Pricing Changes – Effective October 2020

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Pricing changes take effect on October 1, 2020.

There are a lot of changes to service pricing starting in October 2020, though as most clients pay for the year in advance, this won’t be seen until the invoice for the upcoming 2021 calendar year.

I place the main reasons behind the pricing change into two categories:

  • Cost increases
  • Value of services offered

Costs

Simply put, the costs to myself have gone up. The costs to me to offer many of my services have mostly increased in two key areas: 1) Domain name registrations, and 2) VPS providers. Unfortunately there are few VPS providers that serve Canada (also hosting in Canada), so this limits my options to switch to a different provider. This is probably the one that changed the most, and I suspect it’s because of the rapid move to online services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and so various providers need to charge more to be able to rapidly expand with demand at the exponential rate they are likely seeing this year.

As costs have gone up for me, I unfortunately have to pass that along. I am choosing to “eat” some of the costing, so this isn’t a full passing of the costs to you, I am absorbing what I can in order to help out.

Now the biggest reason that I want to discuss… Value.

Value-Driven Pricing

I have been re-assessing my pricing lately due to costing above, and I have come to learn that I offer far more to my clients than I ever really advertised, and if any customer was to go to a different provider for all of the services I offer to my web hosting clients for example, they’d be charged around 5 times what I currently charge, just to start too. So I’ve realized that I need to A) better market all the services I do (part of the reason for this new website design with far more information on it), and B) start charging for the value I offer, not just to be the cheapest on the block. With that said, my increases are likely still going to keep me as one of the cheapest on the block. 😉

What many of my clients think I do for web hosting: Simply host the website. But I do far more than that (which is the part I never really marketed properly), I do many additional services including (but not limited to) the following which are services many other providers charge individually for but at prices I don’t think are reasonable (my plan is to keep it in the web hosting package as an all-inclusive, but just a small price bump to the service overall):

  • Web analytics & reporting
  • Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) reviews and updates
  • Frequent backups
  • Updating and maintaining the website backends which includes Nginx (the web server software used), WordPress (the CMS platform the site is built in), and the plethora of plugins across all websites for each one’s use-case
    • Also testing to make sure the updates don’t break the existing website functionality!
  • Monitoring for security breaches
  • Ensuring the servers and all websites are secured as best as possible
  • And much more…

 

Ultimately, I’ve been doing approximately several hours of work for each website hosted every year – for free. Multiplied by how many clients I’m doing this for, and it’s a rather large amount of free work being done.

With this new insight, I have decided to start charging based more on the value I provide my clients for the services I offer. Combined with the cost increase to me as well, this makes for a larger bump in pricing for certain services (though some remain the same price) than would be normal. 

Pricing Highlights

The new pricing is on my Services page already for review. The highlight changes are as follows:

  • Web Hosting changes from $16/month to $26/month
    • This is the biggest increase and is mostly due to the reasons above as most of the free work was done for web hosting clients.
    • Since the services I offered were done free for everyone on the web hosting package, I’m going to automatically make this adjustment on everyone’s invoices for the 2021 calendar year.
    • I’ve added a 30% discount for registered charities as well to help offset these increases.
  • Email Hosting goes from $5/month to $8/month
    • This is mostly because of the domain cost increases, as it eats away at the already very low margin on this service. I have tried to compensate by including “unlimited” aliases for all mailboxes to aid in more professional workflows when using the email hosting service.

What I’m doing to offset this pricing as best I can for my clients…

Assistance

In order to help offset some of the pricing increases because I honestly hate raising my prices, here are some examples of what I am offering in assistance:

  • I always gave a 30% discount on web design time for registered charities, and now that offer extends to web hosting services as well.
  • Anybody who might struggle with the payments / can’t justify the price increases to their business, I understand and would happy to discuss this further with you and what options may exist. Please use the contact form below to easily contact me regarding pricing changes for October 2020 (which mostly affect people for services in 2021).

In fact, feel free to use the form too for just general feedback on the pricing changes if you have any feedback, concerns, or more.

(Admittedly a long-ish) Summary

And as I’m writing on Facebook too…
 
I have been pondering how to handle this for months now, but have unfortunately have had to make the difficult decision to increase my pricing across several services I offer. This is due mostly in part to rising costs by my providers for domain renewals and server rentals.
 
I took the fact I had to raise prices regardless due due to costs as an opportunity though to also review what I offer and how I offer it, understand better what my client expectations are, and ensure I can meet the demands. It was made clear to me by survey results from clients like you and discussions with some as well that there was a general consensus that you’d be willing to pay more (since my pricing is already so inexpensive) if it allowed me to offer you more reliable services such as higher uptime for web and email hosting, new services you’d like me to offer, and more.
 
In addition, it became known to me too that I have been offering many services for free in the web hosting package but I never marketed it, so I believe many clients didn’t even realize I was doing so much extra work all behind-the-scenes. This included SEO updates to your sites throughout the year, web analytics reports, backups and updates to all websites, security monitoring, uptime monitoring, performance monitoring and optimizations, and much more. These are things that would often cost an arm and a leg more to purchase as add-ons from other providers such as GoDaddy and Siteground. But I want to keep these as an all-inclusive package rather than add-ons, so keep billing and marketing straight-forward.
 
As such, I decided to increase the pricing a bit more than usual but still keep it more than reasonable. As an example: web hosting went from a very low $16/month to $26/month starting with the 2021 calendar year. While this is a larger price hike than I normally would ever make, this extra amount is more than reasonable for what it includes while still remaining low-cost compared to the competition, and most importantly allows me to make the changes to services that are being requested such as improved reliability / uptime and extra features and services which just weren’t possible before at the price point I was operating on. For comparison sake, if you look at Siteground (a well known and reliable hosting provider, their closest package to what I offer is priced at $39.99 a month, and that’s also USD so it’d be closer to $53/month CAD, while I’m still only charging $26/month.
 
While I understand nobody likes price increases, I was very careful in implementing it after consulting with several clients and receiving your feedback from an earlier survey, and I strongly believe that this will allow me to position my business as an even better bank for the buck for you with the reliability and improved feature-set coming soon to all of my clients.