Should your web developer host your website? I say no… Here’s why

Computers displaying websites. Should your web developer host your website?

I’ve read a few social media posts recently, and I’ve spoken to a few potential clients, about web developers (or designers) organising the website hosting for their clients. But, should you let your web developer host your website?

In principle, I understand the appeal of letting your web developer do this. The choice is yours, but here’s my take on it. Hint: letting your web developer host your website isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Me? I typically guide my clients through purchasing and registering their own domain name and website hosting. I offer monthly maintenance packages too, which includes me administering the hosting account. That way, I can make sure things run smoothly and yet the control and ownership stays with my client (which is orders of magnitude better in the long run).

First, a short tip for website hosting

In general, there are two things you should want when you purchase website hosting.

  1. Quality: Your website hosting is one of the major foundations for your business’s website. Make it a strong foundation.
  2. Control and ownership: Your business’s website is your asset. You wouldn’t register your business in someone else’s name just because they told you they’d take care of it. Keep hold of your assets.

Why should you care about retaining ownership of your hosting?

If your web developer disappears off the face of the earth (I’ve heard of it happening), then what happens to your website? If they’ve arrange the hosting, then you can’t access it.

Getting your website back from them and moving it to a new host is much more difficult to do (it could even be impossible). Sure, your web developer probably won’t disappear… but why take the risk?

You paid for a great website. Why risk something happening to it?

Why would you want your web developer host your website in the first place?

There are a few reasons you might choose to let your developer host your website in the first place. A good deal on price, feeling like it’s easier, or keeping your website services under one roof.

Let’s look at those reasons first, and then I’ll explain why it probably isn’t the best idea.

Price – your web developer can offer a good deal on website hosting?

I’ve seen some great deals offered by web developer and designers on hosting. Most people want a good deal, and so when you see a great price a lot of people will jump on it.

After all, you’re probably running a business, right? You want to keep your overheads as low as possible, surely?

Keeping those costs down is a good idea, but not when it’s to the detriment of the quality you’re getting.

It’s easier to let your web developer host your website

Automating or outsourcing what you can without impacting the quality of service or products you provide. That’s another good business idea.

Presented with the option of just letting someone else deal with your hosting, I can understand why some people do choose this. It’s out of your hands, and you then rely on your web developer to make sure everything is running smoothly.

I understand why some businesses choose this route if it’s easier. There are some downsides though, which I’ll deal with shortly.

Keeping it all under one roof

Your web developer and designer built your website. Why not let them host it too? One provider for all those services…

That sounds good on the face of it. A smaller number of companies to deal with! Why wouldn’t you go for that? One number to call if things go wrong. After all, they know what they’re doing (I certainly don’t dispute that part).

Why those reasons are not very good…

Let’s re-examine those three reasons from above. Price, ease, and keeping it under one roof.

Price – Is that good deal on website hosting really such a good deal?

So, your web developer is offering you a good deal on the hosting. The low price doesn’t mean it’s always good value, though. You don’t know if the hosting they’ve chosen is quality. The cheapest option isn’t often the best quality.

It’s highly unlikely your web developer has built or purchased their own web servers and has them sat in the corner of their office. Would you really want them to do that, rather than rely on a hosting company who has years of experience, resources, backups and failsafes anyway?

Chances are, your web developer has purchased a reseller account with a web hosting company. That means they could be buying the website hosting from the same place you would have purchased it from in the first place.

Circling back to my short tips on website hosting, you always want to make sure your website hosting is as good quality as possible. If you’re going with whoever your web developer has chosen and you don’t know who they are, then you don’t know if they’re a quality choice of website host.

It’s easier

Sure, the easiest option in life is… well, easier. That doesn’t make it the best.

If you choose the easy option, you don’t know if you’re getting quality. You’re also sacrificing control and ownership for the easier option. That’s not often the best idea.

Keeping it all under one roof

You pay one person, rather than two. It sounds simpler.

Instead, let’s say you buy the website hosting yourself, and you pay your web developer to maintain your website and hosting for you. They log in to your website hosting when they need to. Everything is the same.

Sure, you’re making two payments instead of one larger one. However, you now know you have top-quality hosting and you retain ownership of where your website lives on the internet.

There is a better way, rather than having your web developer host your website?

I’ve alluded to this above, but there is a better way.

Any good web designer or developer will be able to give you some guidance and help buying your own website hosting if you’re unsure how to do it (it’s easier than you think). They can then go through the settings and set it all up for you. Simple.

You can pay your developer to maintain your website and hosting for you, and own your own hosting account.

You’re then not paying your developer for the hosting. Nothing changes practically. However, you know you have quality hosting and that you’re retaining ownership of it. Should anything go wrong, you’re protected.

Conclusion

Every client of mine gets this same advice. I’ve even created screencast videos for clients who aren’t nearby to guide them through making the purchase. Even though purchasing hosting is easier than you think, it’s piece of mind for those clients who aren’t nearby to me.

P.S. Ready to sort your own hosting out? I’ve got a great recommendation…

You’re wondering where I host my own website?

With SiteGround.

They’re officially recommended by WordPress. I recommend them to each client I have because I know the quality service they provide. They also some pretty cost effective packages.

SiteGround. An amazing quality web hosting company offering high performance as well as cost effective solutions, all which are fast, secure and extremely well supported.

They’re also highly recommend for:

  1. The speed of their servers (website loading speed is important, both for your customers and because search engines prefer fast websites).
  2. The security of their service.
  3. The absolute top quality support they provide.

I’m an affiliate for SiteGround. I recommend their services because they’re the best I’ve used, and I continue to use them myself. If you click on SiteGround’s link in this article and decide to purchase on of their hosting plans, they’ll give me a small commission. It helps to keep the lights on around here!

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