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Affordable hosting is a term that is confusing because you have to understand the difference between providers costs versus reliability. Most of us want the cheapest hosting available but this usually will shoot you in the foot so to speak so I will show you what to try to find when choosing an affordable hosting provider.
I like to relate webhosting to your mobile (or cell) phone provider. In all honesty I will not go with the cheapest provider because I will simply be throwing my money away. There is a provider in Australia known as vodaphone in its network is not the best... that is for sure! They are the cheapest but if I pay a little bit more and go with ta different provider then I have the peace of mind that my phone will have reception where ever I might be. Therefore you can start to see the ratio of cost versus reliability that I use.
So how do we measure a webhosting providers reliability? The company profile is obviously the first thing to look at but what next. The next step is to look into the servers that they use, the maintenance on the servers and the amount of users that are limited to each server. This can be achieved through a simple email to the company or even checking their FAQ section. So the reason that most cheap providers can charge so little is because they use basic servers that cost little but have very slow contention ratios or load times. This means that your website will simply not load quickly and looking at the statistics that the average time a person will wait is 5 seconds for a page to load this is not a desirable outcome. Cheap fees usually mean that there is little to no maintenance being done on a server. That leads to a common problem of a website being unavailable because the server is down. Finally if the provider does not care about their customers they will usually try and 'cram' as many users onto 1 server as possible because this saves their costs. This obviously leads to limited disk space, load time and your website not having proper capacity support.
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