Cheap hosting has become a very popular niche, but there is another side to the service which the average customer may not be aware of. Some web hosting companies employ a wide variety of tricks in order to sell their cheap service, many of which could hinder your ability to be successful with a website. Learning about these practices will help you know what to expect and hopefully elude the hosts behind them.
Lack of Experience and Track Record
The web hosting market is filled with thousands of companies who are just waiting to provide you with service. One should also beware that some of these providers have not been in business very long. Even worse, some do not have the manpower, knowledge and experience it takes to run a web hosting business. Signing up with a host that is just hitting the scene and riding the learning curve might leave you with a lot of heartache when things to start to go wrong. While everyone has to start somewhere, it is best to find a company that has a proven track record. This is one that is most likely to provide you with the best service.
There are many web hosting providers that will cut back on every aspect they can in order to save money. One of the most vital areas they sacrifice is support. These are companies who make it next to impossible to get the help you need. They may offer limited support by allowing you to only contact the staff via email. Some will even advertise 24/7 support but fall short by taking forever to respond to your inquiries or simply not answering the phone. This is why it is so important to make sure you sign up with a host that can provide quality support. It is a good rule of thumb to test the company with an email or call during late night hours or over the weekend. Whenever you need help, they should be able to step up and deliver.
The Service Level Agreement or SLA, is often overlooked but you should never disregard it.
The SLA is to entail how problems that the web host encounters will directly influence the customers experience. This agreement needs to be read thoroughly before signing up with any web host. If the company doesn’t offer one, move onto the next. If the SLA does not clearly outline the level of service you are to receive and what will happen if is not upheld, you should probably find a company that offers something more comprehensive.
Beware of the Middleman
When running across a cheap hosting plan, there may be a chance that you are not dealing with a web hosting company at all, yet an agent selling packages on their behalf. This is known as reseller hosting, a practice that allows entrepreneurs and small businesses to profit from web hosting. Although reseller hosting isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you should keep in mind that you will have no direct contact with the web host, the company who is doing all the work and actually housing your data.
There is nothing wrong with cheap hosting as it can be a viable option in many situations. With that said, it helps to be informed on these questionable practices so you can stay away from the companies sacrificing quality for a cheap service.