When you think of web hosting, the first thing that pops into your mind are banner ads that you may have come across while surfing through websites. Banner ads which say “only $3.6 per month” and so on. While this may sound attractive, be aware that you get only what you have paid for. There is a risk that you might be running into a hosting provider, who is doing his business with 2 to 3 servers running in his basement. There are also instances where the offer would be very low hosting charges, but then when you add on features, the net cost might be more than what a reputed provider would offer. Lets run through some of the common pitfalls that you have to avoid while choosing your web host.
How usable is your hosting service:
There are a standard set of tools that are normally provided with every web hosting provider offering a decent service. But some hosting providers would provide you with a custom interface in which some of these tools would be hidden. They would then sell you some of the hidden tools when you ask for them. So usability of such hosting services depends entirely on how much you expect the services you want to be provided for the cost you are paying.
Disadvantages of low cost web hosting :
When a hosting provider gives you a service at a very cheap rate, they will have to cover up their expenses and make profit by loading up a node or a virtual machine with more number of websites that it can accommodate. So when one of the websites takes up a large volume of memory, then the other websites in the node will be affected. So you might end up seeing a white page during a website demo, which would definitely not look good in front of your clients or customers.!
Website traffic & SEO Ranking
When your website takes more time to load, the traffic to your website will be affected which in turn adversely affects its search engine ranking.
Threat of getting hacked
Hackers constantly are in hunt for websites which have very low security and which will easily give them a backdoor entry. Cheap web hosts does not do proper server hardening and monitoring, thereby failing to identify a potential threat. So your website could get hacked anytime in such a scenario.
For every website, you might run into problems at some point of time. This could be related to missing emails, spamming or even installation of a software. This would require the services of an experienced, technically proficient server admin. But cheap web hosts seldom invest in such resources. You might also find that there is no direct line to call the hosts incase of an issue. You might see a live chat which is always offline. Support emails you sent might not even get a reply.
Bandwidth & Hosting space limitations
You might have seen ads from web hosts talking about “Unlimited Bandwidth and Unlimited space”, this is a farce. They expect you to consume a limited amount of bandwidth and space over a period of time. So as and when you near this limit, they will warn you or even go to the extent of blocking your website, forcing you to buy a higher priced plan.
I hope this article has helped you to understand the common things to be aware of when hosting your website. You will have cost constraints when you start a business, but never compromise on hosting quality and provider selection if your business depends heavily on a full-fledged website.