Understanding the “legal speak” of hosting terms of service

Has a web host ever accused you of breaking their terms of service (TOS) agreement? If not, consider yourself lucky. In this post, we’ll go over what you need to watch out for!

Today, I’m going to help you to decipher a foreign language. I’m talking, of course, about legalese. Eurgh.




Has a web host ever accused you of breaking their terms of service (TOS) agreement? If not, consider yourself lucky.

It happens far too often, especially at certain infamous hosts that advertise “unlimited” packages.

I’ve already talked about why these so-called unlimited hosts are often a sham, and so perhaps it should come as no surprise that they’ll also try to screw you over with their TOS.

There are three reasons why this happens:

1. Web hosting is a business.

Customers enter into a service contract with the hosting company, agreeing to pay the host and to receive a service in return. The terms of service is included within this contract, and it spells out what is and is not available or allowed.

2. Server resources are finite.

Overuse or abuse can harm other people who are also using the servers and the network.

It’s not just about space and bandwidth – CPU, RAM, SSD I/O and network traffic also play a part.

If you overuse resources, you’re causing harm to others.

It’s simple, really. When you need more resources, usually because your site is successful, you upgrade.

3. Some companies are predatory.

The limits they offer are purposefully obtuse, open-ended, and buried in the fine print’s fine print.

Their legal documents are jam-packed full of gibberish that even their lawyers don’t understand.

And why do they do that?

To make you pay more money for their upsells.

Unfortunately, these unethical hosts have been around for many years now – and they show no sign of disappearing any time soon.

Read the fine print!

Before you sign up with a web host, you should take the time to read their fine print and to make sure that you fully understand their terms of service.

Reputable hosts make it easy for you to find these documents, often by linking to them at the bottom of the site, and they’re also more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

If their answers aren’t helpful, or if their terms of service are so confusing that it reads as though they’ve been badly translated from a foreign language, it’s time to move on.

If in doubt, look elsewhere. It’s just not worth the risk.

Speaking of which, if you have any more questions about terms of services then drop us a message and we’ll be happy to help. We’ve put a lot of work into making our TOS as fair and as clear as possible, and we like to think it shows!