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The pitfalls of cheap web hosting

Cheap web hosting may sound attractive but as with anything else in life, you get what you pay for. A cheap web hosting provider will appeal to some businesses, but be aware that you may be dealing with a web hosting provider with limited technical skills and a poor understanding of managing servers and network infrastructure. There are also some organisations that lure clients in with apparently 'cheap' web hosting packages, that in actual fact turn out to be more expensive. They claim to offer ridiculously low web hosting charges, but then charge individually for what they refer to as extras. These extras are typically standard features with the majority of most business class web hosting providers. In general, any well established business will opt for a reputable web hosting company as they will be willing to pay for technical expertise, excellent support, secure and reliable web hosting.

Usability and Cheap Web Hosting

A cheap web hosting provider may not equip you with the adequate tools you need to manage your website(s), some budget web hosting providers have even been known to supply their customers with their own proprietary admin interface instead of using a standard interface, such as Plesk. By using a different customised admin interface, a cheap web hosting provider can choose the tools you have access to, providing an inadequate selection with what are usually standard tools, as paid extras - this forces the user to have to purchase the use of necessary tools to be able to do simple things.

What Security is Provided With Cheap Web Hosting?

Potentially one of the biggest draw backs of cheap web hosting is poor security; server security is something which Siruss takes extremely seriously.

Cheaper web hosting providers will usually host your website as well as many others, all on the same server, this has the potential to interfere with your website in many ways, principally speed and performance.  It is also worth noting that if you use a hosting provider with limited server knowledge they could set the server up incorrectly - without locked down subscriptions, leaving your website at risk. If neighbouring website on the server is hacked, the hacker could quite possibly gain access to your website, files and even its entire database! Depending on how clever the hacker is, they could inject crude images or text into your website, or completely remove your website, all because you have a 'Neighbour From Hell'.  It is vitally important that you use a reliable web hosting company to host your website with valuable experience.

Did you know that sending unsolicited emails can get your domain name, and the server you are being hosted on, blacklisted?

This is a common problem with cheap hosting, if your 'Neighbour From Hell' is sending out unsolicited emails, this could result in the server being blacklisted and you (along with the other websites on the server) would not be able to send any emails out. At Siruss, we set a daily and hourly limit on the number of emails which are allowed to leave our server to prevent this from happening. We liaise with all of our hosting customers to let them know the dangers of sending emails out like this and point them to Mailchimp - our preferred too, we use to send multiple emails to our clients, or prospects who have signed up for our newsletter.

At Siruss, server security is fundamental. Offering a high level of security is not only safe guarding our clients, but is also safe guarding our business too. We have an excellent reputation of being one of the best web hosting providers locally, and we aim to stay that way!

If Your Neighbour From Hell Gets Hacked

We have seen this happen before, in actual fact quite recently, where one of our (now) clients was using a host provider with limited server and technical skills. Their website was in fact hacked because it hadn't been properly updated (read more on the importance of maintenance) and the hacker wrote a script which tried to send out 600 plus emails out per hour, every hour! The host provider was not aware of this and it resulted in the server being blacklisted. This meant that nearly 100 customers on this one particular server couldn't send emails- the server was also setup without lock down subscriptions leaving it easily accessible to the hackers.

If your web host provider offers hosting with locked down subscriptions then you are in a much better position and your neighbour will not affect your website, or business. Please check this before signing any agreement.

A good web hosting provider will typically offer a variety of different hosting options and packages with additional features and options for additional security to suit your business requirements.

Please Be Aware Cheap Web Hosting Could Affect The Following:

The speed and performance of your website

A server hosting too many websites may cause websites to run slowly; a cheap host will want as many websites on the server as possible to maximise their profits. However, this may slow down indidvidual websites so much to the point that when a visitor does land on a page, they may be greeted with a white page, leaving them with a very negative impression.

Loss of Business

A slower website will offer the customer a poor experience, which could result in a lost order or enquiry for your business. News spreads quickly, especially with social media sites where people can now share information with others at the touch of a button.

SEO Ranking

This is a big ranking factor - slow loading time may have negative consequences.

Hacked Website

Google now display a message warning its users if they believe a hacker may have changed some of the existing pages on a website - this is likely to be detrimental to any business.

Traffic to your website

People are unlikey to re-visit your website if their first experience was negative, they also probably won't be recommending anyone else.

Poor page load

Some of the most common complaints of cheap web hosting are slow page loading and poor support. A website which takes a long time to load will create a poor experience for your visitor and it will also affect your SEO ranking. Slow loading websites can be particularly frustrating for the visitor and it will also cost your business money. If visitors frequently find your site is slow, or even offline, they will quickly become irritated and look elsewhere. Also, visitors in general, quite readily share negative experiences and may inform their friends that the website in question is slow, or offline on a regular basis - this could be very damaging to your reputation.

What level of customer support can you expect from cheap web hosting?

In the event of a problem with your website, or perhaps emails, you will need to contact customer support for help. Experienced, professional technicians are costly, paying for a technically strong support team is something cheap web hosting providers might not invest in. Low cost = low technical knowledge. It is also worth noting that several budget hosting providers prefer all communication to be carried out by an online chat facility or ticket system only, at Siruss we have a ticket system as well as telephone support service. Here at Siruss our cost reflects our expertise.

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