Shopping around

In this current climate, most organisations are looking for ways to improve costs. For this reason, now might be a good time to undertake a website hosting review

In this current climate, most organisations are looking for ways to improve costs. For this reason, now might be a good time to undertake a website hosting review. This doesn’t necessarily mean finding a different host entirely, it might just involve re-negotiating with your current supplier.

The fact that we’ve mentioned ‘improving costs’ here is key; a hosting review isn’t just about finding the cheapest supplier you can. It’s more to do with establishing whether your supplier is giving you value for money. Interestingly, we worked on a review with a client recently and they ended up paying more – but the service they are now receiving is better for them and offers best value for money.

Here are some factors you should consider when undertaking your hosting review:

1 Look at the environment
Is the environment provided by your hosting firm appropriate for the task at hand? There’s no point in having something which is under-spec. Equally, it doesn’t make sense to pay for something you don’t use, so make sure it isn’t over-spec either.

2 How appropriate is your SLA?
Take a look at your Service Level Agreement (SLA). Is it appropriate for your circumstances? If you are a 9am-5pm company that can deal with any web issues the following day, then is there any point in paying for 24-hour cover? Alternatively, if you are an international organisation with the call for support likely to be 24/7, 365 days of the year, then a more encompassing SLA is sensible.

3 Are you paying for ad-hoc services?
Do you find that you’re paying for a number of ad-hoc services – such as penetration testing and a security review - over a period of time? In which case, it might be worth looking at some packages which include these as standard. It might seem like you’re paying more overall but you might avoid any extra costs over time.

Why not schedule in regular performance reviews or security audits and then negotiate your hosting agreement to take these into account in your package?

4 Is your patching strategy right?
Are you paying for a patching strategy which doesn’t suit your organisation? Some companies want updates and patches as soon as they are published, while others would rather let any glitches pass them by first and take the update later.

5 Is the correct infrastructure in place?
It is important that your home page loads correctly and that you don’t run out of memory, so make sure you are provided with the right infrastructure for your project.

6 Think first
Before you approach your website host for a review, have a think about what you expect and need them to be providing. Then negotiate around that. Build a plan and look at the different areas you need covered from bespoke monitoring to disaster recovery checking.

7 Shop around
Once you are sure what you need, it’s sensible to get some additional quotes for hosting.

8 Consider your commitment level
You might need to sign-up for a longer contract than you’d ideally want to do get a better overall price. A two-year contract will likely be better value in the long run than a three-month one, for instance.

If you want to talk through a plan before embarking on a website hosting review, then give our team at Lake Solutions a call.

Article Details

Ian Jepp
25 May 2021