What is web hosting?
If you are reading this article, the chances are, you already know what web hosting is. In case that’s true, you can skip forward to the next subheading. But if you are still new to this, let’s go through it in short and understand what it is and what you need it for.
If you want to have a website for your business, a personal blog, an online shop, or anything else on the internet with your own domain name, you will need to get web hosting services and pay for it.
Think of it as renting a storage space that you’ll use to store all your belongings. You can put there anything you want; in this case, those will be text, images, videos, etc. The difference is that in a physical space, no other person will see what is inside, because you will lock the door. But your hosting not only stores your content but also makes it available for the public. So, whoever types in your domain name, will lend on your website, and your hosting will show them everything you have in your storage.
However, a physical storage is almost always limited, and if you load it with too much stuff, you will run out of space, and even the door might not close. In case of your hosting plan, if you run out of space, your website might start working slower and slower.
In other words, hosting allows you to store and showcase the information on your website and make it available for the public.
So, here is what happens when you get a hosting plan from a hosting provider.
- You choose a hosting plan, which means to choose which server you want to rent from the provider and what services you want to add to your plan.
- As soon as you pay for your hosting, the provider allows you to access the server and upload your website onto it. Here is where you upload all your code and content to the server.
- When all is uploaded, you can now publish your website and your content will be accessible for anyone who goes to your domain name.
Why not choose a cheap hosting?
When choosing a hosting plan, especially when it is your first time, you will probably be inclined to take a cheap hosting for your website. However, it won’t always be the right choice. Now let’s go through a few reasons why you shouldn’t choose the very cheap hosting services.
When choosing a hosting plan for the first time, we tend to think to undermine the security factor. We may think that our website is new, and no one is going to even notice it. So we might end up choosing a cheap hosting plan with poor or no security.
At first, it might seem like we are saving money. However, attacks on websites happen more often than you’d think. And the worst part is that because of those attacks you may lose your data and even your business. This means that those attacks can cost you much more than the annual hosting payment you can pay.
Expensive hosting plans tend to offer more security layers and more protection, compared with the cheap ones. And choosing a more expensive plan will save you the trouble.
Let’s say you brought together a website, and you are looking for cheap hosting for WordPress. You find one, you buy it, and then you realize that your website is awfully slow. Why’s that?
This mostly happens because you are not the only one using the same resource. Now let me explain. Let’s go back to the physical storage example we’ve talked about. If you are renting a storage room alone, you are going to have the whole space for yourself. But if you share it with other people, you will have only a part of the space. And because you have a smaller space, you will run out of it very soon. The problem here is that you can’t even kick out the others, because you share the rent expenses as well and give it to the owner of the storage space.
So, the way I see it, you have 2 options; you should either get used to the situation or pick a space that you won’t have to share with anyone.
The same goes for the hosting services. When you choose a cheap hosting plan, you share the servers with others. But if you decide to take a premium plan, you can have the entire space to yourself. But even if you are an expert on SEO, you can’t be 100% sure what affect it will have on your Google rankings.
Negative SEO effects
SEO is a very tricky thing, and you should be careful if you don’t want to mess up your website. It is hard to understand what exactly you should do to rank high and how it will affect your website.
However, there are certain things you can avoid doing to improve your SEO.
For example, we’ve talked about security leaks and poor performance. Security is one of the most important factors in SEO calculations. If your website is not secure, Google wouldn’t want to share it with its users; therefore, it can flag your website as a non-secure one, and your SEO days are over.
So, you will definitely need to get a hosting plan that includes security layers, which will automatically increase the price.
Poor performance is another issue that may negatively affect your Google ranking. Suppose you go to a website that someone shared with you. It starts loading, and all you can see is a white page or a few icons. You keep hoping that it will get better and will finally load. But even after a minute or two, it still isn’t fully loaded.
What would you do?
I know I’d just close the tab and would move on. In fact, most people usually close the page when it doesn’t load after a few seconds. This causes an increase in the bounce rate, and Google sees this as a lack of compatibility. If people don’t want to stay on your website and they just leave, then your website leaves its visitors unsatisfied. Therefore, it probably won’t be good for others too.
So instead of trying to save on hosting, avoid getting the cheap ones so that you don’t have big issues with Google rankings.
Limited or no support
Imagine that you are going on a trip, your flight just landed, but you can’t find your baggage. Obviously, you go to the baggage control person to ask for help finding your baggage. When you get there, you see that there are 9 others traveling on different airlines who came there with the same issue. Every one of you has an economy class ticket except the one that’s first-class.
Who do you think is going to be a priority for the airport personnel?
You guessed right! The passenger with the first-class ticket.
Why? Because s(he) paid more for the ticket, which makes him/her a priority.
The same thing goes with the hosting support.
Firstly, if you have a very cheap hosting service, they are going to pay little or no attention to you. You may have issues with your hosting, but because the tech staff handling your requests are not skilled enough, you are probably not going to get your issue resolved.
Secondly, you might get lucky with a skilled technology guy to help you out, but because you haven’t paid enough, they won’t help you with certain requests.
Hence, it’s better to pay a little extra and be sure that you’ll have the provider’s support whenever you need.
Backing up your website is crucial as you never know when the servers will crush or when your website will go offline. However, cheap hosting for websites almost never includes back-ups. If they do include back-ups, there are a few scenarios that might be true.
They may do it only once a month, although website back-ups should be done either every day or at least with every update. This will help keep your content protected and safe even when the site goes offline.
They also may keep your website back-ups on the same server. This is not advisable, because if the server suddenly crushes you will end up with nothing. You will lose both your website and your back-ups.
Let’s say you have a cheap hosting plan which backs-up your website every day on a different server than where your website is. It sounds like you won’t need anything else, right?
But this is too good to be true. There is a twist here. They are backing up your website properly, but when something happens, and it goes offline, they ask for additional payments to restore your site.
With a premium hosting plan, all these features will be included in the price and you won’t have to be thinking about any of these issues.
The reason why we call these unexpected costs is because they are truly unexpected, and you never know what’s coming next. The hosts may ask for additional payments to enhance your website security layers, to help boost website performance, to help you with certain requests you have for the technical support team, or to restore your back-up after your website goes offline.
These are only some of the reasons you might have unexpected costs, and there are many more you may encounter. However, if you decide to go with a more expensive hosting plan, you will avoid having these additional costs, and your hosting may end up costing you less than if you took the cheaper plan.
Do all these reasons refer to WordPress websites as well?
Around 455,000,000 websites in the world are built using WordPress. This automatically makes the platform more popular and credible. Because so many people trust WordPress to make their websites, the platform has to have some sort of security layers of their own.
However, whether it is true or not, you will still need to buy a hosting service for your WordPress website.
We’ve discussed many options why people should not choose cheap hostings, and those also refer to choosing cheap hostings for WordPress websites. So, no matter how your website is built, you will still need a good hosting package.
Spending money on cheap hosting for websites is like buying drugs that you are sure will cause more problems instead of resolving some. Maybe at first you won’t see that, and it may even feel like a cheap hosting plan was exactly what you needed. But if you plan on using the same service in the long run, it will definitely become a headache and incur a lot more fees.
So, my suggestion is: forget about all the hassles and decide on paying more for the hosting plan than the cheapest option.