There are several common lies your hosting company may have told you to get you on board. While searching for a new hosting company, it’s not surprising when you come across misleading advertising used by just about every web hosting company. Many of the lies come in the form of guarantees and unlimited resources.
When you dig deeper, you will find that the promises they make are not always what you get. It’s important to understand the terms and conditions of your hosting deal so that you really know what you’re getting. Here’s a look at some of the common lies hosting companies use.
Unlimited Disk Space and Bandwidth
The most common offering you will see that is simply not true is the unlimited resources lie. Usually, this one comes with a small asterisk next to it and a definition of what “unlimited” really means.
There’s always some type of limit when they state it’s an “unlimited” package. This is the case with just about every hosting company. Usually, the disclaimer will state there’s no real cap on storage, but it does need to fall within the range they consider to be normal.
This means, if you start using the space for personal files or you run a file sharing type of website, you will exceed your usage rather quickly. Chances are, you won’t have any issues with this type of policy, but if you run a site that requires a large amount of storage or bandwidth, you can expect to have issues in the future.
With the unlimited bandwidth promise, you may never incur an overage fee for going over the limit, but you may be asked to upgrade when you exceed the limit set with your unlimited plan. This won’t cause any issues for most websites, but if you have a video go viral or some other surge of traffic, it may cause issue.
Prices are Always Low
Another lie most hosting companies tell is that their prices will always remain low. You may start out with a very low introductory rate, which may last a year or even three years. However, when it’s up, you can expect the hosting company to renew your hosting (usually automatically) at a much higher rate, sometimes double or triple your introductory rate.
Often, the cheaper hosting companies will try to get you to add services to your package, as well. They may sound good, but some of these services add very little or no value. For example, you may think it makes sense to have your hosting company submit your website to the search engines or add in some type of security software. Neither is necessary when you can secure your site free of charge and the search engines will find your site without a submission.
The Money Back Guarantee
Hosting companies often make the money back guarantee sound like it will be available anytime and you can get all of your money back. Often, the period to use the guarantee is just 30 days. You may not discover the real issues within the first 30 days of service.
What will you do if you paid for 2 or 3 years of service to get a lower rate and after the money back guarantee expires, you find out the hosting is not very good at all? This could put you in a very bad position and you may have to pay for a couple of hosting accounts just to keep your website going.
The uptime guarantee is another lie you will discover in terms and conditions. Often, it’s stated that you get a 99% or higher uptime guarantee, which makes it sound like your site will be up almost all the time. However, for some hosting companies, they will just give you a small credit if they don’t meet this guarantee.
Many uptime guarantees have a ton of restrictions. The hosting company may not take responsibility for user error, overuse of resource, DDoS attacks or downtime from maintenance. They will also stretch it out over a course of many months. This means, if you’re site goes down for an entire hour; the company may meet the guarantee if it’s up the rest of the time.
If the guarantee is 99.9% over 12 months, you’re site needs to go down for a total of 8 hours just for you to get any time of credit. Most webmasters would be looking for a new hosting company if they experienced this much downtime.
The Hosting is Unique
Maybe the biggest lie told by many hosting companies is that the hosting is unique. Most hosting companies are actually owned by the same parent company. Web hosting companies, such as JustHost, BlueHost, FatCow, A Small Orange, iPage and many more are owned by Endurance International Group.
They may not be lying to you by telling you the hosting is unique, but they certainly are not forthright about the connections. EIG hosting companies are not necessarily bad, however. There may be some controversy in the industry about EIG. Make sure you do your due diligence before you choose your hosting company as they may not be bad, just because they are owned by the same parent company.
Finding the right hosting company isn’t always an easy thing. Many use the above marketing tactics to get you to buy their service. It’s not always the best choice to go with the cheapest service over a company actually providing honest service.