The most common question we get asked by our customers is ‘is cheap hosting any good?‘. Well the answer to that question depends on what you are looking for when you choose a hosting package for your business.
Large companies such as GoDaddy and Fasthosts offer hosting packages starting from just £1 a year. These offerings include every possible feature you could ever need from hosting and support to email and web site building tools.
Unfortunately the reality of these packages is not so appealing:
Cheap Hosting – The Bad Points
- Your website can be hosted on shared servers, with 5000+ other web sites.
- Your email accounts send messages using shared email servers. This can cause delivery issues if another customer is flagged for sending spam emails.
- Your website is your own responsibility. You are paying for hosting not web site support which can cause issues if you need technical changes or your site stops working.
- You will need to call international support call centres if you have an issue. It can take a long time to get to the front of the queue and then you are dealing with a support representative reading a script rather than having technical knowledge of your web site.
- Due to heavy load on shared servers your site visitors can experience slow performance which can increase the chances that your potential customer will move on to a competitors faster site. Also search engines do not like slow sites for this very reason which could affect your search rankings.
- We have seen sites deleted without warning if hacking is detected, again this is your responsibility to recover.
- Also does the hosting provider offer training on how to use the hundreds of software products ‘bundled’ into the hosting service, if not you will need to find training resources yourself.
- As you are paying such a low price for your hosting providers are more likely to ask you to move to another host if you are having issues that their support scripts cannot handle.
When choosing a hosting provider look beyond the monthly cost and ask yourself what you plan to do with the hosting package you are purchasing. If you are running a business your web site represents you and helps you to gain new customers.
Look for the following when choosing a hosting provider for your business:
- Does the company offer email or telephone support and what is the response time.
- Does the company host their own website using the packages they sell to their customers.
- Is your web site going to be sharing space with other sites? If so how many.
- Does the hosting provider build websites or server networks? If a company has experience in building and hosting websites they should be able to fix common problems quickly and efficiently.
- Does your hosting provider offer products to protect you from potential hacking threats.
- Does you host offer training on web site, email and SEO systems to support your business web site needs.
Cheap Hosting – Conclusions
Ultimately as a business owner you can choose a cheap hosting provider to host your business website and email service, but ask yourself these questions before you decide:
- Will potential customers be impressed by a slow or broken website?
- How will your business communicate with new or existing customers if our emails are marked as spam?
- If your web site is attacked or hacked how will this affect your business?
We feel as web designers and support providers ourselves that a support and hosting package is an insurance policy for your business web site.
Purchasing a best in class hosting support services is essential and the piece of mind that your web site will continue to run smoothly and generate new customers as it was designed to do is exactly what your are paying for.
Is your business really only worth £1?
To find out more about our support packages visit our support and hosting page.