When confronted with the need for a reliable and cost-effective web hosting provider for his graphic design website, my brother
assessed his choices carefully and made a rational, evidence-based decision went for the cheapest, most popular plan with minimal consideration. It made me think, do you want to consider the best solutions for your business/website? Or do you want whatever there is?
If there’s one thing that I can tell you, it’s that you should never make an unjustified decision when purchasing web hosting. More on that in Darth Vader’s Guide to Web Hosting.
Well, I’m here to bust the very myths that many people ponder while looking to purchase web hosting — the ones that unfortunately some people don’t think of at all.
1. “Any web hosting provider will do”
“But what’s the difference between web hosting providers?”
Well, that’s like saying, there’s not a single difference between Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Fanta, Lemonade, and the various other tasty soft drinks available at your local convenience store. Sure, they’re all just soft drinks, but they’re soft drinks made in different ways with different tastes and different branding, etc.
Web hosting providers are the same — they are all web hosts dealing with the same sorts of products and services, but each one offers something the same thing in a different way.
Don’t go for whichever is the cheapest, because each web hosting provider offers different things.
What you need to do is figure out what you need from a web host, and then find the plan that best fits with what you’re looking for.
2. “Free is the best”
Imagine if I shouted “FREE BEER” in the middle of a crowded pub, most people would come stampeding towards me right? But imagine if I then told them that you only get a shot glass of beer each. That’s exactly what “free web hosting” is trying to achieve.
My uncle always says “nothing is free in life”, and he’s right — no web hosting that’s free is going to be worthwhile, unless you’re storing something like isitchristmas.com.
Don’t be a sucker for “free” web hosting.
What you need to do if you’re looking for cheap web hosting is find a good balance between what you think you should pay and what you need to pay for good web hosting.
3. “Good web hosting is expensive”
Many people think that web hosting quality correlates with web hosting prices. That’s not the case — good web hosting is not always expensive, and cheap web hosting is not always bad.
Watch out, though, some web hosts look to use a technique called “overselling”, meaning that their plans have slightly higher prices and offer comfortable sets of features. This doesn’t mean that the web hosting is expensive, but then again, it doesn’t mean that the web hosting is of great quality.
Don’t be afraid to spend a little when it comes to web hosting, but research enough to know when you’re getting ripped off.
What you need to do is look for different factors of good web hosting (other than price), such as what features are offered, how much of those features are offered, if support is offered, etc.
4. “All cheap hosting sucks”
There’s no such thing as the cheapest and most feature-packed web hosting. The laws of economics simply state that it’s not going to happen — the business will make no money.
In saying that, there is fairly cheap hosting out there, but not all of it sucks. But not all cheap web hosting is inefficient and reliable — just because you buy the cheaper petrol, doesn’t mean your car doesn’t work, it just means that your car won’t work to its maximum potential.
Just like my brother — his web hosting plan doesn’t suck, but he failed to consider his options.
Don’t think that a low price correlates to low quality hosting.
What you need to do is not look for the best web hosting, but for the best web hosting for you and your business/website.
5. “Need IT experience to create & manage a website”
You don’t need to be an IT expert to understand how to design and maintain a good website. Many web hosting providers nowadays offer free platforms that help make creating and managing a whole lot simpler and easier.
For example, Crucial offers a free cPanel control panel with most hosting packages (other than the fully managed ones), which is user-friendly and easy for anyone to use.
Don’t think that you need to hire someone to take care of the technological side of web hosting.
What you need to do is pull your socks up and explore the control panel platform — a simple website is just clicks away.
6. “Just host with your domain registrar”
Registering a domain is different to purchasing web hosting. It may seem easier to host your website where you purchased your domain name, but that, just like the first myth, is lazy and an unjustified decision.
Don’t just host with your domain registrar because it’s easy, there are usually many more options that are a better fit for what you need.
What you need to do research your options and consider which is the best fit for you or your business/website.
7. “Good web hosts don’t have negative reviews”
Believe it or not, but somewhere out there Google has bad reviews, and Google are the kings of the search engine industry. Although a web host has bad reviews, it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad web host.
I admit it, I’m often a sucker for stars — rating stars, that is. A web host with 4.7 stars isn’t necessarily better than a web host with 4.5 stars. The numbers are an average — it could just be a single 1-star review that brought it down 0.2 stars.
Don’t be a sucker for rating stars.
What you need to do if you want to truly understand a web host’s quality of service is to try it out yourself.
8. “There’s no such thing as unlimited”
The term “unlimited” is using the same technique as the “free” hosting. There will never be such a thing as unlimited web hosting, otherwise, we could buy the simplest hosting plan and put all our information on it, as well as our families’ and friends’ information, maybe even your computer contents, and your local school’s contents.
Read a web host’s terms of service to find out exactly how limited their unlimited features are.
Don’t be a sucker for “unlimited” features/resources.
What you need to do consider your web hosting options carefully and understand the right amounts of features that you need (CPUs, RAM, Bandwidth, etc.).