Two identical items are offered—one costs a penny and one is free. Customer service related to them is the same, the processing is the same and the experience/end result is the same. However, most people will go with the penny version because it’s tough to see the value of something that’s free (even if it has plenty of value!). There’s a business lesson to be learned here, but there are also some business managers committed to breaking out of this thought process and taking customers along with them. Why do humans place so much value on a penny? Are they missing out on some great options because of it?
The short answer is yes. Fortunately, few things in life are free so there aren’t that many goodies to miss out on. On the other hand, web hosting is one of them. There are many free options for web hosting, and there’s also a plethora of very low cost (in the one penny range) options. For those who are stuck in the mindset that a penny must mean something’s worth much more, they’re automatically filtering out all of those complimentary hosting options. This can be an easy (albeit unwise) way for those who don’t like so many options to narrow things down. However, it comes at the cost of missing out on perhaps the best web hosting option for them.
You Don’t Always Get What You Pay For
There are, of course, vast differences between hosting that costs one penny and hosting that costs $200 per month. The more expensive options will likely come with a dedicated server option/less clients on a shared server, customization and a plethora of additional add-ons that simply can’t be offered for free (or virtually free). However, when the difference is just one penny, you’re not going to be getting any extras by ponying up that shiny copper coin every month.
When shopping for free or low-cost web hosting, assume similar parameters. You should check the level of customer service by reaching out to the company just like you would if you were already a customer and had an issue. This means after hours and in every medium that may strike your fancy. For example, you might want to be able to reach an expert quickly via phone or chat. Also make sure you look closely at the details of each package. Do your research and understand what type of server you’d like, how powerful they are and know how many clients may potentially be sharing “your” server.
Free Your Mind
Already, the vast majority of people don’t research web hosting companies as well as they should. That should be a top priority for you, and don’t let the concept of “free” mess with your head. Many web hosts are able to offer a free option because that’s not their moneymaker. They offer a number of other services where they can make up that difference. By offering free hosting, they’re hoping to win you over with stellar services and customer service so that—should you need additional services—you’ll be more inclined to choose them. Basically, free web hosting is an advertising campaign.
It’s ultimately a win-win situation. You just might discover a fantastic free option, and the company enjoys the bonus of possibly earning a new customer in the future. Don’t write off free so easily or get swayed by the “allure” of a one penny deal for the price alone.