A reliable host is crucial for the general upkeep of your website or blog. However, reliable doesn’t always mean expensive! It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to find quality. While there are, of course, plenty of poor, low cost web hosting companies on the market, there are also some very good ones as well.
When I first started working on the Internet, I got caught up with some very outrageous hosting plans. I spent far more than I needed on a re-seller account – which emptied my wallet. Not only did the company (who have since gone out of business) charge as much as they could, they delivered very little. It was a disaster… Fortunately, I learned the error of my ways. This article has been written to help you bypass making the same silly mistakes that I made.
How Cheap Should I Go?
I fell for the classic salesman tricks when I first started. I was convinced that a cheap plan would go offline every other day and force Google to de-list my website from its index. When I first discovered a plan for £4.99 per month I was blown away. It was a whopping eight times cheaper than what I was paying for at the time. But now, even that is considered expensive to some people. According to Cheap Web Hosting Advice, you can find a decent hosting plan for as little as £1.19 per month!
So, back to the original question, “How cheap should I go?” Start with a few pounds, and then go up from there. If you need extra features, such as a website builder and an email account, perhaps go a few pounds higher – use your intuition. Just remember, these cheap plans are designed for low traffic websites. If you get a huge influx of visitors, all you have to do is upgrade or find a new provider.
What Features Do I Need?
For a personal blog or small business, the bare minimum will suffice. If you’re using WordPress or something similar, then you really don’t need anything other than the hosting account and domain name. There’s no point paying for features you won’t ever end up using. That said, a malware scanner, regular server backups and SSL certifications may be of benefit (but not a deal breaker).
What Problems Should I Look Out For?
• Downtime is the most common issue with cheap hosts. However, no server is perfect. Before you sign up to a new hosting plan, use an Uptime Calculator to check the performance metrics.
• Make sure that when you sign up for a hosting plan you aren’t also signing up for other “free” software or services. Cheap hosting companies are notorious for up-selling and some may even force you to sign up to software trials.
• Poor tech support is something you’ll simply have to put up with if you’ve already signed up to a bad web host. If you can, try to contact the support team prior to registering a new plan – preferably via live chat. If they have poor customer care, look elsewhere.
• Read the small print! You may have found your dream web hosting package, but if there are hidden cancellation or renewal fees, you could end up paying much more than you would have if you took out a slightly more expensive plan.
In short, you can definitely find a good quality, cheap website hosting plan. However, you must do your research beforehand and assess all of your options with close scrutiny. Now you know what to look out for, get cracking!