Low Cost Hosting
Some people classify low cost web hosting on par with free web hosting and while this may seem a little harsh, there are certain factors one needs to be very careful about when going for low cost web hosts.
Downtime: There is really no point in spending so much time and money constructing a good site and then ending up in a situation where people cannot access your site. So, when choosing your web host from the thousands of low-cost web hosts out there, there are a few things you should do to ensure that downtime does not affect your business as you use a low-cost web host.
Beware of the bandwidth time bomb: It is important to digest properly how much bandwidth and storage space you are getting for your monthly fee. Bandwidth is a real time bomb because one day your site may become very popular and attract very high traffic that may require more bandwidth. This could happen sooner than you expect and it makes plenty of sense to find out exactly what your options are when you suddenly need a lot more bandwidth. Otherwise you risk having extended downtime when it is most critical that you do not have it, so as to retain the high traffic that you are attracting.
Get technical and you will know if the host has a stable server system: Most good web hosting services will post specifications of their web servers on their sites. Analysing this information will help a client get a good idea of how stable the web host’s server system is. The more stable the configuration is, the less the likelihood of frequent downtimes. Most people are not technical, but almost everybody knows somebody who can help them analyse the technical jargon at the web hosts’ site.
Check your site several times during the day and the night too: Most webmasters get so busy that they hardly have the time to check their own sites. It is absolutely critical that this is done. It is even worth the effort and cash of hiring somebody to do it for you on a regular basis throughout the day. Not only should you get your site’s accessibility regular tested but you should also test everything on the site and make sure that it works. This is the only way your visitors are going to gauge you and what sort of business you run, so take the trouble to make sure that your site is not only up all the time, but that it is also running properly.
In conclusion, it is possible to get a low-cost host who delivers, but it will require a lot of work and checking from your end.
Generally, cheap web hosting providers are newer companies. There's a reason for this. It's extremely difficult for the older companies to lower their prices when they already have a large customer base which pays higher prices. They'd be slashing their gross, and most companies just can't afford that.
So how do cheap web hosting providers offer such a low price to begin with?
Part of it is that servers, hard drive space and bandwidth are much, much less expensive than they were several years ago. Cheap web hosting providers capitalize on this.
Another part is that cheap hosting providers use a different business model than the older providers. Web hosting is a very competitive business. Until recently, web hosts attempted to compete by providing the most tools and features. The problem with this model is that not everyone needs everything. Most web hosts provide free backup services to all of their clients. Backups are costly, and not everyone needs or wants them, but everyone pays for them because they're built into the cost of the package.
A cheap web hosting provider, on the other hand, might give you the basic features that everyone uses, but offer weekly backups as an available add on feature, putting the cost of backing up websites on only those customers who want that service.
This all sounds great, I know, but what about service? Will I get competent and fast customer support from a company which charges me $5.95 per month?
The answer, surprisingly, is usually yes.
Obviously, not all cheap web hosting providers will give you great service. But not all expensive web hosting providers will give good service either.
But, with a cheaper provider, the key for the providers success is customer retention. A savvy web host will endeavour to please his existing clients by providing the best support possible.