Google “cheap website hosting” and you’ll get a googol of results (ok, not quite, but it’s a lot!). But appearances can be deceptive. In this post, we’ll talk about some common traps that catch out the unsuspecting, or anyone who gets easily excited by cheap offers!
So, if you’re currently looking for cheap hosting for your new website, or your unhappy with your current provider, read on!
Like supermarkets with their “power aisles”, hosting companies make good use of loss-leading deals to draw in new customers. They reason that even if they increase the price later by a lot, most customers will be too entrenched to switch to another hosting company (it’s actually easier than you think – in most cases we do the transfer for free).
Aside from the bait and switch pricing of cheap hosting, here are a few other downsides.
Common pitfalls of cheap hosting
- Over-subscribed services – Too many customers stretch available resources, which often leads to outages and downtime.
- Deceptive pricing – A ridiculously cheap first month, or first year, deal, followed by regular expensive prices at renewal time.
- Locked into long-term contracts – Coercing customers to sign up for long-term contracts that lock them into set prices that can’t be changed, even if hosting costs drop.
- Excessive downtime – Poor quality servers, excessive throttling and limitations result in frequent downtime.
- Up-sell nagging – Customers will be pestered continually to purchase upgrades, or other services.
- Insufficient bandwidth to handle increased traffic – Hosting that’s only suitable for very low traffic websites, or static HTML websites (not WordPress) – this results in website crashes any time a customer gets a sudden increase in traffic (e.g when running an ad campaign).
- Bad ‘neighbourhoods’ – Shared hosting servers that aren’t actively managed for users that are “behaving” badly. Because you’re sharing the same server, if a neighbour’s website gets infected by malware or hogs all the resources this can lead to big problems for you.
So, proceed with caution any time you see super cheap hosting deals. You want cheap; just not cheap and nasty.
Why our “cheap hosting” is different
Yes, our hosting is cheap. Less than $8 a month for a reliable, managed service with unlimited bandwidth, email accounts and an SSL (https) security certificate. Larger sites or ecommerce stores are less than $13 a month.
But it’s more than just cheap – it’s a quality service with none of the downsides we talked about before.
- Actively managed – We monitor uptime around the clock and regularly manage hosting accounts to make sure systems are always operating within acceptable limits, and as efficiently as possible. We keep our own sites on the same servers so have a vested interest in making sure they are fine-tuned for ultimate performance!
- NVMe hardware – Our hosting servers take advantage of NVMe solid state drives (SSD) that are significantly faster and more efficient than standard SSD servers. NVMe allows more concurrent operations on each website – higher IOPs, less bottlenecks and faster command processing (which basically means your website can handle more visitors, doing more stuff) – and it does all this while consuming less power.
- Unlimited bandwidth – You don’t always know when your website will experience a sudden increase in visitor numbers so it’s good to know you’ll never exceed the amount of bandwidth needed to serve them.
- Direct Kiwi email support – We don’t make our customers fight their way through layers of communication channels to get answers to their questions – just email firstname.lastname@example.org any time for assistance.
- Fully integrated service – Many of our customers have their domain, website and hosting with us, so they only need to deal with one provider for everything. Easy.
- Transparent, simple pricing – One monthly price that won’t radically change after the first year (we haven’t had a price increase since we started back in 2008 – in fact, we’ve actually lowered our prices). Customers are not locked into long-term contracts either.
- Fast server response times – We work with our customers to make sure their websites load fast (something that can help them rank in Google) and part of that is making sure the hosting servers are configured for optimal speed. We take advantage of LiteSpeed technology, caching and CDN services to make sure we do all we can to serve our hosted sites fast.
- Tuned for WordPress – Since almost all our customers websites are run on WordPress (as is our own site) we make sure the servers are optimised for WordPress. The NVMe solid state drives with the higher read/write rates are perfect database-driven content management systems like WordPress.