Home > Guide > The Difference Between a Free Web Hosting Trial and a Money Back Guarantee

The Difference Between a Free Web Hosting Trial and a Money Back Guarantee

Published on 3/14/2011 by

It seems everyone wants something for nothing these days. Grocery stores reward shoppers with buy one, get one free deals and it’s become common practice for restaurants and coffee shops to give away free sample products to customers with the hope of making a future sale. It doesn’t quite work the same way when it comes to web hosting, and with good reason.

Web hosting free trial specifics and why they’re changing

Some web hosting companies do offer potential customers free trials, but the number of hosts willing to give away such services is dwindling. Web hosts simply cannot operate a business like those who give away free physical goods. A retailer handing out free samples runs little risk of damaging his business or bottom line. The free goods are often gifted to businesses from manufacturers and in giving away free products, the retailers are seen as generous.

When web hosting companies used to give away free one month trials to potential customers, they often found that those who scooped up those generous offers were scammers and spammers who quickly went to work destroying web hosting servers and sending copious amounts of spam. For that reason, web hosting free trial accounts have changed.

When you’re lucky enough to find a free web hosting trial account today, you may discover that it’s somewhat limited. For example, most free trials put the following restrictions on users:

  • Limited or no email access.  This is done to prevent spamming.
  • No script installation allowed.  This prevents scammers from uploading viruses, Trojans and scripts that could sacrifice the security of a web hosting server.
  • No extras.  You’ll not be allowed SSH access, dedicated IPs or subdomains. Again, this is to protect the web hosting server and current clients.
  • No domain pointing.  Most free accounts require you to use a subdomain instead of your actual domain name.

Free web hosting trials are rare, but they’re still out there in limited form. Just as a car dealership will let you test drive a car but won’t permit you to take that vehicle home with you for the weekend, web hosting companies allow you to sample their services without running away with them.

30 day money back guarantees

Most web hosting companies have moved from offering free trials to 30-day money back guarantees. When you sign up with a new web hosting company and are promised this guarantee, you’ll get a full service web hosting account with no limitations. That means you’ll be able to upload scripts and your website, use your actual domain name, perform duties via FTP and SSH, and email to your heart’s content. And if at the end of your first 30 days with your new host, you’re offered your money back if you’re not 100% satisfied with the host’s services.

If you’re serious about testing a new web hosting company and finding out about their services, it’s generally best to invest in a 30-day money back guarantee program over a limited, try before you buy free trial account. Even better, read a few web hosting reviews and find a host that not only offers a 30-day guarantee, but has also proven themselves to be worth your time and money.