An endless number of hosting services are available each offering a variety of features – speed, back up or redundancy options, security protection, etc. A server doesn’t need to be located in your hometown. However, it should be situated in a safe place (think tornados, hurricanes, flooding, electrical outages, etc.) overseen by professionals who can quickly make equipment changes and security and compliance updates. Is staff available 24/7? How much tech support is included with your hosting fee or can you buy a monthly package that includes it? Or can you pay for tech support on demand?

Pricing can vary. You can always find a hosting service that is cheap but when you need them in a hurry or your website goes down due to any number of issues where are they then? Can you count on them in the critical days before your festival when ticket sales are at peak? What do you do when your site goes down prior to Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day and no one can make online reservations? How do you survive between Thanksgiving and Christmas when you website can’t handle the volume of traffic and merchandise sales suffer. Prioritize what’s important now.

If you’ve ever had your server go down – and they can and do – because of equipment failure or updates weren’t made, you’ll understand why price may not be the most important factor when finding a hosting company. What if your website has an easy password like 123admin and it’s hacked or attacked by bad guys and they’ve posted a message in a foreign language on your site? Can you rely on your service provider to help you out of this mess? How much money is now lost because you chose a hosting company based strictly on price? Prioritize what’s important now.

I’ve witnessed 99% uptime promises that meant nothing. What can you do when your website is offline for five days due to failed back-up generators? The answer: find a new hosting company as quickly as possible once your site is back up and running. Don’t waste your time fretting about the situation. Devote that time to researching who will be your new provider.

For more information on this topic:
It’s One of the Most Frequent Questions Festival Organizers Ask
An Explanation: Hosting, Servers and Tech Support
What’s The Real Cost of Cheap Hosting and Its Impact on SEO?
So What’s This Thing Called WordPress?

To learn more about event and festival management, check out “Secrets to Successful Events:  How to Organize, Promote and Manage Exceptional Events and Festivals.” For those with event planning experience, consider, “Secrets to Successful Events Resource Guide: 42+ Easy-to-Use Tools and Resources.” Both are written by internationally known author and speaker Lynn Fuhler and are available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

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