Why A Cheap Website Hosting Provider May Be Costly in the End

It’s tempting to choose the least expensive option when considering where to host your website. If you don’t know what you’re looking for and aren’t sure who to trust, going with a cheap, well-known hosting provider might seem like a safer bet, if you are considering going with a cheaper provider and then switching later. Unfortunately, these options have associated risks that most people who are new to website development might not realize – and can wind up costing you more money in the long run. Here are three ways that can happen. 

1. Slow page load speeds.

Utilizing a shared hosting provider means you’re utilizing the same servers and networks as every other site they’re hosting. The shared resources are what makes them so cheap. That means your site is competing with every other site on their network when a user tries to do anything on it. This can mean slow page loading times, which means loss of business and a negative impact on your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). How do we quantify slow vs fast? Users expect pages to load within 2 seconds. Search engines generally like what users like, and while Google is intentionally vague about how page speed impacts performance, their Core Web Vitals guidelines have many different requirements for the speed in which a page loads. With the complex guidelines, lack of control offered by most hosting providers, and many websites competing for the same server space, cheap hosting providers are ill equipped to address these concerns.

2. Poor customer service.

Another drawback of having so many websites on shared servers? Too many customers and not enough time or resources to help everyone who needs it. This is a common complaint among web masters on shared hosting solutions. Whether as a result of long wait times for responses from support or being on hold for hours, shared hosting providers usually have abysmal customer service. Website problems and downtime mean lost revenue for your business – tech giant Amazon once lost an estimated 5 million in revenue in the span of 40 minutes of downtime, even with a small army of engineers working to get them back online. It’s not a matter of if your site will have problems, but a matter of when. And when your site is the one having problems, having a customer service team that can address and fix problems is worth the additional expense to avoid lost revenue. In fact, it has a good chance of paying for itself. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

3. Higher risk for security leaks and downtime.

While there’s no such thing as a web provider that doesn’t occasionally experience downtime, websites on shared hosting providers are often more at risk than others. The reason is the shared servers: if one website breaks and causes an outage, all websites are impacted. If one server goes down, all websites are impacted. The risk of security leaks also comes from this shared nature. If one site is breached, every site on that network is potentially at risk. With hacking incidents like distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks absolutely skyrocketing – in the first 6 months of 2022 there were 60% more of these cyber attacks than in all of 2021 – and no end in sight, website security is absolutely critical to protect your business and your sensitive client information, especially if your website has any sort of access to HIPAA-protected information or payment information. 

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