You’ve decided it’s time for a new website for your apartment community or multifamily business, but if you are like most of our clients, you probably haven’t thought much about what type of hosting service will best support your new, beautiful website.
Most companies don’t spend a lot of time considering the pros and cons of hosting options. However, while the provider you select won’t make or break the overall functionality and quality of your multifamily website design, it can affect its performance. When it comes to hosting there are myriad options available at different price points, but not all will give your site the speed and stability you need to maximize site performance or to prevent hacking and website failure.
We’ve standardized on a hosting provider called Flywheel, which offers managed WordPress hosting. Unlike cheaper hosting providers, which often cram 1,000 or more websites on a server, Flywheel limits the number of sites on each server to 50, so it offers consistently fast performance, which is ideal for SEO and overall user experience. The service also includes daily backups and advanced security that greatly reduces site hacking and related downtime. Should your website be hacked, Flywheel can get it back online for free.
When we inherit existing websites, we find about one in 10 has been hacked or has malware which we need to clean up. When you use cheaper hosting, even if your web development company does its best to secure your site, you are still at risk because the performance of your site can be affected if any other sites on the server are hacked. If you don’t elect to use premium hosting and your website goes down, other companies will charge you additional costs for time spent and/or programs purchased to get your site live again. Even worse, we have seen situations where sites took more than a week to get fixed because the hosting provider was so backlogged with hacked sites.
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to choose a great hosting company. You also must maintain all the components of the technology that were used to build your site including any themes and plug-ins. Our hosting fee also includes standard maintenance. Flywheel updates WordPress, but we manually go into your site every two months and update themes and plug-ins that were used to create it. Maintenance also includes backing up the site, making sure nothing is broken and fixing anything that does break for free. With cheaper hosting options, you need to make these updates yourself or pay additional fees for someone else to do them. Otherwise, you run a real risk of your website breaking or being hacked.
While there are budget solutions that are a third of the cost of our hosting fee, you get what you pay for. They don’t include maintenance and support which are absolute musts in a WordPress environment. Your site will most likely be slower and these budget options don’t include the level of security of features, such as daily back-ups and one click site restoration, that come in handy should you need to use them.
As always, if you have any questions about hosting or anything else, we’re here to help.