Our list of the best cheap web hosting companies focuses on monthly cost, tenure lengths, and overall value. There are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing the best web host for your website, cheap or otherwise.
Unlimited vs Unlimited
Web hosting services seem to switch between unlimited and unlimited when it comes to storage and bandwidth with little explanation. If you read the fine print of each host’s terms and conditions, you’ll usually find the answer.
If your storage is unlimited, it often comes with conditions. For example, if you are using too many resources on a shared server, with respect to others on the server, the web host may ask you to delete files from your site.
Unlimited bandwidth usually means that the hosting company doesn’t pay much attention to the number of visitors to your site, but if it exceeds a certain amount, say 300,000 in a month, the host might ask you to upgrade to a virtual private server (VPS).
Companies can change the conditions
Even when you find a web host that promises 100% uptime, unlimited storage, or 70p per month, they can change terms at any time. It’s a good idea to read any changes a web host makes to their policies to make sure they still match your website’s needs.
The importance of availability
It is common to see 99.90% to 100% uptime in web host marketing. What difference does 0.10% make? First, these uptime guarantees do not apply to scheduled downtime for maintenance. If you notice that your site is down, but the host has let you know it’s going to happen, it doesn’t count. Unplanned downtime happens when hosting companies scramble to get service back, because otherwise they owe a lot of people months for free.
If your website is only running 99.90% of the time, that equates to about 44 minutes of downtime per month. Increase that uptime to 99.99% of the time, and you could have about 4 minutes of downtime per month.
Does the location of the server matter?
The location of the server may impact the speed of its website for some users. If you have a bakery in London, most visitors to your site are likely local, so you’ll want to choose a host with servers in the UK. The location of the server shouldn’t impact search engine optimization (SEO), so it shouldn’t affect your search engine rankings. Some experts disagree, however, and believe server location may affect rankings.
What are inodes
If you’ve been doing your due diligence, you may have noticed the word inodes in a web hosting company’s policies. An inode is a data structure that includes all the attributes of a file. It includes information about a file or directory, such as the file name, permissions, and the time of last modification. Sometimes web hosts won’t limit storage, but limit the number of inodes (HostGator limits inodes to 100,000 for shared plans).