
As I’m sure you probably guessed, we had to completely rebuild the website, starting from scratch. Thankfully, I still had most of my original development files along with some screen shots and my notes. It also helped having the image uploads that were previously sized and optimized. Still, it’s probable the website would have never failed had the client agreed to leave their cheap shared web hosting environment and move their site to our private VPS. Even so, had the problem occurred and the website crashed, we have reliable backup files coming out of our ears enabling us to restore any site in just a few minutes.
Looking back, it’s ironic how one of the reasons the client originally refused our ongoing maintenance package was because they were already paying extra for backups provided by their web host. Of course, we must remember, this is NOT a VPS web host but instead, they had a cheap shared hosting account.
Final thoughts about Cheap Shared Hosting
If you are operating a business and your website should be hosted at the most reliable server available. Truly consider how important your website is to your business. Typically our small business websites should be a professional representation of our business. They are also our social hub, lead generator, mobile web app, blog site and so much more. Please folks, if you have a web site running on WordPress or any other CMS, no more cheap shared hosting! No more paying to re-build a website when it could have been easily restored. Do it right from the beginning, avoid cheap shared web hosting and give your website the home it deserves.
Top Web Hosting Solutions: I use Liquid Web VPS and Managed WordPress Hosting. I can honestly state, Liquid Web is the BEST hosting provider I’ve ever used. I’m also hearing very good things about Site Ground. If looking to get rid of your cheap shared web hosting, choosing Site Ground or Liquid Web is a great choice. Even better, contact us about our WordPress website management services. Not only do we host your site, but we take care of all your plugin software updates, theme updates, security and backups. Pete Gregory, 661-406-2959.