Web Host Ethics: What makes an ethical host?

As you read about the many web hosts on the market today, you're probably looking to find information about pricing, feature set, reliability, security and a few other important things. Most likely, ethics doesn't even enter your mind.

But maybe it should. These days, too many companies come and go in a cloud of shame. There are too many dissatisfied customers out there. Talk increasingly turns towards developing best business practices and the value of loyal customers. As a consumer, you have the ultimate power: put your money where it matters. Choose a top web hosting company that treats you well - because, odds are, you're going to be with them for a long time.


Web hosts have an important role to play in your life. They've got all your data in their care and it's their responsibility to ensure your site is up and running. A top web hosting company will have very little, if any, downtime - because their downtime can mean your loss of business, particularly if you've signed on for business or e-commerce web hosting.

Which is why communication is so important. If web hosts are experiencing problems, you need to know. No one expects perfection, but a top web hosting company will keep you in the loop. If there is a technical issue or an unforeseen glitch, all customers should know about it. This is a sign of professionalism and respect.


Closely related to the above, quality support is also of utmost importance. Web hosts should offer consistent support - if the company says they'll answer your question within a specific time period, they should live up to it. Top web hosting companies will provide resource and educational options - look for a useful FAQ section, a knowledgebase, tutorials and more. Top web hosting providers do more than offer server space. They'll help you use it for ultimate productivity.



Performance and uptime

Uptime guarantees are all well and good, but they must be taken seriously by the web hosts offering them. If your website isn't available to be seen, well, your web host is most definitely not doing its job. Top web hosts will ensure you have access to the disk space and bandwidth you need; they should be prepared for traffic spikes and make appropriate accommodations so your site's performance is not hindered in any way.

They mean what they say

When web hosts offer a service or product, they should deliver. If you are promised budget hosting prices, you shouldn't be hit over the head with hidden costs and extra fees. If you're promised PHP hosting, well, you are right to expect the latest version to be included. That's ethical hosting.


Top web hosting providers will guard your personal information. Read their privacy policy and make sure your email address isn't going to be sold or used in any way that makes you uneasy. Make sure there is a privacy policy. And make sure web hosts list their physical address! If you don't know where head office is or where the data center is, you should be wary.

These are just a few points that together will create an ethical web host. For more, read 7 questions to ask your web hosting company before you sign up and have a look at our 10 top web hosting companies

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