Tricks that Cheap Web Hosting Providers use to Make you Pay More

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Web hosting services are available from different hosting providers in a wide price range. Some web hosts offer certain services for free while others charge money for them. Every hosting provider has a different pricing structure that must be carefully examined before taking up a hosting plan for your website. Though these hosting services are generally helpful to efficiently run your website, you might not even know where to stop and end up spending more than your requirement.

It is because some web hosting providers use cheap tactics to make you pay more than required just for earning some more profit. Since it is your hard-earned money, I’m here discussing such cheap tricks used by web hosting providers to help you make a wise decision for your website hosting needs.

Why do Web Hosting Providers use Tricks to Make you Pay More?

Everyone wants to make more money, some do it with their hard work while others tend to use tricks that might be disadvantageous for others. Earning more money is the basic motive behind the cheap tactics used by web hosting providers. Making more money is not a problem but making it unethically surely is. I’m sure you are smart enough to spot a high-priced service and the bad news is – web hosting providers know it too. That is why they use different tricks and tactics to milk more money from you.

Cheap tactics used by Web Hosting Providers

A variety of tactics are used by web hosting providers to make you pay more money but before using such tricks, they tend to win your trust to convince you better. Some web hosts tend to do that by explaining their ‘working’ in detail and making you feel a part of their journey while others use customer testimonials to show you the quality of their services while some might use a mix of both.

Of course, you can never be sure about the truthfulness of either of these facts stated by these web-hosting providers, you can always be careful before believing in any of these. It is best to cross-check customer reviews or testimonials for a specific web host on third-party websites before trusting.

You will start noticing the following tactics used by the hosting providers for making you pay more once you are being careful in placing your trust:

1) Upselling

The most common tactic used by cheap web hosts is upselling. You are presented with additional services either within your hosting account or on the ‘Checkout’ page. Such services are deemed to support the primary web hosting services but an unethical host will never tell you whether you need them or not. Such a hosting provider is just concerned about making a few more bucks without paying attention to your individual hosting needs.

An example of pre-ticked upsell items on the Checkout page:

What can you do?

When you entered the online world, you knew what you were doing. This is exactly what you need to do for your hosting requirements – RESEARCH BEFOREHAND. Know what services are beneficial for your website and don’t pay for any additional services. Keep an eye on the items ticked alongside the primary hosting services on the ‘Checkout’ page. Untick the ones you do not require.

2) Freebies for attracting new customers

Many web hosting providers offer a variety of freebies along with the primary hosting services to attract new customers. Such freebies can take the form of free domains, free SSL certificates, etc. Once you fall into the trap, you will be charged an annual fee for the same items after the end of the first year. These free offers are usually valid only for the first year to bring in new customers.

Later, you are not offered anything for free but instead charged for the items that were once free for you. Moreover, sometimes you can get such items without paying anything from a third-party as well, for instance, a free SSL certificate for your website.

Check this image out where a web host is offering more and more freebies in its higher plans:

What can you do?

Never base your decision looking at the freebies offered along with the primary web hosting services. Assess the price that you will be paying for these free items after the end of the promotional period. It will help you compare the cost of these items available with different web hosts and choose the one that fits within your long-term budget.

3) Unnecessary Add-ons

Web hosting providers tend to lure you into buying unnecessary add-ons like setup services, SEO services, automatic website back-ups, WordPress installation service, premium customer support, and much more. Oftentimes such add-ons are listed to make you pay more money without considering your website requirements. For instance, GoDaddy is known for such tactics with their entry plan, because it lacks many features, they try to upsell to their customers all the missing features in the form of add-ons that are usually offered for free by their competitors.

When you are just a beginner, you can easily take care of such additional tasks on your own without spending extra money on the add-ons offered. For instance, maintaining a website back-up manually only takes a single click.

What can you do?

Plan your web hosting budget well in advance and never go out of it; keeping in mind your long-term plans. You are smart enough to handle the secondary jobs on your own and focus more on receiving high-quality hosting services for your website. Pay only for those add-ons that you truly need.

4) Free or Cheaper Domain name

Another trick used by cheap web hosting providers is offering a domain name for free or at a reduced price for the initial period and renewing it at a price higher than the initial one. Though this might look like a lucrative offer, it generally isn’t as you might end up paying more for your domain in totality.

What can you do?

When you are new to the website hosting world, you might be tempted to get a free domain along with your hosting. But I’d recommend you do a little research into future domain pricing to prevent unnecessary expenditure. You can always consider buying a budget domain from a quality domain provider and stick just with the hosting services of the web host you have chosen.

5) Cheaper Introductory Offers for Hosting

It has now become customary to offer low initial prices for hosting services in the web hosting world. Every other host is running a promotional offer to attract new customers but values the old customers a lot less. The renewal prices of these hosting service plans skyrocket after the end of the initial offer period. Customers who have already signed up with the host are left with no other option than to pay the higher amount.

What can you do?

A little extra effort can save you tons of money in this case. See past the bold print on the host’s website and you will find a condition written in fine print that looks like this:

Click the link and find the renewal prices for different web hosting plans and compare them with the pricing structure of other web hosting providers. Buy the hosting plan that is advantageous for you in the long run.

6) Limited ‘Unlimited Services’

Yet another tactic used by web hosting providers is stating their certain services as unlimited while they are not. You will come across some hosts offering unlimited storage or unlimited bandwidth as part of their hosting package. But in reality, you will have to pay more money if you use too much of these resources. Going past a limit (as in bandwidth or storage) requires you to upgrade your hosting plan or face the consequences in the worst form – your website going offline. In such a panic situation, you are left with no other option than to upgrade by paying more to the web host.

For instance, a click on the ‘unlimited’ option given by a web hosting provider displays the following terms:

What can you do?

Examine your website needs in advance and carefully look for the services termed as unlimited. Find the fine print for any conditions attached to the offer. Consider checking out the Terms and Conditions page of the web hosting provider if no other information is available. In case you are unable to find any limit to such unlimited services, consider confirming it via ‘support chat’ and take screenshots of your conversation for future reference. Base your decision on your website needs and the upper limit, if any, mentioned by the support executive.

7) Basic Features offered at Extra Price or as part of Higher Plans

Some web hosts like charge you extra money for providing basic hosting features like an SSL certificate or a website backup tool. They might also offer you such services for free under higher plans to make you pay for them.

What can you do?

Keeping your options open in the case of web hosting providers is the key to avoiding this cheap trick. Look out for different offerings made by the reputed web hosts and choose the one that doesn’t try to extract money from you for such basic items. You can also consider getting a free SSL certificate from a third-party, create manual backups of your website, and so on.

8) Cheaper Long-term Plans

Generally, web hosting providers offer you a great discount when you commit to them for a long-term plan, say, a 3-year hosting plan. As soon as these 3 years pass, your hosting fee will suddenly shoot up enormously. You will have to budget according to this increased hosting price for life after the initial 3-year period ends.

A typical cheap long-term hosting plan that renews at a regular price looks like this:

What can you do?

Plan your long-term website budget well in advance and look for the hosting plan that fits into this budget. You don’t want to go out of your budget for the rest of your website’s life just to save a few bucks in the initial years. Evaluate and compare the hosting fee that you would be paying in the long run.

Psychological tools used by Web Hosting Providers to make you pay more

Apart from the general tricks and tactics, web hosts also use some psychological tools to influence your purchasing decision to make you pay more money. Let us discuss these tricks as well to prevent you from such influence so that you can base your decision only on the value you receive from the services you pay for.

1)Anchoring or Focalism

Anchoring is a tool used by many web hosting providers to attract your attention to a specific hosting plan offered by them. The host compares it with its other offerings and makes that specific high-priced plan look more lucrative to you. Take a look at this picture:

The web hosting provider tries to convince you that its ‘Enhanced’ hosting plan is a real bargain deal and recommends you to buy it. It also attempts to win your trust by not recommending the highest-priced plan. The web host is just playing with human psychology to make you pay more money.

What can you do?

Never base your decision on the ‘recommended’ or ‘best-selling’ hosting plan. Carefully examine the features offered in individual plans and match them with your requirements to choose the plan that fits well with your website hosting needs.

2) Time sells Better

In today’s busy lives, we all want to save our time and are willing to pay for it too. Some web hosts use this fact for their benefit by offering you certain simple services in their high-priced packages like WordPress installation, automatic website backup, etc. In an attempt to save your time and effort, you tend to choose such a hosting plan even if it demands more money.

What can you do?

When you started your online journey, you were willing to learn new things on the way. If you won’t take up such simple tasks in your hand, you will miss the opportunity to learn and grow. Generally, such tasks require only a single click for completion. Paying more money for such services is like paying someone to switch on your laptop for you!

3) Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)

Some web hosting providers try to influence your purchase decision by offering time-sensitive hosting offers. An example of such a deal could be the availability of premium customer support for free in a high-priced hosting plan just for the next 24 hours or a free security seal available with a high-priced plan for the next 7 days. New customers tend to sign up with the web host and pay for a high-priced service in the fear of missing out on a great offer.

What can you do?

There is no denying the fact that time-sensitive deals might be lucrative but you must evaluate their worth with the price you will be paying for them. Consider the relevance of ‘extras’ offered for your website before taking up a hosting plan.

Final Thoughts

I do understand that web hosting providers are doing their business while offering hosting services to us all. But there is a difference between ethical and unethical business activities. Using cheap tricks to make us pay more money is not what we all expect from reputed web hosting providers. High-quality hosting services are what we aim to pay for. Right?

Have you ever fallen for any of the above tactics used by the cheap web hosting providers? What other tricks used by these hosts have you come across?

Feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, and experiences related to such tricks and tactics.