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7 Tips For Small Businesses to Optimize Their Web Hosting Expenses

Managing Web Hosting infrastructure is an art. Small businesses need to be effective in managing their Web Hosting infrastructure costs. At the end of the day, businesses have to add high value for their customers and deliver significant margins.

The complexity of the web hosting industry and the huge number of available offers and providers make purchase decisions hard. Finding the perfect hosting deals that fit the business needs is a continuous process and not a one time task.

These tips can be applied for different types of organizations including starups, small and medium-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, large corporations and more.

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1- Understand and evaluate your hosting needs: The goal is to pick the right hosting infrastructure package and specs in the appropriate location. A good technical expertise is required in order to choose, design and implement the right hosting infrastructure that fits your business needs. Selecting the right professional web hosting partners you can trust is very important.

Some scenarios to avoid: Opting for an expensive dedicated server to host a small website which can be hosted in a shared environment or a VPS server. Selecting the cheapest offer, sacrificing quality and performance is another decision to be avoided.

2- Turn dead hosting inventory into cash or useful resources: Some businesses fall into the trap of over-subscription and keeping hosting resources they do not use/need anymore.

Some scenarios to avoid: Subscribing for an extra unlimited bandwidth feature for an additional monthly fee when you do not even consume the included bandwidth. In this case, the additional unused feature expenses can be used to have something else (like a backup service, security feature, another server or something else).

3- Avoid long-term contracts: There’s nothing worse than being tied to a contract that no longer works for you. While businesses have no option but to embrace technology, to take advantage of the efficiencies and cost savings opportunities, they need to avoid long-term contracts at all costs and whenever possible.

Some scenarios to avoid: Taking a multi-year contract for a dedicated server. As you know, with the technological advancements and the very competitive market, after few months, you can get a more powerful server for less! So think twice before going with a long-term contract.

4- Consider infrastructure consolidation whenever possible: Monitor and analyze resources usage and costs to adjust and establish forecasts. Switch between different environment types (cloud, dedicated, VPS, etc.) in order to increase performance, management efficiency and reduce costs.

Some scenarios to avoid: Keeping multiple dedicated servers used at 5% of their capacity when you can migrate them to a fewer number of VPS and/or dedicated servers or other types of hosting solutions.

5- Take advantage of the startups programs offered by some providers: Some providers have programs and discounts for startups and non-profit organizations. As an example, DAIR (Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research) provides Canadian tech entrepreneurs access to free cloud-based (virtual) compute and storage resources.

Testing a provider's services by yourself as part of the free trial or money-back guarantee program gives you a great opportunity to test what is important for you. This represents a good strategy to try the server, evaluate the server’s reliability, the provider’s customer support and all the important aspects for you. It’s much better than reading others’ reviews online (fake and genuine!)

Some scenarios to avoid: Paying for hosting resources you can get for free if your business is eligible to benefit from free or low cost resources.

6- Negotiate better deals and discounts if you have a big project: It is very easy to negotiate when you have big projects, you know your needs and the competition. Evaluate different partners, talk to them and negotiate the perfect deals. Focus on different aspects (provider reputation and trust level, customer service, infrastructure reliability, additional features, etc), and not only on the financial aspect. Negotiating at the right time with the right people can be an important strategic tool.

Some scenarios to avoid: Paying full pricing for your hosting infrastructure before talking to different providers (select your short list) and performing any competitive analysis.

7- Monitor your staging and development environment usage: These environments have different availability, usage and performance requirements than the production systems. Hourly-billed dedicated servers and cloud offers are some of the optimization options to be considered staging/dev to pay what you use.

Some scenarios to avoid: Get a long term multi-server contract for an environment used occasionally.


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