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Web Hosting Consumer Guide

Published on 10/18/2010 by

Web hosting can be a maze of confusion, especially for newbies who want to get their first website online, but aren’t quite sure how to go about doing that.   Are web hosting reviews reliable?  Can you really get unlimited space and bandwidth?  Let’s explore those questions with Reviews Gurus web hosting consumer guide.

There’s no such thing as unlimited hosting

Sure, you’ll find many web hosting companies boasting about unlimited space and bandwidth but it simply does not exist.  Unlimited web hosting is nothing more than an advertising gimmick meant to give you the impression that you’re getting a really great bargain, when in reality it’s nothing more than a slight of hand trick.

All unlimited hosting plans come with conditions!  You don’t need to completely discount unlimited hosts, but be aware that unlimited hosting has limitations which may include any of the following:

  • Space limitations on certain types of files.
  • Bandwidth caps.
  • How many server resources you can use.
  • Disallowing software or scripts.

In order to properly assess what limitations your web hosting account will have, always read the Terms of Service.

Free domain names may not really be free

You’ll find many a host willing to throw in a free domain name should you purchase one of their hosting plans.  While some hosts offer this service on the up and up, there are other companies that feature domain names that really aren’t so free.  In order to understand the offer, ask questions first!  Many free domain names come with conditions like:

  • Turning over ownership of the domain name to the web host.
  • Expensive renewal costs that can be double or triple the actual price to register a domain.
  • Lack of control over your own domain name.

You never need a web host to register a domain name for you.  As a consumer, you can purchase and control your own domain name with a domain registrar.

Only you are responsible for backing up your own website

Many major players in the web hosting industry guarantee that they’ll backup your website on a daily basis and store those files on a reliable offsite server for safekeeping.  It’s a great deal, but like unlimited hosting, there’s usually a catch.  Read through your web host’s Terms of Service and in most cases you’ll see that, while the host may be backing up your website, you are solely responsible for maintaining website backups.  In other words, if your web host loses your data or the backup server becomes corrupted, you’re on your own.

Backup your own data and do it often!

Free web hosting isn’t the bargain you think it is

Scour the Internet long enough and you’ll find several companies who will host your website free of charge.  Scout out a few reviews however, and you’ll see that very few people are actually happy with free web hosting and eventually make the move to paid hosting.  Free web space comes with conditions that may include:

  • Advertisements displayed on each page of your website.
  • Limitations on the number of pages your website may contain.
  • No email or FTP access.
  • Restrictions on the type of files you may upload to your space.
  • No support.

If your website is important to you, it’s vital that you invest in a host who wants to help you keep your website online.

Not all web hosting reviews are created equal

Did you know that several web hosting companies own their own review sites and closely monitor what gets published so as to falsely inflate their reputations?  And were you aware that some web hosting review companies don’t bother to verify reviews at all? 

Here at Reviews Gurus we go to great lengths to ensure that every review published is accurate, reliable and trustworthy.  We do this by providing:

  • Expert reviews.  Our experts spend considerable time with each web hosting company reviewed; sometimes as long as 18 months.  We test every facet of web hosting servers and plans and learn all we can about each company before publishing a review.
  • Consumer reviews.  We encourage web hosting consumers to write about their experiences, good or bad, with their web hosting companies.   Our reviews are then verified and published accurately.

When reading web hosting reviews, always seek out those reviews which have been verified as fact.

Getting your very first website online is exciting business!  Choosing a less than reliable web hosting company or not understanding the conditions of your web hosting plan can quickly squelch that excitement and leave you with a website that’s offline and a bad taste in your mouth.  Guarantee you’ll get it right the first time by combing through all the fine print associated with web hosting plans and reading accurate, reliable web hosting reviews.