There are many web hosts out there who will provide you with hosting for just a few pennies per month – or occasionally even for free! While there’s a wide range of acceptable pricing for hosting, you’re not doing yourself any favors by getting it so cheap. In this article, I’ll explain the dangers of ultra low-cost web hosting, and why it’s actively bad for your site.
At NameHero, we offer great value for our hosting plans. However, it’s not a race to the bottom. For a few pennies a month, there’s no way we can offer the same number of features and customer service. So here’s why low cost web hosting is a dud.
Non-Existent Customer Support
Customer support is the single most expensive component of web hosting as the business begins to grow. Everything else benefits from economies of scale. But actual human beings to respond to tickets are expensive, and the costs grow linearly with the number of clients.
So if you’re tempted by dirt cheap web hosting, ask yourself this – what happens when something goes wrong (and at such low prices, something will go wrong!). What if there’s an SSL misconfiguration? What if you need to contact the web host in case you lose your data and need to restore a backup? There are innumerable things that can go wrong, and in these situations, customer support is critical.
Even if low cost providers have customer support, it’ll be outsourced to places where customer reps receive the bare minimum amount of training – both in technical expertise, as well as foreign language skills. None of this is a recipe for trustworthiness.
At the very best, I can say that low cost hosting is great to try out for a personal website. Under no circumstances should you place a business website in the hands of low cost hosting – it’s a recipe for disaster. And all to save maybe $10 a month!
Resource Limitations – MySQL, CPU and Website Limitations
If you look closely at super-cheap hosting plans, you’ll see that they severely limit the number of resources you have available to you. This will eventually force you to switch providers or upgrade your existing plan – which is the goal. Here are some resources that are typically squeezed.
Many startup plans allow just a single MySQL database, which is sufficient for say one WordPress site. But nothing more. Either that, or they restrict the size of the database to some small amount like 1 GB. Neither of these limitations is sustainable in the long run.
If your website starts to take off, you’ll find yourself squeezed pretty hard.
The only way low cost hosting can make a profit, is if they cram an ungodly number of websites onto a single server or virtual machine. As a consequence of this, these plans place severe restrictions on the number of CPU cycles your site can use. That means no heavy database queries, calculations, server-caching, or anything approaching a complex website.
As a result, it’s an extremely poor idea to run a dynamic application like WordPress on cheap hosting plans.
This isn’t restricted to only cheap hosting plans. Most starter plans of any hosting company (including NameHero) restrict the number of websites you can host to just one. And for the most part, this is sufficient. But there’s something about web hosting that makes you start new ones every now and again. If you’ve been hosting a while, I can guarantee that you’ve thought about starting another website!
When that happens, you need to upgrade your plan to one that will allow you to host multiple websites on a single hosting plan.
Cheap web hosting can sound appealing. After all, paying $1/m sounds pretty sweet right? But think – if it was that simple, wouldn’t all other hosting companies go out of business? There’s a reason why higher-tier web hosting plans exist. For the reasons listed above, make sure you don’t start your business on a dirt-cheap hosting plan. I guarantee you that you will regret it.
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!
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