3 Warning Signs of a Poor Web Hosting Plan

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Web hosting plans are full of gimmicks. In an attempt to entice you with lower prices, companies will compromise on all kinds of features, that should be a staple on any package. Here are 3 signs that you’re looking at a poor web hosting plan – and if you spot them, make sure you run away!

1. Price is Lower than $2.50/m

I usually use Hostgator as my benchmark to determine if a web hosting plan sucks. Hostgator isn’t anything special (except for their WordPress plans). But it’s rock-solid hosting, at the lowest possible price. Here is the current and next year’s Hostgator coupon 2020 list.

As a result, if any web host is selling shared hosting for less than this, I get immediately suspicious. Bluehost is the only plan that comes close, and that’s only with their special $2.95/m deal that comes along very rarely – and you also need to sign up for 36-months at a time.

There are many companies like Hostinger which offer packages for dirt cheap – pennies per month. But remember – there’s always a catch. If you still want to explore further, then see the rest of the warning signs below.

2. No Free SSL

This is a massive warning sign for any web hosting plan. In fact, it should be printed in big neon lights over any web hosting provider that doesn’t give you a free SSL certificate. In today’s world, NO ONE needs to pay for SSL, and someone who doesn’t give it to you for free is trying to scam you.

For example, Hostinger is often cited to have some of the cheapest plans on the market. And if you just look at their prices, you’ll be inclined to agree. But then see this screenshot from their website:

Hostinger Cheap Hosting Plans Have no Free SSL
No Free SSL with Hostinger Basic Plans

So not only does the cheapest plan not give free SSL, the second cheapest plan doesn’t either. At this rate, you have to purchase an SSL certificate, and that costs a lot more than the web hosting itself!

GoDaddy is another major offender on this front. Yes, they have cheap $1/m plans. But those plans come without free SSL, which you’ll then need to purchase anyway. Result? You end up paying a lot more for web hosting.

3. Paltry Disk Space and Bandwidth Quotas

A normally functioning website requires at least a few GB to function. This is taking into consideration files, and MySQL databases. A small website should also have a few GB worth of bandwidth. Anything less than that, and you risk running out of resources.

Sometimes, really cheap web hosting plans limit their resources in order to pay for the low revenue. For example, Exabytes is one of the nicest “genuine” low-cost web hosting providers. They provide free SSL. But look at the resource allocations for their cheapest plan:

Exabytes Cheap Plans have Limited Resources
Exabytes Cheap Plans have Limited Resources

As you can see, this means that you’ll run out of disk space or bandwidth pretty fast. It can particularly hurt when your site suddenly takes off, but instead of cashing in on the opportunity, your website goes down and you have to scramble for new hosting. That is a tragedy!

Bottom Line

There’s a limit to how cheap web hosting can get without sacrificing something along the way. I’ve already mentioned that I use Hostgator’s prices as a benchmark for “gimmick-free” hosting, but there are many others in the same price range that are perfectly good alternatives.

But if something is substantially cheaper than these plans, I immediately get suspicious. And when I look closely, I’m always right. Use the above tips as a guide to what’s “real” and what’s not!

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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