By Eboni Walker
You’ve seen the ads. Website hosting services for as low as $3.99 a month or maybe the ad advertises that you can get website hosting services for $5.99 a month. Sounds like a great deal. Immediately, you start thinking about the money that you can save as a small business operator.
What’s behind these low cost website hosting services?
There are so many things that you can do after you save hundreds on website hosting. Save hundreds of dollars off the cost of keeping your website online and you could:
- Pay for a robust automated social media marketing service (i.e. Hootsuite, Pardot, SproutSocial, Social Oomph)
- Get started with email marketing
- Enroll in online small business marketing training classes
- Finally get the redesigned small business website that you’ve been wanting to invest in for a year or longer
- Hire freelance writers to start developing search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine management (SEM) content and analytics
- Invest in offline direct mail marketing actions like creating and mailing brochures, coupons, newsletters and catalogs
- Cover the costs to attend targeted industry events like trade shows, conferences and seminars
Here are how low cost website hosting services end up costing a lot
So, believing that you’ll reap these gains if you buy low cost website hosting services, you enter into an agreement with an Internet company. But, one year into using the low cost website hosting services, you receive service renewal emails.
Through these emails, you learn that you have upcoming charges to cover if you want to keep your website up and running smoothly. Examples of these services include:
- SSL Certificate fees
- File transfer fees
- Space fees in the event that you go above a set amount of space each month
- Domain name fees
- Security certificate fees
- Backup storage fees
Don’t pay too much for website hosting services
Some website hosting services providers allow you to pay for services and hosting costs annually. Others will allow you to pay for the services on a monthly or quarterly basis. What most of these companies won’t do is keep the total costs of hosting your website, SSL certificates and all, at $5.99 or less a month.
In fact, you could easily spend several hundred dollars a year to keep your website up and running. You’ll pay more if you invest in every marketing plan that a website hosting company emails you about.
A lot of these marketing plans are administered by third party companies or affiliates of the website hosting services provider. Think long and hard before you believe promises that affiliates make. Just because these affiliates are linked to a website hosting provider that you trust doesn’t mean that the companies’ marketing plans will get you hundreds or thousands more website visitors a month.
As with any marketing plan, seek company referrals. Read company reviews. Definitely measure the results of the marketing plans if you do decide to invest in them. If you don’t measure the results of marketing plans, you could not only spend hundreds a year to a website hosting services provider, you could end up throwing money down the drain.