So...how much do those $4.99/month hosting plans REALLY cost?
The price is right… until it isn’t. It’s time to break down the real costs of those $4.99 a month hosting packages you’ll find at the big name providers (like GoMomma and 2&2 – names hidden to prevent exposing the guilty).
While the prices may be attractive, and the “unlimited everything” can seem like heaven – low budget commodity hosting plans have hidden costs that add up to a lot more aggravation and headache than it's worth to save a few pennies.
Here are the top 7 "gotcha" moments you probably never knew about commodity hosting providers:
1) The budget guys play the numbers game.
Ever sign up for a bank savings account at 5% interest only to find a few months later it drops to 0.05%? It’s a bait and switch that counts on you not reading the fine print, and the budget hosts should be ashamed of themselves. Your $4.99 is good for 3 months, after which it renews at $11.99. Me? I’d rather a host with no fine print.
2) Unlimited isn’t really unlimited.
You may be chugging along one day only to find that your website has been suspended (or even deleted) out of the blue for “excessive resource usage”. What’s up??? What’s up is that “unlimited” doesn’t really mean “unlimited”. It means “we’ll allow a bit above the average”. When you hit a certain hidden limit that the “budget host” has in its head – you are “abusing the unlimited policy.” That means you’re either forced to upgrade (along with paying more money) or hit the curb.
3) 99% uptime is NOT a good deal.
If you think the 99% uptime guarantee on that $4.99 plan is acceptable, you might want to do the math (or read along here and we’ll do it for you). There are 8,760 hours in a year. If your site is down for 1% of the year, that equals 87.6 hours. Yes, you read that right. That’s over 3-1/2 days! How many sales or opportunities will you lose in that timeframe? For numbers sake, let’s pretend you lose 25 cents per minute. That equates to a loss of business to the tune of $1,314 a year. Your $4.99 a month hosting just cost you an additional $109.50 a month in lost business, damaged reputations, and aggravation.
4) Need support? Good luck.
The simple fact is that for $4.99 you’ll be extremely lucky (as in winning the lottery type lucky) to get someone knowledgeable that can help you quickly. We’ve seen high priority support tickets go unanswered for days over at GoMomma and 2&2. And no update to your issue is just as bad as “we’re still investigating this - brb” robo-posted to your ticket once every 3 hours. Cost = aggravation.
5) Want extras? Pay up.
The budget hosts have to make money somewhere – and that money is made on add-ons. Need backups? That’ll be $10 a month, please. Need an SSL certificate? Another $10. Want your site protected from malware? $10. Need SSH access? Oh you’ll need to upgrade to the business plan for that - $10. By the time you know it you have $40/month in add-ons to your $4.99 plan just to make it up to par with a decent offering to begin with.
6) You’re sharing a server with 499 other websites.
What if one of those sites gets hacked? Do you trust your data on the same server? We don’t. That’s 499 times more likely your customer’s data will be exposed. I wouldn’t want to tell my best customer that their credit card has been leaked. Cost = unknown. Damage = extreme. Your customer’s trust in you = nonexistent. (Want to learn more about our concept of low tenancy hosting? Check out our blog article on it here).
7) GoMomma doesn’t know who you are or really care about you.
You are just a tiny tiny percentage (as in 0.00001%) of the bigger picture to them. You’ll get a different person (if you’re lucky enough to get one at all) every time you contact them that is totally unaware of how you operate and just learned who you are the second before they hit reply and will forget who you are 5 minutes from now. To us, that’s just sad and indicative of a poor business culture.
It’s time to tally up those costs.
At the end of the month, that $4.99 plan could potentially cost well over $50/month – and that’s not even including downtime and the cost of hurting your business’s reputation. Want to trust cheap hosting to your personal blog or use it to host a few family photo albums? Go for it – that is what $4.99 hosting is actually intended for. Don’t trust your business to it.
EndLayer is your high performance, fully managed, 100% uptime guaranteed hosting partner.
We eat, breathe, and sleep hosting - and in fact our motto is that having EndLayer on your side is like buying a box of sleep like a baby™ (and yes, we actually trademarked that). We’re not and will never be the “low budget” option – we simply don’t believe in misleading our customers or have the desire to offer services that will lead to disappointment in order to make a quick buck.
Give us a shot. We’ll turn you into one of our raving fans and allow you the peace of mind to sleep like a baby™ - something we feel is definitely worth the price.
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