Five Ways to Keep Your Hosting Costs Under Control - Part I
Five Ways to Keep Your Hosting Costs Under Control - Part I
-By A. Vyas, January 2023
(This is a two part series that is aimed to help customers looking to optimize their web hosting costs, although many of the suggestions may apply to the web hosts themselves)
It is early January 2023 as I write this post. The 2022 end of the year Holiday season has just concluded, the Black Friday/ Cyber Monday and Christmas/ New Year Sales have concluded, and hopefully many of you still have some money left over to pay for your renewing your web hosting plans! This period becomes allows some time to reflect on how much one is spending on subscriptions in general and web hosting services in particular. The possibility of an economic downturn is one reason. The other factor, which I have mentioned below, is already a reality.
Over the past few months, many web hosting providers have increased their hosting fees on account of rising costs. European countries in particular have witnessed very high energy costs, which has added to the problem of high inflation. This has resulted in higher costs for running their business. In most cases, they have no choice other than passing on these increases to their customers.
In such a situation, how can a user, who is say a typical customer of Low End hosting, keep the hosting costs low? Let us take a look at five different ways to help you keep a tight leash over your hosting costs in the coming months.
Web Hosting Plans- The Problem of Plenty
Before we get down to business, let us try and answer this all important question:
Do you have too many hosting plans, or do you have a large collection of hosting subscriptions?
If the answer is yes, you are in a perfect position to take a deep, hard look at your respective hosting collections. There may be some impulse purchases, and some plans that do not make any sense now. Those are ripe to be dropped or culled. For example,
Is there a 2 GB shared hosting plan that you purchased during last Black Friday? Or an older OVZ server that is still active?
If the answer is no, you are in a good position to start optimizing further- maybe switch a plan or two to a lower tier. We will discuss that option in Part II of this series.
Where and How to begin reducing your web hosting costs?
Lata's Approach to Saving on Web Hosting
Let us take a look at the Web Hosting "Empire" of a person called Lata. She has gathered quite a number of webhosting plans over the years. When she was thinking of reducing these expenses she adopted the following approach.
First, she prepared a chart that lists all the hosting plans she actively subscribed to. In Lata's case, as might be the situation with many of you, this presented quite a collection of Shared hosting, Reseller, NAT, OVZ, KVM and Storage servers. In addition, she also has subscriptions for many SaaS (Software as a Service) based hosting plans from providers like Jimdo and Shopify.
In other words, short of a Dedicated server, Lata had subscribed to practically every sort of hosting plan one may typically find here on Lowend Spirit(https://lowendspirit.com/). While some of the hosting plans have been procured for friends and family, others are for her customers. Finally, a few plans are for her own personal or hobby projects.
Lata's Webhosting collection
Let us see how Lata began to arrive at optimizing her costs.You can also develop a method that suits your situation the best. Lata tried five different approaches to arrive at some cost savings. In this first part of the series, we will look at three approaches. The balance will be covered in the second installment.
For sake of simplicity, all costs are mentioned in US Dollar terms, and any savings are projected to occur between January and March 2023.
I. Consolidate the hosting plans
Once Lata drew up her "hosting empire", she added up the fees for these plans. She sorted them by fees incurred, starting from the highest to lowest. Most of her plans were paid annually or for a longer duration. Many were up for renewal over the next couple of months. This helped her to start prioritizing which hosting plans she should close. Terminating the most expensive plans alone could have added to her savings quite a bit, had it been a practical approach.
Estimated savings till March 2023 : about 40 US Dollars
Tip: List down the pricing for all the plans you have, that alone will be a great starting point before you start looking at savings.
II. Moving the hosting to a cheaper location(s)
Hosting in Europe typically used to be cheaper till recent months. Generally speaking, this is likely to remain for some time, depending on how the current energy crisis evolves. However, these times also present an opportunity to move the hosting to a different location - say North America. And, in some (very rare cases) also Asia.
Lata followed this approach and reached out to some of her hosting providers who had services across multiple regions. She asked them,
"Would they consider moving some of her services to cheaper locations?"
Some providers agreed, others refused, a couple of them offered to move her for a fee. Lata did a quick cost to benefit analysis, and decided that some non-critical service(s) could be moved to cheaper locations. However, the mission critical stuff that required the lowest latency or higher reliability remained at their present locations.
Estimated savings till March 2023 : about 35 US Dollars
Tip: Do you have hosting plans with provides who have services across multiple regions? Maybe a chat with the support team could help you figure out some savings.
III. Lower the specifications a notch or two
The third approach Lata adopted involved asking an all-important question:
Did she really needed the plans with higher specifications- hosting she had subscribed to "Just in case"?
For example, she had a shared hosting plan in North America with about 20 GB of Storage space, with a maximum of 10 domains, and 1 TB bandwidth per month. Most of this capacity was lying unused. She decided to move to a lower plan that had half the specifications. This resulted in nearly 30 percent savings.
Estimated savings till March 2023: about 12 US Dollars
Tip: In times of tightening the belt, scaling down a plan or two can help save some costs.
The savings do add up, and the journey is not yet complete.
By adopting the above three approaches, (consolidating the hosting plans, moving the hosting plans to cheaper locations, and lowering the specifications on the plans) Lata is projected to save around 87 US Dollars over three months (or about 30 US dollars a month) in hosting fees. And she was not done yet! In the second part of this series, let us explore some more ways in which you can learn form Lata's experience and determine ways to lower your own web hosting costs.
Note: This article was originally written in October 2022, the estimated savings and timelines have been revised to reflect the costs at the time of publication.