If you’ve ever purchased wine, you have no doubt have seen that the price of a bottle of wine varies greatly. While one bottle of wine sells for less than $5 – another sells for closer to $50. Why is one bottle so much more expensive than the other? A brave sole asked this question on a forum and a wine shop manager/wine buyer provided an unpalatable answer which was featured on Digg and then deleted a few days later.
To recap the now deleted answer, producing quality wine takes a lot of time and effort. Naturally, the quality of the grapes directly affects the quality of the wine. Fertile farmland perfect for growing the most delicious grapes is expensive – and then there’s the cost of harvesting those grapes. While some wineries hire laborers to harvest the grapes by hand – others plant their crop in a way which makes machine harvesting possible.
Mechanizing the grape harvest provides a HUGE cost savings for these wineries. Wineries dedicated to creating a superior product hire laborers to sort the harvest. When the goal is to produce a CHEAP product, this is done by skipping the process of sorting grapes from the other debris harvested by the machines. That means these wineries use everything the machines pick to make their wine. This includes rotten or unripe fruit, leaves, vines, and even insects. Other answers on the forum thread confirm this practice is true of many bargain priced commercially produced wines.
There will always be people who make buying decisions solely upon price. These people rarely ask why the cost of one product is dramatically lower than the cost of another product.
In case you’re wondering what this has to do with hosting for your business blog, read on.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had to remind a couple of clients why they pay the price they do for their fully managed WordPress hosting. One client who recently began hosting with Acumen Web Services contacted me because she stumbled across this post at the Sucuri blog – and wanted to make sure her site was safe. (It is.)
Her email helped me to recognize that even though my clients are intelligent, successful business owners, many have no idea what’s involved in providing fully managed WordPress hosting.
Providing quality fully managed WordPress hosting may be more labor intensive than producing quality wine.
Wine is a tangible product. You can see it, you can smell it and you can taste it. People who have sampled Bronco Wines’ Two Buck Chuck tell me it’s similar to drinking turpentine, so they weren’t surprised to see the answer provided by Knox.
However, unlike wine, web hosting is a service based business. Chances are you’ll never lay eyes on the server which hosts your website, and even if you did, seeing it wouldn’t tell you much.
Your web hosting is only as good as the people who are managing the machines.
This means a company that offers quality hosting today may not be offering quality hosting next year. Over the past two decades, I’ve personally seen the quality of hosting go from superior to inferior in the blink of an eye. Some of the most popular web hosting companies got their start by offering top quality hosting service. Unfortunately, all it takes is a change of ownership – or management – for all of that to change.
If your hosting provider’s employees don’t perform routine software updates or regular maintenance, then the security of your WordPress installation is in jeopardy. Even experienced web professionals have to use a hosting service to discern the quality of the services.
It’s little wonder that discerning business owners are often swayed by hosting which is priced like a bottle of Two Buck Chuck.
You’ve no doubt heard that keeping your WordPress installation current is one of the most important things you can do to secure your site from evil doers on the web. Just as WordPress issues security updates, the developers of the software that powers your hosting server issue updates as well.
If your hosting provider doesn’t install critical security updates to the software running on the server, it’s possible for your site to be compromised even though you’ve done everything possible to secure your site.
Many wineries have found success by peddling a sub-par product at a ridiculously cheap price. These companies know there will always be those who want a bargain price, regardless of the true cost. Unfortunately, there are hosting providers who subscribe to a similar point of view.
Some hosting companies are claiming to offer fully managed WordPress hosting when really all they offer is automatic updates to WordPress. Their version of “fully managed WordPress hosting” is offered a price that’s far below what you should expect to pay. When you find a ridiculously good deal on hosting, you’ve got to ask, “What corners are they cutting to achieve that price?