When you start a business, it’s always with the intention and assumption that it will run well into the foreseeable future. You get into it with the hope that it will still be making you money well beyond the average 5 years that most businesses fail to reach. Once past that critical milestone, you know that — although there is no guarantee of a smooth sailing — you will at least have learned the ropes and know how to navigate your business.
With that in mind, committing to the right hosting plan for your business’ website becomes of even more importance. At the very least, you need a plan for how long to commit to a hosting plan, since there are numerous options of varying length.
The problem is, you probably have no idea how long to commit to when you’re just starting to launch your business. Well, we’ve set out give you all the pros and cons of both long-term and short-term hosting plans to help you better prepare for your financial future.
Short-term web hosting plans range from a few months (if you’re paying on a monthly basis) to a maximum of two years. Reasons you might want to sign up for these packages include:
-You’re still testing the waters and your website hasn’t been officially launched, or it’s launched, but you aren’t sure about its performance yet.
-Maybe your business has just opened its doors to trading; you’re a little unsure and want to take it slow for the first few months.
-Perhaps you’re testing out hosting providers to see which will be the perfect fit. Test criterion could include operating systems, availability of resources, quality of resources (size of bandwidth and disk space, for example), speed of response to your support tickets, etc.
- Short-term web hosting plans are cheap for short periods, but if you keep paying those prices over an extended period of time (repeating one-month fees for two years, for example), it can become costly.
- You can bail out any time you want and not have to worry about getting your money back.
- On the short-term payment plans, your provider will be reluctant to go the extra mile for you.
- Having to pay every once in a while could be a bit tedious. Should you forget to do so in time, you might actually find yourself with no web hosting services at all.
Signing up for long-term plans means you’re renting hosting space for up to two years or more. If you’ve taken this step, it means you already know the hosting provider you’re dealing with and have found no major issues. Maybe you’ve used their hosting services firsthand, or have been assured by reliable reviews or recommendations. Going for a long-plan means:
-You’re sure you will get the service you expect and trust in the guarantees that the hosting provider has given you. You have committed yourself to a contract with the knowledge that your business will make it through to the end.
-You have a fully-functioning website that performs as you expect it to and have no hosting-related glitches.
- Most web hosting providers make it cheaper to buy their packages when you commit for a longer contract term.
- Having the same IP address for an extended period of time will help your SEO rankings – especially if there aren’t any “rogue” sites sharing it.
- Your provider will usually treat you as a preferred customer and give you certain additional features for free.
- Staying with one provider for a long term allows you to know their hosting platform well. You will be able to configure and tweak it as you wish, with little or no help.
- Committing to a long-term hosting plan requires planning. If you haven’t figured out what exactly it is that you want beforehand, then you might find yourself stuck with a hosting package that doesn’t meet your requirements.
- If you happen to find a better hosting provider you will find it hard to get out of your current commitment without your wallet taking a hit.
While most providers have a fair refund policy that handles termination of services, not all will be glad to give you your money back.
On a closing note, choosing the length of your hosting term depends on your web services requirements. There is no right or wrong length, just be sure to plan, prepare, and dedicate time to figuring out which hosting plan may be right for you.
Still uncertain? Take a look at our Top 5 Hosting Provider recommendations for help and read their reviews for more information.