Just as the cost of designing, developing and marketing a website can vary dramatically, so too can the cost of hosting it.
But how do we account for the price differences in website hosting? After all, isn’t website hosting just a question of uploading the code to a computer into a folder or directory along with lots of other directories storing other peoples’ websites? Sounds like a fantastically scalable and profitable business model, especially with the cost of technology coming down and computing ‘grunt’ getting more powerful all the time (thank you Moore’s Law!).
In no particular order, these are some of the things Itomic would do in order to build a really, really cheap website hosting service. Hint: put your tongue in your cheek while reading. Unless of course you really really want to build a really really cheap website hosting service, in which case you should use this as a fantastic checklist!
- Put the server in a 3rd or 2nd world country. Heck, let’s go the whole hog and make sure this country is in a completely different time zone to the bulk of the owners of the websites on the server.
- Put the server in a general purpose office environment, as opposed to a ‘real’ state-of-the-art data centre. Do I really need bullet-proof glass protecting the server? Do I really need the building to have multiple data connections to the outside world if the primary connection fails? Do I really need the building to have diesel generators on standby if the multiple power supplies fail?
- Don’t bother with 24/7 onsite technical staff. If the server goes down and no-one’s home, we’ll just wait until 9am local time (whenever that might be) for someone to rock up and deal with it. Hopefully.
- Outsource the telephone/email/live-chat support to India. Nothing like English-as-a-second-or-third-language operators when you’re trying to get technical issues resolved!
- Don’t offer telephone support. At all. Hide your support behind a mail server or ticketing system only. But don’t forget to auto-respond to all enquiries with a “your issue has been received and is important to us and will be dealt with in due course” message. That’s cheap and easy to do!
- Don’t offer support. At all. OK, we’re getting a bit silly now. But if we outsource all technical support to email-only non-English speaking technicians in a different time zone who are overworked and underpaid – doesn’t that, in effect, amount to no support at all?!
- Don’t make (or check) regular remote backups of the websites on the server. By ‘remote’ we mean that the backups are made to another data centre external to the data centre where the primary hosting server is located. Making and checking remote backups costs extra (storage, data transfer, skilled technicians). Let’s do without this insurance policy that covers us in the event that there’s a temporary or permanent failure at our primary data centre. Fingers crossed!
- Don’t make any backups of the websites. At all. But in the small print of the hosting contracts don’t forget to advise clients that it’s 100% up to them to remember to make and check their own backups via the control panel access you generously offer as standard.
- Don’t install monitoring systems to alert technicians (who aren’t there very often, anyhow) to possible or actual server problems. Hardware failure, software in need of updating, denial of service attacks, viruses, etc.
- Don’t keep software on the server updated with the latest security patches.
There you have it! The perfect cocktail to be able to offer low/no service website hosting to a global audience at rock-bottom prices. You should be able to charge as little as $5 or less per month and still make a profit – if you can get enough people to sign-up, and stay signed up. Good luck! You’re going to need it. By the bucket load.
At Itomic, we pride ourselves on “reassuringly expensive” website hosting. At time of writing, our shared website hosting services start at $0.70/day ($260 per year – outrageous!) and peak at about $3.60/day (about the price of a coffee). We believe that our customers view their websites as assets, and can sleep easy at night (our clients and us!) secure in the knowledge that their assets are protected in multiple ways by skilled professionals and robust systems in 1st world countries. Contact us today for more information.