How much do WordPress Web hosting Services cost in NZ?


Factors to consider when choosing your website hosting provider

When it comes to website hosting, you’ll find a huge variety of hosting options online in NZ and offshore. There are not only several different types of hosting such as shared hosting and dedicated “VPN” (virtual private network) hosting but also a wide price range starting from as low as $4 a month going up to several hundred dollars.

So, the question is, what is the right web hosting for you? Which type of hosting suits your website?

The reason why there is such a difference in hosting costs are the features included in your hosting plan. Whilst a private person with a one pager blog might not need all of them, additional services will definitely make all the difference for those professionally running a website.

Therefore, it is crucial to consider the following questions and to have a detailed look into the included services before just going after the cheapest offer.

What type of website do you have?

If you are using a simple DIY website builder like Squarespace or Wix, the web hosting is another expense that may be included in your subscription or is invoiced via your website platform. However, if you’re using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, then you’ll need to find a WordPress web hosting company.

How much storage do you need?

Do you have a big database, a variety of videos and applications or just copy and small images? Most providers restrict the storage which then can slow your website down and make it unusable for your customers. Among our clients, the smallest ones use up to 3 GB storage, established companies up to 8GB and high use community sites or ones with 20+ branches might need unlimited bandwidth.

How many web visitors do you have per month?

Most providers have a restricted bandwidth that does not allow for unlimited traffic. More traffic = more downloads = more RAM needed.

What is your level of experience and time to handle website maintenance?

Are you an experienced programmer with advanced technical skills who can do updates or do you require a managed service to ensure your website is up and running secure and smoothly? If you don’t update your plugins, your site can be vulnerable to attack.  And the server itself needs regular security updates.  Some of the cheap hosting plans leave you in a massive “hall” with poorly maintained websites, and server software that doesn’t get updated, leaving your site more exposed.

What is the risk to your business if your website gets compromised?

If your website gets hacked and used as an email gateway, your domain may be put on a blacklist. If your email is also on that domain, you may not be able to send or receive email, and it could take up to two months to get off the blacklist.  How would your business survive if email was down for 2 months?  Prevention is easier than cure!

The key is to find the plan that fits your budget and provides you with the features you need.

What web hosting service is the most reliable?

The list of add-ons to basic hosting packages is endless and not everyone needs the premium-extra-plus-service. However, there are some essential features that we recommend you take up, to keep your website running reliably, and stand a good chance of preventing cyber attacks (even small WordPress sites get around ten attacks each week – some of the bigger sites get thousands! Crazy world we live in).

  • SSL certificate (that means your site is https:// not http which shows a message “this site is not secure”. This is considered necessary, and is important if you are trying to rank.
  • Automated back ups. You also ideally want your programmer to be able to log in and retrieve this file immediately, and see a log of which files have been changed on what dates, so you can retrieve a recent back up copy before the hack if your site gets compromised.
  • Security plugin that picks up if your site is being hammered e.g. someone trying to get in with lots of password attempts, and blocks that user.
  • 24/7 monitoring and support, so if your site goes down, it is picked up as quickly as possible
  • Manual back ups of core themes and plug-ins so if the whole thing goes pear shaped, or the hack is very broad, you do have a clean version that can be reinstated and plugins updated
  • Fast server with unlimited broadband and storage so your site ranks well and won’t slow down as you add content (assuming you are using modern “next gen” formats for your photos, to keep your site speedy).

What web hosting services does Alexanders Digital Marketing offer?

We are an Amazon WordPress hosting provider and specialise in Managed WordPress Hosting. WordPress hosting is designed specifically to optimize WordPress websites for speed, performance and security. It pays special attention to WordPress’ technical and security requirements. As experts in WordPress we understand that hosting is an essential part of maintaining a website and offer advanced managed services as well as security software to keep your website out of trouble.

What does WordPress Hosting include?

Alexanders Digital Marketing includes the following in our WordPress web hosting plans:

  • Managed WordPress Core Updates: all minor and major core version updates will be reviewed, inhouse tested and installed to ensure stability and to minimise the risk for breaking changes and other unforeseen issues
  • Managed WordPress PlugIn Updates: all security and non-security related plugs in and patches will be installed to keep your website secure and operating.
  • 24/7 monitoring and malware scanning
  • Daily automatic backup of your full site including all files and database with ability to retrieve backups at a moment’s notice. No 24-hour delay waiting for an incomprehensible response from a junior at the big comms hosting companies.
  • High level security suite to prevent your website from cyber attacks, identify rogue activity and block it. Uses known techniques except for those discovered in the last 30 days (see premium Wordfence option)
  • Physical test by a real human once a quarter, to check your forms are working. We ask for your co-operation to confirm that these are received, so we can keep a record.Why is this necessary if there have been no code changes? Because from a security point of view, we want the latest versions of plugins with patches, and we set sites to automatically update, some new versions can conflict with each other, causing parts of your website not stop working.
  • We set up a database to store your email form requests, so if anything happens or your email changes and you forget to tell us, you can log in and download any customer enquiries. Peace of mind.
  • Automatic SSL certificate installation and HTTP/2 activated
  • Latest version of PHP (old versions are more vulnerable).
  • In-house customer support
  • Fast and secure server with unlimited bandwidth and storage
  • Certified Amazon web host

Web hosting Extras:

  • Keep your inbox with reduced spam from forms with Cleantalk
  • Premium Wordfence: blocks known cyber hack methods discovered in the last month (can’t guarantee every method will be covered, but it the most proactive prevention).

Alexanders’ Managed WordPress Hosting is a good solution for anyone who wants the power and simplicity of WordPress without the hassle of managing technical updates.

WordPress Web Hosting Costs

Our current pricing (Jan 2021) depends on traffic usage (bandwidth) and can be broadly clustered in:

Hosting Small Sites Medium Sites Large Sites with lots of traffic
Based on MB used but approximately: $52 month $89 month $220-300 month
Cleantalk (reduces number of spam enquiries) $5 (incl $10 discount for Alexanders Clients) $5 (incl $10 discount for Alexanders Clients) $5 (incl $10 discount for Alexanders Clients)
Wordfence premium $170 p.a. plus $100 installation fee $170 p.a. plus $100 installation fee $170 p.a. plus $100 installation fee

Prices exclude GST

What are the risks of shared hosting?

Is shared hosting safe? The risk of cheap shared web hosting services is that your site can be hacked. The result is that your website might stop running, it might be redirected so your site displays unwanted content, or send your visitors to an unrelated site overseas.  Often, a hacked website is used to spam customers. Hackers earn money by getting traffic to foreign websites – even though that traffic is bogus.  The most common hacks are due to a malware or spam attack, out-dated core themes and plug ins, weak passwords, or naïve staff who succumb to phishing attacks.

In the worst case, if your email is from the same domain and your domain gets used as an email gateway your domain can get on a blacklist.  This means most clients won’t be able to send emails to you, because their email software subscribes to lists of “blacklisted” domains.  It can take up to two months to get off these blacklists, and that could cripple a business.

This actually happened to one client of ours, a few years ago. Despite multiple calls and advice to update their website before this happened, they refused to talk to us and return our calls. When it happened, they were in the middle of some significant tenders and it was an absolute nightmare. Since then, we have made it compulsory for all sites we host to comply with at least a moderate number of preventative criteria. We can’t predict every new move, but we can be proactive to try and prevent common hack methods.

As the old saying goes: You get what you pay for.

It’s not a good idea to be complacent. What worked a couple of years ago won’t cut it now.

What are alternatives to shared hosting?

If you have a group of companies, it can pay to have all your sites managed under a larger server that you don’t share with other companies. However, typically the cost of this is higher, and this option doesn’t suit smaller companies.

Shared hosting itself is normal for most small to medium businesses.  The risk of cheaper hosting options is they may not have the server software updated, you could be in with a haphazard group of sites that don’t have updates implemented, and that provides an entry point for hackers. There may be thousands of sites in your server, and when you need support, it could take 24 hours to get a copy of your site. They may not keep records on the files that were changed, so you don’t know how far back you need to go to retrieve a clean copy. And they may not have an alert system that your site has been compromised. It can be embarrassing to find out it’s been displaying other content for several days.  Plus the offshore host servers may be a long way from your NZ visitors if the servers are in the US.

What’s involved in changing hosting?

We generally like to get a copy of your site, and ensure all the plugins and core theme are up to date. By keeping all our sites on a safe system, it keeps everyone safer. Every website has an IP address, and changing host means your IP address for the website will change. So either your IT team or our programmer will need to log in to your domain management, and enter the new IP address of the new server. If you have an IT person or consultant, it’s good for them to do this. It generally takes 24 hours for servers around the globe to take note of the new location. If you are receiving email from your domain e.g. [email protected], it is sensible for this domain to be added to your email settings, as some email platforms may think emails coming from the same domain address are spam. We will then add you to our quarterly update schedule. Once a quarter, we will alert you that we are going to do some core updates, ask you not to make changes for a day or two, and respond when you receive each form enquiry.

Can you provide me a web hosting quote?

The monthly amount does depend on the amount of traffic you get and it’s hard to tell this before we start hosting. Please drop us a line and we can give you an indication. The main things that affect cost are if you have lots of videos, or a large image gallery, or if images have been loaded willy nilly without regard to size and speed. In such cases, a good option is to include putting your images through ”next gen image compression software” which typically makes your site leaner and faster on mobile phones.

Will your hosting make my site faster?

There are many things that can be done to make a site download faster. Hosting set up is one of them. Old, out of date servers that don’t handle the latest version of php and old web themes that are heavy with extra features can make a site slow.  Our Amazon hosting keeps a local cache which is a key strategy. Typically we allow around ten hours of programming to make a WordPress website faster (even more important now, after Google’s June 2021 algorithm update Core Web Vitals rewarded speedy sites).

To see if your website is fast enough, put your site through Google page speed insights. You want your mobile site to score at least 75%, ideally 80%.  If it’s low, it’s time to get some work done. We can advise if your platform/theme is due for renewal or if it can be improved without a rebuild.

Not sure which hosting option is right for you?

Get in touch re your WordPress hosting and we can take a look (or phone us on 3488 477).  Please note that we don’t host Shopify, Wix, Weebly or Squarespace sites.

4 Facebook Campaign Case Studies with clear customer journeys


Facebook Campaign Examples: 4 Case Studies

Learn the simple ecommerce tricks that inspired purchase

In these 4 Facebook Campaign case studies, Samantha (Alexanders’ content writer) examines the subtle steps that were involved in the journey that moved her from viewing a Facebook ad through to purchase. 

1: Calm App

The Calm App is an app you can access on your phone or your laptop and it provides guided meditations covering a range of topics from anxiety, mindfulness, relationships, and sleep to name a few. It also offers musical tracks to help focus, sleep and relax, provides sleep stories, masterclasses, ‘Body’ programmes and reminders to take time to meditate.


Customer Journey:

I had heard about this app. It is super popular and well-documented by many media outlets. It has also been a featured app many times on the Apple App Store. I saw an ad on my Facebook feed promoting a 7 day free trial. The call to action button was “Try Calm for Free.” The offer was a new mediation every day, called “Daily Calm.”

You can access Calm online or on the App Store. Being able to try the app for free helped to draw me in.

On my research on their landing page, there was an option to purchase a yearly-subscription at $84.99 NZD. They also offer a life subscription for $599.99 NZD. However, the subscription price put me off.

I liked the idea but was not sold on it. However, my flatmate has this app and she was able to give me a 30 day free trial with the “gift to a friend” option that the app offers.

Once I signed up (having had to put in my credit card details), it automatically ticks over and withdraws the yearly subscription amount from your account if you don’t cancel the free trial before the seven days are up. This is an easy way to catch customers! I had access to the entire library of Calm meditations.

Each day the app sent me meditation reminders.  As the seven day trial came to an end, I had the choice of cancelling subscription, or letting it tick over.

If I cancelled the subscription, I still had access to a few meditations and still received the daily reminders – which, when you see them after a particularly stressful day, easily pull you into subscribing again.

The desire to subscribe is also strengthened into action as Calm sends out weekly emails, describing new additions to the app, often with a special discount price.

I used the app quite a few times and really enjoyed the meditations. However, the subscription price definitely put me off and I ended up cancelling my subscription.
The daily reminders and emails eventually wore me down however, and the email offering 40% off the annual price won me over and I subscribed to the app.

2: Adobe Creative Cloud Suite training bundles

What: A couple of online shops called Stack Social and the Entrepreneur Store sell bundles of tutorials centred around teaching you how to use specific programmes, such as the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, and how to improve on your writing, copywriting, understanding of marketing.


Customer Journey:

Facebook knows that I’m interested in writing and marketing. I saw an ad for an Adobe course on my Facebook feed. Purchasing the All-in-One Adobe Creative Cloud Suite Certification Bundle promised me lifetime access to 537 lessons spread over eight different courses.

Each individual tutorial within the bundle is advertised at its individual price, so all up it should cost around $USD1600.00. However, it was marketed as a sale that “expires in one day,” with a discounted price of $USD33.99 – “97% off.”  The cheap price drew me in.

I clicked the advert and went to the online shop website, where it explained what each individual course within the bundle was about.

The $1600.00 amount was crossed out and the “Add to cart” green button showed the discounted $33.99 amount. The discounted price was advertised as only being available for a short amount of time with the words, “Ending In: 1 day,” featured just under the course title’s name.

I saved the page and then checked back a few times during the day and saw the “Ending In:” had now gone down to a matter of hours.  Not wanting to miss out on the deal I bought! I accessed after purchase through a site called Stack Skills – Teachable. 

3: Yoga: The Core Play by Karin Dimitrovova

What: Karin Dimitrovova is a writer and a yoga teacher who offers three online programs – Beyond Flexibility, The Core Play, and Aligned. Core Play is a 28 day program inspired by yoga for better core and upper body strength.


Customer Journey:

A sponsored advert for Core Play came up on my social media feed.  As I’ve been wanting to learn how to actually do push-ups (I’m super weak in my upper body) and have always wanted to do a hand-stand, I clicked the link to investigate

“With only 15 minutes of your day, you can build strength,” the ad promised. The program includes a four week, step-by-step training plan comprising of yoga flows, core and upper body strength drills, and you also have access to a “Members Area,” with extra resources offered, like meditations, and a Facebook Group community.

It is a one-off purchase which you have lifetime access too. The purchase price is $99.00 USD usually, but a discount was offered.

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After I clicked it, it took me to a website page explaining everything you need and want to know about Core Play.  There was lots of reading involved:

The page began by asking you about how I felt in my yoga practice, offering answers such as “uninspired, frustrated, etc.”  Karin then went on to explain WHY she created this program and how it works, week by week.

The page also featured written reviews from those who have already purchased and tried out the program, as well a couple of review videos.

As I neared the end of the page, it also described a couple of extra bonuses you get when you purchase the program, such as meditations and relaxing yoga flows. These were all presented with their “value” in price, which was crossed out.

It finally offered a 30 day money back guarantee and then summarised all you would get with the program, coming to the price offer of $47.00 USD. This amount was a discounted price. The regular amount is usually $99.00 USD.

The page states that the 52% discount is only available for a short amount of time and featured a “counting down” discount button (the discount was to expire in 4 hours).

From this, I googled how much it would cost in NZD. Then, I looked up Karin and found her website, describing who she was and the other courses she offered.  I looked up reviews online to check that it wasn’t a scam!

Over the course of this, the time slowly was ticking down for the discount so I decided to purchase.

4: Jewellery: a ring from Linjer

What: Linjer is a design studio that creates handbags, watches and jewellery for men and women. They market themselves with the tagline “Sustainably-made jewelry, bags and watches without the luxury markup.”


Customer Journey:

Advertisements for their products came up on my social media feed.

The adverts featured clean photography, usually of a single product e.g. a ring, alongside simple design which used the words “sustainable.”

I clicked the link which took me to the product page on their website.  The product was shown via a multitude of clean and bright photos. The costs of the product automatically came up in my home country pricing.

Below the low pricing, there was a line saying, “Compare to $…. NZD Estimated Retail.” This was proof to me that the product was much cheaper than usual – but still sustainably made.

Each product had reviews.  There was a simple add to cart button.  I want to mention that it was their tagline and use of “sustainable” that really drew me in. I researched more into the sustainable side of their business before finally purchasing.

Extra Note – nearly hooked by another brand’s focus on sustainability

Saye is a brand of shoes which also drew me in with their “sustainable” advertising. I did not purchase anything from here, but the focus on sustainability was something that I connected with, and almost prompted me to purchase. The words “Vegan,” “eco-friendly” and “sustainable” feature throughout Saye’s advertising and websites. They make their shoes from organic and recycled materials. Their shoes are made in Europe, they pay their workers well and they plant two trees for every pair of sneakers you buy (this you all see on their homepage).


Chasing Unicorns:

I also bought a dress after seeing a Facebook post from Chasing Unicorns, which is a small design company based in Byron Bay Australia. Their pieces are one-off, often hand-made, and are created as a stand against fast-fashion, hence are often more on the expensive side e.g. the dress I bought was $250.00 AUD on sale. Their brand story grabbed me.  They have a large focus on sustainability and use natural fibres, known for their longevity, and thus their items are known to last (“pieces of clothing you pass down to your daughter”). This idea really drew me in (not that I have daughters yet!).  This showcases the idea of a strong brand message.



Sam noticed a clear pattern in the way she purchased programs, subscriptions and items online. What drew her in to clicking on the adverts was strong photographic imagery with simple, clean designs (so it was immediately clear what was being sold).

There was a clear theme of sustainability which piqued her curiosity to investigate further.  The use of scarcity or count-down elements, backed by good reviews and social proof, sealed the deal.

She always researched the brand itself to ensure it was a legitimate product. She used reviews and checked back a few times before purchasing.

The discounts were alluring, especially the countdowns. However, she has since realised that a lot of discounted offers continue on, e.g. one advert said the discount ended at midnight, but she has been seeing the advert for months.

Would you like some help to craft your next social media campaign? The team at Alexanders offer social media campaign coaching to build your confidence. Get in touch today to discuss your ideas for upcoming campaigns.

How Instagram Works for eCommerce


Instagram Ad Case Study:

Customer journey from Browsing to Purchase

Below are two case studies of a product promotion on Instagram. Samantha – our bubbly, eco-conscious twenty-something-social writer – details her customer journey from browsing and viewing an advert, all the way through to eventual purchase. Then Rachel showcases a designer furniture store story that she followed.  These illustrate how you can use your company Instagram promotion to drive web traffic, newsletter registrations and product sales.

Case Study 1:

The Cultivating Creative:
Creative writing course with Christina Macpherson

Christina Macpherson is an Australian model and writer. During the New Zealand lockdown, every day at 11am she posted half an hour of writing exercises on her Instagram stories, saving them to her Highlights so people could view them again whenever they liked. People could tune in and practice their writing alongside her or come back at a later time. From the success of this, and for the love of writing and sharing, Christina created an online course called ‘The Cultivating Collective.’ She advertised this on Instagram.


Customer Journey:

  • Christina’s writing exercises during lockdown gave customers a sneak peek/free-trial into what her course would offer.
  • She advertised the course on her Instagram Stories, every now and again, with a swipe up option to head to the website where the course is hosted. The website url is also permanently in her link in bio.
  • I followed her exercises during lockdown. Once lockdown ended and she stopped hosting the exercises on Instagram, I was still eager to keep up my practice and hence her course was very appealing, with the idea of all of the exercises in one place – I assume this was the case for many.
  • Her course website is simple, clear and to the point – it explains the “what” and features several reviews.  You can purchase the course for $60.00 AUD. The course is four weeks in length, but once you purchase it, you have lifetime access.
  • Her price is low and she compares it to buying 8 coffees with oat milk.
  • A simple swipe up (or click of the link in her bio) takes you to the website page, where a basic ‘Buy Now’ button allows you to purchase the course.
  • I read the online website page (it was short and sweet and didn’t take long to fill me in on what I needed to know).
  • Over the next few weeks, I had the course in the back of my mind. Christina advertised it a few more times on her story which reminded me of it (not over saturated though- it was mixed in with her usual posts).
  • Eventually her reminder of how much it would cost (comparing it to the oat milk coffee) got me to purchase the course.

Case Study 2:

Scout and Nimble

Scout and Nimble is an affordable designer furnishings and decor company. They are very active on their social media, especially Instagram. Almost every day they post on their Instagram story, showing you not only their product, but how it’s made and why it would be perfect for your home or space.

See below for Rachel’s experience with the brand. What a lot of trouble they went to.


Rachel viewed their story on Instagram, as she was following the brand.


Their story announced the new boucle trend.


Simple graphics illustrated the textural feel of boucle.


The use of tools and text overlays make the graphics interesting.


They’re now actively trying to get you to go to their website.


Note the arrows to “Swiping up” – a handy design trick that draws your eye to the critical action which takes you off Instagram to their website.


There is a call to action near the end of the blog, “Sign me up!”.


At the very end of the blog, there is a photo of the product the blog has focused on, which allows you to click through to the product page and purchase. They also sensibly show other products made of boucle, similar to the one just described.


They invite comment on the blog. Below this, there is a link back to their Instagram, reminding you to follow them. There are finally links to the rest of their website, including their About Page.


I like the clean design of the footer on mobile.  I think this was a well thought-out story.  They successfully showcased a trend, built engagement, and drew visitors to their website. I admit I didn’t invest in a boucle chair (though I’ve recently had a boucle suit made. Maybe I’ve been influenced subconsciously!)  However, I am a brand fan. They don’t mention anywhere where they are based. Delivery was a component that could have received a mention.