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Why Not All Web Hosts Are Created Equal

Choosing Web Hosts

All web hosts are the same, right? With hundreds and even thousands of choices, it’s hard to figure out the differences.

The most important thing to remember is that all web hosts aren’t created equal. One might be ideal for a few page website, but fail when it comes to a moderately trafficked business site.

Before you pick the first web host you find on a top web host list, learn how to pick the best one for your site’s needs. The right host makes a major difference in your site’s success.

Cost Does Matter

Those cheap web hosts are tempting. Imagine cutting costs by choosing a host that costs about the same as a cup of coffee each month. Sounds great, but you get exactly what you pay for. Cheap means fewer features, lower quality service, less security and little bandwidth. Yes, these hosts promise the world, but read a few unbiased reviews and you’ll see these hosts aren’t what they claim to be. They’re great for small personal sites, but not for professional sites that you want to grow over time.

Think about it this way. If you were looking for a physical location, would you pick the cheapest building that could fall down around you at any point or the higher cost building that’s ready to support a thriving business?

Powering Your Site

The biggest problem with cheap and discount web hosts is they’re not capable of powering your site. Most of these hosts offer shared hosting, which is ideal for small sites with low monthly traffic. This type of hosting isn’t going to handle 100,000 visitors checking out your products and services. Not to mention, the more resources other sites on the same shared server are using, the less resources your site has available at the same exact time.

When a host’s servers aren’t equipped to power your site’s needs, their 99.9% uptime guarantees suddenly disappears. Instead of seeing your site, visitors see error messages about your site being unavailable.

Support When You Need It

At some point, you’ll need to ask a question or you may have problems with something on your site not working correctly with your host. Higher cost hosts have a major edge over their cheaper counterparts – better customer service. Instead of waiting forever or having to wait for office hours, you get a dedicated support to handle concerns quickly. For instance, if your site was hacked and you need help uploading a backup, you get help almost immediately so your site stays online. Their also the best people to provide a backup serivce for your website.

Choosing Hardware And Software

Some web hosts skim over the topic of hardware and software. What type of servers do they use? What type of security features are available? How often is the software updated? Some web hosts won’t even allow you to use your own custom software that may be a crucial part of your website. The cheaper the host, the less likely you are to have any control over the hardware and software used. Plus, much of the hardware isn’t going to be top of the line. The last thing you want is your host’s hardware failing at the wrong time.

Adding In Extras

Take a look at what’s offered in a cheap plans. You’ll quickly notice that things such as backups, security features, dedicated customer service, higher bandwidth and even better uptime guarantees are usually extra. Add in all these extras and you’re paying for a high quality web host but still receiving sub-par results.

Security features should always be included. This is a vital part of keeping your site online and ensuring visitors aren’t turned away due to viruses or a hacked site that’s offline. Poor security on the server end is just one of the reasons websites are so vulnerable.

Speed Makes Or Breaks A Site

Performance matters to your visitors. Cheaper web hosts get your site on visitors’ screens, but not quickly. After all, you’re paying for cheap, not fast. If you don’t want visitors to get bored, you need your site to load as quickly as possible. Higher end hosts understand this and take steps to optimise loading times.

Growing With Your Business

Many cheap hosts don’t offer any options for growing your site. You’re stuck with a limited amount of bandwidth and space. A scalable host may cost more, but provides all the tools you need to grow from a new site with a few thousand visitors to a large site with over a million visitors. Plus, you don’t have to constantly move your site from host to host as your needs change.

Pay For Better

Your website is a investment in your business. Don’t let that investment go to waste by choosing cheaper web hosts. Make the right investment by choosing a host that considers your site just as important to them as to you.

Looking for a host that’s ready to grow with your business? Find out more about our Website Hosting service

Image: Sean MacEntee

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