Is cheap web hosting any good?

Hi there. I’ve seen web hosting for as little as $1 a month. Do you reckon this is any good?

I get this question from time to time from people who are looking to set up a new website. There are a myriad of potential web hosts out there and a number of them will let you purchase reseller hosting, which you can then sell on for any price you like. You could find someone selling hosting for $1 a year or even giving it away for free (maybe in return for presence on your website). However, price isn’t everything. You also need to make sure that the website you are building will be there tomorrow, that you can find help if you need it, amongst other things.

To answer your question I’m going to draw from a post from Web Hosting who have a number of articles about different web hosts. This post talks about 3 ways to find out if your host is any good:

  1. Raise a support ticket – One test is to raise a support ticket over their quiet period, either at night or over a weekend and monitor how long it takes to get a response. The longer it takes, the less reliable you can expect the host to be. Also, ensure that you get the correct answer and reliable advice.
  2. Check the host website’s speed – If the hosting providers website loads slowly, you can probably bet that your site won’t be any faster. If the host has money to spend on resources, they will kit their own server out well and have a fast site. If they are under-resourced and use one server for their own website and for their clients, you probably want to steer clear.
  3. Check through the features – Go through the feature list with a cynical eye. If they offer unlimited bandwidth, chances are that someone with many files to share will choose their service, which will have a knock on effect on your own. Try to go for something that’s a bit more controlled.

There are some good things to watch out for just there. There are some other articles that are quite interesting on that blog, ranging from web hosting security to scripting. If you’re looking for a new web host, it’s worth checking out.

Remember, sometimes a bargain may be too good to be true. However sometimes, it might be just what you need at just the right price.

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