Making a website is an expensive endeavour. From designing your website to using CMS platforms such as WordPress, there are costs in every corner. Choosing a web host is another aspect that most businesses or online entrepreneurs tend to spend their fortune on.
But here’s the thing, choosing a hosting provider doesn’t have to be a costly decision.
In fact, there are plenty of hosting providers today that offer great hosting services with some offering unlimited web hosting for just $1 per month! And that’s including a number of great features that are useful for your website.
Of course, there’s bound to be some bad apples within the price range and the tricky part is to separate them from the good ones. That’s where we come in with the things to look into for choosing a cheap and reliable hosting for your website!
The features they offer
The basis for all good web host is to provide their users with all the best features in their hosting packages. So, when choosing a provider, keep an eye out for the following features:
- Bandwidth and storage are a necessity and quality hosts will normally offer unlimited storage, though there are some with a limit of 5GB or less.
- Addon domains can be useful if you’re looking to make more than one website. Most good web hosts would have space for up to 25 additional domains. Try to avoid those that will one give one or none.
- The control panel is where you’ll be doing most of your work for the website so make sure you check whether the web host has experience with the different platforms such as cPanel, Vdeck, or a customized alternative.
- Support for pre-installed website scripts is a must if you want to use the installation feature for WordPress, Drupal, and even Joomla. You should also check if they support specialized features such as PHP or eCommerce integration.
Check their uptime rate
In the online world, there’s nothing more frustrating than having your website go down due to your hosting provider. This is why a host’s uptime figure is important. The better their uptime rate, the more reliable the hosting provider.
The baseline for any good web hosting provider should be at 99%. Anything less should be avoided. Even if it’s 98%, you shouldn’t sign up with the company as that basically means that your website could be down 3-7 days in a year. It’s recommended that you go for those with an uptime of 99.99% as this will ensure that your website will stay online almost all the time, barring any unforeseen circumstances such as hacks or website maintenance.
If you want to track your web host uptime, you can use tools such as Uptime Robot. It can be used to monitor your site and checks every five minutes for signs of life or alert you if there’s something wrong with your website.
Money back guarantees
Some web hosting companies offer a money back guarantee if they are confident in their services. Prewebhost is one such company that is offering a 30-day full refund policy for people who sign up for their plans.
A web host with a money back guarantees means that they are confident that those who sign up with them will be satisfied with their quality. Plus, you won’t have to worry about wasting your money if you decided that their services are not for you.
Make sure you check their terms and services for the money back guarantee and whether there are any hidden costs or penalties attached to it.
Different hosting plans and pricing
Choosing a hosting plan can be complicated if you’re a beginner (unless you have a beginner’s guide to website hosting). A reliable and quality hosting company will normally have a comprehensive plan that you can choose from which customized to suit the needs of your website.
Try to find a hosting provider that has shared server hosting, cloud server hosting, VPS, and dedicated server hosting. Go for web hosts that are not having just a single plan. With multiple plans, you can always choose the plan that is suitable for your website needs.
Also, keep an eye out for the pricing as well. A lot of the times, the introductory or discount prices will be quite low when you first sign up but will have a high renewal fee. A smart move would be to sign up for a 24/36 period plan with the introductory price to keep your costs down.
The ability to upgrade
Let’s say you’ve launched your website and it’s receiving a lot of traffic. If you’ve signed up for a shared hosting plan, then odds are their server resources won’t be enough anymore. This is where the ability to upgrade and scale is important.
Web hosts that offer plans with scalability will be helpful (and cheaper) than having to migrate your entire website to a new hosting provider. VPS and cloud hosting offers the best flexibility when it comes to upgrades though you can opt for dedicated servers if your site demands it.
Bottom line, you can use a small shared plan to build up your website but make sure that the hosting provider lets you scale up accordingly when the time comes.
It’s hard to determine which web host is the best one as different companies are suited for different priorities. A small portfolio website might be better suited with a shared server hosting while a blog with over 50,0000 visitors a month will require additional storage and servers.
As we have shown, going for a cheap hosting provider doesn’t have to suck. As long as you understand the needs of your website and follow our tips above, you can find a quality hosting provider that is both cheap and reliable!