The web hosting industry has seen enormous growth over the past 5 years. Companies are spending millions of dollars in order to build their presence online. The hosting industry has showcased a CAGR of above 15% in recent years. However, despite its unprecedented growth, there are numerous companies that have failed to get on the bandwagon. The main reason for this failure is that they did not understand the pain points of their potential customers from them.
In this blog post, I will be discussing some of the most common reasons why people do not buy web hosting and stick to the free options! I’m going to break the narrative where web hosting is seen as thing for ‘techy’ and ‘web hosting is not beginner friendly’
Let’s dive in.
Reasons why people do not buy web hosting plans
I’ve been engaging with beginners on Reddit to understand their concerns & reasons to not buy decent quality web hosting and either stick to free variants or dirt cheap services. I noticed a pattern in the reasons I discovered. Most of them are either mislead or misinformed. Here are the most common reasons I discovered from the engagement:
- Technical barriers
- Too many options
- Lack of knowledge
- Got mugged by dirt-cheap options
- Juggling free options
Let’s take a look at these one by one in detail & with examples.
#1 Technical Barriers
One of the most common and painful reasons why people do not buy web hosting plans is the technical barrier. Especially when required to manage the whole web hosting and the site all alone. When I got started, I knew nothing about web hosting, just like every beginner. I thought I’d read & learn about it before I jump in. But that did not help, and then I decided to just get started.
Learning on the go is one of the best ways to learn anything. But I had prior experience of computer science so that helped me a bit. But for many users, even the basics are too complex (or at least they seem to be). If you’re that person, here are few things you should know about web hosting.
- Domain name: This is the name of your blog. Technically speaking, the domain name is numerical address that computer understands to fetch specific page from the server. To make it human readable, the numeric address is given the face of words, like shubhamdavey.com. Simply remember, domain name is the address of your blog. This address will make sense in next few minutes.
- Web hosting: Web hosting space is just like any other drives on a computers. Only difference is files on these drives are accessible via the internet. Web hosting stores all the files related to your blog. Every file that keeps your website/blog running smoothly. Imagine, web hosting as the empty plot where you construct your house. The empty plot will give you clear picture of what web hosting is.
- Website: This is the house you build on that empty plot. You can add customizations, apps, features and other cool stuff that makes your website/blog the best resource for your visitors.
Now imagine everything together. You build a beautiful house on an empty plot and the house has an address which your friends and family use to visit you.
Apart from knowing this, good & responsive support from the web hosting service providers makes it so easy to manage your website even if you don’t have a technical bone in you. Just communicate what you need correctly and they will either help you do it or do it for you. More on this later.
#2 Too many options
Yet another reason why most people don’t buy web hosting is there are too many options and most people waste a lot of time evaluating which is the best web hosting company. If you’re just starting out, you don’t need to worry too much about these cosmetic things. It’s more important to start with whatever you have than evaluate such things. Sure, evaluation is important but too much of it is keeping you from progressing.
If you’re an absolute beginner, I’d recommend Bluehost or Dreamhost to begin with. Dreamhost is a little expensive but it’s the best investment you will make on your blog & your future if you work towards it consistently. Dreamhost is one of the oldest web hosting companies in the business and is recommended by wordpress.org. If I have to pick just one web hosting company for beginners, I’d recommend Dreamhost exclusively because of the support it provides. Unlike other web hosting companies, Dreamhost is responsive even on social media.
#3 Lack of Knowledge
This is similar to what we saw in the previous section. Lack of knowledge leads to considering other options and other options leads to confusion. Paradox of choice will not let you pick one and just start. You don’t need to know too much about the company or plans, just a couple of things. Here are some litmus test to check if the web hosting service you’re planning to pick is worth or not:
- Support by email, chat, or social media: Telephonic support is crap for almost all businesses. You just can’t rely on that. Even speaking directly to the support team, there’s a lot of communication gap. In my experience, support available on social media is the best, and chat is the second-best in terms of results.
- WordPress compatibility: The biggest problem with most shared hosting plans is compatibility. WordPress has minimum requirements to run smoothly. Just like Windows apps aren’t compatible with macOS, outdated PHP versions are prone to cause problems for wordpress hosted websites/blogs. There’s a reason why all web hosting companies have WordPress hosting and regular web hosting plans. WordPress hosting plans are significantly expensive but are 100% compatible with WordPress since the whole environment is designed to support WordPress sites. Just like certain apps are developed specifically to work smoothly on Windows OS.
You don’t need to know anything else. Just decide based on support and wordpress compatibility. Make support the first priority for your choice as you will have to run for support every now and then since you’re new to the whole web hosting setup.
#4 Mugged by dirt-cheap services
I’ve had very poor experiences even with the most elite web hosting providers. I don’t like defaming brands but I can’t resist warning since the brand I’m talking about is the default choice for too many people. Stay away from GoDaddy, the only thing that’s good about the company is marketing and the logo. Even people I’ve worked with have faced that issue. Godaddy isn’t cheap in terms of the money they charge you but the support and after service is extremely poor. I’m planning to trust them again and host a website for testing purposes. Will share the result with your guys here.
Other cheaper alternatives float around the market and they offer hosting space for prices as low as less than half a cent. That’s definitely not the price you get a quality hosting solution. Would it be okay if Google was hosted on such web hosting solutions? Would you continue using Google if that happens? If you answered no, please don’t give the same experience to your users as well.
#5 busy with free options
This one is legit and I recommend many beginners this route, especially if they’re just starting out. The whole point of blogging online is to send out the content on the web irrespective of the channel. But after some time, if you’re still serious, I’d recommend opting in for hosting your own blog that’s fully under your control. I’m aware of people who make a living just by writing emails and I recommend having a blog even to those wordsmiths.
Free alternative to self-hosted blog include:
- Substack &
Significance of these platforms is a subject for another blog post. Stay tuned to get that post in front of you.
The cost of opting for dirt cheap web hosting services
So, if you’re reading this section, it means you either have a blog hosted on cheap web hosting solutions or have a plan to do so. Continue reading to let me change your mind against cheap web hosting providers.
I asked you a question above. Will it be okay, if Google hosted all their products on the same dirt cheap servers? Absolutely not! I wouldn’t. Why would you do the same to your readers?
You don’t have to spend like Google does, but a decent web hosting costs a fraction of that. Technically speaking, a cheap web hosting will land you in problems you can’t recover from.
The biggest problem I’ve noticed among beginners is that, they don’t think web hosting is worth spending more than what cheap web hosting charges. If you really pay attention, web hosting is the most crucial factor of having a successful blog. Here are some reasons to help you understand why you should avoid cheap web hosting.
Reasons to avoid cheap web hosting (& save money)
#1 Bothering down time
Uptime is the whole point why you should opt for decent web hosting. You can’t afford to have down time. Remember some of the Google’s product weren’t accessible for around 45 minutes on 14 December 2020? The cost of that was billions. Gmail, YouTube and other tools were down. Google lost billions, and still did fine. You sure don’t want do lose the tiny bits of traffic or money you’re making.
You can’t trust cheap web hosting with up time. Servers are basically hard drives connected to the internet. Even if you’ve optimized your web pages for fast loading, but if you’re server can’t match that, it’s in vain. It’s like having 64GB RAM on top of dual core Intel Pemtium 4 processor. Too much load on the server will lead to down time and you’ll lose everything when the site is down irrevocably.
#2 Poor page loading speed
In 2006, Google ran an experiment where they showed 30 search results but the traffic and revenue dropped by whopping 20%. Users asked for it but still something was wrong. Upon researching, it was found that the time to load those 30 results was 0.5 seconds more than usual. Amazon lost 1% of their revenue because the pages were loading just 100ms late. If you rely on your website for conversions and sales, every minute your website is offline due to technical reasons or poor infrastructure, that’s costing you way more money than you saved by choosing cheap web hosting options.
Since the servers aren’t capable of faster loading, you can’t expect to load pages faster. There will always be difference between SSD & HDD hard drives. Almost all decent & reliable web hosting providers have SSD drives for your web pages.
#3 Little to no support
I’ve gone through the reviews of cheap web hosting service providers. Most common reason for leaving poor rating is the lack of support. Web hosting is an ocean in itself and you can’t do everything on your own. You will need support, if you’re a beginner, you’ll be left helpless without the support from cheap web hosting service providers. If you don’t get timely support, everything you do is pointless.
Speaking of support, I want to help as many people as possible to get started with blogging. I’m offering free WordPress blog setup, you don’t have to pay a single dime and in return, you will get your blog setup as per the proven industry standards, and other goodies. The program is underway and I will release it soon. Please join the wait list to stay in the loop.
#4 Serious threat to the security of your blog
Almost all cheap alternatives have very poor infrastructure of the servers. If you’re running WordPress, the web hosting you go for should’ve the minimum requirements to run the WordPress script. If your web hosting provider doesn’t have that infrastructure, you should consider moving away from them.
These inadequate infrastructure leads to leaving your websites/blog vulnerable to hackers since the servers aren’t capable of withstanding the attack. The updated versions of servers would have eliminated all the possible threats and loopholes for hackers to attack.
The most common doorway of any hacker are plugins or themes. Plugins and themes cannot be updated beyond certain WordPress versions, and since the servers itself arent’ adequate, even the WordPress version can’t be updated. Such things are an easy find for hackers and they can enter your website and do pretty much anything.
#5 Directly impacts SEO of your blog
Poor page loading, poor performance of servers when requested for web pages from your blog directly affects SEO of your blog. It’s simple. Google doesn’t want to rank webpages that are poor in terms if UI & UX. The end user will not blame the webpages, they will blame Google for suggesting those webpages, and Google is definitely not taking it at any cost.
No visibility to your blog isn’t going to land you anywhere in terms of making money online. Even if you think you can drive traffic from social media, even that will not help. Sure, initially when you don’t have any traffic, such options are okay. You can invest your time and effort in free web hosting options instead of cheap web hosting options.
#6 Less bandwidth and storage
Bandwidth is how many pageviews your blog/website can handle per month. Depending on the plan you’ve opted for, it can vary and drastically impact the overall experience on your site. Look for unlimited bandwidth along with other requirements like WordPress compatibility (if you’re opting for WP). Especially if you’re on a shared web hosting plan, even if you plan says unlimited bandwidth, you will be forced to upgrade after your website crosses certain traffic range, usually it’s around 50,000 pageviews/month.
Other thing that will bother you is storage. Usually web hosting packages offer 10GB of storage to begin with. That enough for basic blogs, but as the traffic increases, the data on the server also goes up. We’ve grown up listening from experts, your digital storage devices should be at least 20-30 percent empty for optimum performance.
With that stat, you can only use 7-8 GB of storage. That’s still enough as most basic webpages weigh around 200-300kb. But if you’re planning to store videos, digital downloads and more, choose higher package. Dirt cheap options have shocking renewal charges that puts you in same price bracket you avoided previously, and now you’re stuck in poor environment.
Importance of hosting your website on good web hosting
Definition of a good web hosting provider is different for all. There’s a reason why people buy web hosting services from Tier 2 providers. You know they’d have your back. Furthermore, the price difference between Tier and Tier 3 web hosting providers is very minimum, around 50-60 percent more. For that less difference of money, you get peace of mind.
Whenever someone plan to start a blog, web hosting is the last thing think about, whereas it should be the first. Most common reason why people opt for cheapest option is there are so many options available and only thing people look at is price.
It’s been like this since forever now. Even the best of all companies place price at the top and that’s how almost everyone decide, neglecting the features they’d get when they buy web hosting from them.
I have reviewed & articulated the top web hosting providers to help you decide & choose better. I have personally experience poor infrastructure that almost ended my blogging career. Last year my blog were hacked and I tried to recover it, seeked help from the support but nothing worked. Finally I had to move away from that provider. Even the migration was painful while my blogs were offlines, I had to take the hits of decline in traffic, lost SEO rank, ad revenue, signups and more. It took me 2 months to bring my blogs back online and at least 6-7 months to recover my traffic & SEO ranking.
Interestingly, the traffic got doubled after I moved to more reliable web hosting, it’s Siteground right now. Perks of buying web hosting services from reputable companies. It cost me over $500, but it’s worth. I’m planning to host this blog on WordPress dedicated web hosting, will keep you posted here. Stay tuned to get updates from me. If at all you’ve already experience the poor services from any of those cheap options, I recommend Bluehost, Dreamhost, Siteground or Hostgator. If I have to pick one, it’d be Bluehost. Have been using since beginning of my career.
TL;DR, Final thoughts
If you’ve made it this, you’ve probably wanted to try web hosting on your own. The whole purpose of creating this blog was to uncover some of the most common reasons why people either stick with free blogging platforms or opt for dirt cheap web hosting alternatives.
If you’re starting an online business or taking an existing business online, it’s crucial to know how important web hosting is for your business. It’s very sad to see that most businesses have web hosting at the last of their checklist. Every dollar you spend on web hosting is at least 10x saved in repercussions of hosing your business website on poorly structured web hosting alternatives.
Remember! Web hosting is as important as a strong foundation of a high rise building. So please consider opting for a good web hosting service provider rather than just relying on cheap options. There’s a reason why premium web hosting companies like Kinsta, WP Engine, Google Cloud, AWS are making a fortune by providing hosting solutions to people, and cheaper alternative are struggling to survive even after offering same service at much lesser price. It’s quality.
In case you haven’t read the full blog, here’s a summary for you 🙂 I value your time.
- There are five major reasons why people don’t buy web hosting at all, let alone decent or premium quality.
- Technical barriers
- Too many options
- Lack of knowledge
- Got mugged by dirt-cheap options
- Juggling free options
- While cheap web hosting helps you save money just one day you make the purchase, but eventually you lose money every single day you use their service.
- If you’re starting out, it’s okay to use the cheaper options. But only thing you’ll learn effectively is to not use those options ever again. Use free web hosting options instead. Free options are way better than cheaper ones.
- It’s important to go for decently paid web hosting plan. It saves you money, you may spend more at the time of buying the plan, but you will save more while making money online.
That’s it for this blog. I hope this has helped you clear some thoughts around not falling for cheap web hosting plans. If you have any doubts regarding web hosting, or need help setting it up, feel free to get in touch with me on Twitter, Instagram, or Linkedin.