Free, Free, Free!
It's nice to think of the Internet as a safe place. If only that line of thinking were true! The fact is that scams and cons run rampant on the Internet. One of the biggest scam markets is the web hosting market.
Web hosting companies will tell you anything to sell you a hosting package. But, choosing the wrong company can really hurt your business. Take a good look at the following web hosting cons before you sign up with any host!
The Promise of a Free Domain
Is a company promising you a free domain name? Sound too good to be true? That's because it's a trick. Sure, that domain name is free for you to use, but it's not free for you to own. In order to own a domain name, you have to pay for it. If you try and leave a hosting company that's offered you a “free” domain name, you will have to pay a hefty sum to purchase your name back — even worse, you may not be able to purchase the name at all.
Shared Space Problems
Shared hosting sites are the cheapest way to go. Unfortunately, shared sites also come with shared space. More often than not, people who use shared spaces don't pay attention to bandwidth and disk space limitations. If your site suddenly starts drawing millions of hits, you will have to pay a fee for extra usage space. The best way to avoid going over a limit is to avoid sharing files through your site.
The Web hosting Contract Trap
You wouldn't sign a long-term contract with most companies you deal with, right? So, why would you sign a long-term web hosting contract? Hosting companies often try to get users to sign contracts that have no business being so long. Avoid signing these contracts like the plague. Even if you've been promised a hefty discount in exchange for a contract, think carefully about signing on the dotted line.
Free, Free, Free!
We all like getting something for free. Sadly, the word “free” tends to come with a few hidden costs. A number of hosting companies today are offering unlimited or free storage space. Well, folks, free or unlimited storage doesn't exist — it's up there with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. Buried in a site's terms are the CPU and Server Usage clauses. If you violate these clauses, you could be booted from the site. In short, read the fine print carefully.
Go With Reputation
This one should be a no-brainer. You will be paying a web hosting company a fee to host your domain. Therefore, that company must be trusted on two levels. First, you will have to provide payment information in the form of a credit card or PayPal account. So, it's a good idea to go with a reputable company that won't try and sell your credit card number to someone in Jamaica.
Second, you want to make sure that your site is up and running regularly — without any hangups. Can't resist that “free!” offer with an unknown company? You will probably pay the consequences! In this case, reputation does matter!
You Can Go Both Ways!
Some web hosting companies are very sneaky. These companies state that you have to buy your domain name from them. This isn't true. You can purchase your domain name from another provider, and use a completely separate hosting company to host your site. Not buying your domain name from your web hosting company might be a good idea too. Why? If the web hosting company goes down, you won't lose your name too.