People love the word “cheap”. We can’t help ourselves, it’s like we’re drawn to it. After all, anyone loves a good bargain, right? However, free or even cheap is not always the best deal in town. Especially when it comes to web hosting, it’s worthwhile paying a few extra dollars to get the quality you need, with all the services that will help create and maintain a successful, presentable and user-friendly website. Here are our top reasons why free or cheap web hosting isn’t really worth it.
Cheap vs cheap-ish
Nothing is truly free. And this goes particularly for web hosting companies offering cheap or free services. Most of the time, this offer is a downsized and very limited version of their premium account. First, you get drawn into this supposedly free version, and once you realize that you basically have no storage space to play with, a tiny amount of bandwidth and no way to transfer your content to another provider, you are stuck between purchasing the often highly overpriced premium version or starting from scratch elsewhere.
The price of free(dom)
If you are after a sophisticated and professional looking website, then you should stay clear of free web hosting providers. You are often limited to a handful of basic themes with no opportunity to change the layout to your liking. The same goes for plugins and other ways to customize your site. Furthermore, in order to make money from your free website, most cheap web hosting services will place forced ads on your blog. And if you’re ever looking for technical support? Chances are you’re on your own.
Sometimes, very low-cost web hosting providers are known to suddenly close down or get in trouble. Their terms and conditions might warn you about the possibility of this happening, but when the time actually comes, there usually isn’t much time to react. Your content might be safe for a short while, but if you don’t manage to move it to a different provider on time, everything is lost. The same happens when you break the service terms and conditions in any way. Quite often your site will be taken offline immediately or even removed entirely without warning.
Foreign location & ownership
Reading the fine print is extremely important when it comes to the question of ownership. Some low-cost web hosting services will disguise in their terms and conditions that it is they who own the rights to your blog, not you. That becomes problematic once you plan on transferring your blog to a different provider or are wanting to sell it. As you are not the actual owner of your blog, both will prove rather difficult.
Over the last few years, we’ve helped a number of businesses who lost their website because their cheap overseas web host went belly up and took their website with them! If you’re not backing up your website, you could lose all your files and have to pay for your website to be rebuilt. We have NZ-based servers and back up websites to another separate NZ-based server.
Most people who create a website or blog do so hoping it will increase in popularity quickly. However, the more people visit your site, the more your bandwidth will increase. Cheap web hosting providers usually offer a limited amount of bandwidth and once you exceed that limit, your site can go offline or start incurring additional charges. The results can be a big bill or unhappy readers and the loss of potential clients or customers.
If you’d like to know more about affordable web hosting, the friendly team at Energise Web is happy to have a chat with you.