Cheap Web Hosting
Cheap Web Hosting – Things To Consider is an article to help you understand the difference between the various web hosting options and their pitfalls.
An Introduction To Cheap Web Hosting
If one does a quick Google search for Cheap Web Hosting, it becomes apparent that it is a search term used around 14,800 times a month. So obviously, everyone wants cheap web hosting?
Well, not necessarily. A Google search for Web Hosting returns 90,500 monthly searches. But regardless of which term you are searching for, cheap web hosting is highly sought after.
What is Web Hosting Exactly?
When you have a website, it needs to live somewhere on the World Wide Web. The correct term is Hosting Space, but it is commonly called Web Hosting. Your Web Host provides you with Hosting real estate if you like—your corner of the web.
There are various types of web hosting such as virtual, dedicated, managed, grid and cloud hosting. Some of these are free, some are cheap, and some are premium options.
Types of Website Hosting
Shared Hosting is when a bunch of websites share the same web server. Every website on a given server shares the server’s resources like disk space, CPU, Memory and the like.
Virtual Hosting (VPS)
A Virtual Host is a way to host multiple domain names on a single server that allows one server to share its resources, such as memory and processor cycles. Virtual hosting is essentially one step up from shared hosting.
Cloud hosting stores a bunch of websites in a cloud of servers. In other words, there are a collection of servers available by the hosting provider.
Your website is spread over some (or all) of them, meaning that your site is not susceptible to CPU overloading, other websites crowding the server space or most of the other problems associated with shared or VPS hosting.
Cloud hosting is a reasonable solution for some, but there are better solutions yet.
As the name suggests, Dedicated Hosting is dedicated hosting space for a single website. In most cases, it is full proof with little getting in the way of performance.
However, Dedicated Hosting can be expensive and is best for enormous websites that need zero interruption to their service.
Managed hosting is where a company takes care of all the tech stuff, so you don’t have to. Except not all Managed hosting companies are created equal.
A managed hosting company will offer one or all of the types of hosting mentioned so far, and you will pay accordingly.
All the products you need in one place makes integration seamless for a novice site owner (or novice web designer).
Is Cheap Web Hosting A Good Thing?
The short answer is no. The long answer is, well, it depends on a few things. In my experience, and having tried many free options, I can categorically say that cheap web hosting will hurt your business, your brand, or other online endeavours—in most cases.
Hopefully, I can lay out the pros and cons of the difference between cheap web hosting and Premium Web Hosting.
Why Do People consider Cheap Web Hosting?
When in business, it is paramount to keep costs as low as possible—especially when getting a start-up going.
I’ve seen, time and again, businesses that need a new website (or a redesign). But, they consider premium web hosting to be a waste of money for some reason or another.
Perhaps it’s not the actual business owner themselves but their web designer who suggests that cheap (or free) web hosting is a good idea.
The problem, it seems, is that some don’t understand the downside to cheap web hosting.
And this brings me to my first point about why cheap hosting can be a terrible idea.Here is a Question For You:
Here is a Question For You:
What is The Number One Point of Your Website?
The answer is simple enough: To Provide The Visitor With Relevant And Helpful Information.
The standard response I get right about now is: what’s that got to do with cheap web hosting?
Well, you may have the most fantastic looking website on the internet. It may even have highly relevant and helpful information. But the problem is, if you are using a cheap or free host, poor performance.
Cheap hosting providers generally use what is called cloud hosting. In a nutshell, cloud hosting means your site can be sharing the same host space with up to 1000 or more other sites.
The problem here is if, for example, half of all those sites had one visitor visiting at the same time. The result is the same as 500 visiting a single website at once.
That is one heck of a lot of traffic. A cheap hosting option will mean one thing; your site (and the other 499) won’t load in an acceptable time (if at all).
No one will wait for around 5, 6 or 7 seconds for a website to load. There are too many options out there for impatient searchers to wait around.
One visitor lost because of poor performance is a potential customer lost. Who can afford that?
To be fair, one can’t entirely blame page load speeds on poor hosting; sometimes, a website is just poorly built.
Check out my article, Website Health Check, to learn more about discovering if your site is up to scratch.
Having said all that, however, the hosting you choose will have a direct effect on the speed of your pages load time.
What Makes Cheap Hosting Cheap?
Let’s take a closer look at what makes cheap hosting cheap. As I’ve mentioned already, cloud hosting means your site can be sharing the same host space with up to 1000 or more other sites.
As an experiment, I created a Free Hosting account and put up an elementary WordPress website. I then went to one of my favourite Reverse IP tools and checked who else was sharing the hosting space.
The results are astounding!
A further issue of sharing cheap web hosting space with 999 other websites is at least one site is showing as having explicit content.
There are high possibilities that all of the web sites on this webserver may become blocked by web filtering software, not to mention that search engine rankings for these web sites may be affected.
So, What Makes A Good Web Host Provider?
I wanted to talk about the myriad of further issues surrounding cheap web hosting. But I think it best to look at what makes a good (or even great) web host provider.
A minimum of 5 points makes up a good host provider. Of course, I must point out here that my Premium Web Hosting packages cover all topics listed.
Uptime refers to the percentage that the host is up (or live). Downtime can happen for various reasons, the most likely, too much traffic.
Bandwidth allows you to process a certain amount of web traffic. In other words, the more people visiting your site at any given time, the more bandwidth you need.
For the most part, any premium web hosting will allow you a generous amount of bandwidth, but if your site goes viral, you need the ability to buy more bandwidth without any drama.
Space refers to the allotted space you have to store all tour files. These files include the code that makes up your website, images, video, music, eBooks or any other assets your website requires.
If you have a small website of, say, 5 to 10 pages, the typical web server space will be adequate with premium web hosting. On the other hand, if you have a growing eCommerce website that has (or will have) hundreds of pages, you will need the ability to increase your server space.
The better quality of your hosting plan, the faster your website will be. (Other than poorly built websites – premium hosting can’t help you there.)
Speed matters. As I said earlier, if it takes forever to load (6 seconds or more), you will most likely lose your visitor because they will not wait for your page to load.
Security is paramount in Google’s eyes. It has become an important ranking factor. A premium web hosting provider will offer, at the very least, a free basic SSL Certificate.
An SSL Certificate is what gives you the green padlock in the browser. It also gives your site visitors peace of mind, especially if they are looking to purchase from your site. Read more about SSL in my article, Website Security.
No matter who you choose as a hosting provider, they must satisfy the essential points outlined above.
Who I (Highly) Recommend
I utterly recommend (and use) Flywheel WordPress Hosting.
Disclaimer: I do not receive any commission or other incentive to promote Flywheel. It’s just that they are the best hosting provider, hands down, in my opinion.
Flywheel is specifically designed to work for WordPress websites and has a vast list of features that make 99% of all other hosting providers look amateurs.
Flywheel is not a cheap web hosting option, but then, the turnover you stand to improve on will easily make up the difference. Plans start at US$275 per year, not much in the scheme of things, I say.
Cheap Web Hosting does have its place. Although, when it comes to your business and brand, cheap hosting makes no sense. Premium web hosting, much like your well-crafted website, is a business tool to help generate income. Why would you risk potential new customers by skipping on a few dollars?
If you think I can help you with your project, let me know!