The problem with cheap website hosting

The problem with cheap website hosting is that it’s…well, cheap.

When I launched my first site on the web around 2001, price was the primary thing that mattered. As a perpetually broke college student, I didn’t have a lot of extra dough to sling around on my newfound hobby. About the cheapest I could find was $14.99/month, and it had some pretty low space and bandwidth limits by today’s standards. So you’d think I’d be euphoric about today’s $4.99/month & $3.99/month hosting plans that come with unlimited everything.

As my business has grown over the years, I’ve soured on many of these cheap, “unlimited” hosting plans pushed by the major hosting companies. Here is why:

1Nothing is unlimited. I know they advertise “unlimited” but if you habitually use 2TB of bandwidth on a $3.99 hosting plan, you’ll find out sooner or later what I’m talking about.

2Slow servers. I have a few clients that host their sites on dedicated and virtual private servers. I can tell a big difference between the speeds of their sites vs. some of my clients on the “unlimited” plans.

3Lack of control & communication. I’ve seen hosts make server configuration changes that have done everything from breaking web forms and email connections to bringing sites completely down.

4Good emails getting thrown out with the bad. We’ve had several instances where AOL has blocked a client’s emails simply because they were coming from a particular host’s server that is routinely used to send millions of spam emails.

Yes, there is a place for cheap hosting

I’m not saying you shouldn’t use a cheap host if you are on a very strict budget. I certainly had a strict budget when I was in college. But once you are a grown-up, with a grown-up business, you should have a grown-up web host.

Where should I host, you ask? We certainly would be glad to host your site. :)) But if you don’t need website support and just need hosting, there are plenty of high-quality hosts out there that will do a great job. The two that I’m most familiar with are Liquid Web and ServInt and I highly recommend them both.