A Guide to Choosing Low-Cost Web Hosting

No-one wants to pay more than they need for web hosting, so why do some companies pay $300 per month to keep their website live?

Are free and ultra-cheap web hosting enough for your company’s needs?

What You Want

You want an all-singing, all-dancing website with videos and customer interactivity. You want chatbots, email capture forms, redirects, and localisation options. You want protection against DDOS attacks and hacking.

All that is admirable and your website will be the envy of everyone in your market, but you won’t get it for $4 a month.

What You Need

Your website is a vital sales tool and you need it to always up, to know that it won’t crash because you have more than five visitors at a time. You need web pages that load in one second or less or your customers will find a competitor whose content does load that quickly. You need a website that complies with security standards and allows you to take payments for the services you sell.

And, you need support. Even if you consider yourself to be technically capable, there will be instances where you struggle and need expert help.

You need a web host you will be happy to stay with for years, one that has upgrade options for when your hosting needs increase.

What You Pay

You can get hosting for free, but don’t go there if you want support, a fast website or pages without ads. There is no free web hosting that is worth wrecking your online business.

Widely advertised hosting services that boast of $3 per month plans don’t tell you of the limitations on those accounts, nor do they tell you of the non-existent support or appalling customer satisfaction ratings. These companies will freeze your account if your page views exceed a minimal level, only unfreezing your site if you pay for a more expensive hosting plan.

You will need to pay more than these prices for a reliable website.

Technical support is one of the biggest expenses a hosting company has, so it is one of the first to be cut if a company offers $3 a month hosting plans.

A hosting coupon is one way to reduce your hosting costs without compromising what you get. Comparison sites will have a wide range of offers to choose from and are a better bet than sites that only offer one or two coupons.

What to Insist On

1. Outstanding reviews

Reputation is everything, but you cannot judge that from companies own marketing; the only way is by checking review sites where you can read hundreds of reviews and compare numbers of positive and negative reviews from previous customers.

2. SSD storage

Solid state disks are more expensive than conventional hard drives that use spinning magnetic disks. However they serve web pages much faster and are more reliable.

3. Support

You need 24/7 chat support. If a host doesn’t boast of this, then they don’t include it. Email support is worthless if your website is down or your pages are showing an error. Support staff should be knowledgeable and willing to fix problems rather than telling you what you need to do.

4. Reliability

No company offers a 100% up-time guarantee, but look for one that offers at least 99.9%. It is worth looking for a 99.99% guarantee because the difference in one year is nearly 54 minutes extra down-time (365 x 24 x 60 / 10,000).

Up-time guarantees don’t cover planned maintenance, and there will always be other exclusions, but it still serves as an indication of a company’s commitment.

5. Contract Length

The cheapest deals usually require you to take out a three-year contract, so you need to be 100% certain that the web host you choose is up to the job. This illustrates the importance of checking independent reviews.

The Short Version

Forget the click bait of seemingly ultra-low monthly charges. Quality hosting costs the hosting company money to provide and need to pass on those costs. You get what you pay for.

If you have any questions, please ask below!