Choosing a hosting provider is usually a long-term commitment. Nobody likes to deal with the hassle of moving their website and email. When you are looking for a new hosting provider, it is easy to compare features such as storage, bandwidth, and cost. However, it is hard to compare things such as reliability, speed, and customer support since they are hard to measure and are rarely published. For this reason, the marketing strategy of a lot of providers is to attract customers with a lot of features and buzzwords for the lowest possible price, and then lock them in a multi-year hosting plan. It takes some time for the customer to discover the hidden fees and limits that hide beneath the surface.
A very low advertised price could be just the tip of the iceberg. In this post we will look at some hidden costs and practices that could sink your budget. We have included real prices that we have seen at other hosting providers.
Regular backups is an important service that should be included even with the most basic hosting package.
|$3 – $25 per month.||$0 |
We provide free daily backups for all hosting plans.
They are kept on a separate backup server for 7 days for shared accounts and 15 days for VPS accounts.
|“Premium” or “Priority” support |
Usually this service allows you to jump the queue. The very fact that it is offered suggests that without it you will be waiting for hours. Too bad if your issue is urgent.
|$5.99 – $29.99 per month.||$0 |
We have a 15-minute response guarantee and our average response time for tickets is 7 minutes.
|Expensive WHOIS privacy |
Hiding your personal information from the public WHOIS database is a basic service that can be provided at almost no cost.
|$2.99 – $16 annually. |
Sometimes can be higher than the actual domain registration fee.
We offer a free WHOIS privacy service for eligible TLDs.
|Expensive domains |
The most convenient way to register additional domains for your website is through your hosting provider. However, a lot of them would charge you much more than a domain registrar.
|$13.95 – $19.99 for a .com domain.||$9.26 for a .com domain – we make no profit from domains. We sell them at cost. You can check our full domain pricing list at:|
|Unexpected Fees |
Some fee sneaks in your shopping cart and is bundled together with the service you are about to purchase.
|$14.95 – Setup fee.|
$0.18 – ICANN fee.
|All fees are always included in the advertised price.|
|Paying for services that should be free. |
You discover that you have to pay extra for some service you need. For example, your website was hacked and you need customer support to help you restore it from a backup.
|$24 – Manual restore from backup.|
$20 – Third-party SSL certificate installation.
$15 -Migration to another data center.
We think that a quality web hosting provider should include such services with all their hosting plans.
Hosting plans with unlimited disk space and bandwidth were quite popular in the past, but nowadays no reputable hosting provider sells them. Obviously, these hosting plans are not unlimited. Do not expect to store your collection of movies on such a plan. You are getting unlimited storage and bandwidth as long as your usage meets certain conditions which are buried in the Terms of Service. These can be specific limits such as the number of inodes (files), the size of your databases and mailboxes, etc. However, they usually also include vague clauses that forbid hosting files that are not publicly available as part of your website such as documents, backups, or simply a private photo gallery that you share with friends. They also reserve the right to limit your account if it is using more than an unspecified amount of the shared server resources.
You can never know if your account usage is within the hidden limits of the plan and in good standing. Depending on the hosting provider and pricing, these hidden conditions can be quite restrictive and it will not take long for the provider to start pushing you to upgrade to a more “unlimited” plan.
Your hosting provider tries to sell you a bunch of different services that you would never ever want or are of little real value. Some examples are SEO services, website templates, security scanners, additional anti-spam filters and website trust seals. Oftentimes they are from paid affiliates and you can get them for a lower price or even for free from a third party.
Promotions tied to multi-year contracts
The low price displayed on their website is a “starting at” price, which is actually the price you would pay if you purchase two or more years of service. Before prepaying for such a long period, you should carefully check in the fine print what are the refund and cancellation policies.