Cheap Hosting: Is It Really Worth It?
Here, we review cheap hosting with its advantages and disadvantages and some points to consider. In other words, is it really worth it?
A key factor when deciding requirements is whether you are an individual, small member’s club or not-for-profit organization - or a business or company which depends on availability and performance of its website to provide a professional service and generate income. A choice has to be made between financial savings and quality performance. Websites that respond slowly give the impression of poor customer service and may result in lost customers who simply click elsewhere.
Price is often a sensitive point, especially for smaller businesses. There are a number of web hosts who claim to offer unrestricted bandwidth, unlimited storage and sometimes even design services for costs as low as two or three dollars a month. Some providers also include services such as SQL or ASP.Net 2.0. Whereas quality suppliers may charge extra to pay for these premium services, low cost suppliers are likely to recover the cost through overstretched resources, low quality service and poor support advice, inexperienced technical staff, slow resolution of problems etc.
Research is essential. Consider the reliability of the service (an uptime guarantee of 99% or higher is best), response time, backups and other technical features - not just price charged. Sometimes finding a good host at a reasonable price may not be easy due to the abundance of seemingly attractive offers. However, some give only small quotas of disk space and have a minimum contract duration of a year. Unless they are a proven name, these suppliers can and do sometimes close without notice. It may be worth selecting a web host that offers considerably more bandwidth and free space than you actually require; this will ensure that your hosting is not with a company which is likely to suffer overload problems with consequent performance issues.
In summary, cheap web hosting may be worth considering if you are a new small business and do not yet know how much traffic there will be, nor exactly what all your needs and requirements are. Conversely, established businesses with hundreds or thousands of visitors to their web pages every day, critical for business transactions and with pages containing graphics and video, would be well advised to consider a more practical and technically plausible solution. This could be VPS hosting, cloud hosting or even a dedicated server. In other words if you start cheap, review and upgrade to better quality and performance as soon as possible.