It is often the budget that becomes the deciding factor when choosing a web host to build a WordPress website.
But should you choose the cheapest hosting service?
Are expensive hosting solutions overkill for starters?
These are just some of the questions that may come to your mind when picking the right web hosting service for your WordPress website, especially if you want to avoid investing a lot to start a WordPress-powered website.
However, settling for a cheap web host for your WordPress blog may not be a wise decision.
Here, I will highlight a few reasons why that might be, which should help you make an informed decision on picking a hosting service for your WordPress site.
Also, if you have never created a WordPress site before, I’d recommend you go through the beginner’s guide on building a WordPress website and explore our WordPress resources.
Limited Server Resources
As good as it might sound on paper, the server provided by cheap hosting options often comes with severe resource limitations.
Whether it is the bandwidth limit, memory limit, storage limit, or anything else, you may end up using the quota limit quickly, especially if you do not know the system requirements for a WordPress site.
WordPress is a powerful content management system; it lets you equip your website with several functionalities. But with limited server resources, you cannot take advantage of those.
Ultimately, you will have to make compromises to ensure that your website works as expected.
But can you expect a decent amount of server resources at an affordable cost?
You should choose some shared hosting services for beginners, and they are not expensive (if not the cheapest).
Poor Website Performance
To analyze your website’s current performance, you can try some of the best tools to test website load time. Of course, you can apply some WordPress optimizations to improve the performance as well.
However, there are a few things out of your control that could be affecting the website performance:
- Does the server use a Solid-State Drive (SSD) for storage?
- Do you have a Content Delivery Network (CDN) in place?
- Where is the server located?
- Back-end software stack optimization
But when it comes to a cheap hosting option, they often rely on a server with a hard disk drive, do not optimize the back end, and may not offer the nearest server location for your use case.
And all that, when coupled with limited server resources — makes your website slow, no matter how you optimize it yourself.
And this can affect your blog/business big time:
- Negative SEO effects (considering Google is inclining towards ranking websites that load faster)
So, to have a reliable website performance, a cheap web host is never a possibility.
While it could be acceptable to have a subpar performance, it certainly makes no sense if you (or your visitors) cannot access your website, right?
This is something many people realize after using a cheap hosting solution for a while. Things might look good to start with, but you may notice that it is not always accessible if you watch your website closely.
Having continuous downtime is a known trade-off when you sign up for a cheap WordPress hosting service. You can choose to monitor website uptime to assess that.
Of course, even with premium WordPress website hosting choices, there can be downtimes too. You just can’t predict it. But the chance of having downtime is much lower.
Unless you are just experimenting with WordPress to learn/explore, the downtime should not be an issue. But, in every other case, constantly having downtimes can affect your website (or business).
Bad Support Quality
Suppose you get decent performance and minimal downtime for the money you spend.
What about customer support?
What do you do when you have a technical issue or a billing issue?
How do they handle that?
You should keep these in mind if you want to evaluate the support quality:
- Can they help you fix an error on your website?
- Do they fix the error for you, or do they tell you to fix it?
- How long does it take for their support team to respond to your problems?
Surprisingly, hundreds of web hosting services fail to offer good support (even with high-tier plans). And the cheap hosting options do worse in that regard.
They may be able to resolve some common issues, but you may end up waiting in a long queue for queries, and the technicians may not be skilled enough to resolve all problems.
Moreover, you will not get 24/7 support options, which means you will lose precious time when there’s an error on your WordPress site.
Time is money — I had to write that idiom (sigh). So, going for a cheap hosting provider could waste your time unnecessarily.
Whether you are a newbie or an expert, everyone needs proper documentation when using a product/service to troubleshoot issues independently.
When it comes to a low-cost hosting solution, the documentation offered may not prove to be useful (or outdated). Or worse — they do not offer any documentation for self-help.
Inconvenient Backup Options (or No Backups)
Nowadays, you will find every hosting company offering a backup feature.
In the case of a cheaper alternative, you may not find the choice for daily backups or the ability to restore backups easily.
If you are actively working on your website, chances are — you will be making regular changes. And without real-time or daily backups, you may not be able to recover the latest version of your website in case of a disaster.
In addition to that, you will also notice that WordPress backup plugins do not work well with low-cost hosting services. Technically, you can install them. But your server does not meet the minimum resource requirements — which is highly likely for a cheap WordPress hosting plan.
Not Scalable Enough
Let’s assume that you have already invested in the cheapest hosting plan available. So, you can just upgrade your plan to accommodate the increasing traffic to your site?
That should solve your problems, right?
Well, I hate to break it to you — most of the cheap hosting services may not be scalable for your future requirements. Even if they do, you may have to migrate your WordPress website manually, and they may not be able to help you with that.
So, in that case, you should opt for cloud hosting platforms or managed WordPress hosting for futureproofing.
While you find good web hosting options a bit expensive, they often come bundled with several features (like Free SSL, Free Daily Backups, Free Malware removal, etc.) that make it an attractive offering.
On the contrary, the cheaper options may prove to be dodgy enough to ask for extra payment for basic features that other providers offer for free. And, in that way, you might even end up paying more for the hosting plan that you thought was “cheap” initially.
Not just that, due to resource limitations on your server, you could have to pay for exceeding resource usage — which is not advertised when you make the purchase.
Considering the rise of cybersecurity issues every year, securing your WordPress website is important.
Even if you think that your website is not valuable, you can still be a victim of a malicious attack.
Of course, the level of security measures needed depends on the type of website you have (eCommerce, blog, portfolio, etc.). But with cheap hosting offerings, most do not offer the minimum-security features.
They may advertise to have security features — but you should not rely on what they say if you want to keep your website safe from hackers.
Combining all the reasons mentioned above, there is something else that you should be ready for — finding your website gone when you wake up.
Yes, it is certainly possible for dicey hosting solutions to not care about your website or regularly maintain/update the server.
Reliable hosts perform automatic redundant backups, security scans, and regular maintenance. And that is well worth spending instead of having no clue of what happened to your website.
Spend Wisely for Your WordPress Website Hosting
Going for the most expensive WordPress hosting plan is not necessarily the solution. But opting for the cheapest plan to save money is not fruitful either.
You may not notice any issues with your hosting provider initially — but if it was an incredibly low-cost deal, you might run into issues soon. So, you need to evaluate your hosting requirements and analyze where your hosting provider stands, considering all the key factors listed above. And then select the right choice for your WordPress website.
It is easy to build a WordPress website, but it does come with a learning curve that grows with your requirements. Patience is the key, and I’m sure now you know what to do when choosing a web hosting platform for your WordPress site. If you ask me, I suggest going for a reliable platform like SiteGround, ScalaHosting for blogging or starter sites, and Kinsta for business sites.