The True Cost of Cheap Website Hosting

Steve Grant

Managing Director

Steve is a founder of Figment, a multi award-winning UK-based SEO agency helping clients connect with new customers online to achieve healthy and sustainable business growth. Having advised over 200 business owners, Steve combines a strong commercial background with Figment’s innovative SearchRank 360™ approach and specialist team to deliver simple, cost-effective results. His ability to lead by example and inspire his team is a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence. As a former Apple consultant and first-class Brunel graduate in Multimedia Technology and Design, Steve brings a unique blend of technical knowledge and marketing strategy to create tailored SEO campaigns that deliver results. Outside of work, Steve is a devoted family man, accomplished jazz pianist, and talented artist. With his friendly and professional approach, Figment's founder is not only an industry expert but also a true asset to any business seeking to make its mark in the online world.

Website hosting: without it your website wouldn’t be anywhere. Without reliable hosting, your customers could be having quite a frustrating experience.

What would we do without the internet? It doesn’t bear thinking about. You know what it’s like when you can’t get online, even for just a few minutes. Panic stations!

When you are using a website for any reason, whether it’s shopping, banking, learning, reading the news or watching a funny video, you have certain expectations. In other words, if that website doesn’t give you what you want, relatively quickly and in the way you expect, you are going to get VERY hot under the collar. And who do you blame? Of course: the website provider.

Now turn this around. You are the website provider. Your customers are Tweeting, Facebooking and all-out openly ranting to their friends and followers that your website is down, or there’s something else wrong that’s stopping them doing what they need to do. Not great for your reputation. It’s not your fault though, is it? No. It’s down to your hosting company. Try telling your customers that.

Try telling your customers that, to save money, you opted for a low-cost website hosting plan. Because to your mind, web hosting is web hosting. It’s all the same, isn’t it? Sadly not. Cheap web hosting is exactly that: cheap. And it’s cheap for a reason.

Website hosting

Web hosting is just web hosting. Isn’t it?

What did you ever get for £9.99 that could be called ‘premium’?

There are loads of website hosting companies out there that tout their packages for £5 a month. Even a so-called ‘business’ or ‘premium’ service can be yours for just £9.99 per month. But when you think about it, what did you ever get for £9.99 that you could truly call ‘premium’?

Website hosting really is like anything in business. You get what you pay for. Let’s take a look at why website hosting at the cheaper end of the scale could end up costing you more than you wanted it to.

So firstly, what is ‘cheap’ in the world of website hosting? We say anything under £10 per month. And there is a lot in this category. Most of these packages require you to pay a year upfront. So you are tied in from the start.

Now let’s delve a bit deeper into why cheap is not cheerful when it comes to the thing (hosting) that keeps your website alive and well and your customers frustration-free.

Fast and reliable websites = happy customers (and even happier search engines)

Everything that makes up your website, as in the pages, the images, the videos and any downloads, are ‘served’ to your web users via a piece of software. It’s called web server software, and not all of it is made equal. Some software is nice and speedy, delivering your website pages to your users quickly and efficiently so they get what they want without a frustrating wait. Other software however is quite the opposite.

Some web server software is known for its high performance, speed and stability. But not all of it offers these qualities. Where delivery is slow, not only do web users find it infuriating, there is also another major problem: one that could prevent a website being ranked by the likes of Google.

Speed of page loading is a significant ranking factor for the search engines, as are reliability and SSL security.

So, is this all available from cheap web hosting providers? The short answer is, not likely.

Website hosting

A good quality website hosting company will make it all about YOU.

Why it should be all about YOU

With quality website hosting, it really is all about you, or rather YOUR website. Here’s why that is important.

Think about a cheap package holiday. You arrive at the resort, and are herded like cattle onto a coach along with countless other holidaymakers, ready for the journey to your accommodation. Hours later, following a long, hot and unnecessary tour, dropping hordes of others off before you and stopping to deal with someone who wasn’t feeling too well, you arrive and your holiday can finally begin. Compare this to stepping out of the airport into a private limo that whisks you to your hotel and within 20 minutes you’re sitting at the pool bar sipping a cool summer cocktail. With sparklers.

In other words, cheap website hosting lumps your website on a shared server along with countless others. You don’t get a dedicated server. That means your site can be affected by what happens with other websites, which can lead to unexpected slow performance.

Shared hosting is notoriously slow. Which as we’ve ascertained is not good for visitors, and definitely not good for your search engine rankings.

Sadly, like the package tourist is just a stat to the tour operator, so your website is just another statistic to a cheap hosting provider. They all have millions of customers, so why would they care about your business on a personal level?

Cheap website hosting

Cheap website hosting means sharing cramped space with others.

Do you really want to manage your own website?

When you take out a low end hosting plan, you’ll need to prepare yourself to manage your own website for the most part. It’s like booking a self-catering holiday; you’ll need to accept that making your own bed, cooking your own meals and cleaning your own bathroom are part and parcel of the budget deal.

The same goes for your website on a cheap package. It will be down to you to keep it up to date, secure and GDPR compliant. Who has the time to do that amidst all the pressures of running a business? And who even knows how to do that?

A place for everything, and everything in its place

Cheaper website hosting has its place. For example, if you have a personal webpage or blog; you are a one-person-band start-up or you are testing a business idea to see if it takes off. All fit in well with the lower cost hosting plans. But for the established company; any organisation looking to enjoy a great search engine presence, or the ecommerce business, it’s not for you we’re afraid.

Opt for cheap web hosting and you’ll be taking a major business risk. It’s like choosing the least cost insurance policy for your business. A website is an incredibly valuable possession, so why put it in jeopardy? Why put barriers between you and sales or enquiries? why risk your reputation?

Quality website hosting will ensure your visitors get the best experience possible. It will be geared up for search engine speed tests, offer the utmost in security and, best of all, it will be fully managed. This means daily back-ups, uptime monitoring around the clock and a personal service. It’s everything you get with Figment website hosting.

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