Cheap hosting vs Premium hosting

It is a well-worn cliché that in life, you get what you pay for, and in web hosting this is as true as with anything else. It is often tempting to go for the cheaper option, especially when your budget is tight, but by doing so there is always the lurking risk of it becoming false economy if something doesn’t function as it should.

Anyone with a second hand server in their garage can set themselves up as a web hosting provider if they wish, and so it is no surprise that there are thousands of different options to choose from when looking for somewhere to host your website. A simple Google search for ‘web hosting’ brings back 192 million results!

However, not all of these services are equal. When making the decision whether to go with a premium service or take a gamble on the cheaper option, bear in mind the following core considerations:

Cheap hosting vs Premium hosting – Where is your server located?

This is an important point, because Google gives preference to local services in its search rankings. If you are a UK business targeting customers in the UK, it is worthwhile having a server based in this country. Many cheap hosts rent space in server farms based overseas, often in places such as the Philippines or the USA. It is worth checking before you buy.

Programming language support

Does your web host support the programming languages you are likely to need when building your website? A good provider should have full compatibility with the latest versions of PHP, ASP, .NET and others – as well as allowing you to easily install common CMS systems like WordPress or Joomla.

How reliable is their uptime?

This is so crucial I can’t stress it enough. If your website is regularly down, then it is completely worthless to you. Servers go wrong just like any computer. The difference between many premium and cheap web hosts is that the premium providers have more servers to act as a backup. Therefore if something goes wrong, or when the host carries out maintenance tasks, your website can seamlessly be transferred over to another server on their network. You and – more importantly – your visitors won’t notice a thing.

Easy FTP access

Your web hosting provider should make it easy for you to upload, download and transfer files to and from your website. They should be compatible with all FTP packages and preferably offer a user friendly solution of their own as well.

Good customer service

When setting up your web hosting account, and in the event of something going wrong, how accessible are the host’s customer support team?  It is worth looking up some reviews and see what other customers have to say. Your website is your lifeline to the online economy, so a cheap service that takes days to get back to you in an emergency is going to end up costing you a lot of money and grey hairs.

When choosing a web hosting solution it pays to do your research. Don’t go for the first one that pops up and certainly don’t automatically go for the cheapest. Have a look at the features the host offers and choose a provider whose services are backed up by good customer reviews.

We can help you pick the best hosting provider and package for your business so please get in touch today and we will be happy to assist.