It’s all about your business

I’ve been in Santa Cruz County since 1981, designing and maintaining websites since 1996. You can be confident of my skills (yes, I’m delighted that your nephew builds websites, too!) because as a business owner myself, I want to help you grow your business. Melody Sharp Web Design has developed hundreds of websites–from standard HTML to WordPress CMS–but specializes in collaborating with smaller clients and nonprofits to give them a unique and successful online presence.

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WordPress Website Hosting Nightmares

This is a follow up to my post last year about recommendations for WordPress hosting.  Unfortunately, most small, reliable hosting companies are getting swallowed up by the big guys.  These boutique companies start out with great service and tiny monthly fees.  Then they get bought out, enter into greedy price wars, and things start to fall apart.

A colleague called to tell me that a client of hers lost their entire WordPress site when A Small Orange Hosting went down and the website couldn’t be restored.  The idea of losing months worth of work gave me a stomachache and is still gnawing away at me.

I guess the bottom line is this:  Forget about cheap hosting unless you can afford to lose your website and don’t mind starting over from scratch. People roll their eyes at me when I suggest WPengine at $30 per month.  Yet it starts to sound like a very good deal when you realize they backup their client’s sites every 24 hours so, whether their servers are struck by tornados or vicious hackers, you can easily restore when bad things happen.

So, based upon discussions with local experts, these are my recommendations for 2016:

cruzioWhile Cruzio costs a bit more, if you want to support local, why not use their services? You can walk right in and talk with someone, too. Always nice. Use Cruzio or I can host for you at $15 per month.
wpengineDo you mean business with your site? wpEngine costs a bit more but worth the expense with superb customer support, built for WordPress clients. Save 20% off your first payment with WP Engine. Use code SPEEDUP.
laughing-squidThis firm is independently owned, based in San Francisco and I’m told is a good bet. At only $4-$8 bucks a month, you won’t find much cheaper than that. View more info here.

Bloated Servers Hurt Your Business

Many hosting company are getting bought out by big corporations and/or are just getting greedy. Add to that, it takes me three times as long to develop a WordPress site on GoDaddy because I have to wait for their bloated servers to respond. Yes, their customer service people are great; however, it’s all about being visible online all the time.

Many developers are actually refusing to work on GoDaddy sites! I have a lot of nonprofit and small clients…so I understand why people don’t want to have to “migrate” their sites to another hosting company. Yes, it’s a pain. On the other hand, I’ve monitored many client websites and can prove that their sites go down for 20 minutes and longer. People won’t be able to view your services if your site is down…so slowness and downtime can hurt your business. What to do?

cruzioWhile Cruzio costs a bit more, if you want to support local, why not use their services?  You can walk right in and talk with someone, too.  Always nice. Use Cruzio or I can host for you at $15 per month.
wpengineDo you mean business with your site?  wpEngine costs a bit more but worth the expense with superb customer support, built for WordPress clients. Save 20% off your first payment with WP Engine. Use code SPEEDUP. Expires 12/31/2015.
smallorangeA Small Orange is inexpensive but still provides good service and you can scale-up and buy just what you need.