When you take a look at some hosting company’s feature packages, not everything is as obvious as it first looks. Web hosts often advertise sketchy information in order to compete with rival companies. Since it’s hard to charge a website for false advertising, web hosts can get away with saying almost anything they want. Here’s a list of too good to be true features you should watch out for when shopping for web hosting.

Unlimited Webspace/Transfer:

Let’s get one thing straight here. Both hard disk space and bandwidth cost money. There is no profitable way for a hosting company charging twenty dollars monthly to make this possible. So do you think they’re going to follow through with their promise? Probably not.

Usually what this feature means is that there is no automated cap on bandwidth or webspace allowance. Instead, they have moderators watching the accounts for any spike in either of these things. When they see that an account is using more than it’s fair share of resources, they’ll notify the webmaster and possibly suspend the account for a temporary period.

AutoInstaller:

Not all autoinstallers are created equal. Let’s take 000Webhost for example. They are a hosting company advertising an autoinstaller with their free hosting plan. What they don’t tell you is that half of the options are disabled or have been “temporarily out of service” for the past few years. It can really be a royal pain in the rear when the webmaster doesn’t have experience installing more advanced scripts.hostgator

In order not to fall for these fake autoinstaller programs, look for a web host that uses the “Fantastico” autoinstaller. Fantastico is integrated with CPanel, and is constantly being developed. They have their own website and all of their installations work great. It’s not something the web host has much control over as to whether it works or not, so chances are a Fantastico autoinstaller will be functional.

99% Uptime:

That isn’t exactly as good as it seems if you have returning visitors. This basically means that chances are, 1 in 100 page request aren’t going to load. It’s going to be something that visitors will probably notice and could prevent some sales. You’ll also probably notice the downtime while you’re developing the site as well, which can make troubleshooting more advanced websites very difficult. At first it seems a little ridiculous to complain about ONLY having 99% uptime, but after working with it for awhile any webmaster would be annoyed.

Most decent web hosts will actually have a decimal point added to this value. They’ll post something like 99.99% uptime. If a site has a 99.99% uptime, that means that on average 1 in 10,000 pages aren’t going to load. Chances are, even returning visitors aren’t going to load that many pages.

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