So, is it true that choosing an affordable web hosting plan can make you lose your hard-earned dollars? Many may argue, but it is true – choose to go with a budget web hosting plan, and instead of reducing expenses, the business owners end up spending more than they originally intended.
How is this possible?
According to Erin Hass, one of the top freelance IT experts on Toptal, if you are a first-time business owner, it’s a given that you will lean more towards a budget web hosting provider. Or say, you are already an experienced business owner and have been using a cheap web hosting provider, then, he advises on knowing all about the unexpected costs that will crop up sooner or later during the entrepreneurship journey.
Slow loading times
There are hundreds of horror stories that Hass says he has come across during his stint as a freelancer, and amongst them, most of them are related to cheap web hosting. More than 90 percent of the clients that had requested his services, all of them involve complaints on shared hosting – a hosting plan where the provider puts hundreds and thousands of websites on one server, thus leading to slow load times.
What’s worse than that, Hass responds, is the penalization that is sure to follow soon. Slow loading of pages can make your potential customers abandon your site if it takes more than five seconds to load. This will lead Google to penalize the website for its slow loading times, and which will ultimately affect the search rankings of the website.
Despite that, Hass says, people still go for shared hosting plans, as is the norm for budget and cheap web hosting providers. Yet, as much as possible, he advises his clients against opting for shared web hosting plans, since this leads to business missing many opportunities to attract new customers.
Inadequate space for storing of data and bandwidth
The sooner businesses realize that shared web hosting services are bad for them, the better it will be for them, or at least, that’s what Dr. Maureen Lee, a senior professor in the field of IT Entrepreneurship and Management at Stanford University has to say.
Being on a shared server means sharing the space with multiple other users, and this means, you will get very few to little space for storing the data of the website and bandwidth. This will cause operations of the website to slow down, leading to frustration for both the business and its customers.
Very poor customer service
Almost all of the time, Dr. Lee says, cheap web hosting providers have a terrible reputation when it comes to dealing with customer service. It’s better to forget about any issues getting solved in the case of budget web hosting services, for instead of getting help from a real person, what you will get is a link to a help article that promises to tackle your issue.
Now, that is simply not done, is it?
Not all are technically savvy, and for them, it can become tough to fix the problem, and this, in turn, will lead the website to be either offline or worse, not working properly. Just imagine what it will cost you – sales and customers, and not to mention, it will also take you away from other parts of the business.
Providing inadequate DDoS protection
Want to protect your customer? Opt for DDoS protection, Dr. Lee advises, as it will also offer you secure protection.
Without the presence of DDoS, any website becomes vulnerable to hackers – they could harm the reputation of the website by posting offensive or vulgar messages. It’s unfortunate, Dr. Lee mentions, during their study, they found out that 60 percent of small businesses which comes under cyberattack go out of business within six months.
Dr. Lee advises the businesses – either small or big – to avoid shared server, if possible, for simply being on a shared server puts the entire business at risk. The website may be well protected, but even then, one can very easily become the victim of collateral damage if any other website sharing the same server is vulnerable.
Higher chances of becoming spam
No business website wants to be associated with spam. Then, it’s best to avoid cheap web hosting servers, Hass advises.
As a freelance IT expert, among his clients, there are a few that he had come across, who he mentions, are not getting the adequate responses from the customers, even though they are sending the right emails to them.
Upon delving a bit, he found out that the emails that they were sending were up to the mark, but the main problem lies in their web hosting services – they were using budget web hosting services. In Hass’ words, it’s not uncommon for cheap web hosting providers to work with low-quality spam sites. If a business website is sharing a server that runs such a website, there’s a hundred percent chance that any email that the business will send, it will be considered spam and then, be directed to the spam box of the customer, and that is what exactly had happened with his clients.
In such cases, according to Hass, it is best to change the web hosting provider as soon as possible to avoid getting penalized or risk losing both sales and customers.
Absence of a backup plan
There’s a term called ‘Redundancy’ in the world of web hosting providers – it means that a web hosting provider has a plan in place, should any server goes down due to unforeseen circumstances. In such cases, the web hosting provider will have another provider take over the failed one immediately.
But, as Hass mentions, in the case of cheap web hosting providers, there’s no backup plan in place, and which means that a website that had opted for shared hosting is at risk of getting the site down for hours or possibly longer.
As such, Hass advises, to avoid opting for shared web hosting, if possible, and Dr. Lee, also seems to agree, and the points mentioned above just won’t cost you hundreds of dollars to rectify each mistake, but they will also cost you your earning ability and worse, the reputation of your business, that you have worked so hard to set it up.