Cheap hosting – is it worth it?

Cheap hosting – is it worth it?

I have a few contacts and clients that used shared hosting for their websites (they are small, and cash conscious), however theres a time and a place to save a couple of pounds – hosting is not one of them.

Now before anyone thinks this is an article full of referral links – it isn’t! I won’t even tell you who I host with (unless you ask nicely – but its not the point of this post)

Initially I used the cheapest of the cheap hosting, it was for my personal website, and it worked well – well it worked well whenever I used it, I’m not sure anyone else ever looked at the site. In time however I noticed odd issues… The site seemed to take more time to load, some images didn’t appear, at certain times of the day the site just didn’t exist.

Through my investigations, support tickets, and general frustrations I found the following information that I believe everyone should take heed of:

1. Cheap hosting invariably attracts more customers than the servers can handle
2. Hosting companies outsource their front-line support to deal with customer demand
3. The gap between support and service just gets bigger

What ends up happening then – is that any issues you have, take forever to resolve, or (due to customers that stretch the rules) new rules are placed on hosting that adversely affects your own site.

I found that all backups on a server were scheduled for the same time – effectively taking the server down for 1/2 hour every day – because there wasn’t capacity to host sites and run a backup.

A few customers were running really poorly configured websites that ate up all the resources of the server (yes the hosting company should have managed that – but unless they see it in action, they are powerless)

As for the images – that was due to a server configuration that was supposed to stop denial-of-service attacks apparently.

So Cheap Shared hosting out? Not Quite – Its about the support you get and the service you get. Don’t be afraid to try hosting out for a month, stick a site on it – but check it daily and at different times. If its slow, then move. Don’t have a month to try one out? Then either find someone who can, or I’m afraid – pay for dedicated hosting.

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