What’s the best website hosting company for a video production company?
Before we dive into the specific details – the pros and cons of different hosting companies – it probably makes sense to understand a bit of my background and criteria for determining the best website hosting company for a video production company.
I’ve been building small websites since the days of Geocities. Never really diving into the technical side of the code – I’ve always been more of a theorist and 10,000ft level thinker than the actual person that discovers how the code really works… As they say – I’m just dangerous enough to get myself into trouble and usually resourceful enough to get myself out of it (hopefully).
When Blogger.com became a thing – I started blogging my photos before the days of Facebook where you just upload a gallery of photos. Today I don’t even post to Facebook – I simply apply some editing in Instagram and use IFTTT to do it for me. It synchronizes the actual photo file natively from Instagram to Twitter and Facebook as their own posts without me lifting a finger.
Before starting a video production company that helps businesses create marketing – training – and advertising videos, my career was simply photography. I shot LOTS and LOTS of photos. Uploading that many photos was still a challenge with Blogger and that’s when I was referred to Bludomain.
Bludomain in its early days allowed a non-designer like me, as a photographer, to get a professionally designed website on a shoestring budget ($300!). The challenge was that things weren’t responsive – so you had to upload exactly the right type of images (cropping the same ratio for example as the template) and learn their system (kinda like WordPress templates).
The Bludomain website was honestly a pretty good route to go because it looks super professional and the second benefit was that they had a built-in photo gallery and shopping cart specifically for photographers to sell their images. This helped me transition from just being a camera shooter and editor to also the sales side of things. The problem is that when you only sell online by sending a link to your photos – you’ll quickly be looking for the best way to increase your dollars per photography order. Meaning – people kept ordering small prints whereas I wanted them to order albums – keychains – wall art on canvas or metal – etc.
The thing that really pushed me away from Bludomain is their SEO and lack of true “host” functions like a more proper WordPress host. You can’t upload files and use it as a true hosting company although they will host your website. If you were to pay for the site through them and them transfer the design to a different hosting company – they wouldn’t then be in this race even. They’d purely be a template. So I don’t’ think they’re the best website hosting company for a video production company because of this.
Lesson: people don’t buy what they can’t see.
When it comes to hosting and websites – a lot is similar. People don’t know what is a good or bad hosting company for their photography or videography business unless they can see it.
What exactly should you be looking for?
- Customer service available via phone 24/7: this is important because when your site goes down at 6 pm and all you have is email support that’s closed for the next 12 hours it can be a huge loss! Online chat can be helpful but often it is hard to get the help you need without talking to someone to explain your issue. Personally, I wish you could video chat with support but that’s not how they work.
- Page load speed – you want your website to instantly load and not take 10 seconds or you will lose visitors who think your website is not working. Yes – these are just window shoppers at first who clicked on your website from Google or an ad somewhere – but to lose those expensive visitors because you chose a bad host for your video production company is simply a waste of money.
- Dedicated ram/resources to your websites – this starts tiptoeing into the murky waters of things you can’t see – the point is that more resources can keep your pages loading even with increased traffic. The thing I like with “dedicated” is that you know your site won’t slow down when another customer has their site hogging all the resources. At least that’s the sales pitch I’ve bought…
- How many websites can you host on your plan? Make sure it’s unlimited. I’ve been known to throw together a quick website to test an idea and don’t want to be forced into deleting old sites that may get 1 visitor a month simply to “not use up my website space”…
Some of the games hosting companies play include:
- Introductory pricing that expires after you’ve settled in (12 months for example). The annoying part about this is that it can be a pain to move – think: moving apartments. They know they can raise the price each year because the cost of moving outweighs the savings of a competing location or host.
- Not offering phone support
- UPSELLS: this is where they are going to eat you alive. You think you’re getting that $9.99/mo rate and walk away spending twice that. Why? They pitch you on things you don’t need and since you don’t know what you don’t need – you buy. They basically scare you into the upsells. At least with our host that we use – even basic hosting plans should include a backup of your site and you can have plugins backup your site to a different service like Dropbox. Remember – a backup isn’t a backup if it’s all in one location. If your host goes bankrupt – you’d lose your backup as well as your website. If you can’t reach customer support to restore an issue – or they start acting weird and unresponsive – it’s best to separate some things for redundancy.
How to setup your video production website:
- Basic elements to getting a website include purchasing your domain name and renewing it. Basically, this is your “title”. Use something like www.domains.google.com to register your .com domain for $12/year. It’s super easy to use and allows you to clearly see all your domains and set up email forwarding for free. So if you want a professional looking email to start out – even before putting a website together you can still have it say Travis@ MinneapolisVideoProducer.com (not an actual email address). Costs just $12/year and you can have as many fake once like accounting@, hr@, afterhours@, quotes@… They all forward to your email account.
- Last note: by using Google as your post office / DNS registrar (technical term) – you can tell them to forward your website address to whichever hosting company you go with. It’s like owning an unlocked iPhone versus a Verizon specific one.
Use custom email addresses for giveaways, competitions, and tradeshows. They’re included with your $12/year domain through Google.
- The second part you need is to purchase your hosting. This is where you actually upload your website and files. They’re basically your virtual computer that is always on 24/7 and has a super fast connection to the internet. When people go to www.providfilms.com, Google sends that visitor to my 1and1 server that then sends the website files to the phone – laptop – etc and that’s what you see.
Personally, as a Minneapolis video production company we use 1and1 and have been a customer for about a decade. Every time there’s issues – we’ve been able to resolve them. The only issue we had is that after a number of years they phased out our plan (grandfathered in) and now we’re paying about twice as much per month on average (billed every 6 months or so?)
If you’re looking for the best website hosting company for a video production company – check out their pricing using our referral link and let us know you did! We’d be happy to offer a free phone consultation with you as a thank you for using our referral affiliate link. Our way of saying thanks!