Cheap hosting plans are great especially when you are tight in budget or would want to get a blog up and fast. However, how reliable are cheap hosting plans?
Before we dig into this post, this reminded me of my recent holiday in Taiwan.
I wanted to go to a religious area called Lukang and it would take me around $70 NTD using the city bus. Being an adventurous person by nature, I hopped on the respective bus and started my journey. It took me a whopping 1 hour and 45 minutes to reach my destination.
And I believe I was rather ‘stupid’ as I could easily pay a taxi $200 NTD and reach the same destination in just 20 minutes!
The moral of the story here is clear; the destination point is the same but the route to it would be extremely different.
So, how does this relate to choosing a web hosting service?
For one, my daily Facebook messages would be either friends asking which is the best, affordable or cheap web hosting. By default, I would always be recommending WP Engine anytime of the day.
Okay, I totally get it. Not many of us are willing to ditch out at least $29 per month for a single website hosting and thus, choosing a more economical hosting package would be a better and not to mention, a smarter choice.
Putting aside the low start up cost, is there anything you should know about these cheap hosting plans?
The answer is yes and see below.
3 virtually important facts you should know about cheap hosting plans
#1 – Web hosting security features
There isn’t a single web hosting service out there which is bulletproof to hackers and malwares (including premium web hosting).
Majority of these affordable web hosting companies would just provide moderate to ‘none at all’ security check.
This means that they would most likely provide you with a tutorial on how you can protect your website and things to look out for.
If you ever get hacked or compromised, they are not going to patch your site up unless it is clearly their fault. In most cases, they wouldn’t give a second through to upsell their so-called godly backup / security services to you.
So, what if you have limited budget and could not afford for a better hosting plan?
The answer is simple. Avoid the below and you would probably be on your way to a more secure website:
- Perform daily backup
- Avoid using nulled or cracked plugins and themes
- Do not use common login like ‘admin’ or ‘administrator’
- Use a stronger password
Generally, you should be using a security plugin if security is your main concern. Lucky for you, there are many top-notch security plugins to choose from such as Better WP Security and Wordfence.
If you can’t decide on them, here’s a side by side comparisons between both of these security plugins.
In today’s world, it is really tough to find for a cheap and reliable web hosting provider.
#2 – The level of web hosting support
For one, support is extremely important and I am a superb particular customer to be honest. Web hosting support is needed especially for those who have limited knowledge in this field.
While there are probably dozens of tutorials out there that you can find, it is always good to know that help is just a few clicks away.
When you subscribe to a cheap hosting services, you should be ready for a moderate to a low level of support whenever you need them.
The truth is you can still live with this downside and there is still no need to get a more expensive hosting package just for the matter. Seriously!
All it takes a little patience and some tutorial reading.
#3 – The real meaning of managed hosting services
Affordable web hosting solution or service is not managed entirely; this means that you are virtually on your own once you sign up for a hosting package.
You could probably be wondering why are there big sites which uses premium web hosting services instead of common ones that you and I see on a daily basis.
The answer is that these hostings are fully managed. In other words, you will be treated like a baby and everything else are taken cared of … from food to diapers.
Okay, you get the point.
Putting aside the baby food and diapers, these services will provide you a list of unallowed plugins or guidelines for you to follow. They doesn’t only provide them but they ensure you follow those ‘rules’ closely.
For example, both WP Engine and Synthesis provide (recommend) a list of yes-no plugins for your website which could affect either stability, website loading speed or simply, security loopholes.
Besides that, there are support teams who are constantly on a lookout for your website in case of any intrusion and hacking.
Compared to cheaper hosting plans, you will not be spoon fed with these mouth-watering features and you would probably be left alone licking on your wounds if your website get hacked.
Of course, you can easily solve this if you have perform daily backups on the site.
Personally, cheap hosting isn’t bad but are subpar when it comes to managing a hosting plan. Most of the time, they are just providing tips on website maintenance and nothing else in between.
So, is cheap hosting plans really worth it?
From my perspective, yes. While many people, bloggers and affiliate marketers (including me) would say a big no-no to cheap hosting plans, I would say go for it if you have budget constraints.
Cheap web hosting packages are dangerous if you do not use them correctly. If you know the basic security features and tasks to perform, you should be well on your way to save some serious money in your pocket.
Disclaimer: My meaning of cheap hosting plans is not free web hosting services
Recommended hosting packages for bloggers with budget issues
Let’s say you wouldn’t want burn a hole in your pocket and you just want to be still enjoy a reliable web hosting. Look no further as SiteGround is here for you.
SiteGround brings a whole different meaning when it comes to affordable shared hosting.
It starts at $3.95 per month for a single site hosting (StartUp plan) and the usual freebies provided would be free domain name, free site transfer and free daily backup services.
If you are geeky and looking for a staging area feature (but cannot afford WP Engine), then you can opt for higher plans which are GrowBig plan at $10.95 per month or GoGeek plan at $14.95 per month.
I have several sites hosted at SiteGround and trust me, their customer support is tip top. What I really love about them is that they provide ‘patch-up’ for any flaws or malware detected in your blogging platform while waiting for the official patch to go live.
This, my friends, is one hell of a security feature I would die for any time of the day.
Okay, let’s say you are really that stingy and about to click on a new tab to find for SiteGround discount coupon. Don’t even bother doing it as I am giving you one right now as we speak.
Thanks to SiteGround, all of you will enjoy special discounts using the special link below:
Special SiteGround discount for all my readers
- StartUp plan – $0.83 per month
- GrowBig plan – $4.95 per month
- GoGeek plan – $10.95 per month
So, how about those geeky, premium web hosting packages?
If you are looking for a premium web hosting package, there is no other than the all-time-famous WP Engine. What makes WP Engine special are:
- In-built cache service and therefore, no cache plugin ever needed
- Daily backup and if your site ever get hack, they fix the site for you for free
- Super fast customer support (around 5-10 minutes email reply or near-to-instant live chat)
- Every staff of theirs know about WordPress (so, you are in good hands)
Click on the following links to read my review on WP Engine and comparison between WP Engine and Synthesis.
Would you use cheap web hosting services?
In a nutshell, choosing a cheap web hosting plan is fine as long as you know absolutely what to expect from them. The biggest issue is usually not about the hosting company but the users themselves.
If you are paying less than $5 per month, chances are very real that you would not get a complete hosting service especially when it comes to support.
These type of web hostings are good especially when you are running multiple websites, domain parkings and even niche blogging. If the hosting plan is for your main site, I would always recommend you to get a better company to go with.
- Affordable hosting plans – SiteGround
- Premium WordPress hosting – WP Engine
What do you think? Do you have any experience with cheap hosting plans, services or companies? Tell me using the comment form below.