The sites which we develop are typically highly tuned data driven websites with each page request having many database queries, pulling content from a variety of areas, to build custom layouts. Therefore, for our clients typically the cheap bundle hosting you see advertised on TV just doesn't deliver the performance our clients require. What our clients need is a strong, proven hosting provider which deliver excellent performace, competitive pricing, and peace of mind.
We use Acquia to host our client websites, the leading Drupal Hosting company whose co-founder is the creator and project lead for the Drupal platform. Acquia offer us the ability to scale the hosting requirements to the specific needs of each site we build. All of our sites have daily backups, version control, and multiple development environments allowing peace of mind for our clients and an excellent environment for our developers to work. That being said, if you have a five page website with static content and little traffic then a few bucks a month could offer all the hosting you need.
The danger lies in believing that all hosting is equal - it most certainly is not. Large websites typically have many server requests for each page load and so relying on budget hosting to pull all of this information together quickly is a big ask. It is not just server response time either, things like page caching are a must for enhanced user experience and the options you get with budget hosting again falls short.
There are two questions we ask clients when they are looking at hosting options:
- How important is a fast page load to your users?
- What would happen if your site went down or you lost data?
As you can imagine the answers usually say something like "very important" and "it would be a nightmare!"
With leads to the only real question when choosing a hosting provider: "What value does your website have for your business?"
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