I Hate My Web Host So Much! Do You?
I’ve heard it time and time again. When I’m discussing web hosts with people, they tell me — I hate my web host! The reasons vary, but there are a few that I hear again and again.
Keep in mind that I do not hate my web host. But I have hated many web hosts in the past. Let’s look at the reasons.
Lousy Technical Support
Each host offers varying degrees of customer service. One host I used responded solely via email. And they were closed on weekends. Their data center was high quality, prices were excellent, security was good . . . I really liked them but when I really needed technical support, I couldn’t get it in a timely fashion. That’s important when you’re a complete website noob (like myself) and you’re stuck on something. You need help and you need it now. So I hated that web host (well, that’s a little harsh; I sort of disliked them) because they simply couldn’t provide the level of support I needed.
I had another web host which provided support 24 hours a day. I read about them on “web host review sites” (you shouldn’t trust those sites) and everything I read about them appeared generally good. The prices seemed reasonable and the 24 hour technical support sounded perfectly sublime.
But I hated this web host too. Why? Because I had to wait on hold (sometimes) for over two hours. That’s not an exaggeration. And when I finally did connect with a technician, they knew about as much as my daughter’s pet rock. Often I had to be on the phone for hours and, using my persuasive skills, I’d find a way to bump myself up a few levels of service and find someone who actually had at least a partial brain. I hated that web host more than I hated the first one!
If you don’t want to find yourself saying, “I hate my web host,” be sure to find one that offers high levels of technical support (translation: avoid the little guys who don’t have 24/7 support and avoid the big boys who offer you the world for a penny then provide nothing).
Misleading Web Host Marketing
Most web hosts that want to compete have to do this. If they didn’t, they’d be left behind. Even my preferred web host does this — and I hate it (again, I don’t hate my web host but bear with me — I’ll explain).
Here’s how it works. Go to any of the “big boy” web hosting sites (GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator) and read their marketing text. It’s false advertising. It’s a true-to-life scam that you see all over the Internet. Most of them offer, for next to nothing, unlimited storage space and unlimited bandwidth.
OK. Really? Unlimited storage space? Here’s a challenge for you. Try one of these services out and upload 100 full-resolution pictures every day. See what happens. Your account will be suspended. You don’t have unlimited storage space — EVER. I don’t have unlimited storage space on my computer at home. In fact, I don’t know of one hard drive in the world that offers unlimited storage space. It’s a scam and a complete load of you-know-what (I’m too nice to say it). It’s a big reason why people say they hate their web host.
Now let’s discuss unlimited bandwidth. What does that mean? Does that mean you can get millions of visitors to your site each month with that $2 plan you signed up for? No way. If you get even, say, 1,000 unique visitors per day, your site is likely to be suspended. Don’t believe me? Do a google search for “HostGator suspended my account.” Enjoy the drama. So what does unlimited bandwidth mean? It means nothing. I’s a marketing ploy. It’s not possible for web hosts (or anyone) to give you unlimited anything. Think about it.
So how do web hosts get away with offering unlimited storage space and unlimited bandwidth for pennies? Here’s how. Most small websites using shared hosting don’t get a lot of traffic. Most websites are personal blogs, small-time start-ups or local businesses that don’t get much (if any) traffic. And the hosts offering these unlimited plans bank on that. If you start getting traffic on your site (or spam, or any significant activity at all), you’ll get a notice like this from your web host:
Hi, your CPU usage has been unusually high lately. Your account will be suspended if you don’t reduce your CPU usage.
So then you freak out and say, “But you said ‘unlimited!'” and they’ll say something like:
Yes, we do offer unlimited bandwidth but we do not offer unlimited CPU usage. Your site is on a shared server with many other websites and your high CPU usage is taking resources from the others websites.
If your web host is nice, they’ll give you a time frame to fix the issues (there’s no fix for high traffic, folks). If they’re not nice, they’ll simply suspend your site and the next time you try to visit your site or work on it, you’ll get a “server not found” error. That’ll give you good reason to say, “I hate my web host!”
Now keep in mind that most web hosts offering shared hosting say the same thing. Even my host does it. They have to in order to stay competitive in the cutthroat world of web hosting. But I really hate it. It’s false and tricksy.
How Can I Find a Good Web Host?
Here’s a recap.
- Many web hosting companies offer poor technical support.
- Web host review websites are a crock of doodoo.
- Most web hosts offering shared hosting use misleading marketing tactics to draw customers.
Here’s what you can do.
- Use a web host that someone recommends to you. Find a friend with experience and take their recommendation. They will know if there are long wait times, sub-par technicians, consistency issues, etc.
- Make sure your web host offers technical support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You don’t want to be in the middle of a major issue and have no support.
- Try to ascertain (via personal recommendations or by calling the company or by finding personal reviews — not reviews from these big web host review websites) if the technical support is of good quality. Know-nothing technicians or multi-hour wait times negate 24/7 support.
- Ignore the marketing hype. Choose your web host not based on their marketing claims but on personal recommendations. Know, for certain, that unlimited storage space and unlimited bandwidth are myths and straightforward misdirection.
I’ve been creating websites since 1998. I recommend Inmotion Hosting. They host this website (and all my websites). Yes, they too claim to offer unlimited bandwidth and storage space which I hate. But their shared hosting price is reasonable (especially with my special link) and their customer service is the best I’ve used (from web hosts offering shared hosting). If you try them out and know the limitations of shared hosting beforehand, you won’t be disappointed. Plus with my link you get over 50% off their regular price.
I hope you never have to say, “I hate my web host!”