As we continue to grow our business and more consumers start to become aware of us, we’ve been asked the same question a few times recently: “How can you offer low pricing while maintaining quality?”, so we thought we’d take some time to explain our pricing and infrastructure here.
We want to start by reaffirming stability and customer satisfaction are always at the heart of everything we do, we’d never sacrifice either one to allow for cheaper product pricing. We understand your website is one of the most important assets to your business. So whilst enabling you to secure web hosting from 99p a month is, of course, a great achievement and headline for us, if you signed up only to find your website becomes intermittently unavailable, slow to load and our support unresponsive we will lose your business and receive a (justified) negative reputation within days.
One perceived reason for our low pricing seems to be an idea that we use underpowered and/or non-professional hardware to host our customers content, devices such as personal specification machines running from a residential location etc. The opposite is true of Hugoton Hosting. We host all of our web infrastructure within Amazons EC2 cloud. Each of our nodes (we currently operate nodes within Europe – Ireland and the USA – North Virginia) consist of an Amazon EC2 server (plus EBS volume & elastic IP), a WHM/cPanel license, a CloudLinux license, and a Softacolous premium license. We monitor the server load calculation closely using automated monitoring software (namely Munin, Monit, and AWS CloudWatch) to aid our decision on when to launch new nodes once one reaches capacity, we never oversell or overload our nodes.
Migrating to EC2 was a strategic decision that we took a little over two years ago now for a number of reasons, the primary ones being; uptime & resiliency, security and the ease of launching new instances across the globe (scalability). Amazon allows us to create storage (EBS) volumes that attach to our nodes which can vary in size depending on our needs. So for nodes with more content heavy customers, we can have a larger sized EBS volume attached, and on a less content heavy node we can have a smaller sized EBS volume. This approach allows us to maintain tight control over our costs by not paying to provision under-utilized disk space. In addition, committing to a long-term contract with Amazon decreases the cost of EC2 instances – Hugoton Hosting recently signed a 3-year contract with Amazon for all of our current instances.
Another perceived reason for low pricing being possible is that we are a ‘short-term’ or ‘summer’ hosting company. In short, such a host appears and starts to offer low pricing for web hosting in the form of limited time offers etc. Only to disappear completely a few weeks or months later leaving their clients websites down and the clients themselves frustrated & out of pocket. Hugoton Hosting was established in 2005 and has been hosting, designing and developing websites ever since – we’re not going anywhere.
One final perception is that we offer little or no support, so once a client signs up for services they are left with a potentially broken, or at the very least challenging to navigate, hosting platform that they struggle to use. Again, contrary to the perception, Hugoton Hosting uses the latest version of WHM & cPanel to host our customers’ websites & e-mail services. We also use WHMCS to ensure billing and support tickets are managed appropriately, have a full knowledgebase to help along the way and offer 24/7 support via e-mail and live chat (plus telephone support for specific premium packages).
To conclude while there are a number of hosts out there that, unfortunately, have one goal – to provide super low priced web hosting, make as much money as possible in a short space of time then drop offline soon afterward – Hugoton Hosting is here to stay for many more years to come. We are able to offer low pricing due to the volume of sales we process and maintaining our own, carefully cost controlled, infrastructure.