Choosing a Web Host Based on Price? Don't!
It's tempting. There are so many companies offering cut-rate hosting – loaded with astounding post-futuristic techno-gizmo features ! – that it just makes sense to save a few dollars, right?
Think again. First, consider how much you would be saving. If you run a business site, saving $5, $10 or even $15 a month is not a big saving. No going concern will become a stopping concern on account of even $15 a month. But the wrong web host can stop a business cold.
Here are three reasons to look beyond price when choosing your web host.
- Usability. Confession time: I chose my first website host based on price.
The control panel was not easy to use, and I often found myself traveling
in circles trying to enter it. I switched to my second web host based
not just on price, but on usability, and I instantly became a pro. Well,
not quite. But I was able to manage my email accounts and learn about
CGI, and check my traffic stats and edit my html files right on the server.
Not bad for a newbie who couldn't even find his files on his previous
- Service. I thought my second host had great service.
They even answered my emails. Until the dreaded day that some guy with
a chip on his shoulder filed a phony spam complaint. I was out in the
cold. In fact, they would not answer my emails or even speak to me at
all. Meanwhile, my ISP responded to the same phony complaint immediately,
sharing with me a copy and giving me a chance to deal with it. That
ISP is now my third web host. I pay a little more, but the personal
service is worth it. I have no hesitation recommending http://www.phastnet.com
to anybody who wants the assurance that they won't be hung out to dry
at the first whiff of somebody in a bad mood.
- Reliability. When that phony spam complaint struck,
my website was down for four days. Ouch! But there are many other things
that can bring down a site. What is your web host's uptime? And how
reliable is its reporting? Other things can happen, like a form not
functioning – meaning lost sales. Worse still, what if Google
comes crawling just when your site is down? Search engines don't like
sending people to unreliable sites. Companies like http://www.dotcom-monitor.com
monitor websites for a variety of measures, and the cost is nothing
compared to the cost of lost sales.
Sure, save a few bucks on hosting, and pay a whole lot more in lost sales and increased stress. Your web host is your Internet landlord. Take as much time choosing your web host as you would the place you live in. Price alone just is not enough.