Before we talk about cheap web hosting, let’s pause a moment and do some thinking. Have you ever bought that designer perfume that didn’t cost designer’s price only to find that it couldn’t last even an hour? Or that wonderful food processor that was so cheap that you couldn’t believe it only to find that it has broken beyond repair the day after the warranty period expired?
Well, there are lots of products and services out there which have price tags that are so low that the manufacturers have to compromise on their quality to make profit. The same goes for cheap web hosting!
However, do note that there’s a difference between cheap web hosting and affordable web hosting. A huge difference indeed.
Reliability is crucial especially when you have a high-traffic website or run an online business. And so does customer support. Don’t want to be left stranded now, would you? These are why we had always emphasized that you should do your researches before choosing any particular web hosting provider.
Beware of web hosting services that sounds too good to be true and yet do not have the infrastructure or reputation or credibility to prove it. They may be offering the following “destructive services”.
A cheap web hosting provider probably does not invest in their infrastructure or may be cramping way too many websites in one shared server. There will be lots of pressure on bandwidth and server resources and as a result, you get downtime. Lots of them downtime. Your website won’t load and your readers/customers can’t access it. And neither can you! Actually, neither can search engines and we all know where that would lead to – drop in ranking. Not a good sign!
You need reliable uptime… consistently. In today’s technology, a 99.9% uptime guarantee is a norm among major web hosting providers. It is achievable and you should not settle for anything less.
Poor Response to Network Downtime
Cheap web hosting companies usually do not provide 24×7 technical support. Well, you probably are not paying them enough to hire round-the-clock network monitoring staff. Thus, any overnight problems can only be dealt with the next working day.
Imagine if it’s a long holiday season (and the hosting provider’s support staff are on holiday) and you are expecting lots online business. Pretty bad time to experience downtime, wouldn’t you say so? 24x7x365 support is what reputable web hosting providers are offering so do check if yours is offering such!
No Backup Service
In order to lower their operating costs, some hosting providers would cut certain benefits e.g. website and database backups. This is scary should their servers crashed and you lost data. If you do not have any backups of your own, there’s nothing much you can do other than spend more time and effort to rebuild everything again, most likely including your SEO ranking!
Make sure your website is protected against sudden lost of data. Read the fine prints. See if the hosting provider mentions anything about not providing daily backup for your website. Run if they say so.
Little Customer Support
Quality staff does not come cheap. A professional and knowledgeable customer support team requires continuous trainings. 24x7x365 customer support means the hosting provider needs to hire more staff. And all these require funds.
That’s the reason why free hosting providers can only offer a FAQ page and email support. And that too may take days to be replied, if they get replied at all. As a comparison, many good hosting providers are offering customer support via email, chat, phone as well as knowledgebase articles.
Cheap web hosting providers generally do not provide security protection or even if they do, may offer poor quality firewalls, cheap antivirus software, and slow software updates, leaving your website vulnerable against security attacks. Don’t put your website and your visitors in danger of such insecurity. The trouble that you would go through if you are attacked is not worth the savings in the hosting price.
These services or the lack of it are a formula for failure. Lost contents and downtime would cause your website more than just lost of businesses. It would hurt your reputation and destroy your trustworthiness. Remember that trust is earned over a long period of time but can be lost in an instant!
Great hosting does not need to be expensive. There are many affordable web hosting providers.
You just need to do some researches on web hosting providers to ensure the features suit your requirements in order to avoid the hassle of transferring later (*). Narrow down to a few web hosting providers and seek unbiased reviews on them. A good place to start would be our own blog 100 Web Hosting, where we share our web hosting experiences. We are experienced website owners who have years of experience in building and maintaining websites.
* HostGator provides FREE website and domain transferring service.
Another place you can check are web hosting forums. These forums generally have testimonials and feedback from those who had experienced these web hosting providers’ services though care should be taken to take it with a pinch of salt as some users are known to exaggerate and that human behavior dictate that we complain more than we praise!
If you are on WordPress and you would like to know more about which features to look for, you could check out our previous article Best WordPress Web Hosting for some guidelines.