Even the best and biggest hosting companies can sometimes provide you with such bad service that you may want to cancel or unsubscribe your hosting service. But how to go about it and, and what are the consequences for your website?
Remember that no matter who your web hosting company is, things can, and regularly do, go wrong. This is just business as usual, but a competent hosting company should fix any problems with minimum delay and keep you informed about any problems and the solutions that have been applied.
Understand why things might have gone wrong
Before you unsubscribe from your current hosting service, it is important to understand the reason why things have gone wrong. You need to know the real reasons for the troubles to prevent the same situation from happening again with another host. Chancing your hosting provider can be a real hassle and you can save a lot of time by really thinking about how to match your needs with the services the hosting provider offers. These are example of the problems you may face:
– Recurring service outages: The hosting service is having persistent technical problems with your website, or the website has repeated and lengthy periods of being off-line. If your website does not use any special features of technologies that might cause the problem, then your hosting company appears not to be able to provide technically competent service. If this is the case, you can try to resolve the problem by talking to their technical support. If the problem persists, it might be time to consider unsubscribing from your host and finding a better one.
– Your website is over-using its allocated resources: The most usual kind of hosting account is called a shared hosting account. It means that there are hundreds or thousands of websites hosted on the same physical server, and each website competes with the shared CPU, memory and bandwidth resources. This is true even for the “unlimited” accounts currently offered – in reality they are not unlimited at all, but only appear so.
If you website is hosted on a low-end hosting plan, and uses a lot of resources, you may experience slow performance or service outages. You might also be in breach of your Terms of Service agreement with your web host. Consider upgrading your plan to a more suitable one, or if your web host does not offer high-end plans, you may have to unsubscribe and find a more suitable host.
– Your web host provides lousy service: Lousy service is something you can do nothing about. Don’t make a judgment based on one technician’s response, rather try again with another service agent. The first one just might have just had a bad day. On the other hand, if your web host is on the budget end of scale, they may not spend enough money to provide decent service and to maintain good infrastructure. Remember that in web hosting you get what you pay for. If bad service persists, its time to vote with your feet and find a better hosting service for your website.
How to get out of your web hosting agreement
Every web hosting company has different policy in regards to termination of service. Most companies offer a better price per month for a longer commitment with the company. In other words, if you wanted to buy and pay for your hosting on monthly basis, you might pay $4.95 per month. However, if you committed to a year (and paid it in advance), you would pay $3.95 per month. Over the course of the year you would save $12.00.
Attached to these conditions, each company offers a money-back period that varies in length from hosting company to hosting company. The money-back guarantee periods range from 30 days in the short end to “any time” within the subscription period. Typically you can expect to have a money-back period from 30 to 60 days.
If you want to cancel your subscription after the money-back period has ended, you might be out of luck. According to the terms of the agreement, you have no recourse of action and your commitment stands until the end of the subscription period. If you want to cancel your hosting because the hosting company is in fault without any doubt, you might be able to negotiate a refund, but usually you are wasting your time. It is time to cut your losses and move on to a better host.
How to avoid problems with your web host
Even before committing to your web host in the first place, consider these steps to avoid any troubles in the future:
– Only commit to shortest possible period at a time. Most hosting companies offer monthly commitment and billing periods. If they don’t, choose the shortest period possible. It will cost you a little bit more per month, it gives you the flexibility to change your hosting company at any time without causing you a larger loss than having committed to a super-long agreement.
– Never, EVER get your domain name from the hosting company. If you run into trouble with them, they may use the domain name as leverage to keep you in control. They might not transfer your domain name to a new registrar, or even refuse to change the DNS information of the domain to point to your new host. No domain name, no website.
– Always keep an up-to-date backup of your entire website on your own computer. Do not trust the web hosting company to do that for you. Most Terms of Service agreements specifically protect the hosting company against data loss in case the server crashes. Most hosting companies do their very best to keep data safe, but they have no obligation to keep the back ups indefinitely, or even to hand the data over to you in case of disagreement.