Choosing a Budget Web Host

The cost of web hosting has come down considerably in the last few years. Even people on a small budget can afford to host sites that get hundreds of thousands of visitors a month. But there are things to watch out for when choosing a budget web host.

Firstly, it's best to go with one of the big providers. This is because they are less likely to go out of business, have more support staff, and many smaller web host providers actually use these big guys anyway to host their own services.

A search in Google for the name of the company and the word "scam" will find any problems people have (e.g. "Donny's Web Hosting Scam")

There are a few red flags you should look out for....

  • Offering "Unlimited Bandwidth" without appearing to have the technology to support this. Unless they own the server farm, they can't offer this as the company that does own the server farm will place limits on them.
  • Lack of physical company address on their website, or something that looks like a post box (e.g. Suite 666). This may be someone working out of their bedroom.
  • Lack of a reputation. Type in the web host into Google (in quotation marks) and see how many results you get back. Not many may imply that they are new, or too small.
  • Lack of details on their support arrangements. Do they offer 24/7 support, or do they say "business hours" - this might be a problem if your site falls over on Friday night.
  • Make you pay annually. Most reasonable hosts will give you the option to pay monthly, even if it costs more. They're confident you won't cancel. If the service is pathetic, or the web host is a scam, they'll try to tie you into 1,2 or 3 year contracts in advance - then refuse to give you a refund.

These are just a few things to watch out for. However, "budget web host" no longer means that you'll end up with something that breaks down every other day. Many popular websites, supporting millions of visits a month, are run for just a few dollas a month.

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