If you are just starting out, you are probably looking for a cheap web host. Most people with just one website do not want to pay a lot of money for hosting, especially if it is a personal site or a small site for a non profit organization So, what can you choose from, and what do you need to be aware of?
The Cheapest Web Host Is Free
If you only have one site in mind, free is better than cheap, no matter how you look at it. There are many free hosting possibilities these days and they have improved greatly since the early days of the Internet. Some of the biggest Internet players like Google and Yahoo offer sophisticated templates and web building tools that make creating your own space on the net a breeze.
Unfortunately, you can’t use your own domain name with free web hosting. The fact that you have to work within their domain will make it known that you are using free hosting. It might even have ads for the free host. This does not matter for most people’s personal sites but if you are in business, you may want a more professional looking solution.
Shared Hosting Packages
Shared hosting is another alternative to free hosting, and it basically means that you will host on a server that’s also used by others. There is no disadvantage to this in terms of your image, because somebody looking at your site would not know.
You can find shared hosting packages that only cost you about $3 a month. But, you can run into some problems.
Low cost or quality?
If cost is the most important thing for you, and you go with the cheapest web host, you might run into some issues. Most companies offering the very cheapest packages cut some corners on service. Two of the main problems might include downtime (when no one can access your site) and a low level of support.
Good technical support is essential when it comes to running a website. You will have questions that require clear, precise answers. Clearly, it can be expensive for a web host to hire the best support technicians. This is the typical corner cheap web host companies can cut to save themselves and you money, but it can in the end, cost you a lot in frustration.
You may end up having so many problems that you will switch hosts. Which, in the best of cases, will bring extra work and even more frustration. It is not easy to move sites, and you will likely experience some downtime while the DNS resolves to the new web host.
Staying away from the cheapest companies will avoid this type of hassle. You can still get good shared hosting for just a few dollars more per month.
As an example, you can buy the Hatchling plan from Hostgator, which includes one domain with unlimited disk space and bandwidth, for only $4.95 a month. But if you are thinking of hosting more than just one site, the next package up, the Baby package, might work better for you. With the Baby package you can host unlimited domains for just an extra dollar a month. Hostgator may not be the cheapest, but it is definitely inexpensive and reliable, and worthy to be recommended.
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