Should I host my website overseas?

I’ve found a really cheap hosting provider in India who looks much cheaper than any other company I’ve ever seen. What’s the catch?

I’ve had this question been thrown at me a couple of times but instead of answering outright I usually ask a few more questions myself. For example:

  • Who’s your target market?
  • What support arrangements do you get?
  • What’s your backup plan if it all goes wrong?

The reason is that usually it’s more than just a question of price. It’s a question of the service you get, both in terms of site performance and in terms of customer support.

I came across a good article on Web Hosting Geeks that goes into some factors you should consider when thinking about hosting abroad. Here’s what you ened to consider:

  • Why the difference in price: It’s worth finding out whether you’re comparing apples with oranges. A company can offer cheaper hosting if they don’t provide 24 hours support. It’s true that economies like India and China might have cheaper labour costs, but make sure you’re comparing like with like.
  • Location, location, location: Server location can affect your site performance. Europe and America have some of the widest Internet pipes around and it always makes sense to host your server close to your target market, just to make sure they get the best experience.
  • Customer Service: Standards of customer service vary from country to country, especially if you’re dealing with different timezones. A company might offer 24 hours service, but night-time usually means there are less staff around.

There are some great points there that you need to keep in mind and in reality overseas providers don’t always have better prices than your home country. It’s worth checking out your web host on Web Hosting Geeks as they have a number of hosting providers lined up against each other and you can compare who give you what and where you can get a good deal. Just keep in mind that hosting overseas may be a bit more risky, so it’s good to bear that in mind.

2 thoughts on “Should I host my website overseas?”

  1. I think having a backup plan for if it all goes wrong is a good idea, no matter where your webhosting company is located.

    I had webhosting from a company for about four years. Decent customer service, reliability, and a good price for the package. In the fourth year, the company was sold without warning. In the process, I was double billed, downtime was without warning and frequent, and customer service was non existent. And then it just died. The company folded and I had no back ups of my sites and there was no one to call to get back the money left on my subscription.

    It was a great lesson learned the hard way about keeping backups and getting a new host at the first sign of trouble. Thankfully, my sites were personal and not my business sites. I was also able to retrieve my domain names eventually – which is a huge thing to consider, especially if your site is your business.

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