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The pitfalls of cheap hosting

04 May 2016

The Pitfalls of Cheap HostingOnce you’ve invested in your website, it can be tempting to cut corners when it comes to hosting. One host is much the same as another, right?

Wrong.

There is a huge difference between a good quality host and a poor quality one, and choosing badly can have a big impact on the success of your site.

These are some of the main problems with choosing cheap hosting:

Not enough space

If you’re getting hosting for only a few pounds a month, then the chances are you are sharing space with hundreds, if not thousands, of others. The host still has to make a profit after all, and if they’re not doing it with quality, they must be doing it with quantity. Not having a comfortable amount of breathing space means that capacities that become tested and pushed to the limits, resulting in slow sites or even downtime.

Security Risks

If the investment hasn’t been made in hardware infrastructure, redundancies, power backups, robust protection software etc. then your website is vulnerable to all kinds of risks, from hackers to power outages, to software failures. In this case your site may go down for hours, days or even weeks and if backups aren’t in place, then you could lose your data altogether.

Support that makes you want to tear your hair out

Personally, this is my biggest issue with cheap hosting. In order to make a profit, they have to focus on numbers, and they simply don’t have time to deal with individual clients’ queries. This means you get shunted to FAQs, and if you try hard enough to actually have direct contact with someone, they don’t (or can’t) read your query and send back a nonsense response in any case.

Speed affects Google’s opinion of your site

Cheap hosts tend to be slow, because they’re overloaded and not maintained and upgraded regularly – they can’t afford to with everyone only paying pennies to be on them. The problem with this is that Google penalises websites that are slow to load and rewards those that are snappy. That’s because it directly affects the user’s experience, and Google is constantly trying to improve the user’s experience.

There one minute, gone the next

There is a lot of piggy backing and white labelling when it comes to cheap hosts. This means larger hosts resell to smaller companies that resell to individuals that resell to… you get the picture. Anyone with the most basic technical skills can set themselves up as a hosting reseller, and get going pretty much overnight. But of course, this means that they can fold just as quickly, and it also means you may be buying hosting from someone with no more than a PC in the corner or their bedroom.

 

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