We have all see these deals from time to time “Lifetime Web Hosting! Pay one price for the lifetime of your account!” On the surface the deal seems to be good. But is it? There are several questions you should ask yourself before you consider such a deal, because you may not get your money’s worth out of it, and you may experience some other unfortunate consequences. So how do you know if lifetime web hosting is right for you?
1. How long will you have your web hosting account?
The first question to ask yourself is how long will you have a hosting account for the particular site you are building? The way most lifetime hosting offers work is they determine how long (in months) an average customer stays with their company and multiply that number by their monthly selling price for a web hosting account. They will then use that number to determine how much to charge as a one time hosting fee.
If you are only planning to have your account for 1 year or less, it probably isn’t worth it to purchase a lifetime web hosting account, as you will be charged a premium for your hosting account.
If you plan on keeping your account for more than 2 or 3 years, it may be worth the price, but you will have to answer the following questions to see if a lifetime hosting account is really for you.
2. Is your web site going to require a lot of resources?
If you plan on having a web site that has a high amount of traffic, or will actively use a database, you may want to re-think your purchase. Companies that sell lifetime hosting accounts make money from you once, but their expenses happen every month. As a result, they have to continue to sell lifetime web hosting accounts in order to make enough income to pay their expenses, which gives them a strong motive to minimize.
One of the expenses, is server space and capacity. The more servers a web hosting company has, the more their monthly expenses are. One way to reduce their expenses, is to put more hosting accounts on a server than it can reasonably handle with the expectation that most websites will not use the full capacity of their account. Many times, these servers are oversold on space and bandwidth (think of an airline selling more tickets than they have seats for a specific flight).
The result is that sites on these servers tend to be slower than average, and if you have a site that has a lot of traffic, many of your visitors may have trouble getting to your site, and will leave before your web page shows up in their browser.
If this situation isn’t important to you, the next question is certainly one you should be asking yourself.
3. What is the refund policy of the hosting company?
Since many of the servers in these lifetime hosting companies are overloaded, they usually take a zero tolerance policy on any web site that causes any extra load on the server, which may cause it to crash, and it can be a one strike and your out, with no refund.
On over-extended servers, (servers with more hosting accounts on them than they have capacity for), it is very easy to create an overload on the server. It can be as simple as having a lot of page views from the traffic the website gets, or having your blog attacked by a bunch of robot scripts trying to post comment spam to your blog. There is nothing you can do about it in these cases, but it can cause a server that is already at it’s limit, to crash.
If this happens after only 6 months into your web hosting contract, you may be totally out of luck and have your site shut down with no refund. In this case, it would have been a very expensive hosting service. Be sure to check the terms of service before purchasing this type of hosting.
4. Do you expect a high level of customer service?
The quality of the customer service goes along with the theme of reducing expenses. One of the first places most customers experience in expense cutting is the level of customer service. Much of the time, customer service is outsourced and overseas. There may be language barriers to contend with as well as some delays in getting your questions answered, and problems resolved. Sometimes you may have to deal with less experienced hosting administrators, but by no means do you find the less experienced customer service representatives only in the lifetime web hosting arena.
This is an important factor to consider because if the customer service is really bad, you may be forced to leave the hosting company and walk away from your entire hosting investment. Be sure to get as much information as you can about the particular company you are considering, especially their level of customer service and their technical competency.
When asking the question, “Is lifetime web hosting right for me?” you want to determine what kind of site you plan on having, and how you plan to use it (will there be heavy traffic or not?), how long you plan on having your web site up, and some other factors such as how important are things such as customer service to you. In a limited number of circumstances, lifetime web hosting can be a deal as it is better than free hosting, but if you step outside of the limited situations, you may end up paying a lot more than you bargained for.
Look for resource sites to help you with deciding how to pick your web hosting.
Copyright 2006 B Hopkins