Short Answer is – No, they are not, and in fact, they can vary a lot. It may seem obvious to some, but after 20 years in web design and hosting, I can assure you a lot of people choose a host without much thought, and that is certainly an “Alice down the rabbit hole” scenario.
I have thought a lot about how to explain this, but its no easy. Larger hosts have been plastering the market with adverts for so long that people just think that what those companies offer and how they offer it, is how it needs to be. From Pamela Anderson to ‘Alf Stewart’, we have been brain washed to believe that web hosting is $5 or $10 a month and all self help and headaches. Lets be honest, the world of Websites and Hosting can be a nightmare if you don’t understand it. I recently saw a headline in my local area, proclaiming “Geelongs best web host”, but on closer inspection discovered they didn’t even provide Australia based hosting, let alone a hosting service in the Geelong region!
…we have been brain washed to believe that web hosting is $5 or $10 a month and all self help and headaches…
Its also worth noting that a lot of the more ruthless providers will appear cheap a first glance – and they did used to be genuinely so, without disclaimers like below – by offering discount offers for the first month and claim offers such as “Save 32%”. The catch is, this is the first month only. When you renew, costs effectively increase by a whopping 50%! Whilst this is commonly referred to as a loss leader by these companies. You could technically class this as some sort of Honey Pot scam as far as I see it.
The end result of the above is that you get a cheapish first month, then begin to pay a premium for sub standard service.
Can you class offers like this as a honeypot?
But the good news is that its not as bad as that. You can still find ethical hosting providers out there – for example Ed Hosting!
Unfortunately these bigger hosts have created an attitude that people should have to muddle their way around the web, but a good hosting provider, is like a good IT provider…they will help you and hopefully not involve you too much, so you can get back to running your business.
For example, if your IT guy told you to go and upgrade your PC with a new SSD Hard disk, and overclock the processor to improve your speed…what would you do? Probably find a new IT guy. So why is it any difference with a web host? Its not and we shouldn’t think that it is.
A couple of recent clients came over to Ed Hosting from another provider, whom shall remain nameless but we have all heard of them, because they advertise constantly how cheap and reliable they are.
Both clients had needed some help adjusting some DNS Records, to authenticate a GSUITE service (I know, that’s probably tech garble to most – but stay with me!) Both clients had no idea how and contacted their current hosting support for help. After 25 minutes on hold, they were sent to an equally complicated support page, by a non-native English speaker…and offered no further assistance.
Both were referred to Ed Hosting by friends/colleagues. We helped. In a matter of minutes and without complicating it for these busy small business owners.
BUT, more importantly – and what prompted this article – upon moving the services from the existing provider, I noticed that not only were both clients being charged $200+ per year in unnecessary products and services, what had in fact started as $3 per month hosting, had increased to $18! In the space of just two years, but with no apparently change in the service quality, speed or offering. It was simply the end of a very short introductory offer and then multiple increases in price.
In the local area that we are based, around the regional areas of Geelong, Torquay and The Bellarine Peninsula, we have found the need to for cost effecting but quality hosting and web site design, is in high demand.
But it is a buyer beware world for hosting…and unfortunately, beware is the key word. But because the large hosting providers are almost a household name, there is a perceived trust that they will not do you wrong. But this is far from the case. So please take note of what you are being charged for and don’t feel like you need to tolerate rubbish service and support…there are hosts who offer more! If you need some web design or hosting advice, just ask us here at Ed Hosting, we would be glad to assis!
Got a nightmare story about your host? Let us know…we would love to hear it! Funny, horrifying or just unethical…send it over to us!