The Perils of Cheap Hosting

The costs of running a website can be very low. You can easily get WordPress hosting for a couple of pounds a month.

The costs of running a secure website, with regular backups, firewalls and cutting edge caching technology which enables sites to load really quickly is also very low. Though may not look like it when compared to the cheap hosting.


Taking the cheap hosting is like getting a new Porsche on the road but only ever putting in petrol, with not ever adding screen wash, oil, or having a service. It will work beautifully to start, but there will be a whole host of problems to follow.

Things that a quality host will supply:

  • Daily Backups.
    • A MUST – problems do happen and when they do a backup is the quickest and easiest way to get back online
  • Caching system
    • Yes there are many plugins, but having this built into the hosting supplies most efficient system, not leading to conflicts or huge resource drain.
  • Up to date PHP version
    • There are still a lot of webhosts out there that run with an older PHP versions that systems like WordPress and associated plugins at best won’t support and at worst just won’t run on.
    • Support for version 5.5 of php was stopped in 2016, but still a massive 16%* of sites that run php are still using version 5.5 or lower.
    • WordPress currently recommends PHP 7.2 or greater.
  • Low contention
    • How many websites does your website share hosting with?
      • 1?
      • 100?
      • 15,442?
    • The larger number of sites the bigger drain on the hosting’s resources. The slower the site will be and the more likely you will see errors.
  • Quality Support
    • Timely support by phone, email or live chat.

All these things should be seen as must haves for any serious website project.

Low cost hosting may also be SLOW. This is a BIG PROBLEM. The longer a site takes to load the greater chance it is that the visitor/customer will leave and look elsewhere, see this article investigating this point, Does Page Load Time Really Affect Bounce Rate.

The risks with low cost hosting can come from simply not having enough (shared) resources to cope with even the mildest spike in traffic, or not being able to run a more demanding plugin or system (CMS system for example). The worst case is that the site can be compromised and either infected with malware which could lead to the disclosure of private data / customer data.

Finally costs come into play. Loss of earnings through down time, the cost of rebuilding / sanitising a website (can be close to that of the original build in come cases) plus any legal costs if there has been a data breach.