Discount web hosting can be great for bloggers on a budget, but in the case of web hosting, cheaper isn’t necessarily better. Here’s why.
Discount web hosting, also known as “cheap” or even “free” web hosting, is all over the ‘net. Company after company promises the same thing: to give you 24/7 customer support through chat, phone or email. To give you limitless bandwidth. Limitless emails. 99% guaranteed up-time.
And now you may be thinking, “How come they’re able to offer me all of this stuff for $1.99 a month when that other company does it for $9.95 a month?” The answer is: they can’t. Or at least most of them can’t. This isn’t to say that every discount web host out there is horrible – they’re not – but it is to say that most of them are going to leave you filled with regret.
If you’re thinking about going for a super cheap discount web host rather than paying a couple bucks more every month, make sure you read this article so you know just what you’re getting into.
The Cheaper The Host, The Less Space You’ll Get
Think that your business will grow in the future? Then steer clear of cheap web hosts. Discount web host companies offer you very little disk space, so little that you may find yourself running out of it shortly after you begin building your site (especially if you’re moving a current website over to the new discount host!). Discount web hosting may work for a web designer who wants to test a website, or someone who wants to maintain a small personal blog that won’t generate a lot of income.
The Unwanted Ads Can Ruin Your Website
You’ll be hard pressed to find a discount webhost that won’t force you to have unwanted ads on your website, especially if you go for free webhosting. After all, a free webhost is giving you something for free. They have to make their money somehow. So what do they do? Clutter your site with irrelevant, ridiculous, spam-like advertisements.
And the ads aren’t small either. You can expect to find huge ads on every landing page you create, banner ads that span your entire web page, and bothersome pop-up ads that will prevent anyone from visiting your site ever again. If you want to run a legit webpage, then either find a discount web host that promises NOT to have unwanted ads on your site, or spring the extra couple bucks every month to keep those ads far, far away.
No Unique Domain Name
Domain names are pretty important when it comes to branding yourself and being searchable on the web. If you choose to go with a free or discount webhost, there’s a good chance that you won’t get a special identifying domain. All that you will receive is a URL that has the name of your web host, and that’s it.
Not only is this detrimental for brand recognition, but this also affects your site ranking on search engines in a very negative way too.
No Real Up-Time Guarantees
Sure, a lot of discount webhosts SAY that they can guarantee a 99% uptime, but if you have checked out any reviews on the ‘net about a particular free or cheap host, you’ll find that that’s hardly the case. Your website can easily be down once or twice a week, and for hours at a time. Those are hours where you are losing visitors and losing business.
The other problem here is that cheap webhosts also suffer from overcrowding. This is either due to an influx of people signing up, or an influx of people signing off. It is a free host, so people frequently are joining the host, changing their personal site, moving their personal site, or scrapping it. Whenever this happens, you can expect for your site to go down too.
Minimal To No Script Support
If you have a website or a blog, you know just how important scripting is. Most paid webhosts offer a ton of great scripting support and even recommend or create scripts so that you can add things to your site. Choosing to go to a discount webhost means that you won’t get any of that, so you can say “buh-bye” to script language support, software plugins, ecommerce tools, and other neat goodies that can really enhance your website.
Bandwidth? What Bandwidth?
Don’t have a website up yet? Then chances are you don’t really have any idea how much bandwidth you actually need to operate a functional site. But one thing that we can promise you is that there’s a good chance you’ll need more than what any discount host has to offer – that is, if you expect to use your site or blog for anything but personal reasons.
Not having enough bandwidth to support your visitors will be a huge blow to your business. Why? No one will be able to access your website. Traffic will be cut off. Pages will load slowly, or they won’t even load at all. It will create a frustrating situation for your visitor and, as a result, they’ll leave your page and they won’t ever come back.
Lack Of Customer Support
Customer support is a big deal these days, right? Well, cheap hosts certainly don’t invest a lot of money into it. While the sites may promise around the click customer support, if you try calling them at 2am, no one picks up but an answering service. Even worse, no one returns your calls. Their email programs are full of generic macro responses that are of no use, and their live chats seem to be run by robots. So if you have a technical problem, or if anything goes wrong with your site, you won’t get answers, at least not in time for you to fix anything.
Like we said before, if you’re willing to spend that extra $2-$5 every month on a quality web host, you’ll find a significant difference in the support you get. You’ll get immediate assistance from a real person who knows what the problem is, who will help troubleshoot the issue, and who will actually be of assistance.