Website Hosting & Maintenance

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12/30/2012

What website hosting service is working best for you and your Inn?  I need to look at reducing overhead in a possible purchase of an existing Inn.

They currently pay $4000 per year and that includes any updates to all backend software and the website.

I want to be able to include on-line reservations using which ever Reservation System we chose to purchase or lease.

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Joined:
07/23/2008

I use reservation key, and love them! I also use homestead for my website, and they are available 24/7, I can make whatever changes I want, when I want ( I like having control of my site), and they do all the SEO etc... My cost average $400/yr. 

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Iris's picture
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06/08/2009

woaw, that is a heck of a lot of money.  I pay $ 60 for hosting per year and my webmaster is there for me whenever I have work for him and I pay never more than
$500 per year.  I do none of the work myself. 

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birdwatcher's picture
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Joined:
02/22/2009

WOW that is too much and one advise that i will never ever foget-please please-own your own domain name. If you do not own it any webhosting place can refuse to re-new your website. I learned the hard way when i wanted to switch and they would not give me the password for my domain name-and you pay for this. If anything you need to own your domain name.

but i cant see paying 4k for webhosting unless they are there for you 24/7 and doing everything -no way would i pay that much for webhosting.

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05/30/2008

I switched web hosting servers recently. Probably not a good decision on my part, but now I have WordPress, which makes it easier. Unfortunately, host is a neighbor with an attitude. May consider switching back. Thot my website was down and told him about it. He said it wasn't him, but the company that I maintain the URL/domain name through. True? He said the only way to prevent this was to have him also control the domain name. NOT!!!  I just reupped my domain name for about $38 from
Discount Domains and Hosting. This is good for two years.

I am maintaining my own website as far as updates go. I am just learning about WordPress and have my old website look exactly how it did originally, rather than going through their templates. There is a learning group here in town. When we went to the meeting last week, we mentioned we were small business owners. Someone approached us after the meeting, through the local community college and said her function is to help small businesses free of charge with their websites! (Good)News to us!

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I don't think it is a good idea to have anyone other than yourself own your domain name. I don't buy my domain name thru my hosting service. I've never had the hosting service tell me my website was down because the place I pay for the domain name was down.

Think about paying for 10 years or more on the domain name. That keeps it out of the hands of speculators. If it keeps coming up every year or so for renewal you might miss the deadline.

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Joined:
06/24/2008

Welcome! Lots of great info on this site for aspiring innkeepers.  Lots of your questions can be found on this site if you search.

As stated by others $4k is a heck of a lot to be spending a year on webhosting.  You must find out what all is included for that price, sure it is much more than hosting and updates! 

Does it include continual SEO updates? Who owns the domain? (Whois could provide, but now you can pay extra to have that data private so you may have to find this out by the current owners) Who owns the site? - different than the domain, some sleazy web developers keep the content if the contract is voided.  (not common practice)

To drastically reduce your costs you could take on all web matters yourself if you know how, otherwise you may need to hire another company to take over at least the updates. 

We use AmHosting.com but there are many good ones out there now for about $100 or so a year, just make sure they have the best bandwidth and space you need for your site.  This is JUST for hosting, there are no updates or SEO assistance for this price but if you are not able to do that yourself, there are companies that can do it for far less than the 4k currently being spent AND do a good job getting it done as well. 

As far as online booking systems currently the best bang for your buck (IMMHO) is Reservation Key. 

 

Generic's picture
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Joined:
02/24/2011

I was actually an ISP, so I have an account set up for reselling that costs me less than $250 a year and I think I have about 10 websites running on the service. 50 Gb of space and 500GB of transfer per month. (Next level up is about $100 more a year for double the space and bandwidth.) Otherwise I use http://www.upfast.net/ which is on GoDaddy's backbone and even the unlimited bandwidth is about $130 a month for a year (cheaper for 3 years, but that's a heck of a commitment) 

We are talking about changing our backend software, but at the moment it's about $1K a year. Has some advantages and some disadvantages. Changing isn't as easy for us, since we have to repersonalize everything in two languages, though.

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Joined:
10/07/2008

Is this an existing inn? What do they use now, anything?

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Madeleine's picture
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Joined:
09/29/2011

How much work can you do on your own? If you are willing and able to do website work you can knock that cost down to however much you want to spend on hosting the site. Maybe upwards of $400/year depending on who you go with.

Something to think about...does the inn own the website or does the hosting company own it? (Do a search on whois  to see all the data about who owns the site.) If the webhosting company owns the site you'll have to have the owners of the inn get it away from them before you buy or you will be doing that negotiating. Otherwise you may need to buy a new domain name and get a whole new site if you want to avoid the $4k every year.

Is the site worth saving? ie- does it look and perform the way YOU want it to? Other than adding online reservations is the site what you want?

gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

Swirt clued me in to www.1and1.com and I pay about $60 per year for my hosting. I do most updates to my web site. If it is major, I do have to contact my web designer but that is because I left the computer world almost 20 years ago. At that time I was in the mainframe world - PCs are a totally different animal.. $4000 is ridiculous. ReservationKey for online booking is also affordable and great.

Highlands John's picture
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Joined:
04/16/2010

I'm also with 1and1, have been for years. I pay about £120 a year, but then I've got a business account which allows me SQL databases, PHP and other fancy stuff, so I can run my own property management software.

I too left the mainframe world to run this place, Cobol, CISC, IMS, DB/2 ?

If you feel confident enough and have the time/inclination I think it's worth having a go at building your own website. Not just for the cost saving, but to have total control and to be able to make changes whenever you want is worth it. 1and1 have a website building package, although I've never used it. We have friends with a B&B, no professional computer experience but they have a lovely website built with a package. search seren dipi tygl enmo ris ton. 

I use Dreamweaver which is a professional package, it does everything, but it's complicated and expensive (although a fraction of the annual charges you've quoted). I sat by the pool on holiday a couple of years ago reading "Dreamweaver" and "PHP and Mysql" for Dummies books, I got a few strange looks like "What's he doing reading stuff like that on holiday"?, but hey, it interests me.

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

HJ - I am fortunate enough to have a great professionally designed site. My programming goes back to the days of Basic and Assembler  and the beginning of Cobol on mainframes. Most of my data processing career was in operations. I know enough to be dangerous, and fortunately I am aware of that. I can make many of my own updates and changes to the content of my site, but am smart enough to leave the brains of the site to the Brain - its creator.

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Joined:
03/11/2009

Ditto here.....1and1, well worth the savings  and helpful (just called them 2 days ago with a question ).....Mary

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Joey Camb's picture
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Joined:
04/02/2010

weebly and 1and1 are virtually identicle - bargain price and easy to use.

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Joined:
05/22/2008

WHAT??? that is way too much. My local hosting costs me about $120 a year. I do all my own site. If you hire one of the "inn pros" to do site for you. You are looking at between $1,000- 4,000 and maybe more.  Reservation Key is the on line booking / mgt. system lots of us here like.

If you do a search on some of the questions you are asking you will see it has been answered here many times before. Good luck.

Joey Camb's picture
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Joined:
04/02/2010

- long and short that is wayy wayy tooo much! I like Weebly but thats cos I am a control freek and want full control of it!

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