As is the story with pretty much every industry, web hosting advertising is not always as it seems. There are certain things that web hosts will advertise that are not always entirely true, but they can specify in their terms of service what these advertisements actually mean. What you will find below is a list of things that web hosting companies, specifically shared hosts, won’t tell you.
1. Unlimited Resources. This is pretty much the most widely used, and most widely misunderstood, advertising tactic in web hosting. The simple fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as unlimited disk space. Every hard drive has a finite amount of space that it can store, so offering unlimited disk space is not physically possible.
Not only that, these unlimited resources are always limited within the terms of service. There will be limitations to the number of files stored, the types of files stored, how much of a certain type of file can be used, and so on. These all give the web hosting company the ability to refuse service if you are using too much space. It’s not actually unlimited at all.
2. $1000 in extras! Plenty of web hosting companies advertise some sort of added features, service, or something else, and arbitrarily slap a value to that bundle. The truth of it is that these addons don’t cost the company anything so saying that it’s passing along savings to you isn’t entirely true. It is just a way to make it look like you are getting added value.
3. Charging for domain privacy. Don’t get me wrong, having your whois information hidden is important for avoiding spam, among other things. But the domain privacy offered by web hosts isn’t actually domain privacy at all. All they are doing is changing the information to their own. They don’t actually hide anything. Real domain privacy keeps all information regarding the domain private.
4. Renewal prices. This is another one that is taking over the shared hosting world, especially with EIG brands. Many hosts will offer obscenely low prices to get you in the door, yet they are less than forthcoming about their renewal prices. Given that most hosting companies have their clients on automatic renewal, plenty of people get charged triple, even quadruple the price.
These are just a few things that web hosts are advertising to you, yet they try to avoid providing you with the whole truth about the service. This is why it is crucial to read through the terms of service before giving them any money. This is where you will find out about all of these things.