We’ve all thought about owning a website or a blog, but for many of us the dream stops there. It’s probably too expensive and complicated, right?
Creating a website is not only simple, but it doesn’t have to be expensive either. There are numerous ways to find the cheapest web hosting out there, you just have to know where to look, and what to look for.
Today I’m going to show you how to find hosting that fits your budget, your needs, and provides you with the service you deserve.
What is Considered “Cheap” Web Hosting?
You’ll see plenty of tiered prices and plans when you venture out into the world of hosting, but what exactly qualifies as “cheap” in this industry? In the last decade, that term has defined a wide range of prices.
As technology becomes more widely available and new hosting companies create competition, I’ve seen “cheap” hosting go from $8.95/month all the way down to $1.95/month these days. I would say that anything beneath five dollars per month is considered cheap.
The key when looking for a provider, is to look for the right features. In the past, you could only expect a few gigs of storage, a few addon domains, and maybe about 10GB of bandwidth per month.
These days, the standards are higher, so don’t let the price fool you into thinking that you don’t deserve the basic features you need. Here’s what to look for:
- Unlimited Storage
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Web mail support
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- After sale customer support
- Auto installation for CMS platforms like WordPress
Some of the better hosting providers will also throw in things like free backups, malware scans, a dedicated IP address, or even an SSL certificate. These things, while nice, aren’t as important as the features outlined above.
Typical Problems With Cheap Hosting (And How to Fix Them)
The word cheap carries negative connotations with it. Normally we expect something cheap to be functional, but of low quality overall. It doesn’t matter which industry you’re in, that’s usually how the cookie crumbles.
So now you’re probably wondering if you just have to deal with it since you chose a cheap hosting company. The answer is no, you can skirt past most of these issues without much effort. Here are the big issues I’ve run into with cheaper hosting, and how to solve them:
#1 – They Hit You With Unneeded Software Charges
This one is easy to fall into. You see, cheap hosting companies are much like movies theatres. They both charge for entry, but their money is typically made on costly popcorn, soda, and candy charges. In this case, the hosting company is switching out those treats for software.
In some cases they will ask you to sign up for these programs, but in other cases they may just assume you want them and set you up with a free trial that expires and charges you in 30-days or so.
How do I Fix This?
Simple, just take it slow and make sure you’re checking everything before you click. If you rush through the setup, you’re bound to accidently sign up for something you don’t need. If you did get set up with a free trial, then be sure to cancel it.
#2 – Low-Quality Servers, Poor Uptime
Your hosting subscription comes with the promise of keeping your website up and running on the World Wide Web. If you website is running slow or worse, going down completely, you could be with a company that didn’t invest enough in their servers.
Uptime refers to the amount of time your website is accessible by users. If they can’t get into your site, then it’s down, and that is considered downtime. A higher percentage of uptime shows that websites on that host rarely go down.
If you’re running a business, downtime can kill your sales. Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Here’s the Secret:
You can find public records of a hosting company’s uptime in many of today’s online hosting reviews. If you’re interested in checking them out yourself, you can calculate a hosting company’s uptime using free tools widely available online.
If you have a website that you suspect is being hit with downtime, many hosting companies will refund you for the time you lost. Try using a tool like Pingdom to monitor your site’s performance and uptime.
#3 – Incredibly High Renewal Rates
The price you see with cheap hosting companies is the price you get for your first term. Now, that term can be anywhere from a year, to several years, but in the end that price isn’t going to stay the same forever.
The low price they offer you is meant to grab your attention. Many hosting companies will hike up the price when it comes time to renew.
Am I Stuck Paying More?
Not entirely. You have a few options at your disposal. For starters, you can do something known as “host-hopping” where you move hosts each year to take advantage of their low initial rates.
This can be exhausting, though, so I have a better solution for you. Before you sign up, take a look at the standard price for your plan. This will be the renewal rate. If you see this, and you think it’s reasonable, then you don’t have anything to worry about.
Some hosting sites will also promise not to raise your prices, so that’s always a possibility as well.
Cheap Web Hosting Isn’t Bad
When it comes to the cheapest web hosting, you don’t have to settle for a sub-par service. Instead, you can find a company that offers the right features, while still offering great uptime and fair renewal rates.
Let us know which hosting company you decided on and how you like them in the comments!