The Terms & Conditions or Terms of Service with a web hosting is just like the user guide or manual of a product. When you choose a web hosting service you should read this ‘web hosting user manual’ before you buy. In this guide, we will briefly talk about the basics of reading and understanding the ToS or Agreements to help those who are new to web hosting can make informed purchase. To help beginners better understand the terms & conditions, we will take Bluehost as the example. Meanwhile you can always refer to the web host official website for more details and further explanation.
Key factors to look for in Web hosting
To choose a good web hosting service, normally you should look for following important information:
- Web storage space (there is no such unlimited space in real life), maximum file number if applicable
- Database types and number, or even database table number limit if applicable, concurrent connections to database server.
- Web server CPU and RAM specs, server OS.
- Domain registration & related, most web hosting should also offer paid domain registration and renewal service. Some web hosting offers free domains.
- FTP upload/download support, the ability to upload and publish web site through FTP client, download and back up website content.
Avoid Hidden Fees & Unnecessary Expenses
This is very important when you are on a budget and want to look for a budget web hosting with good value. Do do just click all the ‘Add to cart’, ‘Continue to shop’, or the ‘I Agree’ buttons you can see when you subscribe a site hosting package. It pays to check what you pay for and what you demand but not included in the web hosting plan feature list. How much would those unlisted features cost? For example if you plan to set up an online store, you need the SSL certificate to secure online transactions. A SSL cert can not be found in any web hosting solutions. Double check with the web hosting vendor if any of their hosting packages offer free SSL certificate or how much do they sell the SSL certificate separately. Do not assume everything is the same when you renew your web hosting, domain or other services. In order to attract more customers, many web hosts offer introductory fees for new signups or customers. They begin to charge you the normal or regular fees after a certain period of time. For example, you can find some web hosting with free domain registration here, but some of them offer free domain for the first year only. On the other end, some web hosting offer free domain for life. Double check your bill when checking out. Make sure to remove unnecessary items you do not really need.
What does Unlimited Web Hosting really mean?
You may have heard of Unlimited Web Hosting before, see this cheap unlimited Email hosting service and this best cheap web hosting for individuals and small businesses. Generally speaking, the “unlimited” usage policies and definitions apply only to shared hosting accounts. VPS hosting and dedicated servers do not have such definition, as you have your own allocated allowance, server and other resources for these hosting types and they are typically much more expensive than shared web hosting service which is the most popular hosting types for individuals and small businesses. To get the most out of the shared hosting servers, make full use of servers, bandwidth and other resources, many web hosting service companies do not limit some very important factors such as disk storage space, bandwith, domains, subdomains, FTP accounts, email accounts, databases, etc. Every body loves them, but worries about them at the same time. You love the freedom to just host any content on your web site without worrying about all kinds of limitations. But you worry about the arbitrary use of server or other resources from other hosting accounts or websites on the same server, just like spam attacks, the abuse of server will consume server resources and even crash the server.
See how Bluehost explains the Unlimited Hosting Space in its user agreement
Bluehost does not set arbitrary limits on the amount of disk space a Subscriber can use for the Subscriber’s website, nor does Bluehost charge additional fees based on an increased amount of storage used, provided the Subscriber’s use of storage complies with these Terms. Please note, however, that the Bluehost service is designed to host websites. Bluehost does NOT provide unlimited space for online storage, backups, or archiving of electronic files, documents, log files, etc. …
What’s going to happen if you violate web hosting ToS anyway??
“Any such prohibited use of the Services will result in the termination of Subscriber’s account, with or without notice.” Correct the issue to comply with the web hosting terms and conditions if you know how. Contact your web hosting service if you are notified or warnned for the violation of the TOS and you are not sure how to procced. To keep your data in secure hands, you should back up your websites regularly. So if your sites were hacked, files deleted by mistake, sites have been terminated by your web hosting, or any other data loss, you can always restore your websites from backups you made before. Following are some guides to help beginners to back up sites easily. If you are using a cPanel web hosting service, you can refer to this guide to back up websites in cPanel. And this guide reveals the easy steps to back up WordPress sites using a plugin for WordPress newbies. If you want to back up your database, this is the easiest way to back up MySQL database.