When you sign up for a web hosting package you expect to pay a monthly fee for that service. In return, your web hosting company agrees to host your domain and keep your website online. It’s a business model that’s worked well since its introduction in the early 1990s. Recently though, some web hosting companies have begun to tack on extra fees for services and features that most other web hosts are happy to give you for free. What shouldn’t you be paying for with your web hosting company? Let’s find out.
Excessive domain registration fees
It used to be that anyone who wanted to own their very own domain had to deal directly with a domain registrar. That’s no longer the case. Today you have the option to register a domain name with your web hosting company, giving them the responsibility of updating your nameservers so that you don’t have to. Though it hasn’t been without hiccups, it’s a service of convenience that many choose to take advantage of.
At the time of this writing it costs $9.98 to register a .com domain with NameCheap and $11.99 to do the same with GoDaddy. That’s a pretty good deal, right? Yet more than a handful of web hosting companies are charging $20 or more for the same service.
How to save: If you’re in the market for a domain name, but don’t want to deal with a domain registrar directly, there are many excellent web hosting companies that give away a free domain name with the purchase of a web hosting package. If you want to manage your own domain, you’ll always get the lowest prices by registering with an accredited domain registrar.
Back in the early days of web hosting it was common for companies to bill you for what they called a setup fee; a charge for adding your domain to the web hosting server. It made sense back then because hosting companies had to set up each account manually and it was a process that took skill and time. Today, most web hosting companies can add your domain to a web hosting server in just a few seconds through a control panel. As such, the majority of web hosts have done away with setup fee charges.
How to save: Unless you’re purchasing a dedicated server or have special needs that will require your host to spend an above average time getting your account ready for use, there’s never a reason to pay a setup fee. Read web hosting reviews and find a company that does not charge for account setup.
When you shop at the grocery store have you ever had to pay an employee to tell you where the canned peas are located? Of course not. When you go to the movies are you charged for asking an usher which theater your movie is playing in? Sounds ridiculous, right? When you buy a web hosting package, you’re not only paying for that company to host your website, but also for customer support. Some companies today charge for what they term premium support. That means they’ll provide you with a few pages of helpful information about your hosting account, but if you need one-on-one support, it’s going to cost you.
How to save: You should never, ever, ever pay for support from your web hosting company. Find a company that’s happy to provide you with top level support.
By and large, web hosting is an inexpensive service that will more than pay for itself. Yet there are a few companies out there who nickel and dime customers to death, charging for services you can get elsewhere for free. Shop around, read reviews and a make a conscious decision to do business with a web hosting company that’s fairly priced and plays fair.