We are often asked by customers what the difference is between website hosting that costs just $4.95 per month and website hosting that costs $29.95 per month. It may seem attractive to have a total yearly hosting bill of just under $60, but what are you really getting yourself into?
This article is aimed at separating fact from fiction and getting through the “marketing spin” to truly weigh up the pros and cons of cheap hosting vs quality hosting.
Website Hosting Prices
Hosting typically ranges from $4.95 per month to $29.95 per month. Yes, there are hosting options cheaper and more expensive than this range, however the majority of hosting packages will lay somewhere in between these figures.
Like most products the pricing of website hosting typically dictates its quality. The quality of website hosting is determined by the following:
- The type of hard drives in use
- The location of the server
- The level of support you receive
- The reliability of the servers
- The type of data storage and protection
Hosting Hard Drives
There are two broad types of hard drives that servers typically use. The first is a spindle drive and the second is an SSD.
Spindle drives are “old school” technology, but are very cheap compared to their SSD counterparts. Spindle drives differ from SSD’s as they have mechanical parts. Spindle drives are perfectly fine for storing information and are quite reliable for the price, however they have a big drawback… speed.
Due to the ageing technology accessing information on spindle drive servers is a slow process and can cause websites to load slowly while the data is being accessed.
Typically spindle drives are only used by very cheap hosting providers selling their services for $10 per month or less. It is always good to check what drives are being used as this is a big indicator of the speed your website will load from the server.
SSD’s are the new style hard drives. SSD stands for “Solid State Drive” which simply means the drive has no mechanical, moving parts. As this technology is newer it provides high speed access of server data allowing your website to load quickly.
SSD’s are also typically more reliable that spindle drives as they do not wear out nearly as quickly as their mechanical counterparts.
Server location matters! Your first question for all hosting providers should be “where are your servers located”. This is because the closer your server is to your primary audience, the faster your website will load.
If your users are primarily located in Australia, Australian based hosting is your best bet to ensure they can load the site quickly with no latency issues.
Cheap website hosting is almost always located in the USA or outside of Australia. Not only does this mean users in Australia will experience slower load times, it also means that if you need support, the support team are generally a few hours ahead or behind the time hear in Australia.
Level of Website Hosting Support
One of the biggest bonuses when it comes to quality hosting is support. Premium hosting services generally offer support services from teams located within Australia. Some hosting providers (such as Honest Media!) even allow customers to come and see them in person to sort out any issues or to make any changes to the hosting service.
Cheap hosting in 99% of cases will have a support team outsourced overseas. In itself this is not necessarily a bad thing, however in both our experience and the experience of our own customers who were previously hosted elsewhere, the language barrier is often very obvious and can make things tedious.
The Reliability of Servers
Reliability of quality hosting services is generally indicated by an uptime or 99.5% to 99.7%. Uptime refers the the percentage of time within a year a server is life for without issue. All quality hosting providers guarantee their level of up time so that you know your website is accessible by your customers near 100% of the time.
Cheaper hosting alternatives rarely reference their uptime and make no guarantees. We have seen some cheap hosting providers with up times less than 80%, which can become a major issue for businesses when customers can’t access their websites!
The Level of Data Storage & Protection
Quality Hosting comes with one major benefit that will keep your data as safe as houses. Regular backups on quality website hosting packages allow you to simply wind back the clock and load data if anything is to every go wrong on the server or if your website is at any stage hacked.
Cheap hosting services generally have no backup facilities and in the event of an error or a hack, data can be lost forever and your website will need to be rebuilt from scratch.
The Honest Agency’s Website Hosting Packages
We believe hosting is the foundation of your website and that without quality hosting, your website will never perform at its best. We offer quality hosting services that provide the following benefits.
- 99.8% server uptime
- Daily website backups that are stored for up to 12 months
- SSD Storage
- Australian based servers
- Australian based support, in person support if needed!
Our hosting is priced at juts $29.95 per month which is less than half of a typical monthly phone bill. For quality hosting and assurance that your website is in good hands our monthly fees make our hosting a steal. Our customers also agree.