It may be tempting to opt for a hosting service that offers the cheapest prices, but there are many reasons why that cheap package can ruin your business reputation.
Here are just a few issues that are common with cheap hosting providers:
- Frequent Downtime
Cheap hosting servers experience a lot of downtime. When such servers are down your website cannot be accessed by either visitors or search engines, which hurts your business. Google also penalises websites in the search results if it finds they have a lot of downtime. If your website is down you are losing customers and therefore money. A good hosting service should have uptime minimum of 99.999% (less than 5 minutes of unplanned/unscheduled downtime per YEAR)
- Lack of Customer Service
Cheap web hosting companies do not offer support 24/7/365 as a way to cut costs. So when your site is down you may have to wait days before anything is done about it. And each time Google finds your website down it will penalise you by dropping you in the search rankings, hurting your business even further. If you can't get in touch with your web host company’s customer service department anytme of day or night, it’s time to move to a new hosting company before your business suffers even further.
- Slow Page Loading
Cheap hosting providers over-pack their servers with as many websites as they can until something has to give. This overpacking affects the server processors and causes extremely slow page loading times for all sites on the server. Google penalises websites in the search rankings for slow load times - and has done so since 2010. When people arrive at your site they are looking for information, and they want it FAST! - If your site takes a long time to load, change your web hosting company immediately because you are losing customers.
- Lack of Security
Cheap web hosting companies are able to offer cheap prices because they do not pay out for any of the industry standard Security Systems on their servers. Any quality web hosting provider installs firewall technology, antivirus software and anti-malware software on their servers - but these things cost a lot of money in monthly/annual licensing and upgrading. Without these systems on your hosting server you run the risk of losing all of your information and your site is left wide open to to being hacked. If you have an online shop it is YOUR responsibility to safeguard your customer’s data. In the event of your site getting hacked and customer data stolen, it is YOU that your customer's will sue, not your hosting provider.
- Lack Of Industry Standard Features
Cheap web hosting companies do not provide industry standard features - because they are costly. Many of the standard features a good company provides are there to make YOUR life easier... You should expect a Hosting Control Panel (cPanel is the Industry Standard) where you can set up new mailboxes, check your visitor statistics, access Web mail, set database permissions, find FTP information plus much more besides. You should also expect your own Client Area (WHMCS is the industry standard here) where you can view, print, download and pay invoices. You should also expect your hosting provider to allow you FTP access (for uploading files). Cheap hosting companies are often incompatible with Joomla, Wordpress or other database enabled web systems because again, these systems have minimum requirements that are not normally implemented on cheap servers due to the costs invoved for the server provider.
- Bad Neighbours
Cheap hosting companies "pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap" and they really do not care what their customers get up to online - mainly because they never monitor their systems, again due to cost. So your website could be on the same server as those involved in spam, criminal, porn, fake medication or even terrorist operations. If these spammers or criminals get caught, which they will eventually, the law may shut down the server or indeed the hosting company, taking your business offline with it.
- Lack of Backup Facilities
Cheap hosting providers very rarely offer any kind of backup system, because backups take up more disk space and they want that space to stuff in more customers. Without a backup system in place, one server failure could take your website and email offline for weeks or even for good. Premium hosting providers using proper Data Centres can, in the event of a major server crash, rebuild it from Data Centre backups within a few hours, so although in this disaster scenario you may be down for a few hours while they copy everything over from backups, at least the systems are there to ensure you are not down for weeks or for good.
- Not hosted in a Data Centre
In this day and age anyone can host a website - and they can host it anywhere. I have personally been called out to fix a computer that was situated in a teenager's bedroom, and that computer was hosting almost 100 websites from paying clients the teenager had signed up. Trouble is that the teenager also played games on that machine every evening and it was an update to one of his games that crashed the PC. Now when your website goes down, would you rather explain the problem to a proper 24/7 support system? Or to a teenager's mother who is suspicious about why you are calling her precious child late at night? If you are responsible for your company's website, imagine telling your boss that you can't speak to your hosting company yet because their mother says he/she's still in bed?
Professional hosting companies use servers located in state of the art Data Centres - and they do this so that when a server fails they have full access to the Data Centre technicians who can repair or replace it immediately.
Your web hosting service is possibly the most important aspect of your website. A cheap host puts you at a major disadvantage and will in the long term cost you more than just money - it can cost you your reputation!
If you recognise your web hosting provider from any of the above issues, then cancel your plan wth them immediately and go with a premium hosting service such as CMS Wales.