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Is Cheap Hosting really cheap?

To be honest i am not a big fan of cheap web hosting, however my web hosting costs me less then 25$ a year! This is about 2$ a month, talk about cheap hosting right? 🙂 Despite the price i am very satisfied with my hosting provider: great customer support and no down times since two years. Hmmm i believe it sounds like a great (or rather obvious) sales page but it is not, mainly because my hosting provider is only available in Poland.

Well i am getting a little bit of the course here, so let’s get back to what i wanted to talk about today: Is cheap hosting really cheap?

In my opinion it all depends how you look at this. Web hosting is not a product like clothes or computer hardware for that matter, for example: if your keyboard or mouse will get broke you will go and buy new, there is no question about that, but what about web hosting? Of course most of the time you are free to change it with no questions asked and you will even get cash back, but from my experience it is not as easy as it sounds.

If your website is new and has small number of visitors. then … well it is still a shame to loose those visitors but usually it is a loss people can take, but what happens when you buy cheap web hosting from unknown company and after a year when your site has a lot of quality content and visitors, server goes down … for a week … what then?

Obviously, your site is popular so let’s assume you have some cash to buy quality web hosting or even dedicated server, but if the old server is down then how are you going to retrieve your database? It is impossible, unless you do backup often, so you put in the work, got successful with your site only to have it ruined by some guys who wanted to make quick money by offering cheap web hosting, life is cruel … but it doesn’t have to be.

There are at least two fool proof ways to get hosting at affordable price, which i will share with you right now, or in the next chapter because something really important came to my mind: If you are buying web hosting then you will probably want to buy a domain name as well, if that’s the case then REMEMBER to NEVER i repeat NEVER buy domain without reading company terms of service (it is a good topic for the another article, however i want you to remember this. Some companies will make a HOSTAGE out of your domain, i mean they will make domain transfer to another domain registrant ultra complicated or won’t allow you to change DNS which means that you will have to use their hosting as well, this is very frustrating when you want to move your site somewhere else or just sell it. Domain name is like 90% of the website value, where would Google or any other big Internet company be when they would loose their domain? I am serious guys do not turn your biggest asset (e.g. domain name) into hostage.

Right now, most of my domains (including this one) are registered with GoDaddy, which i highly recommend, GoDaddy accounts are free and domain transfer between two accounts can be done in just a few minutes, also when you have domain registered with GoDaddy you can use any web hosting company you like, not to mention that their domain prices are ridiculously low, so check that out, if you are interested in domain name.

Ok, this was very important, so i had to write about it (i think that i will cover this topic more deeply in the future), now let’s get back to the cheap hosting, however :>, before you can even think of buying web hosting you have to answer this question: what is cheap for me? I can give you guidelines, but ultimately you will have to make your own judgements of it, but to help you a bit look at the following questions:
– Is my time cheap?
– Do i want to deal with uneducated rude customer support?
– Is it ok with me if hosting company will have downtimes?

To all these questions i would answer NO. If i would have to pay 1$/month for hosting like that (i would call it cheap hosting of doom :)) then i would actually consider it very expensive.

Ok, now like i promised, 2 fool proof ways of finding high quality cheap hosting:
1. if you want to get really cheap hosting then you must do your own research (like i did to get my cheap hosting), it may sound hard but it is not. First you need to choose some hosting company you are interested in. Then go to Google and do a search on “< review”, or just “hosting company” (without quotes) where obviously is the name of the hosting provider you selected. No matter what you type in, you will find only three types of websites.

  • – forums where people share their personal experiences, this is very valuable info in my opinion, no one is trying to sell anything people are just chatting: why they like particular hosting and why they don’t like it. Remember that on forums you will NEVER find hosting company that everyone is happy with, but it is kind of normal, it’s like on eBay, even the best sellers have few negative comments, but that doesn’t make them bad sellers, doesn’t it? So, one or two unhappy guys doesn’t make web hosting company bad.
  • – hosting review sites, they maybe valuable if they have user reviews and user ratings. If you are interested in reviews which are written by guys who own web hosting review site, also check how they other companies, if most of hosting companies are rated like 8/10 then there is definitely something wrong with them.
  • – sites with big banners which say: BUY NOW!, i think it speaks for itself, if not then i will tell you what to do when you see a site like this: close it. Guys who own these sites are in for quick money, they are just promoting some cheap web hosting site to make money off people looking for good products, i never understood that :/

2. Second tactic or strategy for finding good quality cheap web hosting is to use big well known companies, but aren’t they expensive you may ask? No, i did my research and i have found out that big players in web hosting field are actually quite cheap if you take into consideration what was said earlier. Usually their cheapest hosting package costs about 4$/month or 5$/month, they not only offers 99.9% uptime, a tons of features (you will never use :)), but also good customer support, they hire real people to help you, which is great.

You probably already know who has got good reputation, but if not here is my private list of companies i dealt with in some way in the past and was very happy (or at least happy) with them:
– HostGator
– GoDaddy Link to shared Web Hosting page
– Easy CGI Link to shared Web Hosting page

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