I am having some issues and the person I'm speaking to is not helping me at all, and despite repeated times of asking, is not explaining it in a way that I understand. I would really appreciate some clarity and explanation for what's going on and some idea of what I need to be looking at doing moving forwards, if y'all would be so kind. I figure there'd be some friendly experts in here!
So I'm in the UK and I have a .com website for my birth doula work. I don't update often but I'd like to rectify that over this summer.
It is a wordpress site, comprising an 'about me' page, fees/services offered page, a simple testimonials page, a contact form, and a blog that is rarely updated.
It also has links to my Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and IG work accounts.
I own the domain name.
I designed all the branding, headers, logos, etc.
The person who was hosting the services on the domain is now no longer going to be offering that, and I need to find a replacement.
My confusion lies in that A/ WordPress is free, right? Or at least has a free plan. And the costs for hosting seems to he huge compared to what I was paying. What I'm now being offered by him is something that would be costing me £15 a month, which isn't something I can afford.
Whilst I do work as a doula, I only take 2-4 clients a year, I don't charge a huge amount for that (and I offer sliding scale for families on lower incomes) as I believe this is a service that should be accessible, and this year only booked one client as it was supposed to be a full year of unmissable family events, and being on call for 24 hours a day for up to 5 weeks for a client and then potentially missing those wasn't an option this year – all put on hold now by COVID19. In addition to that, I often serve as birth support for vulnerable pregnant people who can't afford my services and I work completely out of my own pocket for that (typically women fleeing domestic violence, done through our local women's refuge). £180 a year simply isn't doable for our family finances. Not only that, I can't actually go and serve my clients in hospital for the foreseeable future as restrictions have been placed in our local hospitals allowing only one birth partner, which is a big issue for doula clients as they typically have their partner AND a doula.
I don't know if I'm just being ridiculous, but what was my hosting company doing that couldn't be done on a free WordPress site if I own the domain name?
Hosting company has suggested I just make the .com domain name redirect to the Facebook page for my work. I'd really like to keep the site if possible, as it looks more professional than a business Facebook page.
I've included the email that I got from my hosting person at the end.
I would really appreciate some super simple explanation of what the heck is going on and how I can move forward from here. I'm happy to do work myself and teach myself where I can to make this happen, I just need to understand what position I'm in and then some options for moving forwards with at least some direction! I mean, even if you need to tell it to me straight that it's a lost cause and I just need to have the domain name redirect to my work Facebook or my DoulaUK profile, please do. (DoulaUK is the official body that I am registered with for my work).
I'd really appreciate some knowledge, if you'd be so kind, and huge thanks in advance!
"However, the short version is that I have decided to stop offering web hosting on our VPS (Virtual Private Server) and close the service. Everyone's contracts are either up already or will be by the beginning of May, so I am aiming to close the service on 10th May 2020. [This has now been extended to September 2020 due to COVID19]
My decision came down to a few factors, but primarily the VPS is old, slow and unreliable. It runs at a significant loss and is in constant need of damage control. Updating or upgrading it is made difficult by some old websites that will fail with newer software. And the cost of upgrading a service that already makes a loss is prohibitive.
We already offer an alternative form of hosting, one that is significantly faster and more reliable. It is adaptable and uniquely tailored to each client. It is as though every client has their own dedicated server. It is also wholly swappable, so if it fails, we can deploy a new one, place your website's image on it and it is up and running in minutes. The last major outage on the VPS took me a week to fix. This service is Cloud Hosting and is deployed on Google's infrastructure, secured by SSL and the best method of hosting out there, in my opinion. The downside is cost, Cloud Hosting costs from £14.99 a month and depends on usage. For your site, £14.99 will cover it."