If you are out to buy web hosting, you are sure to be confused by the varied spectrum of features and pricing offered by hosting providers around the world. You are sure to wonder whether there any hidden costs or fine print fees which you should be aware of. Although most services are very transparent and mention all the details, there were doubts about some unforeseen costs involved when out to buy web hosting. This article points out a couple of things which you should be aware of so that you don’t feel cheated when buying your hosting account.
Backup services are mostly not included in your account. Often shared hosting plans come with a condition that you will not use your account to store backups. Since backups are an essential part of running a website, make sure you understand what you are getting and how you can maintain backups. To take backups, you may need to take a separate Backup Plan or pay a higher fee to enable taking backups. Often times, taking a backup plan from another host maybe cheaper and safer, as the other host will be in a different location and will offer redundancy to your existing data. In case there is an issue with your primary provider, your backup will be safe.
Some hosts offer a free website migration service, which will include shifting your entire account from your old host to your new one. While this maybe free and at no additional cost, there is no guarantee of data integrity or data corruption. Using a professional migration service or wanting to customize the migration process will increase the cost of the service. Better read the terms and conditions of your host before assuming that website migration is free. Since you data may contain personal information or sensitive information most web hosts avoid taking the risk of migration and prefer that you do it. It is not a standard industry feature and may not be offered by most web hosting providers.
Maintaining your WordPress installation or your web application or scanning your account for viruses, is not the job of your web host, unless it is specifically included in your plan or you have paid extra money for it. Updating plugins, extensions, web applications, CMS’s etc. has to be done by you or by a professional. Although nowadays you can automate the process of updating your web apps or the plugins and themes that come with them, you may sometimes need a qualified admin to look into the health of your account. Most hosts charge a fee for this service or allow you to take an annual maintenance contract to keep you web apps updated, to check for known vulnerabilities, to perform a virus scan and even to manage the disk space in your account.
It is best to know from before hand what your provider will give you and what is excluded from your service package. You may even want to do a comparison of features before you choose the right package. Several hosts provide money-back guarantees for you to try out their service so that you know what you are actually getting before you make a long term commitment. Be sure to try out all the features of their service within the money back period so that you are not caught by surprise later.