It’s been like 3 years since I let go of my shared web hosting service in favor of WordPress.com and Tumblr for some of the domain names I own. Recently I wanted to pursue to develop my ChessHive project, which I knew WordPress.com won’t cut it because of so many limitations. In the case of Tumblr, though, I guess it’s because of too many spam Tumblr blogs that it no longer plays well along with Google Search.
Thus, the search for a cheap web hosting.
I thought, after 10 years of blogging and paying for web hosting (yes, this blog is celebrating 10 years of existence this month!), web hosting costs — specifically shared web hosting — must have gone down a lot. Oh crap, I was wrong!
In fact, if you examine the prices of the usual names in shared web hosting arena (e.g., Dreamhost, Bluehost, etc.), the regular costs have at least doubled. No, don’t get me started with their promo prices, they’re structured to bait you into their steep pricing once their promo period of 1 or 2 years is done. And when you’re pretty much settled and on their regular plan already, you’ll find it too cumbersome to move out.
Cheap Web Hosting Found!
So, I searched for local (Philippines) web hosting companies that offer cheap hosting and that bills in Philippine Peso. I found one, indeed, in Zoom Hosting.
I didn’t expect so much traffic to my project — at least in the initial stages. That’s why I opted for Zoom Hosting’s basic and cheapest plan, Cloud-Mini, which is priced at PhP50 (~US$1.00) per month. On top of that, you may prepay for a minimum of 6 months only or PhP300. Sounds like a bang for the buck, right?
Let’s check out what comes with Zoom’s Cloud-Mini plan:
- 1 GB Web Space
- 10 GB Bandwidth per month
- 5 Email Accounts
- 2% CPU (3.5 Ghz Core)
- 128 MB RAM
- 5 SQL Databases
- 5 Sub Domains
- Unlimited FTP Accounts
- 50 Hourly Email
- 5 Addon Domains
The 1 GB web space and 10 GB monthly bandwidth I find sufficient for my modest needs. However, I needed to test the limitations I emphasized in bold above — i.e., 2% CPU and 128 MB RAM. I was particularly interested how it’ll affect my experience if I run WordPress in that configuration.
My ‘Cheap Web Hosting’ Experience
Apparently, Zoom’s Cloud-Mini plan is ideal for rendering static HTML files only. But while running a bare minimum WordPress installation (no plugins!), the server choked a lot especially when rendering admin pages. It was so horrible it was even a struggle publishing a post. And I don’t think upgrading to their Cloud-Basic (with 5% CPU and 256 MB RAM) or Cloud-Pro (with 7% CPU and 512 MB RAM) plans will help ease my experience.
A Small Orange to the Rescue!
A couple of days after paying for Cloud-Mini plan, I switched to another web hosting provider. Fortunately, A Small Orange was running a 50% discount for the Earth Day promo. Thus, I secured a three-year contract with one of their plans.
Lesson learned: Indeed, there’s no such thing as cheap web hosting. There’s only a reliable web hosting at a cheaper price — and that’s what A Small Orange has offered me so far.
No, this is not a sponsored post. I could only pray A Small Orange would somehow compensate me for endorsing their web hosting service. This is just me telling you about my actual experience from my search for a cheap web hosting.