Five Ways to Keep Your Hosting Costs Under Control - Part II

vyasvyas OGRetired
edited February 3 in LES Talk

Five Ways to Keep Your Hosting Costs Under Control - Part II

-By A. Vyas, January 2023

Read Part I here: Five Ways to Keep Your Hosting Costs Under Control - Part I


This is the second and concluding part of a two part series on how you can reduce your web hosting costs in times of high inflation and increasing web hosting fees. In the previous part, we saw how a person "Lata" was able to save nearly 30 US dollars a month by adopting three different approaches to manage her web hosting plans.

To summarise, the three approaches she adopted so far were:
I. Consolidate the hosting plans
II. Moving the hosting to a cheaper location(s)
III. Lower the specifications a notch or two

In this part, let us explore some more ways that she followed, and determine how much savings she was able to achieve in practical terms.

IV. Check those idlers and duplicates

Idlers are the bane of the Low End aficionados. Lata's case was no different. She had multiple idlers in her webhosting "Empire", and quite a collection of hosting services were in Singapore. From Lata's home location, Singapore offered the greatest set of options and a reasonable ping ~ 45 ms. It was not the fastest or the best latency she could get, but it was much better than locations in Western Europe (~ 150 ms) or the East Coast, USA (~ 220 ms).

Over the past couple of years Lata kept subscribing to newer plans in Singapore, it almost became a habit of sorts. Recently, she decided to cut the number of plans to half. Gone was a small server, a larger KVM, and a reseller hosting plan. All three were mostly idling.

Lata also had multiple KVM plans in Western Europe. Some could be transferred out, but the renewal for these plans was only a few weeks away. She set them to be terminated at the conclusion of their respective periods.

Scheduling to terminate the service at the end of the billing period also gave her an opportunity to backup and migrate her data in a planned manner, instead of rushing things at the last minute.

Tip: You can consider transferring out the plans out to other users in the LE community. However, the level of effort and transfer fees in many cases may outweigh the savings.

Estimated savings till March 2023 : about 30 US Dollars

Tip: Do you have a few extra idlers that are higher than your comfort level? Do you see an opportunity to cut down on a few plans? A great place to start would be to check if you have multiple plans in the same location.

V. Check the pricing terms, mode of payment, and currency

Lata, who is based in Bengaluru in India, was paying for most services in US Dollars through PayPal. She began to explore providers who accepted payment in Indian Rupees (INR). The reason for preferring PayPal will be highlighted in a different post, since it involves a deep dive into regulation, tax implications, as well as other technicalities.

She switched some of her services to providers who accepted payment in INR, and paid them using services such as Razorpay. Paying for longer terms (6 months or higher) helped her and the web host save some percentage points in processing fees as well.

The downside of this approach is that sometimes, this method may not be practical.

For example, Lata had VPS plan with one host from India, for a VPS located in Mumbai. Their monthly charges were 4 US dollars. For annual payment, they offered a 8 dollar discount, that is 40 US Dollars per year. However, Lata was required to pay in US Dollars.

Typically, INR: US Dollar exchange rate is between 70 and 72 (i.e. 70 INR = 1 US Dollar). In recent months, it is hovering closer to INR 80-83 range. Adding Paypal fees, etc- the rate climbs to 85 or 86 INR per US Dollar. In other words, Paypal adds an overhead that negates any potential cost savings. In Lata's case, it resulted in savings of only 2 US Dollars. She dropped the idea of switching the currency and payment terms altogether, and decided to opt for monthly subscription.

Estimated savings till March 2023: Nil

Tip: Are you paying month to month, or a slightly longer term? Does your host offer discounts if you pay for six months or annually? Many hosts, in fact, do!

The savings add up

Needless to say, the steps taken by Lata helped her save some money. In the first part of this series, we saw how Lata was able to save 87 US dollars. In this part, we saw that her proactive steps yielded savings of another 30 US Dollars.

All in all around 120 US dollars saved upto March 2023, or about 40 US dollars a month, is quite a bit of money saved! Maybe she should get a hot, tempting hosting plan during a future sale this year to reward herself for her efforts. Just kidding.

Wrapping it all up

Under normal circumstances, a cost increase due to inflation is expected and mostly a given. Inflation may vary from low single digits to high teens, depending on the country in which one lives. But present times are challenging and dynamic, where double digit inflation is prevalent in many countries at the same time, even those who have not seen such costs in 20 or even 30 years!

Add to this the falling value of the British Pound, or the Euro, in comparison to the US Dollar. I already mentioned INR's fall compared to the US Dollar earlier. The story may not be too different where you live.

But these times also present an opportunity to reflect on the hosting situation and think of ways to keep a tab on the hosting costs. I hope Lata's approach gave you an idea or two. However, the story does not end there.

Some questions that may arise such as:

  • Has this post covered most of the practical approaches? (i.e. ones that can be considered as low hanging fruits)?

  • Did Lata miss something obvious?

  • Can she optimize the costs further?

I leave you with these questions as food for thought, and may the Low End Spirit in you figure out the best way(s) for you.

Author's Note: Thanks to the two reviewers, who shall remain unnamed, for their feedback and suggestions for this post.


Sign In or Register to comment.