Website Hosting Promises That Mean Nothing

Website hosting companies sure like making promises. The typical hosting company offers more guarantees than a politician come election season, but how many of those promises can you take seriously?

The Promise Of Unlimited Everything

Website hosting buyers just love the idea of unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, unlimited domains, and unlimited everything else. But—even if we don’t admit it to ourselves—all of us knows that nothing in this world is truly unlimited.

Every website hosting company that offers unlimited services also has fine print in their contract that says something like “for normal usage only.” But what does normal mean?

I got bit by the unlimited bug once back in the dial-up days. I signed up for a cheap unlimited dial-up plan and then kept my computer online all day and night—until they kicked me off and refused to refund my money.

You may think that your website falls under “normal usage”—and it probably does today—but you’re always going to have to worry about any abnormal traffic.

The Myth Of The Free Website Hosting Shared SSL Certificate

Several low-cost website hosting plans come with a free “shared” SSL certificate. That’s supposed to mean that you can run an eCommerce site on your website.

But the shared part of shared SSL means that you’re going to share your secret transaction information with everyone else on your webserver. That can be 10,000 other people at a typical website hosting company. Does that sound secure to you?

Website hosting companies do their best to keep their other customers from accessing your data. But, if something does go wrong, do you want to have to notify your clients that their credit card numbers are in the hands of a hacker because you used a free shared SSL certificate?

99% Uptime, Or 15 Minutes Down Every Day

An offline website makes you look bad. Nobody will come back a second time to your offline website; you’ve lost those readers—and one of them could’ve been great.

So it makes sense that website hosting companies promise uptime guarantees. But before you think that 99% uptime is a great thing, do the math. A measly 1% of each day is almost 15 minutes—that’s a long time for your site to be down; worse, 1% of a year is several days of downtime.

If you care about a reliable site, make sure you go with a website hosting provider that promises better than 99% uptime.

You don’t want to just look at the guarantees website hosting companies make, but also want to see what customers and reviewers say about them. At, we keep a chart with all the information you need to make a fully informed decision.

Finding a WordPress website hosting company you can trust can be a daunting task, especially if it is your first time at building a website from scratch.

Guest post contributed by Mitz Pantic.

Oct 6, 2011 by
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