It feels good to get a deal on something. It feels good to know that you are using your resources in the best way possible. But just because a product or service is cheap, it does not mean that it is the best product or service for your needs. This is definitely true when we are talking about hosting.
There are cheap hosting sites that allow you to pay pennies every month for their service. But is it really worth it? Does it matter if you use a cheap website host or purchase a cheap domain name?
To answer those questions, think about the factors that influence your web hosting purchasing decisions. Cost is a major factor. You personally or your business has a budget and you cannot go over that. Speed is the second factor. The only thing that’s worse than having no website is having a slow website.
You may think that you could start out with a cheap and slower hosting service and then scale up in a few months once business picks up. But is this a good idea? Or is it better to spend your money and invest in a quality hosting service from the beginning?
Save A Few Bucks Now, Pay More Later
Downtime or a complete server outage are the absolute worst things that can happen to your business or your website. This is especially true when you have already garnered a large number of viewers every day. This in and of itself is a major drawback to using cheap hosting services.
Here’s an example. Amazon is the largest company in the world. They have the largest e-commerce website on the planet. They have high tech facilities and use high tech technology for their hosting, and they still had an outage of over 40 minutes. This outage cost them more than $4.7 million in lost sales. So, if a huge company like Amazon with a robust server infrastructure can have an outage, think about what will happen if you are using a cheaper hosting service.
1. Poor Page Performance
Research shows that the ideal load speed for the HTML of your website should be under 1.5 seconds. In other words, it is the time it takes light to get from the moon to the earth. Most cheap hosting services use shared platforms. This is akin to living in a large apartment building where everyone is using the same resources. Even if the server promises unlimited bandwidth, if other users decide to gobble up a ton of bandwidth, it’s going to affect your server’s performance.
2. Terrible Customer Service
You get what you pay for. When you choose cheap hosting companies and you need customer service, they usually do not have the personnel, the time, or the concern to help you. In order to keep prices down, cheap hosting companies cram as many users on to as few servers as possible. Cheap hosting companies do not have the personnel to adequately address your problems. So your problems get ignored altogether or you find yourself waiting a long time to get the help that you need. There are a number of reputable hosts that won’t break the bank that are renowned for their excellent customer service. G2 Crowd is another great place to vet hosting providers.
3. Your SEO Efforts Are Negatively Affected
Google is concerned with the time to the first-byte matrix of your site. These factors are influenced by network latency, how fast the backend can create page content and the web server’s response. You can imagine the response is going to be slower with a cheap host, especially if a bunch of other occupants are using the same resources.
4. Data Security
Your data is dear to you. How will you feel if your data is stolen or hacked? Or if your privacy is breached? Worse yet, what if it is the privacy of your customers that is breached? No doubt, you will feel ashamed and embarrassed, and the reputation of your business will be tarnished. A major disadvantage of using cheap hosting services is that your website is vulnerable to security threats. Cheap hosts are usually unable to provide you with the privacy and security protection you need to keep your website information intact.
5. User Interface
The user interface is designed to make it easier for you to manage your website as well as control real-time metrics that are important to how your website is performing as well as to your website’s security. Cheap hosting services are unlikely to help you out with your user interface. They may charge you extra money to make your user interface user-friendly. Others will offer run-of-the-mill solutions that are open to being hacked.
Cheap hosting services have a new trick up their sleeve. They tell you that they are cloud hosting providers and promise supposed scalable features. In reality, they do not have these features available. If a cheap hosting service promises scalability, have them prove it to you. This is one of those cases where it is important for you to read the fine print before you sign any contract. It’s better to use a premium hosting service that offers you genuine scalability and the ability to manage your website traffic.
7. Unwanted Advertisements
Just because the hosting service is being sold to you at a cheap price does not mean that the actual cost of hosting websites has gone down. The hosting company makes up for this price by using your website as a place where they can sell advertisements. This means that visitors to your site will see annoying pop-ups, commercials, and other advertisements.
8. No Domain Name
Some cheap hosting plans do not provide you a separate domain name. Instead, they offer you a sub-domain of their own domain. Your website will be www.mywebsite.freehostingcompany.com. If you want to have your own domain name, you should look for a more expensive service.
Getting a good deal is attractive, especially if you are a small business owner who is on a budget. While there are certain places where cutting costs will have little impact on the way your business looks and works, hosting is not one of them.
Have you used cheap web hosting in the past? What have been your results? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, or Facebook. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.