Ah, the elephant in the room. 🙂
We occasionally get asked why Agathon hosting starts at $70/month when there are lots of other options, some as cheap as $2.95/month.
It’s a fair question. And truthfully, if you’re just getting started—or your blog is a hobby and not something you ever intend to grow or rely on for income—cheap hosting is probably just fine for your site.
But what if your blog is much more than a hobby? What if you’re making money on your blog through ads, sponsored content, affiliate programs, or the sale of your own products? What if your blog is your sole source of household income? Why not put your blog on cheap hosting then?
Hosting looks a little different when you’re a professional blogger who relies on the income from your site.
Shared or dedicated?
The first question you should ask is whether the hosting plans you’re comparing are shared or dedicated. Most “cheap hosting” is also known as shared hosting, which means you’re literally sharing resources with dozens of other sites. On this type of plan, it’s hard to add additional resources when you see a spike in traffic. And even worse, your traffic is often throttled so it doesn’t impact the performance of other sites on your shared server. But throttling does, of course, impact your site.
However, Agathon’s cloud hosting is set up so each client has their own cloud server with dedicated resources. This is also known as virtual dedicated hosting; the clouds are built on the same servers but partitioned so they don’t affect one another. Resources on a cloud server can be adjusted as needed to support the performance of the site(s) on that server. And there is redundancy across multiple physical servers built into this system to provide reliability and scalability.
Pricing and scalability
There are companies that offer similar technology at a lower starting price. But there’s another important piece to this conversation: what happens when you outgrow the entry-level plan?
While their introductory plans start out extremely low, many hosting companies require you to jump from one plan to another at a significant price increase. These jumps are often based on arbitrary limits such as a certain number of page views per month. A plan that started out as the least expensive option can quickly become very expensive.
Page views aren’t actually a great measure of a site’s resource needs. Instead of arbitrary limits, we use our expertise to create a plan that’s right for your site. In fact, we can add resources such as storage (aka disk space), RAM (aka memory), and CPU (aka processing power) as needed rather than jumping you from one plan to the next. These increases happen in $10/month increments we can add—and remove—as needed. Plus, we always look for ways to make your site run more efficiently before we suggest adding more resources.
Expertise and availability
And here’s the key: even when the physical technology is the same, Agathon offers a level of expertise, availability, and care you’re not likely to find from a mass provider.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of something going wrong on someone’s blog and the frustrating hours—or days—they spend trying to straighten it out with their host. Sometimes they’re shuffled through customer service representatives who simply don’t have the skills to help them. Sometimes they’re told the problem they’re seeing isn’t real. And sometimes they’re told the only solution is to jump to a much more expensive plan.
With Agathon’s support, you have access to real, skilled technicians. For urgent matters, you can call day or night and someone will pick up.
And we’re always willing to take a look at technical issues on your site, even those unrelated to your server. This might mean helping you adjust your permalink structure, identifying a plugin incompatibility, or looking for ways to improve site speed.
Once we identify an issue, we can provide you with instructions to fix it or an estimate of the cost for us to fix it for you. But just as often, we’re able to take care of the issue at no cost, even when a third-party theme or plugin is the cause.
Hosting for professional bloggers
Back to the original question: is Agathon hosting worth the cost?
Well, that depends. If you’re a hobbyist and are happy in that spot, the answer is probably no. There are other options out there that can support the needs of your site since it’s all just for fun anyway.
But if you’re a professional blogger with a growing audience and a business that relies on your server . . . if you’re looking for a plan that can easily adjust to the needs of your traffic . . . if you need a technology partner who can keep your site running well and understands just how important that is . . .
In other words, if you’re looking for more than just a host, then yes, we believe you’ll find the cost easily pays for itself and is well worth the investment in your business!