If you are literally counting pennies these days, don’t take it as a reflection on yourself. Everyone at every economic level is doing everything they can to tighten their belts. If this means that you are looking for good, cheap web hosting, then this is nothing to be ashamed of.
It also doesn’t mean that you have to settle for an inferior product. There is a major quality fight going on in the web hosting world among inexpensive web hosts. Believe it or not this is a buyer’s market, or perhaps more accurately a user’s market. They want your business bad, and are willing to do what they can to get it. These are some of the common features and strengths you should look for when browsing among potential hosts:
Customer service still reigns supreme
The tech world may like to sometimes think that it exists somewhere outside of universal economic laws. It doesn’t, though. All of the same principles that apply to the rest of the business world apply to it as well. This includes the necessity of having a good customer service team.
With our world moving to a more service-oriented economy this in itself is now an entire industry, which means that everywhere you look you will at least see claims of strong customer service. But how do you know if you’ll get it?
There are a few things to check. See if they offer 24/7 chat support: most places offer 24/7 phone, but you will honestly prefer chat to phone service: it’s not as easy to copy and paste something someone says to you (not to mention, as much as it is considered a bit uncouth to say so, that you don’t need to worry about understanding the person on the other end).
Ignore the “unlimited”
One thing to not get caught up in are cheap plans that offer “unlimited” anything. It’s a weird statement on the web hosting world that this is considered something of a norm when any can tell you that nothing can ever be unlimited. Usually that means that the host won’t, for example, restrict your bandwidth unless your really naughty: but then, how do you know exactly how naughty you can be?
How cheap is “cheap”?
Prices have come down since the early days of web hosting. This is a reflection of how much more technology has advanced than the average user has needed. This means that what was once dirt cheap is now commonplace.
Right now, if you are looking for something inexpensive but good, you probably don’t want to spend any more than $12/month, and that’s near the high end. More common are packages for under $8/month, and they go lower from there. Steer away from free accounts: you are generally better off paying even $4/month (also a common offer) than you would be dealing with the drawbacks of a “free” host. And keep an eye out for specials, though do note that some providers live in a constant state of “specials”, meaning that you don’t have to drop everything when you see one.
Cheap web hosting is probably here to stay. This means that good and cheap web hosting is as well. Follow a few simple tips as you compare possible companies to work with, and a good one will not be hard to find.