Maybe you’ve heard this. Or said it.
“Should I sign up for the yearly plan? It looks like it will save me some money.”
Just about every web host out there will offer you some form of a discount (maybe 10% or something like 2 months free) if you give them an entire year’s worth of hosting revenue in a single payment. And it makes sense for them – after all, they get your money quicker and can deploy it to grow their businesses.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
But I don’t go for it. And here are my three reasons being against yearly web hosting plans.
1. I lose leverage if I pay up front.
Let’s face it, this entire post could be a really long one just focused on this item, right? Maybe we really only need one reason.
But the truth is that the savings up front are only helpful if the service is consistent for an entire year. Once you’ve handed over the cash, service could drop and what leverage do you have?
To be clear, I’m not saying you need leverage with your hosting company. You shouldn’t need it. But if things get really bad, you haven’t locked yourself into a relationship that you can’t do anything about, unless you’re willing to lose money.
2. Monthly fees push me to ask (good) questions.
There are things I pay yearly. You know how much I think about them during the year?
Not at all.
Why? Because I’m not seeing the charges come in. And in the case of hosting, which is a big deal if your site is more than just a fun place to post family and pet photos, I like being aware of what I’m paying. It helps me ask the constant question – should I keep that account open?
The truth is, you can end up with a lot of monthly recurring charges. And they add up. So it’s a good discipline to evaluate them regularly. I find monthly hosting fees help me do that.
3. I want to be able to move my site without worry.
I’ve been looking at hosting options recently – because there’s been a lot of innovation in the space in the last year or so.
FlyWheel has created a very different interface than many other managed hosting providers.
Pagely has moved to brand new infrastructure that scales easily (because it’s on Amazon).
SiteGround is working on some new automated systems that are incredible.
The New RainMaker is a complete platform, not just a host.
If I were stuck in a year-long agreement, what would happen? Just like you, I’d likely just stay put and wait it out. Going month to month gives me the freedom to move on.
Is there ever a good reason for yearly web hosting?
Sure. I’m not making a law or anything like that.
In the enterprise space, many organizations have budget cycles and it’s easier to get billed and pay yearly. Additionally, at the amount they’re spending on hosting, the savings becomes more serious and worth evaluating.
I guess the other reason is if the yearly cost just isn’t that much. GoDaddy, once known for horrible service, has been trying to work on things over there, and recent tests show that their speed is seriously picking up. If you are just doing a simple blog, their service at $1/month means you pay once for $12 for a whole year.
Trust me, if it sucks, you won’t get mad walking away from $12. Know what I mean?