Since 2000, the cost of website hosting has dropped like a stone. Where we used to pay over $100 a month for hosting on some of my sites (RT was once closer to $1k a month to host), costs have dropped to the point that I got a $2.99 per month deal from 1and1.com a couple months ago. They’re back up to a whopping $3.99 a month now.
I had a discussion on a jet last week with a fellow who used to run a major local ISP and he confirmed my suspicions: it’s shake out time for the small locals. There just isn’t enough money in the game for most of them anymore. He also noted exactly that which I fear most: this is coming at the expense of service.
As marketers, this should concern us. When we put up a marketing critical site, we need it to stay up, and we need to be sure that if something happens, we can get it fixed RIGHT NOW, before the boss calls, and certainly before we send our motivated customers running screaming for the hills.
However at a rate of $2.99, or even $9.99 (which is what most of my sites are paying at oneworldhosting.com), how much service can we expect? Probably not much.
David Churbuck and I were discussing the need for top level service in a boutique style ISP. After all, what would you pay to ensure you’re marketing site could withstand a slashdotting, or that a team of techies would decend on any issue you had that was affecting your sites perfomance? It’s great idea, one that marketers should flock to. But the former ISP guy I was talking with noted that it had been tried and had failed. When it comes down to it, the hosting fees are the first thing to get slashed.
Answers? I don’t have any, but I’m interested in hearing yours.