6 Web Hosting Terms of Service to Know

Web Hosting Terms of Service

We’ve explained the importance of reading through Terms of Service (TOS) before on this site. But, there are some terms that are difficult to understand at the start. So, we thought we’d bring you eight of the most important hosting terms to know. This way, you can find these terms in your contract, understand what’s included and not included, and speak to a web hosting company rep with a bit of knowledge in your back pocket. Sound good?

Here we go!

Provided Terms of Service

This is one of the best places to look when you’re searching for the terms that were promised to you by a hosting company. This section of your contract may also be called ‘Scope of Service’ or something else, but it’s definitely there! Inside of this portion of your contract, you will see all of the details of your contract. If the package that you have purchased includes details that are not listed here, make sure to contact your web hosting company.

Some companies write very specific details in this section while other companies keep things vague. For your benefit, it’s best if you can get a company to include those specifics that will make or break a contract. This ways, you can go back to this section and point out your agreed upon details if something goes wrong.

Content Rules

Terms of ServiceThis is a really important term to know and understand, so make sure to read this section very carefully. You see, Google will ban a website if that site does not abide by content rules. As such, a web hosting company may also ban a site that does not abide by Google rules. In addition, some hosting companies have very specific rules (such as no spam, etc.) that you must follow. If something is listed in this section of your contract, but you ignore that section and violate the content rules, your site can be shut down – and you won’t have any recourse.

Payment Terms of Service

Is there anything more important than knowing how a company will extract payment? If there’s one section of a contract that you can’t miss, it’s this one. Some companies will automatically withdraw payment on the same day each month. Other companies will take payment on different days, and others may automatically renew your subscription if you do not stop the payment. So, make sure that you pay attention to payment terms. Otherwise, you may be caught entirely by surprise.

Upgrade Terms of Service

Most web hosting companies are pretty flexible when it comes to upgrading. If you need more space, this isn’t usually an issue. But, just make sure to read about upgrading terms of service. There might be fees listed here that you didn’t know about or consider, and that’s never a good thing.

Downgrading Terms

Companies don’t want you to downgrade mid-contract because that means that you will be paying less per month. So, you may be slapped with a fine for downgrading mid-term. Or, your company may be cool about this and let you downgrade. Either way, make sure that you understand this section completely before you make a switch.

Authentication Terms of Service

Let me put this to you straight: you can’t lie about who you are, where you are located, or other personal details. A hosting company has the right to ask you about this information, and you have to tell the truth. That’s simple enough, right? Should you decide to violate these terms, your contract can be suspended, and that will result in a shut down website.

Why Know These Terms of Service

Sometimes web hosting companies shut down sites for no good reason. When this happens, it’s really comforting to have a contract on your side with clearly outlined terms of service that you understand – and have agreed upon. If your hosting company tries to pull a fast one on you, you will have these terms to back up your concerns. Of course, the opposite is also true.

Should you misunderstand a term or violate a term, your hosting company can shut down your site. When this happens, you will be directed to your contract to review the terms that you agreed upon. Whether or not you understand the terms is up to you, and it’s your legal obligation to check with the company you’re working with if you don’t understand something.

Sure, all of that fine print can be confusing, but it’s really important that you go through these terms and completely comprehend everything. Questions? Need help understanding terms? Just ask! And, make sure to check out web hosting company stats at SiteGeek.com.

Does Local Hosting Really Matter?

Local Hosting Overview

You've probably heard that the location of your hosting company really makes a difference. But, how true is this statement? Does the location of a hosting company really matter that much? As it turns out, it’s all a matter of how you look at it.

Lower Latency – Local Hosting

A measurement of how fast data can travel from its source to its destination. Therefore, a data center located closest to visitors provide high-performance. The shorter distance travel by data to reach website visitor would lower latency and ultimately website loads faster.

Local Hosting: Fewer Hops and Jumps

Local HostingRemember play hopscotch when you were a kid? Remember how much faster it was to jump a few squares and wind up on the other side of the game? Well, that’s kind of how hosting works. The closer a hosting location is, the less time it takes data to travel. So, a site that’s hosted with a local hosting company may load a bit faster than a site that’s located on the other side of the world.

From this perspective, it makes a good amount of sense to host with a locally based company. However, there are other things to consider that may not have anything to do with location. Let’s take a deeper look at the whole “closer is better” thing.

Local Hosting: Weather Matters

If you are located in the Philippines, choosing a hosting company based in the Philippines may not make very good sense. Why not? The Philippines is susceptible to all kinds of natural weather disasters that can cause a lot of damage to hosting companies. In short: consider the weather where a hosting company is located.

You might find the best hosting company in the world located right in the middle of an area that attracts fifty hurricanes per month (exaggeration, of course!), but signing up with that company would not even be worth the cheap price. In addition to weather issues, you also have to think about political problems.

Local Hosting: Political Issues

In certain parts of the world, government officials can storm into any office at any time and confiscate any piece of equipment. If you’ve decided to sign up with a company that’s smack in the middle of political struggle, the server space your renting out might not exist in a few days or hours. As you can see, the political landscape of a country really makes a difference in this sense – but in another sense too.

Strewn throughout the media lately has been news of the NSA in the United States (and potentially in Canada) tapping into private or personal data. To many, this fact is a major concern, and it might be something that you’ll want to think about before sending your private data to any country with a setup like the NSA. Then again, that doesn't leave a whole lot of options.

Is there anything else to consider in addition to the physical location of a hosting company?

Local Hosting: The Whole Package Matters

The biggest mistake that website owners make is not realizing that all hosting company physical location. This location must be at the forefront of your mind when choosing a hosting company to sign up with. It's not enough to be located in a stable country or an area that doesn't get too much bad weather, though. You also have to make sure that the hosting company you've chosen has a solid setup.

A hosting company setup should include security, a temperature controlled environment, and a secure roof and floor (you’d be surprised!). It might be hard to obtain this information from all hosting companies, but it never hurts to ask. Of course, you also have to take the time to research the company that you're looking into. All of this might seem like a lot of work just for a hosting company deal, but not choosing the right hosting company is really a disaster waiting to happen.

Local Hosting: Where to Find Details

You can conduct a simple Google search for web hosting reviews and information, but the grit of any good hosting package is with actual stats that are true and not fabricated. For that, you can’t trust a hosting company’s website (no company actually has 99.99% uptime!). Check out SiteGeek.com for real stats about nearly every hosting company under the sun. In addition to stats that you can trust, this site also lets you review any hosting company – good or bad.

Let’s revert back to the original question for a moment. Does locale matter when it comes to your hosting company of choice? The simple answer is: no. It’s not all about location. It’s about every factor that impacts a company including politics, weather, and anything else that you can think of.

Do you have a local hosting company that you love?

10 Important Small Business Hosting Tips

Small Business Hosting Tips

Small Business Hosting TipsIt's impossible to build an online business without a great website. Before you consider getting a client, hiring anyone, or spending money on anything else, you must have a website that looks trustworthy. Otherwise, the people that do find your site will bounce off of that page just as quickly as they arrived. It's really that simple.

But, before you can build a site, you have to have a web hosting company, which is an essential piece of the pie. Finding a good web hosting company for your small business is really an overlooked part of any online strategy. A bad host can ruin your site for a while, and a good host can make things so much simpler. So, how do you find a web hosting company for your small business?

Small Business Hosting Tips: Here are the top 10 things to look for in a small business web hosting company.

1. Small Business Hosting Tips: Shared Hosting Plans : I'm not a big believer in shared hosting plans. Why? Because you will have to share space with other sites, and some sites can slow down your site. But, shared hosting is a cheap way of setting up a hosting package, and that's the number one reason why so many small business owners are lured by the shared hosting promise.

2. Small Business Hosting Tips: Dedicated Hosting Plans (Managed) : this is the better way to go because it means having your own server. You may think that you don't need your own server (and you might not need one now), but you will in the future if you plan to get a lot of traffic. So, you can decide on the hosting package that works for you by figuring out how much traffic you will generate.

Here's a simple way to break that up: most eCommerce sites will cause a lot of traffic (and that's a good thing!). Some small business services will get a lot of traffic with the right content consultant and marketing plan in place. Most small business services won't get a lot of traffic, though, unless you have an amazing blog or content that people can't resist (so, really, your content is the most important thing).

3. Small Business Hosting Tips: Room to Grow and Expand : you may need more room one day, and a company that lets you grow is worth signing up with.

4. Small Business Hosting Tips: Help when you need it : what good is that online customer support if it only works during peak hours? Sometimes, things go wrong at the strangest hours of the night, and that means that your site might have issues that you can't fix for hours. Yikes!

5. Small Business Hosting Tips: eMail account options : it's nice to have an email that's just for your business. Can you hosting company provide you with an email account that's just for your business?

6. Small Business Hosting Tips: Google AdWords Options : advertisements on your site will help you make money. That sounds pretty good right? Some hosting providers can set you up with AdWords options, and that's a good thing when it comes to generating revenue.

7. Small Business Hosting Tips: Uptime results : most hosting companies will make the 99.9% claim, but this can be compared to those commercials you see on TV that shout amazing rates at you. The real proof has to be shown, or else it's no deal. To find out the exact uptime that a company can truly boast, check out SiteGeek.com for information. Why? Because most hosting companies aren't going to show you the real stats!

8. Small Business Hosting Tips: Security solutions : it's not possible for any hosting company to protect your site from malware and other security attacks all the time. That said, any decent company will have certain security features in place. If you sign up with a cheap hosting company that has no kind of security, you're taking a big risk!

9. Small Business Hosting Tips: A solid reputation : believe it or not, hosting companies are some of the most reviewed companies out there. So, consumers will willingly head to review sites in order to complain or brag about a company's services.

10. Small Business Hosting Tips: Client endorsements : most companies will list the names of big clients right on a homepage. Take a look at the clients that trust the company you are about to sign up with. Big companies won't allow another company to use their name unless there's something really good to report, so keep that in mind.

Small Business Hosting Tips: Additional Considerations

A site that loads too quickly can result in some SEO loss too. Just think about it: if a search engine is trying to visit your site, but your site won't load or is always down, there's an issue, right? You have to find a hosting company that will keep your site up and running at all times, so that search engines can find out what your business is all about. Slow site? No SEO tactics in the world will help you. See why its vital to find the right hosting company for your small business?

Guide to Choosing The Best Hosting Package for a Startup

Building Small Business Web Hosting From the Ground Up

Hosting PackageWhat's the first thing you think about when building your business on-line? Most companies focus on site design first, content second, and web hosting package / options last. In fact, many business owners never really think about web hosting at all until something has happened, a site becomes overloaded, or there's a question about the cost of web hosting. This isn't the way to make sure your site stands out from the rest.

Go With a Host First

Before you even consider any kind of WordPress plugin or website design guru, think about the type of hosting package that you will need to keep your operation running smoothly. It's simple enough to choose the first cheap plan that comes along, but that's a mistake. Why?

Let's break it down like this:

Shared Hosting Package : the concept here is simple enough. Shared hosting means sharing a server with other websites. This can be an okay idea if you don't ever plan on getting any major site traffic. But, let's be honest here, that's never anyone's plan. You want to get lots of site traffic, right? You want to create content that goes viral and have amazing lead capturing campaigns that are on par with what Hubspot creates, right? If that's the case, you can't go with a shared host.

Dedicated Hosting Package: dedicated hosting means that you won't be sharing a server with anyone else. So, if the Spam site that uses the same hosting company slows down all the other sites on a shared server, yours won't be impacted. In turn, your clients won't get frustrated, your site won't crash, and you won't have any issues. Unless, of course, you decide not to choose managed dedicated hosting.

Managed Dedicated Hosting Package: a managed hosting plan means that you don't have to worry if something happens to your site. You can just call up your hosting company, and that company will take care of anything that has gone wrong. Phew! This can't be a major relief! Take our advice and opt for dedicated and managed hosting package.

Now what? Now that you've chosen the right hosting type, how do you select the right hosting company? Well, that's not such an easy thing to do. But, here are some of our best tips.

Choosing the Right Hosting Company

You can go for a cheap host. You can go for a popular host. Or, you can pick the biggest hosting company that you can find. But, I’m going to tell you not to go with any of those methods for picking a hosting company. Why? Because you don't have to.

The hosting world is packed to the brim with companies offering all kinds of hosting package / plans. That's a good thing for you. Why's that? Because it means that some company out there will offer absolutely everything that you want in a hosting package. It means that you can find your niche hosting company plan, you can look for a company that values what you value, and you can really get all the services you absolutely need – and get rid of the ones that you don't.

When it comes to selecting a hosting package / company, consider these things:

  • User reviews
  • Downtime reports
  • Number of sites using a host
  • Host history
  • Whether or not a hosting company is green or sustainable (if that matters to you)
  • What services / hosting package are offered and what a contract looks like

Service Drilldown

Okay, so now that you know what to look for in a company, let's go over what services you need if you're running a small business. Since the term “small business” can really relate to companies of various sizes, let's break it down even more. This section will talk about startups – those companies that are really at the beginning stages of formation.

What a startup should look for in a hosting package:

  • Database support : if you're running an eCommerce business, you'll want database support. Why? Because this is where you will store everything, so that you can later access what you need.
  • Customer service : guess what? Customer service doesn't come with every hosting package ! Make sure that you have access to free customer service that's included in your plan
  • Scalability options : your business will, hopefully, grow, and that means that you will need your hosting provider to grow with you. Find out if other companies were able to grow with a host, or if some companies had to change hosting providers completely to accommodate growth.

The bottom-line here is that you shouldn't pay for what you don't need. On the flip side, you should absolutely pay for what you do need. So, don't skimp on the services that will really make a difference. There are lots of web hosting companies that now cater to startups, so do your research and find the one that fits your needs the best.

Questions? Need help? Just ask!

Hosting Company TOS: What to Know

Hosting Company TOS

TOS (Terms of Service)If you subscribe to a web hosting package through any web hosting company (it doesn't matter what kind of package or what company), you might be wondering what your rights as a consumer are – especially if you have run into some problems with your hosting company. Truth be told, figuring out what your rights are is not as cut and dry as you may want it to be, and it all comes down to reading the terms of service that are part of your hosting agreement.

Terms of Service (TOS)

It's not the part of a hosting agreement you think about when you sign up with any hosting company. But, the TOS is really important. Every company lists separate TOS on a main site page. As a consumer looking to sign up with a company, it's your job to pay attention to those terms. You also have to understand what those terms are before you sign up with any host. Why? Because if you violate those terms, your site could be taken down. Now, you may not know why your site has been taken down if you don't read the TOS.

Where to Find the TOS

Before you sign any contract, you can find the TOS link at the bottom of most sites. Look for the link to the TOS page. Once there, you should see a list of terms that you have to abide by if you want to sign up with a particular company. These terms may be presented in an unclear manner that's marred with a lot of legal-speak, but it's still your job to figure out what each company is trying to get across (tough, I know!). These days, though, most companies are presenting TOS in a clear manner, so there's no ambiguity when it comes to understanding terms.

If You Don't Understand

If you think that you have been wronged by a hosting company or don't understand TOS, it is within your interest to hire a lawyer to figure this part out. Lawyers can be expensive, but not as expensive as facing a shut down site because you violated some terms that were outlined in a TOS. In this case, it doesn't pay to sign up with a hosting company and not understand the TOS. What happens if you did read the TOS, signed the contract, and the TOS was amended after the fact?

Your hosting company has to notify you of any TOS changes. At that point, the company also has to ask you whether or not you agree to these changes. If you haven't been notified of changes, and now you are in violation, you may have a case to present to a lawyer. However, please note that this information is not to be seen as legal advice in any manner. We suggest that you contact a lawyer to proceed in this case.

If you have any general TOS hosting questions, feel free to post those below. You'll also find lots of great hosting company reviews here on our site, so make sure to take a look!

Best Cheap Hosting Provider