Is Your Webhosting Company Unethical?

Ethics are important when running a company, no matter what you plan to do. When you are searching for a new home for your website, it is very important to make sure that your hosting company adheres to a standard of ethics. It can be difficult to determine if a potential company is ethical, but here is a list of warning signs that will alert you to a potentially unethical company.

1. No Privacy Policy. If you cannot easily find a privacy policy on your hosting company’s website, this is a major red flag. You will be providing this company with your name, your information and your credit card number. In addition, if you are running an ecommerce site, you will be entrusting all of your customer’s data to this company. If you cannot find a privacy policy that clearly states what a company will and will not do with not only your information, but the information you store on your site, you should be concerned.

2. No Contact Information. While many hosting companies do not offer telephone numbers on their site, you should be able to find at least an email address for contacting them. If you cannot find a single shred of contact information, this is definitely cause for alarm.

3. No Hosting Agreement. The majority of web hosting companies offer a web hosting agreement. This agreement should clearly state what the company will or will not do, and what they will or will not allow you to do with your site. This is a very important agreement to protect not only the hosting company but your rights as a consumer. If a company does not adhere to their hosting agreement, you have the right to get out of the agreement without paying any penalty fees.

4. No Customer Support. If you find a hosting company that doesn’t offer any kind of support options for their existing customers, this is a very bad sign. If you have a complaint, you will never be able to voice your concerns with the company.

5. The company does not respond to your questions. Before paying for a hosting package, try to contact the customer support department to see if you get the response you need. If you don’t hear back now, you can’t expect to hear back later.

6. A very long line of burned customers. If you are able to find a large amount of angry ex-clients, this is a very good sign that your host is not ethical. However, try to read through any information you find with an open mind so that you can narrow down typical complaints. If there is one area that is continually mentioned, you can be assured you will experience the same thing.

The vast majority of web hosting companies are ethical. However, there are enough bad apples out there that can ruin a hosting experience. You can use the above list to weed out potentially unethical hosts before you make your final decision.

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Posted on 12/14/05 10:39 PM

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