If you are just getting started in the world of being a webmaster, you may have noticed that the price of hosting can vary massively.
Do you need SSL certificates, CDNs, unlimited databases, or subdomains? What’s the difference between a cheap host and an expensive one?
As with anything else, reliability and quality can vary massively depending on who you shop with. The good news is there are options for people who are looking for cheap web hosting.
For this article, we’ll be taking examples from hosting providers like Hostinger which boast: “Cheap Web Hosting – Get Unlimited Web Hosting with 90% Discount.”
Without further ado let’s break down what cheap web hosting can bring to your business.
How Hosting Packages Work
If you run a high-traffic website then you will need hosting that is robust, reliable, and has a lot of memory and bandwidth.
It doesn’t take a computer science degree to know that sites such as Facebook and Twitter, or even the online shop associated with your favorite department store, are not hosted on a small package managed by a small hosting company for a low monthly fee.
High-traffic websites that serve a lot of pages and have huge databases are hosted on either a dedicated server or a cloud service.
Dedicated servers are exactly what they sound like; single servers on which all of the resources are dedicated to one client.
Cloud service providers, on the other hand, are service providers that have incredible computing resources available to them and that allow clients to rent processing power as and when they need it, so a client may be using almost zero time when their site is idle, then buy processing power and database resources during peak times.
These hosting methods are useful for people who need a lot of server power. Relatively new websites, however, are unlikely to get the levels of traffic that would require scalable cloud hosting or a dedicated server. For a small website, cheap shared hosting is usually enough.
Shared Hosting Packages Let You Test Your Ideas
The most common type of cheap web hosting is shared hosting. The idea here is simple. Web hosts have powerful servers with huge amounts of storage space, sufficient bandwidth to serve a lot of visitors, and enough memory to handle running multiple sites, as long as those sites are coded efficiently and not getting massive visitor levels.
From an economic point of view, it does not make sense for a web host to rent out their entire server to one client. Most website owners wouldn’t even be able to afford the hosting fees for a dedicated server to run a single website.
So, hosting suppliers split up their servers so that they can run multiple websites on one machine. This allows them to sell cheap web hosting. It’s important to mention that the main drawback of shared hosting is the fact that all users share resources on the server.
That means, if a neighboring site has a massive traffic surge and uses up the server’s bandwidth, your site will be feeling that. You might experience slowdowns or even crashes. However, since smaller sites are the ones that opt for shared hosting, such an outcome isn’t very likely.
This is good news for any would-be webmaster because it means that you get to try out your ideas without spending a fortune. It also means that you can put up a website for your friends, family, or local business and not have to spend hundreds of dollars a month to keep it online.
Is Cheap Web Hosting Enough for You?
For most people, cheap web hosting is more than up to the task. Shared hosting typically has sufficient resources for you to run common content management systems and put up websites for your personal projects or small/medium-sized business.
A shared hosting package would allow you to run:
- A WordPress blog for personal use
- A WordPress member site
- A small online store powered by WooCommerce
- A Moodle e-learning course
- A content site using Jekyll or Concrete5
- A forum for a niche hobby
- A portfolio site for your photography or art business
- A content site intended to make money from advertising
You may run into difficulties if you tried to run a more resource-hungry store script such as Magento on a cheap shared hosting package, or if you wanted to host videos that were getting a lot of views, or to serve a digital product such as a game that hundreds of thousands of people were going to download.
For most people, however, cheap web hosting is more than up to the job, and it has a lot of benefits too:
- Many shared hosting providers have easy-to-use control panels for site management
- You can host multiple sites on one hosting package
- You don’t need to understand DNS or server configurations to get things working
- You can have subdomains for different parts of your site
- One-click installers allow you to test different content management systems
- The hosting provider will support you if you run into problems with the installers
- You often get free or discounted domains with your hosting package
Cheap web hosting allows you to test out new ideas without making a huge commitment financially. You aren’t locked into using that web host forever, either.
If you find that your website idea takes off and you are hitting the limits of your host, you can simply upgrade the package to a virtual private server or dedicated server, or move to cloud hosting should the need arise
By the time you have a successful enough website to need a more expensive package, you’re unlikely to mind paying extra for it. Alternatively, if it’s a business, it will probably be successful enough to cover its own costs.
It’s perfectly possible to run a small business website or a personal blog on a hosting package that costs just a few dollars a month.
There’s no need to pay extra for the bells and whistles offered by premium hosting packages unless you know what it is that they provide.
If you have some ideas for a new website, take out an affordable hosting package and start building. You won’t know if your ideas will work unless you give them a try.
About the author:
Mary is a passionate blogger and the chief editor at her own content marketing company PRable.org. Since college, she’s been interested in break-through technology and technical writing about innovative products and services that change our everyday lives for the better. She’s also interested in web design and photography.