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Do Scams and Cheap Web Hosting Go Hand-in-hand?

Do Scams and Cheap Web Hosting Go Hand-in-hand

In these economic times when keeping to a budget and watching every dollar that goes out is the norm, sometimes it is prudent to keep in mind that inexpensive doesn’t always equate to completely above board and legal business practices. One area of concern is that of “cheap” web hosting. While a majority of web hosting providers that offer low monthly fees are very legitimate and not out to scam their customers, there are a few bad apples to be found.

Red flags

One very large red flag when seeking an inexpensive web hosting provider is a lack of contact information. If the provider in question has no visible way to contact them (phone, e-mail, online contact form), drop them from the possibility list. Any reputable hosting provider will ensure customers have at a minimum two or three ways to reach them.

Another item to check is whether or not the hosting company in question will register a domain name under the client’s information or the hosting company’s information. In every case this should be done under the client name.

Check to see if the web hosting company offers a money back guarantee. These usually range from thirty to sixty days. If there is no mention of a guarantee should a customer not be satisfied, it is a safe bet the hosting company is not worth checking out any further.

Up-time is crucial to any web hosting provider. Searches will often bring up hosting companies touting 99.9% or even 100% up-time guarantees. The first thing to keep in mind with up-times is that, while it sounds great, 100% just isn’t possible. At some point there will be some event that will cause an outage of some kind. To ensure a company is at least being truthful in this regard, prospective web hosting customers should check with a service that regularly monitors up-times of web providers

One final red flag to keep in mind is hosting companies offering unlimited amounts of bandwidth. On the surface this is not an illegal or erroneous statement. However, what you need to keep in mind is that a thorough reading of the hosting company’s Terms of Service is warranted. On average, most web sites will not have an exceedingly high monthly bandwidth amount. However, for those few web sites who do manage to be classified as “high bandwidth web sites,” the consequences of not being aware of special clauses within a web hosting company’s TOS can prove to be rather expensive.

Conclusion

On average, for every one hundred legitimate inexpensive web hosting providers found, there will inevitably be one that will scam its customers. Using the previous red flags can help prospective web hosting customers make good and economical decisions. Knowing what to look for when searching for a web hosting provider will go a long way to ensuring one does not end up being taken for a ride.

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