I have been an active member of the Web Hosting community for the past 10 years and I have seen my fair share of myths being passed as fact on various forums. This article was created to help expose many of these myths that are still being passed along as fact.
SEO Hosting Will Improve Search Engine Rankings
Most SEO Hosting companies exist on the premise that if you create a network of web pages on different “Class C” IP ranges, with links interconnecting your websites, it will trick search engines into thinking your website is more important.Other SEO Hosting companies run their own link farms or hijack other innocent blogs with comment spam bots to add links for customer websites who pay them. While this trick may have worked at one time, all search engines have caught onto this scam and put the brakes on “unnatural links”.
If Google determines that a website is using deceptive tricks to artificially inflate their search engine rankings, the penalty is incredibly harsh as it normally involves them lowering the rankings significantly or completely delisting the offending website in a process known as “sandboxing”. The website can remain sandboxed until the artificial links are removed which can take weeks or months.
Unlimited Disk Space Package Plans Will Let Me Store As Much Data As I Wish
Web Hosting companies who offer “Unlimited” Disk Space packages are clearly overselling the server disk space in the hopes that most of the customers use a moderate amount of space to host a simple blog or personal website. There will always be customers who take advantage of the “∞” next to the “Disk Space” in their web hosting panel and choose to upload a bit more. Most web hosts will allow this to a point as there will always be other customers who host a few static HTML pages. You will likely be given the boot from your “Unlimited” web host if you choose to start using your web hosting account as a cloud storage system to back up your hard drive or upload your music collection.
Furthermore, if a single hosting account is using up more space then the average user on a server, it is possible that your account is no longer “economically feasible” to host, therefore costing the web hosting company more money to host your account then you are paying per month. In these cases, the web host may choose to tell you to move to a higher tiered plan (such as a VPS) or terminate your service.
Adult Content Must Be Hosted In The Netherlands or Panama
This is actually quite untrue as Adult Content is perfectly legal in most countries including the United States, Europe and Canada. The only place I can recommend avoiding is India, China and the Middle East as Adult Content is seen as immoral and can land you in a religious court. What many who wish to host adult content do not realize is that they need to be conscious about both their location as well as the location of the servers they wish to use. If you are physically located in a place where adult content is illegal, stop now as the punishments for hosting content offshore will land you in a lot of trouble.
If you are wishing to setup an adult website, you should follow the guidelines below:
- Ensure that you are in a location that adult content is permitted
- Ensure that you are in a location where the specific genre of adult content is permitted
- Ensure that your web host actually permits adult content
- Ensure that your web host is in a location where adult content is permitted
- Ensure that your web host is in a location where that your specific genre if adult content is allowed
- Research laws and regulations to see the form of licensing you would need
- Consult a lawyer
The United States in general is one of the safest places to host adult content as long as you have a license to redistribute the content. The United States does have a few rules that need to be adhered to such as age verification. As a general rule, you always want to choose a location that is geographically close to your intended audience.
I Can Host Pirated Software or Videos On “Offshore Hosts” and get away with it
The United States has the DMCA and other counties have similar laws but there are countries that do not have any piracy laws. With this said, it should be possible to host pirated content on servers located in countries without these laws without having to worry about the site being taken down or spending the next 10 years of my life in prison. While this one is technically possible and the chances you get away with it are high, there always a possibility that you will get caught.
Law Enforcement may not be able to touch the server that your content is located but this does not mean they cannot track down the owner of the website and place them in custody. The companies who you used to use to insert ads on your website may blacklist your website and ISPs may also block traffic. The United States and other counties have also been known to confiscate your domain which will prevent others from getting to your website.To make matters worse, they can seize all of your assets, if your server bill goes unpaid long enough, is only a matter of time until your website will be shut down.
My Reseller Account Will Allow Me To Grow Infinitely
While it is possible to stay with a reseller account for several years, there will always be a cutoff point in which your web host is loosing money to your account and may eventually give you the boot when you have too many accounts. It is advantageous for a person who uses a reseller account to move into a managed VPS or Dedicated Server as soon as they have enough customers to sustain your monthly payments and still have enough funds set aside to cover business expenses.
Depending on your cashflow, it is also not a bad idea to diversify your hosting onto multiple servers in different locations to prevent outages that impact all customers. If you can setup a VPS or Server in more then one country, you could gain more customers who are in need of hosting in multiple locations.