It is only natural that web hosting companies are offering more features, bonuses and special offers. The market is as competitive as it has ever been today and companies are trying to win your business with these offers. Not all of these offers, however, are worth taking. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the most common offers you will get from web hosting service providers and how to differentiate the good from the bad.
Let me get one thing straight: there is no such thing as unlimited hosting. There are always limitations to the unlimited web hosting offer; some are more flexible than the others. The key to finding a good unlimited hosting plan is knowing exactly what you are getting into.
Unlimited storage is good when you want to host a large site or multiple websites, but there are a few things you need to check:
- First, review the terms on the maximum file size limit allowed by the hosting company. Although you can upload as many files as you like, the size of each individual file may be limited to as low as 2 MB.
- Also check the kinds of files you can store in the hosting space. Standard web-related files such as HTML, PHP, images and documents are usually supported, but certain hosting services limit the use of multimedia files such as MP4 videos.
- Lastly, understand the fair usage policy. Although the offer says unlimited hosting space, you may be limited to what the hosting company thinks as ‘fair usage’. Read the terms and conditions carefully before making any purchase decision.
- Most hosting companies also don’t allow backup files to be stored on the same server using the unlimited hosting account.
The same can be said for unlimited monthly bandwidth or unlimited monthly data transfer. This allows you to have as many visitors as you like without running out of bandwidth before the end of the month, but that doesn’t mean the offer doesn’t come with strict terms. Downloads of large files, for instance, are usually forbidden.
Unlimited Domain Names
This is a very lucrative offer to take advantage of, especially when you are running multiple websites. You can save a lot of money by using just one hosting account to host all of your domain names. On the other hand, the support for unlimited domain names doesn’t say anything about performance.!
You may still be limited by a number of things too:
- A shared hosting account with support for unlimited domain names cannot be used for reselling hosting services. If the company finds out that you are reselling the hosting service, your service can be terminated without notice.
- Unlimited domain, hosting space and monthly bandwidth equals to more websites hosted on the same server. Remember: these offers are offered to all users. Although you are sharing the server with a limited number of other users, they may be hosting just as many sites – if not more – as you.
Free Domain Name
This next offer is a bit tricky to handle. A free domain name is always a good thing; you can start your website without having to purchase a domain name for an extra fee. However, there have been cases where the free-domain offer turned into disasters for site owners.
Hosting companies are giving domain names for free with every purchase of their hosting services, but they don’t necessarily give you the domain ownership for free as well. This means the companies retain ownership of the domain and will only allow you to use it for as long as you are using their services.
Let’s say the services you are using are no longer up to par or you simply need to upgrade to a better server. Trying to get the domain name transferred can prove to be expensive and difficult. With an established brand and a domain name that your customers already recognize, the process can be even worse of a nightmare to deal with.
Before taking advantage of a free-domain offer, be sure to check the terms and conditions of the offer. Here is a great article outlining the issues. Find out how much it will cost to transfer the domain name to another registrar and confirm that it can be done easily in the future. It is much more recommended to just buy the domain name separately and manage it yourself to avoid running into problems in the future.
There are still more offers that you will come across whilst searching for a good web hosting service to use. Free months, trial periods and other offers are great, but the best approach is to always read the terms and conditions. You can protect your online assets more by knowing exactly what the hosting service is offering before making any purchase decision.