Going it alone – managing your own hosting account

At Life Digital, when we develop websites for our clients, we offer them hosting on our group account with our hosting provider Kinsta. Through bulk purchasing of space, we are able to offer flexible hosting for our clients and take the burden of routing hosting maintenance off their hands.

There are many benefits to being included on our group account:

  • it gives us easy access to your account to help you as quickly as possible when you need it
  • we have access to monitor your website and receive important hosting related emails that need to be actioned
  • we can address any issues such as website downtime, slow server issues and security concerns on your behalf
  • we can monitor your website resource usage and let you know when you are reaching your website quota limits and discuss options with you
  • we can make any DNS changes necessary to maintain your hosting account
  • you are a priority client, and we prioritise your needs over other clients.

It is important to know that you are never locked into our group account – you can always move to an individual account at any time.

But I want to manage my own hosting account

At Life Digital, we believe in offering you the best option for your business, but sometimes clients want to host their own accounts, and this is certainly not a problem.

We do however like to point out your responsibilities to make sure your website remains fast, secure and looked after. If you choose to host your website yourself with your own individual account, you will need to dedicate regular time to oversee the health of your website hosting.

You can either choose to open your own account with our chosen WordPress managed hosting provider Kinsta (and we can facilitate this for you) or you can choose your own shared hosting provider. If you want to know more about the difference between managed WordPress hosting and shared hosting, read this article.

Read below for more information about things you need to consider.

Choosing a shared hosting provider (or low-cost hosting provider)

In our experience, the multiple inclusions in Kinsta’s hosting plans more than pay for the additional hosting cost compared to cheaper providers. However, we know that for some of you, budget is critical.

Important: We believe that cheap hosting is false economy. The cost of downtime to your business when your website goes down, loss of customers due to a slow website, poor SEO results due to poor website speed and lack of critical business features, not to mention the time it will take you to manage your own hosting, is false economy.

Because of these reasons we do not recommend any cheap hosts as a good option for hosting your business website, but we do believe it is important that you have the option should you want it.

While we don’t recommend any specific cheaper hosting providers, WordPress does list three recommended hosting providers on their website: https://wordpress.org/hosting/. Each provider will then have a number of different plans, depending on the size of your website and the features you are after. You will need to understand the features you want for your hosting in order to choose the right plan.

Low-cost hosting may not include critical features so you can consider purchasing these separately:

  • Daily backups – critical in case your website is hacked or gets corrupted. Keep in mind some backup tools require you to use your own storage service like Dropbox or Amazon S3, which will need to be setup and tested. The number of backups kept and amount of storage space needed may impact the annual cost. Costs start from $50 per year, depending on the service and your storage requirements.
  • Security – protection against hackers and fixing of your site if defaced or corrupted due to hacking. Costs start from US$200 per year (approx AUD$290 per year) : https://sucuri.net/website-security-platform/signup
  • SSL certificate – most hosts should offer free SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt, but if they don’t you will need to purchase one – these will usually cost around $99 annually depending on who you purchase through.

Information we will need from you

We will need the following information from you in order to install your website on your chosen hosting provider:

  • Confirmation that the hosting provider is suitable for WordPress including appropriate permissions setup
  • Notice of any banned plugins (if any) or server restrictions that may impact on the website (for example, low upload values, disallowed processes)
  • Your hosting provider login details.
  • If your hosting is based on cpanel – we will need your cpanel login details
  • Database access – usually phpMyAdmin (not required for cpanel based hosting)
  • SFTP login details (not required for cpanel based hosting)
  • DNS SPF values needed to be added to your domain name to allow email to be sent from your WordPress install (unless your email is provided by your hosting provider also)

Note – we do not include configuration of caching plugins, optimisation plugins or backup plugins as part of our standard quotes. If you would like these installed and configured, please ask for a quote.

Managing your own account with Kinsta

If you choose to open your own account with Kinsta:

  • you will need to manage any issues that arise with your hosting – ie if your site goes down, or if your hosting is slow, you will need to contact Kinsta directly
  • if your hosting provider asks you to make any changes to your website due to security concerns, you will need to understand those items and ensure they are actioned
  • if you need to make any DNS changes or additions for your domain name, you will need to add these yourself
  • if you need help with any of the above, there is a minimum one hour charge. There may also be a wait time for us to be able to assist you as we prioritise our clients who have their hosting through our group account first, or who have a maintenance plan with us.
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