There’s a lot of misconceptions about website hosting on the internet. Whether you’re a beginner looking for hosting for your first website, or an experienced webmaster deploying a dedicated server for his or her latest project, it’s interesting how many myths about hosting prevail. As long as your site seems to be functioning and you’re within your budget, that’s all that matters, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple and there are other factors to consider. In this article we’re going to debunk some of the biggest misconceptions about web hosting and uncover the reality behind them.
- Free web hosting is possible
- Downtime is common
- Only a dedicated server will do
- Web hosts keep regular office hours
- All web hosts are the same
There are free hosting services out there but they slow, unreliable, suffer from downtime, and you’re also at the mercy of whoever else happens to use that hosting… and that could be absolutely anyone doing absolutely anything. If you really want to give blogging a go, or host your business website the correct way, with hosting being as low as $4/month there’s really no reason to mess around with free options.
Servers do go down, but if you have a quality web host their servers, and your website, should be up and available more than 99.99% of the time. Any less than that and it’s like that you are either settling for a free service or with a poor host – either way you need to switch pronto. There’s no excuse for a server being down for an extended period of time, and your customers or readers are going to blame you even if it’s out of your control. Can you afford to lose visitors and/or sales?
Having a dedicated server is, in some ways, the cream of the crop, but few businesses or websites actually need them. Dedicated servers should only be required for the busiest of companies that have hundreds of thousands or even millions of customers or readers, and even that it is not always the case. A simple WordPress hosting plan with a company like BlueHost is perfectly acceptable for the vast majority of websites out there, and if you outgrow it, it’s always straight forward to upgrade.
There are certainly some web host companies that keep a nine to five schedule. However, the best will be available around the clock because your website should be available to users around the clock, 24/7. This is why it’s important to check the customer service availability of any hosting company before you commit to a package, and imagine worst case scenarios (like an emergency at 1am on a Saturday night).
Are all coffee shops, airlines or plumbers the same? Certainly not and that is equally true of web hosts. What works for someone else may not work for you, which is why researching the opinions of experts is paramount. I was personally been burned by many hosts when starting my career, as many will make whatever claims they need to in order to get your business. Only after migrating and actually using them, do you then experience their true levels of service. That’s why it is important to at least consider hosting that has been recommended by people you can trust.