We at Guildford Web Services Ltd have seen our fair share of bad practices over the years. Here is a list of 7 bad practices that we have seen our clients having to deal with, with their last hosting ‘partners’.
Anyone can host – this is a double edged sword, whereas the barrier of entry is low, it means you can start up with having little capital, but because ANYONE can spin up a Linux Web Server and download a nulled (pirate version) copy of the industry standard software WHMCS, it means that an unwitting businesses can find themselves, not with a web hosting company, but with a 15 year old with a PC in their bedroom. We wish this wasn’t true, but it has happened. To check that a webhost is using a proper copy of WHMCS, please visit this link, also please use our website to check we are! (spoiler alert – we are paying for our license!)
Websites can be held to ransom. – The website is the property of the business owner NOT the Web Design or hosting company, this includes the domain and the files that make up the site. We have found, time and again, that Web Hosts and designers are holding account details until money is paid. This usually happens when a customer wants to move their site to another host. In some cases, they want an extra month out of the customer, or worse still, they change the account details so to lock out the new host, or in worse cases, leaves a business owner with no site for 18 months. Yes, we would prefer to have full access to the site as it makes updating easy, but that should also mean THE CUSTOMER also gets FULL access to the site. Our customers have full access to thier site at any time, if any of our customers want to move, all we ask is, why, but will make the migration as easy as possible for them.
Churn and Burn – This is when web hosts charge very little, and yes Guildford Web Services Ltd.’s web hosting plans are low, but they are permanently low, unlike some hosting services, where you pay a small fee per month for the first year, and then goes up 400%, which then you want to leave, only to find you have found another doing the same.
Upping prices per year for no reason – Slightly different to churn & burn, but the outcome is the same, you end up with a plan that is unaffordable.
Charging money for small updates – If you have given control to the designer to make updates for you, this should either come as a monthly plan, or as something affordable. Problem is, if you need to add ONE line of text and find that you have been charged a hefty fee for the privilege then something is wrong, changing one line of text takes less than 10 minutes in most cases, so if there is any cost, it should be nominal at worst – or even FREE at best.
Selling FREE products to end users – This is usually in the guise of SSL certificates, we have seen FREE SSL’s being charged to the customer, all our hosting plans come with FREE SSL’s, which you can either install yourself, or we can install it for you – its one mouse click, so again, we won’t charge. AutoSSL and Let’s Encrypt SSL’s should be FREE to the end user.
Web designers lying about their skill set. – This is a tricky one, as web developers have to learn to adapt quickly due to how quick the industry changes, but people have seen outright lies, such as ‘WordPress can’t do that’, I can code in X,Y,Z, then leave your site with errors all over the place, it’s OK to say ‘I don’t know, but give me 30 minutes to see if I can implement it, if it’s going to take a while to implement a new feature that you are unsure about, negotiate, remember you are a business talking to a business, the amount we ‘need to know’ has got so large it impossible to know everything, if we take just WordPress as an example, there are 50,000 plugins available – you are not required to know every single one!
At Guildford Web Services, our prices are affordable to ANYONE who wants a website, whether that’s a large coperate company, or a personal blogger, our services are a la carte, meaning if your host and domain name are with someone else, but want us to design your site, we will. When we have domain names and Premium SSLS on offer, you can buy just these, or you can have the full menu and buy the lot from us, it doesn’t matter – all that matters is that these are YOURS, they are AFFORDABLE and there are NO HIDDEN CHARGES.