Have you ever looked at the price difference between two products and gone, “What the hell?? WHY is that one so much cheaper?”
It’s like buying something on Wish versus at Target – price is everything, but a race to the bottom is not without consequences. You get what you pay for typically, and when it comes to hosting technology, that’s especially true.
With so much technical terminology, it’s hard to really communicate exactly what the difference is between two dollar and 20 dollar hosting. It all sounds pretty much the same, right?
Fast. Secure. Reliable.
We’re normally pretty nice guys around here, but we’re also crazy honest – there’s a reason we don’t feel bad for not being the cheapest, and it’s the same reason that Target doesn’t feel bad for not being more like Wish.
What’s the Difference Between Managed and Unmanaged Hosting?
- Application updates
- Plugin updates
- Malware monitoring
With managed applications from Nexcess, you’re also getting a support team made of application subject matter experts, who understand coding and these applications enough to help you diagnose problems on both sides of things.
How Much Does Hosting Usually Cost?
Buying hosting is kinda like buying a data plan. You get a connection to a server, you get data limitations and storage space, and some technical infrastructure on the back end to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
On the managed hosting side of things, like what we do here at Nexcess, you get a lot more than just that connection and storage space. You get a level of administrative service that, though largely automated, keeps your plugins working together nicely and your site up to date (because let’s face it: we all forget).
Hosting plans are structured similarly to data plans in that you get a certain amount of bandwidth and features and functionality at staggered price points.
For a simple website, hosting typically costs between $3 and $45 per month for basic, unmanaged hosting. For managed hosting, the range is more like $7 to $45 per month.
As you’re getting into more complex projects, like ecommerce websites, or sites with a lot of traffic and complex server demands, those plans tend to get more expensive.
The 5 Skeletons Hiding In Cheap Hosting’s Closet
#1 – Unlimited Bandwidth Isn’t Actually Unlimited
Have you ever increased your data plan for your home internet, only to find that your data overages turned into a slower connection?
It’s not in your head. This is called throttling, and it’s what happens when a user eats up a lot of bandwidth, but can’t be charged any overage fees.
The same thing is true for hosting. Though many cheap hosts claim to offer unlimited bandwidth, the reality is that there’s no such thing. Unless you’re dealing with a host with cloud infrastructure, it’s literally impossible for the bandwidth to be unlimited because you’re dealing with a physical server with physical capacity limitations.
#2 – They Use the Fine Print to Throttle Your Speed
Since unlimited bandwidth isn’t actually a thing, a lot of cheap hosting providers put weird clauses in their terms of service to make it technically legal for them to call their service unlimited, and then still, well, limit it.
For example, Godaddy has an ecommerce plan that offers unlimited bandwidth. The only catch? It’s against their terms of service to upload multimedia content to your website. No product videos for you, buddy.
#3 – Traffic Surges Will Produce 502 Errors
Related to unlimited bandwidth is a physical server’s inability to automatically scale your bandwidth and concurrency needs when you get a surge of traffic.
Long story short, if you have cheap hosting and you plan on killing it this holiday shopping season, you’re more likely to see llost sales due to 502 errors than record-breaking numbers.
#4 – When It Comes to Applications, You’re On Your Own
Cheap hosts typically have a very narrow scope of support. What this means is that when you’re having an issue and using an application, like WordPress or WooCommerce, you’re not likely to get much help out of them.
If it’s not server-side, you’re out of luck. They’re going to send you to the application’s support team, who will in turn, likely send you back and forth with a series of things to try, until you eventually scream in agony and throw your laptop out the nearest window.
#5 – Cheap Hosting Usually Comes With a Long Term Commitment
In a lot of cases, cheap hosts know what they’re selling, and they know better than to make it easy for you to just walk away. That’s why in a lot of cases, those $3 hosting providers are going to try to get you to commit to a long term agreement that you’ll have to pay to get out of early.
Look, hosting is like the foundation and walls of your house. If someone asked you where you’d like to save money in building your new home, would you start there?
Of course not. Because literally your entire home is built on that stuff.
Hosting is no different, and scrimping on it to save a few bucks a month is akin to hiring the sketchiest contractor you can find to pour your foundation. It’s not worth the risk, and you don’t have to spend a lot to get great hosting anyway.
Buck up ya cheapskate – you’re not building websites because you have a ton of free time. You’re building them because you want your work out there in the world and you have a vision.
Don’t build your vision on a flimsy hosting foundation – build it with Nexcess. StoreBuilder by Nexcess allows you to reap all the benefit of our Managed WordPress and WooCommerce without the complexity. No coding experience? No problem. There’s no reason to start from scratch or feel overwhelmed by a blank screen. Just answer a few questions, and in minutes, you’ll have your own online store with an intuitive, easy-to-navigate homepage that’s optimized to convert your visitors to customers. Check it out!