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The dilemma with purchasing cheap web hosting

By Staff

Back in the early days of the Internet at the turn of the century…that would be four years ago…hosting companies that were first off the block in the Internet land grab had the luxury of charging high prices.  However, even then there were a few visionary holdouts that charged low prices out of the gate and offered the same or better service as their competitors. 

Fast forward.  Hindsight is always 20/20.  Regardless whether or not these visionaries saw then what the case is now, adoption of the Internet as a major business channel happened at the speed of light.  The technology needed to harness the power of the Internet evolved just as quickly.  The result - prices dropped - the classic supply and demand scenario.

Today, the market is saturated with Internet web hosting providers offering a plethora of services with one common denominator – cheap, cheap, cheap.  Once you decide what type of services you’ll need for your specific business or personal web site, rest assured that you will have no trouble finding the services you are looking for packaged at a good price.

Before you sign on the dotted line, though – it pays to ask a few in depth questions to make sure you understand exactly what kind of customer experience you can expect as delivered by the web hosting provider you are considering.  Similar sounding services can differ greatly depending on how they are defined by the web hosting provider you select.

Bear in mind that this is not a matter of good or bad – a web hosting provider is not necessarily trying to deceive you.  It is your responsibility to understand what you are paying for and to make sure that what is being offered meets your expectations.  Start at the beginning – what type of services did you determine you would need?

For example, if you want fast response times, ask the web hosting provider if they have a limit on how many web sites they put on one server.  Also ask about what kind of hardware they use and about their available bandwidth.  With the server technology available today, a powerful server with enough bandwidth can easily handle 1000 accounts.  But you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you either have to move or upgrade from a shared solution to a more expensive alternative because your web hosting provider uses dinky hardware and doesn’t limit the number of web sites per server.  In any case, it is not a bad idea to also ask candidate providers if they offer virtual hosting and dedicated server packages, and how much would it be to upgrade?  Ask if there is any time limit or penalty associated with changing your plan.

Low prices mean that web hosting providers have to judiciously control expenses in order to make any kind of profit margin.  Find out if these cost cutting measures are taking place at your expense.  What is the provider’s policy regarding upgrades to the newest versions of standard software, like PHP?  Do they keep up with new releases or save money by foregoing upgrades?  Find out what type of control panel they offer.  Will you be working with current software or older (less user-friendly) applications?  Another area that is a frequent target for cost cutting is technical support.  If the web hosting provider is touting their 24/7 support, what exactly is involved?  Is that live phone support 24 hours a day 7 days a week with a toll-free number?  Or do you call into a number and leave a message, or send email?  Look at their service level agreement so you know exactly what type of support is included in the package you are paying for.  If the type of support you want is not included in your package, does the web hosting provider offer it at all?  If so, what are the extra charges and how are they assessed?

That brings us to the last set of questions.  Avoid sticker shock from those oddball charges that pop up here and there on your bill.  A month of that type of surprise and your web hosting bargain isn’t a bargain any longer.  The biggest pitfall most consumers encounter is getting charged for extra bandwidth.  Know exactly how much bandwidth you are buying with your package.  Make sure the control panel included in the deal has a bandwidth meter.  Email alarms that you can set so you know when you are getting close to your limits are even better.  If you do go over your limit, what does the web hosting provider charge for the next GB?

It is simple really – just make sure you understand exactly what you are getting; that is one sure way to make sure you will always get what you pay for!

Paid Vs free web hosting services:

Survival of the fittest, true either in the case of web host providers. There are almost 50,000 web sites launched every week and more than 50,000 web hosting companies are thriving for the business attainment. Web site launchers need space for launching their web sites that can be rendered by the web host providers. These web host providers are fighting a war to grab the customer and come in front of their eyes. It is not easy job to get the business, especially when the market is crowded with numbers of free web host providers. The free or cheap web hosts have set the mindset of people to pay low or nothing for getting the space for their web sites. It has gained the big market share of the paid web hosting companies.

Every thing that is costing you some value will be delivering you the quality. Have we ever think that why you always prefer Nike brand for athletic games? Is because of the quality and durability it is providing to you. Why always i-phone when it comes to the mobile market? The factor is of trust which it has gained by you and you are paying extra bugs for it. Same is the case with the paid web hosting services. The facilities they are providing are incomparable with those provided by the free web hosting companies.  

Let’s have a comparison of apple with orange, means paid Vs cheap web hosting service providers.

Free web hosts is not providing you free services actually, they are using you by posting pop up ads over your web pages. You are not allowed to control these ads or remove it. More precisely, they are the one who is controlling half portion of your web pages. Slow connection speeds, slow downloading and uploading speed, no technical support and assistance, no security and no guarantee against data loss. If you think once again than you will find that you are becoming the source of income for them, your traffic would be encountered by their pop up ads and they are getting paid from the ad posters and from your visitors who are clicking over your ads.  They are in profit from both ends and it is you who have to bear the problems. The flashy pop up ads can also become the reason for distracting your audience and in the worst case they can stop visiting your web sites.

Now let’s see what you are getting by paying to the web hosting service providers:

It is essential to clear that the paid web hosting services are not costing you too much. They are affordable and you can select them based on your requirements.  

Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year they are rendering you services. Any time you can ask them and they will serve you. The highly qualified and trained technical staff members are appointed in these companies to ensure the better customer service provision. It is quite normal that machine needs wear and tear.

There can be some problems which need to be solved by the experts. Technical assistance given by paid web hosting service provider is ensuring the solution of every problem in no time. Another important factor is of server’s uptime. It is essential for your web site’s business that it downloads in few seconds on the system of the audience. The servers installed at the paid web hosting service providers are 99.9% accurate and assured the electricity failure will not cause your business to suffer. No free web host can guarantee you against this aspect. Other important benefit that can be availed with the paid web hosting service providers is the guarantee against the protection of data loss. In case of natural disasters or any mishap, your data will be secured.

They maintain the back up of the data at multiple locations and in multiple storage medium, thus ensures no loss of the data. They also ensure you security against the hackers and the accessibility of unauthorized users. Another service rendered by the paid web hosting service providers is, the selection of the domain name. The free web hosts only offer you to select the domain name they have already registered, but with the paid web hosting service providers you can choose the name of your wish. It looks awkward when you are running your business with clumsy domain name. Storage space is another benefit you can avail with the paid web hosting service providers. They allow you to store your web sites on enough space that will also be catering your future expansion needs.


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