Often when someone wants to have a website one of the big challenges is website hosting. I get so many text’s and emails that start with “what’s the best place to host a website?” “do I just look for the cheapest web host?”. Naturally the answer is never that simple because there’s a lot of variables that come in to play. This post is not about selecting the best or right web host but instead about one of those variables, support. I have been doing this since 2005-2006 and other than switching from Startlogic my first website host early on the only reason I switch hosts is for quality of support or shall I say lack of support.
When first getting into having a website it’s important to have a host that can provide you with the proper support to guide you through the growing pains of learning what goes into getting your site live and to some degree providing support when things break. Hopefully they explain things carefully enough that you learn as you go. It is after all in their best interest to reduce how much time they spend on you.
Over the years I have seen many hosts that once had stellar support decline to intolerable to non-existent. For a few years I had many sites at Dreamhost. They were wonderful. Support was prompt and accurate. As they grew as a company their support deteriorated to the point I took the plunge to a more expensive and highly recommended hosting company called Liquid Web. Liquid Web was absolutely stellar. Support typically responded within minutes and solved my problem just as quick. These days Liquid Web is under new ownership and support is not what it once was but it’s still the best I have experienced to date.
So What is the Hidden Value Of A Good Website Host?
These days I have grown from shared hosting, virtual hosting to actually paying for a physical web server which costs as much as a car payment every month. This server hosts about 25 of my websites, 19 of which are WordPress. WordPress is a great platform but being software it’s prone to having issues like any other software. My expenses being what they are I cannot afford down time. As my needs become greater the complexity of my problems grows equally. In my opinion the hidden value of a good website host is support quality provided. The support has a financial value that exceeds my monthly hosting costs. If I were to hire someone to help with my website and WordPress technical problems the cost would exceed what I spend on hosting. Basically a I feel a website host’s support is fixed fee unlimited technical support with free hosting.
The hidden value of a website host is their technical support is worth more than their hosting service.