Working to provide more business tools for our doulas-in-training, we recently put into place a service that makes the website hosting and domain name services that we use also available to our students, alumni, and others. We feel that this is an exciting development for independent doulas because it gives them affordable access to world-class hosting services for their small business website without paying for cost of industrial-grade hosting.
I’m going to attempt to explain what this means and why it may or may not be important to you. Let’s do this by addressing three discussion points: 1) cloud verses shared hosting, 2) customer service and support, and 3) prices for web hosting.
Cloud Hosting Vs. Shared Hosting
For the intents and purposes of most doulas, or even groups of doulas joining together to run a website, their needs are minimum at best. Their website will probably enjoy modest amounts of traffic ranging from 100 to 500 visitors per month, possibly much less in more rural areas. So while heavy performance resources are not necessarily essential for a doula website, what is particularly important for a small doula website is to be accessible for the few visitors that will come when they come wherever they are located. It is this dimension of availability that cloud hosting can greatly benefit over shared hosting. (How the website is built is another part of the availability equation that we won’t discuss here.)
The difference between cloud hosting and shared hosting is best presented with this explanation. Shared hosting is one computer that has multiple websites being run from the same computer. Albeit, these are typically very powerful computers, even the most powerful computer will still run slow when too many programs are open and running at the same time. There are many unforeseeable scenarios that are hard to anticipate with shared hosting accounts which ultimately translates into precarious results. Some companies are better than others at not overcrowding computers (called servers) with too many websites, but the reality is that when you pay for shared hosting, you are agreeing to share website space and resources with others on a single computer.
Cloud Hosting is notably different in that many computers are being tied together to share the load of many websites. These computers are also located in various locations around the globe, thus it is called a “cloud” because there is no specific location where any one website resides. This may seem like overkill as far as power goes for a small doula website, but what it does bring is security in that no matter your physical location, your website will be easily accessible anywhere. There are other benefits to cloud hosting in terms of security and independence from other websites.
Customer Service and Support
Well, this is perhaps where I can get a little personal, because part of what you are paying for when you sign up for our hosting service is my assistance in getting your web services setup.
(Now do keep in mind that I can’t build your website for you, at least not without an extra fee. But the same support and service that you receive from Rachel and I as a doula training service is the same service and support that you’ll receive with your website hosting. )
Not many hosting services are able to put a human face on their service. So by choosing to host your doula website with us, you’ve got the confidence of an experienced web master only an email or a phone call away.
The other benefit of going with our service is that we are small. So we are providing industry-grade web hosting, but with the warmth and friendliness of a small town business. So if you enjoy personal service on a first name basis, then this is what you’ll get from choosing to host your website with New Beginnings.
Prices for Web Hosting
If you are looking for the cheapest price for your website hosting, and see it only as another necessary expense for your business, then this isn’t going to be the solution for you. However, with the aforementioned points, the old adage “you pay for what you get” could not be more true. The two things that we are offering is guaranteed reliability and help along the way.
(I’d also warn you against going with the cheapest hosting services out there, because they tend to prey on those with limited or no experience in websites and will sell you on their packaged solutions as a one size fits all answer.)
We feel that we are justifiably offering one of the most cost-effective solutions for the best in web hosting that is available. For non-students, the cost of hosting plus domain name registration is only $90/year or $8/month plus $15/year for your domain name registration. Active students and alumni qualify for an even better pricing at $70/year for domain name and hosting or $6/month for hosting and $15/year for domain name registration.