Can Cheap Web Hosting Really Be Your Best Choice?
There is more competition on the hosting landscape today than ever before. While this means there are more quality hosting services available, there are also more low quality services as well. The primary mechanism for competition is price, which has led to slow, but consistent decreases in price over the last decade. As prices remain low, many people are wondering whether or not cheap web host could be their best hosting solution. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when looking at a cheap web host.
The Needs of Your Website
The first thing you must consider is whether or not the hosting company will provide you with the features and tools that you will need to maintain your website. If they lack the tools that you need, no matter how cheap the service is, it is time to move on. However, today there are cheap web hosting services that have more than enough features to meet the needs of the average webmaster.
Odds are, you aren't going to need unlimited bandwidth or disk space, if you do, then you are probably past the point of searching for a cheap web host. However, you do need to make sure that you have all of the bandwidth and disk space that you need. You might also want to consider what scripts and software you want at your disposal, including the control panel. Again, if the hosting company doesn't have what you need, then it is already time to move on.
This is the issue, for most people, that determines whether or not cheap web hosting is right for them. Because many of the available features have become more standardized, customer service and support is what makes quality hosting companies stand out. The first thing you need to look at is what kind of support is offered. Is it a ticket based system, forum, telephone, online chat, or a combination of support options. You also need to make sure that the support is there when you need it. If there is no support during the weekend and your site goes down on Friday night, you are stuck with a down website during some the weekend.
Before you make a decision, you actually need to contact customer service and/or support. You need to look at things such as response time, accuracy/helpfulness of answer, and the overall attitude of the person helping you. Support shouldn't just exist, it should be useful. Remember, you are paying them when you could be paying someone else. If they don't treat you like you want to be treated, then don't hesitate to go elsewhere.
What Is Cheap?
The final thing to keep in mind when looking at cheap web hosting services, is what your definition of cheap is. For example, with so many $3 a month shared hosting plan, some people think that $10 is expensive. On the other hand, there are people who normally use VPS or a dedicated server, who will think that every shared hosting plan is cheap. As long as the hosting fee is within your budget, it is much better to focus on the features and customer service, because if those aspects are “cheap” or low quality, then it doesn't matter what the price is. Most people will pay for a quality service provider rather than use a free, poor quality service provider.
So can a cheap web hosting provider be the best choice for your website or websites? Absolutely. Does that mean that you should simply go out and find the cheapest option available? Absolutely NOT! As long as the fee is within your budget, having the right features and solid support will be more important than the price tag every time.