Every service is provided in different ways from different providers. Especially for web hosting service, each hosting plans come with different features and price. Based our editorial experience & reviews, one of the mostly complained points is hidden fees. You might get the hosting for $1/mo but it might cost you another $10 or $20 bucks for some features that you thought should be included for free. So are we playing tricks with hosting company? What kind of fees might be hidden behind? We have compiled a list of some typical hidden fees in web hosting industry.
Free Domain Name
More and more hosting service provides free domain name registration or transfer from old registrar. Free domain is absolutely a spotlight to attract users eyeballs because everyboddy like to save investment. However you need to keep in mind not all of them are top level domain registrar, most hosting providers are just reseller of the real registrars like godaddy, namecheap etc. Hosting companies must find a point to be profitable. You might find it pretty easy to get registered, but in case the service doesn't work properly and you have to transfer to other service, you always need to beg a lot to transfer over the domain. Generally, you will be charged more than regular domain registration and probably you have to pay for the used periods fee.
Multiple Domain Hosting Support
Many hosting providers announce to support multiple domains or simply unlimited for everything. But the term "unlimited domains" is really vague. We got experience with several "unlimited domain support" hosting providers, but when we want to start a new site after added the first domain, it's asking for credit card details. After contacted cutomer support, they provided us this explanation "You can add unlimited domain names to point to your existing site, if you're going to add a new domain name for new website purpose, it'll be charged". Wola! What a smart explanation! What can I say for such service? So if you really need to host multiple websites under the same account, please make sure it's doable by contacting pre-sales representative.
Money back guarantee
Every hosting group provides a period of refund policy. Many people might think they should get full refund for every service in hosting account. However, some services are non refundable based how your providers policy. For example some hosting providers will deduct setup fees. And if you have taken the free domain opportunity, you will be charged for registration fee. Most terms are included in their TOS or AUP but most of us simply ignored it. It's always good to check out such terms before we submit payment details because it will reduce lots of potential problems.
Backup is quite essential to ensure fast recovery from data disaster. Earlier of this year we experienced the worst data loss and we have to contact support for assistance because we have not any local backup. It's grateful arvixe people responded fastly with needful help. However, not every hosting company is so kind. Based our editorial experience, many hosting providers charge for server end backups. They announce to backup your account daily but you have to pay to get the data and it's not adverised anywhere! What worse is it's always charged per request. If you got a backup from hosting but found it not right then request for it again, you'll be charged again as well.
One day, you find your hosting is no longer suitable with your website requirements and have to find a new provider. Then you contact support for account closure, however you're told to pay extra to get account closed or else they will not take actions. No matter how much the fee is but you're charged and you're not happy for it.
First year only promotional price
Many hosting plans are provided via very competitive price, but you're charged much more when its due for renewal and probably there will be "renewal fee" included. It's common trick for most budget hosting providers. They do provide very low price to start with but you have to bear with high rate fees if you want to continue with it. What bad is if you have not used up the service and want to get money back, they will charge based the regular price not the promotional one!
As we see, it's not so easy to get a perfect web hosting service because of above mentioned hidden fees/rules. It's always wise to clear out your doubts with presales support. Most hosting TOS/AUP are much the same but it's still suggested read it carefully in case something goes wrong. Just remember you're paying to the service so you should know how it's working in as detail as possible.