Host Traumatic Stress Disorder
So now that you have that fancy new website, where are you gonna put it? Hosting is often an afterthought when companies are looking for a new website. Some design companies include the first year of hosting in the cost of web design. Others just send you packing with the cheapest possible plan they can find. BB Graphics has you covered with some serious business-class hosting options and no-nonsense web maintenance service.
El Cheapo Web Hosting
There are a lot of really cheap web hosting plans out there. I'm reminded of this occasionally by new web savvy clients who are unhappy with their current hosting arrangements. Shopping for web hosting is a lot like shopping for mobile phone service. You really have to look around and read the fine print. There are tons of 'deals' out there for would-be buyers. I see them advertised all the time, "$9.95 Per Month With UNLIMITED SPACE!!!", "SAVE 40% INSTANTLY!!!" I'm not saying these deals are false, only that they aren't for everyone. These plans are perfect for:
- Students who need something more than what free web hosting services can offer.
- Web enthusiasts or hobbyists who want to manage their own web services.
- Web designers that cannot afford or don't know how to maintain a dedicated web server.
- Desperate start-ups that have to do-it-all out of necessity.
Frankly, most of these policies wouldn't be necessary if they didn't overload their servers with hosting accounts.
You really need to know what you're getting into when you go with an ultra-cheap web hosting plan. Like cell-phone or cable service plans, many of the low price deals are introductory rates. Others require you to sign up for a multi-year contract in order to take advantage of those savings.
Most of these companies offer very little, if anything, in the way of technical support. You could end up spending loads of time on your website if you're not familiar with services like domain name registration, DNS management, e-mail administration, website design, and quite possibly database management and web programming depending on your requirements.
You must also keep in mind that cheap web hosting plans wouldn't be profitable if it weren't for the strict resource usage restrictions that virtually all of them have in place. This usually outlines how many people can be connected at the same time, how much memory can be used per process, and the total number of files (regardless of total size) that are allowed on your account. You'll find that the terms unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth are meaningless when accompanied by these policies. They usually state that "These policies are in place to protect you, the customer, from poor service quality." Frankly, most of these policies wouldn't be necessary if they didn't overload their servers with hosting accounts.
The bottom line is that if you need fast, reliable web hosting for a business-class website, I recommend consulting with a professional web design company like BB Graphics to determine what solution will best fit your needs.
Apples and Oranges
It's really not fair to compare the services of these mass hosting providers to what we do. First and foremost, BB Graphics is a design and marketing firm. We don't offer web hosting as a standalone service. We only host websites designed by BB Graphics on our dedicated servers. We have intimate knowledge of every website we host. Shared hosting is the bread and butter service that these other companies provide. The only marketing and design they do is for themselves.
There are 3 classes of web hosting plans that we offer to our clients; Basic, Enhanced, and Premiere. All 3 are managed hosting plans. Essentially, this means that you can call or e-mail us with a technical problem on your website and we'll solve it for you right away. You don't need to go digging through the code yourself or submitting a support ticket to an automated system that often takes days to get any response from. This also means that we don't charge you anything extra for domain name renewals, just the amount that we're charged (around $10 per year for a .COM domain name).
Above and Beyond
Most of our clients are perfectly happy with our basic web hosting plan. It's safe, fast, and reliable. Enhanced hosting offers a bit more bandwidth and SSL certificates for secure pages. This is critical for e-commerce transactions or pages that access private information. If your website falls into this category, please make sure you're familiar with the applicable U.S. federal privacy laws including:
- Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
- The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act
- Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA)
For clients that need a bit more attention, our Premiere Hosting plan includes a web maintenance solution that blows the socks off of anything our competition offers. For $1,800 per year (which breaks down to $150.00 per month), we check every page of your website every month to make sure there are no broken links, broken or unoptimized images, invalid code, poorly organized information, plagiarized content, etc.
You may ask, "Why do I need website maintenance if you've already built me a solid website?" Web maintenance is important (especially in a content management system) because once you add more text, photos, videos, and such to your website, there's a good chance that those pages will no longer validate. Why is this important? Because fixing that stuff will help your page ranking in search engines. Sure, we offer search engine optimization services too, but web maintenance allows us to focus our energy on other aspects of your website.
As the name suggests, SEO focuses on search engine page ranking. Web Maintenance is much more flexible. BB Graphics standard hourly rate for design services is $80.00. Signing up for a premiere hosting plan basically gives you 2 hours per month of web-related design service with a $10 discount and we throw in our premiere hosting package for free! The best part is that you don't have to use those 2 hours per month for just maintenance. For example, if you want us to design a web banner, write some copy for your website, or even brush up on some training, 2 hours is already covered. That's a good deal, and nobody can argue with that. Let us know if you have any questions.