Recent experiences have made me increasingly more frustrated with hosting companies, specifically the cheaper hosting companies (I am looking at you Bluehost). But the point of this post is not to knock Bluehost. Actually, the point of this article is not to knock any specific hosting company. The goal of this article is to list the things that I hate most about what hosting companies do with there hosting plans. So with out anything else, lets begin.
By far the thing I hate most about any hosting company. I can only find a few hosting companies that don’t do this. Deceptive prices are just horrible. You go to the hosts website and on the front page a big popup appears saying, “up to 50% off all hosting! Limited time offer!”. This stuff is BS.
The truth of the matter is that it is indeed “up to 50% off”, although it is always “up to 50% off”. So you sign-up for whatever extremely low price, and then come renewal the price have gone up exponentially. This happened to me once with a client. Signed up for hosting at like $5/month, come renewal it was $12/month.
Some hosts even go as far as to hide the actual regular price so that it seems like a really good deal. They know that once they get someone signed up for a hosting plan, they are not going to switch to a different host come renewal (in less that person is like me).
It is a tricky tactic that sadly works quite well in the hosting world. It is also something that you should keep your eyes out for next time you get hosting from someone. Even if you need to contact them directly, make sure that you know what the regular price is before you sign-up.
This is something that only the more advanced techies will find more annoying. When the hosting advertises there “Enhanced/Better/Super cPanel Backend”, I run in the other direction. Very few hosting companies out of the tens-of-hundreds of them actually have a good backend that they made. The rest just have modified buggy backends that frankly suck.
Would it not be easier for everyone if they all just used cPanel. It has all the options and functionality that you need to maintain and run a website. cPanel is simple and very stable. I just don’t get it.
Outdated Versions of Software
Once again, I may be one out of only a few that find this annoying. But why don’t hosts seem to support the most recent versions of PHP, MySQL, and MariaDB. WordPress 4.6 requires you to use:
- PHP version 5.6 or greater
- MySQL version 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.0 or greater
Most hosting companies default configurations well fall short of these requirements. You need to search through the “Enhanced cPanel” 😉 in order to find the random page that allows you to change the PHP and MySQL versions. And when you finally find that hidden page, they don’t even have the most recent versions.
First of all, please PLEASE PLEASE make your default PHP version something that wasn’t released 5 years ago. Especially WordPress aimed hosting companies, do your customers a favor and do this for them.
Next, make supporting more recent versions of PHP and MySQL more of a priority, instead of spending all your time on enhancing your cPanel 😉 . At the time of writing this article, PHP 7 should be at least an option on all hosting companies.
Searching for Support and Documentation
Make your support and documentation simple. Have a link in the menu to support, where there is a phone number, email form, support forum, and/or live chat. Then have another page for documentation that is well organized and relevant. Don’t make me have to look in the footer, sitemap, and “Enhanced cPanel” 😉 (ok I will stop). This information should be right in the open, easy to find. It is like hosting companies don’t want you to use the support. Instead they want you to bother us WordPress.org Forums people.
Make sure that when you are choosing your first or next host that they don’t pull one of these on you. I speak from experience having fallen into many of these traps. And trust me, changing hosts is not a fun weekend project.
All this is why I chose Web Hosting for Students. You need to shop around for hosting a lot, and at the time I found WH4S to be the best for my needs. They are one of the handful of hosts that actually don’t pull all these tricks and stupid things on you. Check out this article that I wrote a few months back about WH4S.