Your Web Hosting Terms and Conditions

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Web Hosting Terms of Use
When you sign up for a web hosting plan, you agree to the company’s extensive terms of use conditions that can be found somewhere on their website. It’s a seemingly never ending amount of verbiage that basically covers their position legally and gives them an out as to how they run their business. Although each web hosting company has their own slightly different version of terms and conditions, they all usually cover the same areas.

I don’t think anyone reads these agreements word for word, but there are some interesting and important areas everyone should be aware of. For example, for those web hosting companies that offer unlimited hosting (space, bandwidth, etc.), there is usually a section prohibiting using their hosting for things like a primary archiving or backup vehicle. The bottom line is they reserve the right to determine what is exactly constitutes unlimited usage.

Billing and payment along with cancellation policies usually constitutes a big area of the terms of use also. These items can vary widely depending on the hosting company, so it’s usually a good idea to at least go over this section before you buy.

Another area that is usually addressed in the T&C is the company’s data backup policies. While each company may be slightly different, again the main purpose here is for the company to cover themselves from any legal responsibility to back up your website and data—though they also usually state that they do perform backups at some time. For more on web hosting backup policies, see my previous post.

Warranty disclaimers, limitations of liability, and other prohibited uses are also areas that occupy big sections of the terms and conditions. To see the full web hosting terms of use agreement for a web hosting company, click the link in the footer of the their website.

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