Skip Navigation

According to realtors, finding a place to live starts with “location, location, location”. But your website lives on the internet – one big world-wide neighborhood. How picky do you actually need to be in choosing a home for your website?

First, a quick primer if “web host” is an unfamiliar term.

A web host is a service provider that allows individuals and organizations to make their websites accessible on the internet. It involves providing the necessary technologies and infrastructure to store website files and data and make them available for viewing by visitors. Web hosting companies own and operate powerful servers or data centers that are connected to the internet with high-speed connections. When you sign up for a web hosting service, you typically rent space on one of these servers. The hosting provider takes care of maintaining the server hardware, network connectivity, and other technical aspects. 
– Chatgpt (with human revisions)

Consider the cost 

Prices for hosting a small website can range from $3 to $20 a month. For cost-conscious shoppers, it can be tempting to go with an inexpensive host. But here is how those cheaper hosts save money:

  • Lower horsepower – Your site is placed on a “shared server” where it will compete for bandwidth with other sites. If other sites have a spike in traffic, your site could perform slowly.
  • Fewer features – Your site will not come with IT functions like code repositories and lower environments. When something breaks on your site, you will end up paying for those IT costs in the form of labor and the potential of your site being down for longer.
  • Minimal support – Your access to expert support staff could be very limited.

In the next post in this web hosting series, we’ll share a few of our favorite amenities you should ask about.

In the meantime, don’t let that low price lead you to a hasty decision. You get what you pay for and you could end up paying for it eventually. Ask questions, look for reliable reviews and include total-cost-of-ownership in any analysis. And if you end up with a bad web host, don’t be afraid to change. 

openbox9 has worked with a lot of different website hosting providers over the years and witnessed large disparities between them. To ease the burden of comparison shopping, openbox9 created a list of preferred hosts that we share with our clients. Drop us a line if you’d like to chat, and read part 2 of the series for even more insights on choosing a solid web host provider for your nonprofit.

Chris Moore
Chris loves helping the team optimize the flow of value.