5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Choosing a Cheap Web Hosting Service

Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 6:00 PM | Leave Comment

If you’re thinking about launching your own e-commerce business or starting a blog, the first thing you need to do is find a web hosting provider that will publish your site from their servers.

Some ambitious site owners will opt for high-end solutions like dedicated physical servers. For modest needs, you can find basic hosting services for a few dollars a month.

Some of the hosting features to look for are high uptime rates, a dedicated IP address and support for PHP scripts and MySQL databases.

You may also want utilities like generation of website stats or webmail auto responders.

Cyber security is always important, so look for measures such as SSL certificates for encryption, anti-malware, and file backups.

While you can find an affordable host with all these features, be aware that there can be drawbacks to cheaper hosting.

  1. Poor Website Speed and Uptime

    If searchers and visitors are unable to connect they’ll become frustrated. The more your site is down, the more traffic you’ll lose.

    You need a host that makes your site accessible 24/7. The host you choose should provide stable networks with 99.8 percent uptimes; anything below 99 percent is unacceptable.

    Most standard plans are shared hosting, which means your site shares the same server hardware and bandwidth with numerous other sites.

    A site that experiences traffic spikes will use more resources, so that your visitors experience slow performance.

    You want to consistently provide fast load times to ensure a good customer experience. A faster website also improves your ranking with the major search engines.

    Check the host’s claims against expert reviews. By ensuring optimal uptimes and performance, you give customers confidence in your site. They’re more likely to provide repeat business and share positive comments.

  2. Aggressive Up-Selling and Cross-Selling

    Some hosts that lure people with ultra-cheap packages are making most of their income through upgrades.

    This could be commercial software, additional disk space, an array of content-management packages, domain registration services and fees, use of content distribution networks, and similar extras.

    These hosts entice you with discounts or free trials, only to bump up prices after the initial period ends.

    If you come across a host that operates this way, keep track of your total cost. Do not pay for services or upgrades that you don’t want or don’t fully understand.

  3. Expensive Renewal Fees

    Many hosts offer bargain prices that are dependent on long-term contracts or bundled services. This is quite common in the industry.

    When you investigate a prospective host, be sure to check the regular rate against any stated discounts. With sharp increases, you may find yourself “host-hopping” to keep costs down.

    Hosting companies frequently offer two or three-year deals at a fixed rate. This helps you budget your site for the future without worries about unexpected price hikes.

    With more industry competition, you can still find satisfactory hosting at cheap prices. Just be sure to review terms and conditions before signing up.

  4. Poor Technical and Customer Support

    You can have problems with your site for any number of reasons, such as a corrupt file or incorrect settings.

    Issues can occur at any time, so it’s important that your hosting company has highly available support.

    There may be times that you don’t even realize a problem has occurred. Every second of downtime could be costing you money and discouraging potential customers.

    Some cheaper hosts have very limited or poorly trained support, or may ask you to submit trouble tickets via online forms or email that won’t get handled for several days.

    You should check that a host not only provides 24-hour support, but responds promptly and effectively. Customer service that involves long wait times or ineffective solutions is only compounding downtime.

  5. Lengthy Subscription Periods

    Often, you’ll find that the advertised price is based on longer contracts, sometimes stretching even up to five years. This is a long time in internet terms. Anything can happen over that time with your personal or online goals, business expansion, or consumer market.

    Some internet entrepreneurs will often give up on an idea within a year or two.

    If you’re faced with taking one of these long-term offers to stay within budget, find out if you’re entitled to a refund for cancellation.

    Unless you’re confident that your site will be operational well into the future, try to limit your spending to two-year plans.

In conclusion, particularly if you’re new to websites, you don’t want to invest too much before you even get started.

Low-cost hosting solutions can get you up and running for as little as a few dollars a month, but you have to do your research and plan your budget to get the best deal for your needs.

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