Recently a friend of mine decided to start a web site. He had always run his blogs on a hosted source like WordPress and Blogpsot. He decided to go on his own and get a piece of a shared server. He told me he wasn’t really sure where to go, but he did have a hosting coupon that would save him a lot of money on the first year. I asked him which host it was and he refused to tell me. The point of the story is, a cheap host isn’t always a good host.

Cheap HostingHe got started by purchasing a domain and setting up the shared hosting service. Everything was good at this point. He actually was able to run fantastico and get WordPress installed. He was well on his way to creating his new blog. He had learned a lot about WordPress hosting from being with them for so long. He didn’t realize the freedoms he had on his own host. Yes, it costs money, but he could do whatever he wanted. Thinking this was great, he kept adding content, plugins and what ever else he wanted. He was feeling really happy about his setup with this cheap hosting provider.

After three months of no problems he went in to log a new post. He couldn’t get to the site. We’ve all been there before. He started to freak out. He immediately contacts support of the host. They don’t have a phone number. You can only reach them by email. Three hours later he still hadn’t heard back. Panic mode was definitely setting in. He was just getting his site going, visitors were coming, then this happens.

Almost 24 hours later the host writes back and said everything is fixed. He was happy again, only to go to the site and it was still offline. For almost another 24 hours he was trying to reach the help desk. No Luck. Finally after two full days his site came back on. For about a week he was hoping things were cool. All of a sudden the server goes offline again. He sends in another email to support. The next day the host support asks if he had a backup of his website. Being a Noob, he didn’t even know how to make a backup. He just assumed the host would do it. When he heard that he started to sweat. They told him the last backup they had was from two months prior. Why this happened is still a mystery. Usually hosts take server wide backups a lot more frequently then that.

At this point his content and everything was gone. He requested his money back, which was not that much since it was a cheap host and moved to a better host; Hostgator to be exact. The only way he could get his content back was too use the Google Cache index and copy and paste it into new posts at the new host. WHAT A NIGHTMARE?

Moral of the story here is, you do get what you pay for a lot of times when it comes to cheap web hosting. Keep this in mind the next time you plan to go this route.