7 Dangers of Cheap Commodity Hosting For Applications


When it comes to application hosting, the old adage ‘You get what you pay for’ rings true.

Poorly selected hosting has the potential to ruin your online business. Downtime can lead to lost sales, users, and customers.  

While cheaper hosting options may be fine for static websites, dangers of cheap commodity hosting for applications include:

1. Performance 

Cheap hosts are frequently oversold, running on older hardware, or may be heavily throttled, meaning you only have access to a tiny amount of the server’s resources.There may be ,less attention being paid to monitoring server performance, meaning your website is more likely to go down.  Server speeds may vary from fast to slow.  Cheap shared hosts are also unlikely to support technologies which can speed up site/application response times, as they require more server resources.



2. Reliability

Cheap hosts and dedicated servers often run on the cheapest hardware available with little or no redundancy built in.  Some do not even have RAID drives for virtual data storage, meaning a single hard drive failure can take an entire server offline.


3. Backups

  Cheaper hosting options usually have less comprehensive backup processes, if they do have any at all. At best they typically offer access to one or two backups, one that is a week old, and one that is a day old.  Although this is better than nothing, more frequent data snapshots are invaluable for many applications.  A daily backup may seem all well and good, but if your ecommerce site’s database fails in the afternoon an inadequate backup plan could easily result in you losing a day’s worth of order records.


4. Security

   If you are using a shared server, there are dozens (possibly even hundreds) of other users and sites running on the same server. If one of these users is malicious or one of the other sites is insecure, it gives them a potential attack vector to exploit your own site or application.  These servers are often configured to be as convenient as possible for users, and they may offer direct access to the database server via the internet- a huge security risk.


5. Outdated Software

Cheap commodity hosts are more concerned with maintain stability than staying up-to-date. More often than not, a shared server will only recieve critical updates.


6. Less Support Available

While your website may be running twenty four hours a day 365 days a year, a cheaper hosting company’s help desk may only be available for support during regular business hours in order to cut costs.  Others may not have a support telephone line at all. In addition, these support teams may be overseas and not speak the same language as fluently as you, making it difficult to resolve the issue.


7. Search Engine Optimization

Using a cheap or free hosting companies may negatively impact SEO.  Google penalizes websites for slow load times, downtime, database errors, and caching issues. Having your top level domain hosted on an overseas server, as is often the case with cheap commodity hosting, can result in decreased search rankings. Furthermore, sharing your hosting with spam sites can in turn affect your perceived legitimacy by search engines.


While there are many affordable hosting options available to businesses, a hosting option that is free or unusually cheap it is likely a poor choice for hosting an application.  It is still important to exercise caution when selecting a hosting company, regardless of the price point.  Doing online research and reading reviews is a helpful way to avoid bad hosting companies and avoid the pitfalls of cheap commodity hosting.