10 Red Flags to Look for When Choosing a Hosting Companyby@redswitches
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10 Red Flags to Look for When Choosing a Hosting Company

by RedSwitchesFebruary 18th, 2022
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Here are 10 red flags of a bad hosting provider that will help you make an informed decision during your next hosting purchase.

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So, you have a new website or application that you want to host on the internet and it’s time to choose a hosting provider.

When researching different hosting providers, people often oversee the red flags of hosting providers that are in plain sight.

Here are 10 red flags of a bad hosting provider that will help you make an informed decision during your next hosting purchase.

10 Red Flags To Watch Out For

#1. Hidden Fees

The most common red flag when choosing a hosting company is hidden fees.

When you start hosting with a hosting provider, you enter into a contract with them.

Hosting providers can impose fees for extending your contract, fees to terminate it, or they can introduce higher prices after your first year of hosting with them is over.

Always make sure to read the fine print and see if there are any hidden fees before making a purchase.

#2. Downtime

Server downtime occurs due to hardware or software errors, or simply due to server maintenance.

Server uptime is a measure of how much downtime you can expect in a year.

The industry standard amongst hosting providers is 99.9% server uptime. If a hosting provider cannot guarantee at least 99.9% uptime, it’s a red flag.

Any downtime longer than that means your website or hosted app will frequently be out of service. And if you are a business, long periods of downtime can damage your reputation.

#3. Lack of Security Features

Nowadays, it’s common practice for hosting providers to include free DDoS protection, spam filters, and SSL certificates with a hosting plan.

Some might impose a fee for these services, but that’s acceptable. It’s worth paying additionally for these security features.

A red flag of a bad hosting provider is not offering these crucial security features at all. Avoid hosting with a provider that cannot provide secure hosting for your website.

#4. Visitor Limitations

If you want to host a website that will attract many visitors, you need to carefully check the terms and conditions of your potential hosting provider.

A big red flag of bad hosting providers is imposing limitations on the number of visitors you can have.

Of course, it makes sense to limit the number of visitors to avoid reaching the bandwidth limit. However, it’s more transparent when hosting providers state how much bandwidth is included in a plan rather than providing a visitor limit.

If you anticipate your website will have lots of visitors, look for an unmetered hosting plan.

#5. Prices That Are Too Cheap to Be Real

Nothing in life is free, and hosting plans are no exception. Good hosting plans come at a price.

If a hosting provider has prices that seem too good to be true, they are either going to raise your hosting plan cost after a year of hosting with them, or you will have a subpar hosting experience.

Explore your options wisely and look for reputable hosting providers that offer affordable but high-quality hosting.

#6. No Backup Services

Storage is getting very cheap, so if a hosting provider cannot offer free backup services with their hosting plans, it’s a red flag.

You will still have the option to backup your data yourself. However, having multiple backup copies stored on different media and in different locations is an excellent way to protect yourself from data loss.

Look for hosting providers that offer backup services for free or, at least, for a low monthly fee.

#7. High Upgrade Fees

When choosing a hosting plan, you should think ahead because eventually, you might want to upgrade your plan.

It would be a huge pain if the hosting provider you chose offers only expensive upgrade options or has a poor upgrade policy. This is a red flag right here.

Always look at the upgrade options hosting providers offer and consider your future plans when settling for a hosting plan.

#8. Reseller Plans

Don’t go for reseller hosting plans. This is a big red flag of a bad hosting provider because it means that the provider doesn’t own the hardware you will be hosting on.

They will provide the hosting services to you while relying on another provider for the hardware.

With reseller hosting, the provider cannot offer you extensive support, as they don’t have direct access to the data centers where the servers are located.

Moreover, resolving issues will take much longer, as the hosting provider will have to act as a mediator between you and the hardware provider.

#9. Poor Customer Support

It’s important to have good customer support for your hosting so that you don’t have to deal with technical issues on your own.

The best way to ensure a hosting provider has good customer support is to try it for yourself.

Submit a support ticket to your potential hosting provider and see how they help their real customers.

#10. Bad Customer Reviews

Last but not least, always read customer reviews before purchasing a hosting plan!

Established hosting providers will have many positive reviews reaffirming their reputation.

However, if a hosting provider has some bad customer reviews online, it’s a red flag.

Bad reviews will basically mean that other users like you fell for their poor services and they are leaving these reviews to warn you.

Still, take customer reviews with a grain of salt and make sure they state valid reasons why the service was poor.

Closing Thoughts

That’s a wrap on the biggest red flags of bad hosting providers! Now, you are ready to dive into the world of hosting providers and choose the best one for yourself or your business.