Is it Really a Bargain?
Cheap hosting is no exception to the old saying, "everyone loves a bargain!" After all, it is rewarding when, after hours of shopping, we finally find that one great deal.
But we also know that sometimes a deal turns out not to be what it seemed. Once purchased, an item might fall apart, crack easily, or be missing important parts. Likewise, when it comes to shopping for a cheap web host, that cheap web host company might not be all you thought it was at the time you signed on the dotted line. To avoid costly errors, look into the following four red flags:
"Unlimited" space. Since most cheap hosting providers have unlimited offers, they cover themselves in their "acceptable use" policies by charging for "excessive use." Make sure you know what a cheap web host's definition of "excessive use" is, and what will happen if you exceed it. You may be automatically charged, forced to upgrade, or leave the cheap web host all together, causing major disruption to your business.
Bannerless cheap hosting. Although a great amenity, your cheap hosting company will have a hard time following through with this promise of bannerless cheap hosting. Since cheap hosting providers rely on advertising for profits, they will either be unable to continue providing a "no banner" environment, or they will simply go out of business, causing your site to lose hard earned customers. Look for other unstable cheap web hosting business practices and ask questions.
Setup fees and payment methods. If a cheap hosting company only accepts only PayPal, personal checks, or money orders for payment, it might not be planning for the long term. When paying for your cheap hosting plan, most reputable cheap hosting companies accept major credit cards, the safest way to make a purchase, because charges can easily be disputed. Specifically ask the cheap hosting companies you are researching about set up fees, payment methods accepted, and any other related fees. These are not generally mentioned in promotional material, but could be there regardless.
Limits on file size and downloads. Some cheap hosting situations limit file sizes and the availability of download transfers. Your visitors may have trouble with your graphics and other site features. This can prevent customers from downloading files or viewing big graphics. In addition, make sure there are no CPU limits that will interfere with your website plans.
A cheap web host might not provide uptime guarantees, contact phone numbers, or 24/7 support. These are critical to your online success. If your site goes down on Friday afternoon, will you get help before Monday? Or, what would you do if you need an immediate answer to a problem and your cheap hosting company only offers email support? With no other option, you'd have to wait for it to respond. Any cheap hosting company that advertises cheap hosting should be investigated thoroughly. You might actually find that great deal you are looking for, like all bargains, it takes time, research, and perseverance.