Lies Your Web Hosting Company Told You
How to recognize a dishonest hosting provider? Read about six web hosting tricks used by hosting companies to attract clients, and what stands behind their promises.
Searching for a hosting provider is a difficult process, because you can make a lot of mistakes because of misleading advertisements. Any hosting provider’s website you visit seems to be perfect: their offer pretty sweet concepts. Many promise unlimited resource and guarantees, and their services are available for a few dollars a month. However, as soon as you start working with some certain provider, you realize that the company cannot live up to a promise - things turn out to be completely different.
Selection of a provider cannot be a hit-or-miss process: mistakes can cost you much more than you expect. In most cases, you really get what you pay for. But how to make sure that the provider won’t fail to fulfill the promises? Learn about the lies hosting providers are feeding you to find out which of them are good deals, and which are not worth your attention.
Trick 1: Reliable Backups
Some hosting providers claim they will perform backups for your website, but don’t always do that. Take a closer look at the terms of service and the minutest details. There can be disclaimer that the company isn’t responsible for backups that are lost, and customers are responsible for backing up their data by themselves.
Trick 2: Guaranteed Uptime
Some web hosts guarantee uptime from 99% to 100%, which means your website will be available 99-100% of the time. However, if you dig deeper and check out how it works, you can realize it’s not how things work. Uptime guarantee means that if your host fails to meet it, you will be offered a little credit. But there are so many restrictions on guarantee, that it may be almost impossible to get this credit. For example, a company may refuse the credit, if downtime was caused by DDoS attacks, user’s errors, overuse of resources, and so on. Besides, downtime should last over some certain period of time. For instance, if a company guarantees about 99.9% uptime over a 12-month period, your website needs to be down for at least 8 hours over a course of a year before you can claim your compensation.
Sometimes guarantees offer a month’s credit, if you meet qualifications. But ask yourself: “Is there any point in working with such provider, if your website is often unavailable?” Don’t rely on guarantees only. Instead, monitor the cost of website being down. If possible, find hosting reviews that come with uptime test results.
Trick 3: Always Low Prices
Pretty often, newcomers are offered a low introductory rate, but when a plan renews, turns out you’re charged on a regular rate, and initial $4 turn into $8 per month. As a rule, introductory rates range from 30-70%, so when your plan renews, you have to pay double or triple more. Some cheap hosts also offer add-on services, but they’re usually of little value. For instance, you may be charged for submitting your website to search engines (it’s never necessary), or installing security software (you can take a lot of security measured by yourself).
When considering a low-cost host, look for add-on expenses and make sure you know what you get.
Trick 4: Unlimited Storage and Unmetered Bandwidth
See a label “unmetered”? Take a closer look and, most likely, you will reveal some hidden pitfalls. As a rule, a definition “unlimited” is not what it sounds like. Unlimited storage does have some hidden limits.
Read the host’s Terms of Service document to find out what exactly they mean by unlimited storage. As a rule, there’s a disclaimer that explains that there’s no set limit on storage, but your use of space should fall within the frames of normal usage. You cannot use hosting disk space to store personal files or run a file sharing website, and you should take a “normal amount” of space for website. Most website developers don’t have any problems with that, but if your website contains a lot of files and takes much storage space, you need to check your hosting company and make sure your website will be supported, instead of counting on “unlimited” storage promises.
If you take a closer look at the host’s Terms of Service document, it will detail exactly what they mean by unlimited storage. Typically, there will be a disclaimer that explains that while there’s no set cap on storage, your use of the storage needs to fall within normal usage. That means you can’t use your
Keep in mind that unlimited bandwidth means there’s no public cap on the amount of bandwidth you may use, but you cannot exceed the amount of “normal” website would need (as defined by a host). If you exceed the set limit and get a lot of traffic, you will be charged by a company and, probably, asked to upgrade to a more extensive plan, or shut your account down.
Trick 5: Risk-Free Hosting and Money Back Guarantee
Sometimes hosts entice customers to go for longer billing period (up to 2-3 years) to benefit from lower introductory rates. The longer is initial billing rate, the more you can delay renewal of plan and raise of price. While some hosts offer a 3-day money-back guarantee, some problems occur after this period. What happens, if you pay 3 years in advance, and decide to cancel your services in a couple of months? Most likely, you won’t be compensated. If it’s not money-back guarantee period, don’t count on refunds.
Instead, you will have to wait until your billing period is over and make sure it’s not renewed. Thus, you will have no choice but to pay for years of hosting you don’t really need.
Trick 6: Unique Web Hosting
If you think that host companies differ dramatically, it’s not always so: some hosts are owned by the same parent company and be equally bad or good. Therefore, sometimes it won’t hurt to perform a bit of research and find out who stands behind the company. Besides, if a provider hosts his own website on some third-party hosting platform instead of their own facilities, that can be suspicious.
There are many web hosts around that can fool you promising the things they can’t provide. Don’t waste your time on dishonest companies and always read the terms of service. A few minutes of your attention can save you hundreds of dollars down the road.