There is no such thing as a hidden cost, there are however services or needs that if you do not take into consideration from the start if they appear, and if you do not have a backup budget for these types of things, it won’t be so good for you.
As this is a general question, let’s dive into it, as each type of project has different specifications you should consider when you start any project.
Building a new website is amazing, it means you’re growing your business. But in order for your website to be active on the Internet, it needs to be hosted. In short, web hosting provides storage space and access for websites.
Depending on your website type, you really need to consider the traffic that the server needs to be able to accommodate for you so your website can still work under pressure (high traffic, which usually comes in packs due to paid ads or really good content strategy). Usually, web hosting providers sell cheap hosting options with the availability of let’s say 100 people going on your website at the same time, that means your website is capable of holding up to 100 people at the same specific loading time, the 101 person needs to wait until that “port” opens up, so he can load the content of the page also.
Taking this into consideration, choose your hosting options wisely because if you launch an ads campaign and you get 1000 people at the same time… they will have to wait a few seconds until the ports are opening for them, and that could mean a lost customer because people usually leave the website if it does not load fast enough. If it takes longer than 3 seconds to load you have to take into consideration the possibility that your website is losing clients and is costing you money also (as the ads usually are PPC-pay per click).
You should also consider taking a hosting provider which has it’s data centers in the city/country you want to rank in, google ranking also takes into consideration the server location when it lists websites, it tries to rank websites that are closer to the customer, as it might mean it is more of help for him. However, that does not mean you will rank the first page, just because of the server location, there are other things to take into consideration, such as Seo, content strategy, and social media.
Server security it’s a huge issue that you have to be really careful of, as in the past years as the technology evolves, hackers evolve too… There are daily attacks on millions of servers worldwide searching for vulnerabilities so they can get access into the server, searching for sensitive data or with the purpose to insert spam content into your website or worst in some cases to take over your own website, in which case you will suffer the most. They can redirect payments to their own accounts, can also increase prices, steal customer data, contact them…and so on… possibilities are endless. So you really need not only to have your hosting server secure, but also you need to be careful with the scripts your website has, and its vulnerabilities, the plugins you install to extend functionalities, and so on… Literally, each file you will store in your server should be inspected and secured, as it can be used by any third party to get access to your server, even simply using a browser and a few commands. So don’t go for the first cheap server you can find on google… inform yourself about the company, its policy, and its security guarantees.
Here are just some of the minimum security measures that you need to keep in mind when choosing a hosting.
- spam filtering
- security audits
- firewall configuring
- network protocols
- scans for malware and viruses
- multi-level authentication
- user permissions
There are 3 main types of hosting called shared hosting, VPS or virtual private server, and dedicated server. The costs vary based on which web hosting you choose.
- Shared hosting is the least expensive one, that’s because your website gets stored in a server with other website’s too.
- VPS hosting has greater flexibility the shared hosting, an easy example would be that you can make different server configuration that you might need for a custom website.
- A dedicated server is the one you want. But it comes at a premium price as you can do anything you want with it (there are some limit’s depending on the type of package you buy or from what company, do the research wisely before you buy), you can install or configure it by your own needs, your traffic won’t impact the power of the server (it will but in a shared one, you share the traffic capacity also, and it might lag sometimes, making you lose customers).
If there is a package with the hosting provider called backups, please buy it, it will help you a lot on the long run, or at least do your own backups and keep them secured of server.
Follow the next rule for backups always:
- do one backup every single month, name it with the day-month-year and save it somewhere safe of server.
- everythime before you do any change on the website, or any massive groups of changes, i repeat, before being the keyword, do a complete backup. Even if the changes are done on localhost machine, do the backup, as on the localhost you might have different configurations and work great there, but on the live version will break the website.
- mandatory, backup entire website, before you update anything on the website, eighter if it’s a plugin you trust or a server configuration, your scripts/theme/plugins can fall and break your website for a simple misconfiguration.
- do a backup immediately after you finished your updates and check each different type of page to check if all works as expected, if not, restore from the backup, and as somebody to take a look into it on a localserver.
The costs involved to fix this type of things will be huge, it can go up to thousands of dollars only because you had no backup, no security,