The Hidden Cost of Cheap Hosting

I spent the last two hours trying to figure out how to dissect a SQL database, export the data, tiptoe through the maze of proprietary FTP Manager apps to find the files, couldn’t manage, downloaded some 645 megabyte beast of a TAR GZ file, extracted that to find the files I needed, oh, because I couldn’t add plugins to WordPress without an FTP login (which they thought they gave me but didn’t work).

Something that could have taken 2 minutes took 2 hours. Cost? $100 x 2 = $200.

Let’s see, cheap-o hosting costs around $5/month. Better hosting might cost $10 or $20 per month. Over a year, you’ll save $5 x 12 or $15 x 12 = $60 or $180. Of course, there are other advantages to non-bad hosting that would increase the benefit: faster loading times, better maintenance, an interface comprehensible to a hired web developer or designer.

Standards exist so someone else can effectively utilize an otherwise unknown tool.

Take a simple example: a wrench. In fact, there are two standards: inches and fractions of inches and, for the rest of the world, the metric system. Imagine someone coming to a contractor and saying, “Could you tighten this bolt? But one catch: it doesn’t use inches or metric.” The contractor, puzzled, could turn it, sure, get a vice grips and get the job done. But it wouldn’t be the smartest tool for the job. It would take him longer and it might strip the bolt a bit.

I should clarify that the hosting world is a bit of an oddity: cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad. I fully endorse hosting companies like Host Gator (around $4/month) but partly because they use standard tools (e.g. cPanel) that developers are familiar with. If I’m working on a site, I want it to be future proof, I want the next guy who comes along to work on it not to have to reinvent any wheels. I want his wrench to work, I want him to be able to get in, get out, and be efficient.


About the Author:

I've done the big corporate thing. I've done the creative writer thing. Now I'm happily in the middle. I like to help small businesses who are interested in "working their website before their website works them." I'm also interested in creating beautiful sites with powerful WordPress themes. Google+


  1. Brent April 15, 2013 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Based on my own experience, I can confirm that Bradley is right on every point. I’ve experienced slow loading speeds and worse for my clients who use “alternative hosting.” Recently, one of my clients suffered an inexplicable blackout for a couple of days. Reliability and standardization are hugely important and its future value is hard to quantify, but it is real.

    • Bradley Charbonneau April 15, 2013 at 11:18 am - Reply

      Hey Brent,

      You’re right, it can be hard to quantify. Not even just financially, but peace of mind comes into play when you know you’re in good hands and/or someone is keeping an eye on things.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Bradley Charbonneau April 15, 2013 at 11:21 am - Reply

      Excellent site on proposals, Brent!

      • Brent April 22, 2013 at 8:17 am - Reply

        Thanks, Bradley. It’s challenging to keep posting regularly–I’m always impressed when I run across bloggers like you.

  2. Liane Sappah April 16, 2013 at 2:02 am - Reply

    hello Bradley, I can tell the same, you’re absolutelly right about cheap hostings, sometimes they just blow your mind off with their SLOW loading speeds ;/

    • Bradley Charbonneau April 21, 2013 at 10:25 am - Reply

      They’re not all so slow (Host Gator I find to be pretty fast), but when you get into the premium hosts, then you notice the difference.

  3. Sleeva Jackson July 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    Yes, Bradley Charbonneau you are right. I am suffering from the same thing. I had also purchase chip host.

  4. sleevajackson August 1, 2013 at 6:18 am - Reply

    While choosing the hosting services we need to consider the reliability and quality first. If you choosing the cheap hosting services, then you have to pay the price for it.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This