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Pitfalls of Cheap web hosting

By Staff

       Cheap hosting plans might seem like a good deal, but when you take a closer look and you will see them for what they really are, cheap! Think about it, and ask yourself the following questions:

          How can these so-called bargain hosts possibly claim to provide the same types of services as larger web host providers?

         How can these types of host providers literally “give away” their services for cheap money?

The answer is simply that they can’t. How could they possibly “give away the store” when they are in business to make money. Think about it! It costs money to make money. They couldn’t possibly compete with the larger more reliable providers who have more capital and resources at their disposal. With the cheap prices that they offer, it is impossible to generate enough revenue to be able to provide services like technical support, unlimited emails, bandwidth, or storage space. So beware of web host providers out there who promise everything for one low price. They may not be able to deliver on their promises. In the end, it may well be you who winds up paying a lot more when your business goes down the tubes.

So Much for So Little

Web host providers that offer cheap services are relatively unknowns among the web host provider community. Meaning that, no one has ever heard of them before. They seem to have jumped out of nowhere. These “unknowns” entice you with their prices when in reality you get very little back. Most are just scams that are designed to suck you in, take your money and run. Many ask that the monthly rate be paid yearly so that they can get a bigger chunk of your money up front. Their goal is to attract as many customers as possible, make as much money in little time as possible, then go “belly up” and file for bankruptcy. The remainder of the yearly premium that you paid is rarely if ever refunded back to you. Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware!

The Method Behind The Madness

There is a method to the madness of offering an abundance of services. Most of these cheap hosting providers were part of the great Internet boom and some in fact are some of the largest hosts around. They base their offerings on the notion that it they simply give away services, they will gain a good share of the market. Then they can lower the boom and raise their prices hoping that you will remember all the free services you got. They got this idea when Microsoft’s word product was given away as an enticement and had no competition for the product.

It’s a different day in the hosting world. With the Internet saturated with all types of hosting choices, providers have in reality become a commodity. The concept of giving services away today is silly because once they raise prices, the customers will seek out the next low cost opportunity available. They will probably seek out a more reputable host provider with a stable cost structure and service offerings that are more beneficial to them.

The Downfall of Cheap Hosts

It stands to reason that you can’t give away the store for long and expect to remain in business. When their businesses fail because they didn’t generate enough revenue to meet their expenses and turn a profit, guess who’s left holding the bag, you the customer. You will be left stranded out in the cold and your business will be in serious jeopardy. They will simply file bankruptcy without giving a thought to your needs or those of your customers. Now you are back at square one, having to search for a more reliable host provider.

If you decide to seek out another “cheap” alternative host, you are simply setting yourself up for more heartache. Sure the low prices may keep attracting you to these fly-by-night hosts, but ask yourself if the compromise is worth the pain you may have to go through again. You are the only one at risk as is your business. You will ultimately be the one to get burned. But if you feel that the price and the overwhelming offer of various services is worth it, then by all means go for it. Just keep your fingers crossed that they will be in business for the long term. There is no getting around the fact the if you expect the highest quality, the best in service, quality and reliability, you will have to pay for it, period.

Low Cost vs. Commercial Web Hosts

Whether you decide to choose a low cost web host or a commercial web host, which will cost you more, there are several factors that should be considered. There are differences between the two that should be compared. Look at the comparison below. Some service may overlap. In any event, I doubt that any "perfect" web hosting companies exist. Just because you are willing to pay a higher price for what you think will be better service, there are no guarantees, and I mean none, that any provider is better than another. On the other hand, one thing for sure is that you will not get exceptional support and service if you pay a low monthly fee.

 

Low Cost Hosts

Commercial Hosts

Have banner ads and annoying advertising

No banner ads or annoying advertising

Amount of web space allotted may be less

Increased web space

Lack of FTP availability

FTP capabilities & control panel

File type and size limitations

May have higher file type and size limits

Questionable reliability & speed

Improved reliability & speed

Low bandwidth allotment

Increased bandwidth allotment

Little or no tech support

24/7 tech support

Low cost

SSL (secure server), MySQL, Shopping Cart

Resellers

Higher cost but not resellers

 

Email, Autoresponders, POP3, Mail Forwarding


Price and Web Hosting

Don’t be fooled into thinking that price is not a consideration when choosing a web host. Even though the reliability of cheap web hosts is questionable, many still choose lower prices over service. Paying a higher price for hosting does however give a certain level of improved reliability and support. But there is a trade-off to consider. If you have multiple sites, you simply may not be able to afford hosting with higher priced providers. Lower costs hosting services may be suitable for your multiple needs, especially if your sites are not that critical to your business. You need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of selecting lower cost hosting against the urgency and nature of your business. Remember that lower cost hosts experience more “down time” than higher priced ones. The cost to you in lost sales and customers can be devastating. If your site can’t be accessed, you can’t make any sales. While low cost hosts may be the perfect place to put your personal site, it may not be wise to try to run a business on one.

Beware of cheap host plans that offer unlimited bandwidth or unlimited web space. Both simply do not exist, there is no such thing as unlimited in these areas. They are very limited resources. These types of offers can result in overloaded servers, which is exactly why you wouldn’t want your website hosted there. You certainly wouldn’t want a site that loads slowly or not be able to respond at all. Avoid the headaches and grief and stay way from these “too good to be true” web hosts.

Cheap host providers rely on their customer’s ability to possess some technical knowledge and be self-sufficient. That’s why they offer an overwhelming variety of services.  They don’t have to worry about providing too much support if you can take care of things on your own. This doesn’t do any good for the poor layman who doesn’t have a clue technically regarding the maintenance of his website. For that matter it equally is no help to the budding businessman who doesn’t have the time to worry about technically supporting his site on his own.

Remember that lower cost hosts experience more “down time” than higher priced ones. The cost to you in lost sales and customers can be devastating. If your site can’t be accessed, you can’t make any sales. While low cost hosts may be the perfect place to put your personal site, it may not be wise to try to run a business on one.

 

 
     
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