Monday, June 22, 2009

How Reliable is Cheap Web Hosting?

This may be a trick question to some, because often times we see quality pay services advertising “cheap rates.” It mainly depends on what you consider cheap. Of course, the least expensive option when it comes to web hosting is that of free web hosting. There are a few companies that may offer “cheap” rates, perhaps a dollar per month, or something to that effect. (A dollar a month plan would probably translate to a $12 per year payment)
The first thing to consider is just how cheap this type of web hosting service really is and what it offers. Some websites may offer almost free services but charge for a domain name. The first step in researching a new web hosting opportunity is to read between the lines and find out what services are actually provided. The second consideration is how many pros and cons you get with free or cheap service.
The most obvious disadvantage of using a free service is the advertising. However, even if you opt for a cheap but pay-based web hosting company, you still have to be aware of some possible obstacles. The most troublesome feature of cheap web hosting companies is usually that of uptime. The best and most expensive web hosting companies guarantee about 99% uptime for all of their sites. Cheap web hosting companies are more likely to send monthly notices of shutdown time or perhaps no notice at all when a “dark” period occurs and your site is mysteriously shut down. Another trend to watch out for is smaller web hosting companies going out of business. The nation’s economy has wreaked havoc on some small to medium sized Internet businesses, so don’t be surprised to learn that cheap companies you do business with cannot afford to stay in business past the one year mark.
Other issues to keep in mind include bandwidth (which refers to how much traffic you can accommodate) as well as special features in programming like MySQL, PostgreSQL, blog and chat features and streaming media capability. What services does this cheap web host provide in terms of security?
The more freedom you want over your site content and site administration, the more you should be willing to pay for higher quality services. However, if your needs are limited and your business can recover from unexpected but infrequent website downtimes, then you may be able to benefit from the savings a cheap web host offers.


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