Is Cheap Hosting Really Affordable?

When you first start shopping for a new host for your website, it is easy to think you are getting a really good deal when you find a hosting package that’s less than $5 a month. However, the saying, “You get what you pay for,” certainly has a place in web hosting. Will you actually end up spending more money by going with a cheap hosting plan? Let’s find out.

First, even though your monthly fee is small, does the hosting package have a small data transfer limit? If they do, chances are there are fees for exceeding your limits. If you consistently go over your limit, this can become quite expensive.

Instead of swallowing these extra charges, you could be spending less each month by purchasing a more expensive hosting package that offers more data transfer. You can compare hosting packages that include what you do need and see if they are comparable.

For example, if you are paying $5 per month for your cheap hosting package, but you go over your data transfer limit, you can commonly expect to pay up to $1 for each extra megabyte. If you go over even ten megs on your transfer, you are suddenly ending up paying $15 a month, instead of $5.

If you plan to run a shopping cart or other applications on your site, these may not be included with your hosting package. This means you may have to spend extra on these applications, just to run your site.

Try taking what you will need to purchase for your site, and dividing it into 12. If this amount coupled with your regular hosting fee is over $20, you could easily find another hosting plan that includes these applications for free, and for less money each month.

However, if you are simply looking for a space to host your site and you do not plan to do anything fancy with your website, cheap hosting is an extremely good deal. Most users do not require these extra features mentioned above, and may never need to worry about data transfer limits or disk space.

Before you start shopping, sit down and plan out what you intend to do with your site. You can map out your plan for your site six months to a year from now, to see if you will need to upgrade to a larger server in the future.

If these plans do not necessitate having a more expensive but feature rich hosting package, you can usually find a very good deal with a cheap web hosting company. It is simply a matter of taking your time to weigh all of your options before spending your money.

This extra time will translate into saved money, whether you are saving money by not over-buying or saving money by ensuring you won’t need to pay extra for necessary features that aren’t included in cheap hosting packages.

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Posted on 12/14/05 10:34 PM

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