Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shoulda read the fine print

I recently made a post about how I wanted to create my own website.  In that post I vowed not to rush out and find a host and register a domain name ... well, I went against my words, yet again.

I went out and found a host, on a whim.  I did less than 10 minutes of research and found a host that was rated highly (on a website that ranks web hosts.)  The price was 4.45 per month and included unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth.  It seemed like a good deal, so I signed up.  Turns out there were all kinds of fees that they didn't advertise.  For instance, if you sign up for the advertised plan of 4.45 a month, they make you pay every 48 months.  That comes out to $213.60, but they make you pay for the 48 months upon registering, meaning that you have to pay $213.60 up front in order to register your domain name.

My host of choice is/was Just Host.  Their site:

I failed to read the terms of service (guess I should have taken them seriously when they asked if "I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of use.)  But I'm reading them now.  Their terms of service:

So, for the people out there who are looking for a web host, and Just Host is a possibility, I will break down their terms of service for you (no thank yous are necessary.)
Note:  This isn't meant to be a Just Host bash.  I've only been registered for 1 day.  I haven't gotten to experience their service, reliability, and quality yet.  It might turn out that they're a decent host, but only time will tell.

Side Note:
One positive thing I learned today:  READ THE FINE PRINT.
For now on, I will always read the fine print for anything I'm signing up for.  It's long and boring, I know, but it's information that they purposely make as unreadable as possible.  That should tell you something.  They are banking on the fact that most people are too lazy to read the fine print.  So, don't be a fool, don't give them what they want, and READ THE FINE PRINT.  Apathy is the cancer of democracy.  You wouldn't want to be cancer, would you?

The following is my breakdown of Just Host's terms of service.  I will summarize each section of their ToS, in the order they are listed on the site.

Section 1:  The Services We Provide
This section is completely pointless and just states that they will host in exchange for fees.  DURRR
Section 2:  Permission to Host Your Content
This section says two important things:  they will keep a copy of all the content you upload to their system and once you upload that content, they have permission to do whatever they want with content.  Also, they won't make backup copies of your data.
Section 3:  Personal Information
Your personal information is transferred via Secure Socket layer technology, which is apparently the industry standard for encrypting sensitive info.  They will not sell your info to a 3rd party, unless another company purchases Just Host.  They will try to keep your info hidden from 3rd parties.  Also, you consent to be have representatives call you and they will email you about their products and services.
Section 4:  Backups
They will attempt to make backups nightly, but they are only available for a short period of time and can possibly fail.  Thus, you should perform your own backups or pay more money for their daily backup service.  They won't backup anything over 40MB.
Section 5:  Acceptable Use/Illegal Activity
They will not provide service to people who post bad things on their websites.  This includes all the standard things.
Section 6:  Content
Pretty much same as above.  Also, Just Host is harmless if any claims are made on one of their customer's web sites.
Section 7:  Examples of unacceptable material on all Shared servers include:
This is a really long list of things they consider unacceptable.
Section 8:  Examples of unacceptable material on Dedicated servers include:
Same as above, except 5 times longer.
Section 9:  Zero Tolerance Spam Policy
Self explanatory.
Section 10:  Unlimited Bandwidth, Disk Usage, Email and FTP accounts and other Unlimited Resources
Any activity that results in excessive that is inconsistent with "normal" usage patterns is strictly prohibited.  They have the right to delete, suspend, or discontinue the accounts of users who they deem are using too much disk space and bandwidth.  So basically, you have unlimited bandwidth and disk usage, so long as they consider your usage to fall within their arbitrary limits.
Section 11:  Resource Usage
Users may not use system resources for longer than 90 seconds, and there are apparently numerous things that could cause that to happen.  They will discontinue service with anyone who uses more than 10% of the CPU and memory of the service.
Section 12:  INODES
The use of 50,000 or more inodes on a shared account may result in suspension.  I don't even know what an inode is, but according to them, every file on your account uses up 1 inode, which basically means that creating a large website would be impossible.
Section 13:  When the Services Will be Available
Services will be available whenever possible, but sometimes they are down.
Section 14:  Guarantee
They offer an any time money back guarantee, except for set up fees and domain registration fees.  All refunds are subject to a $20 domain registration fee.  All domain upgrades and additional services that are registered are non-refundable.

Section 15:  Joining Just Host
Auto-renewal is enabled upon signing up.  If you want to cancel auto-renewal on your hosting plan, you must do so at least 14 days prior to your renewal date.  If you don't pay your bills within 30 days, all of your accounts will be suspended, but if you are able to pay your bills in full within an additional 30 days, all of your data will be accessible again.  If fail to pay within those 30 days, Just Host has the right to delete all of your data.
Section 16:  Reseller Accounts
Disk space and bandwidth allowed for reseller accounts must comply to the amount specified by your hosting plan.  Only platinum reseller accounts (the most expensive) have "unlimited" bandwidth and disk space.  And apparently they really don't like "enom" so don't have a domain account with enom through Just Host.
Section 17:  These Terms of Service May Change
The terms of service may change.  If so, you will accept the changes without question and comply with them.
Section 18:  DMCA Copyright Infringement Information
They will suspend or delete accounts that commit copyright infringement.  Pretty self explanatory.
Section 19:  Indemnification
If you get sued, then you're on your own.  You will be responsible for all legal fees and Just Host will not help you out.
Section 20:  Disclaimer of Warranties
Starts off by saying that from this point on, each section will retain its "legalese" style.  Meaning that it will be worded in a way that most people won't be able to understand.  That means it must be important!  I'm going to interpret it as best as I can, but it be in your best interest to read it for yourself.  This section states:  Just Host disclaims all warranties.  Just Host is not obligated to meet your requirements.  Just Host is not obligated to make its services timely or secure or to fix any defects.  Just Host makes no obligations about any of the services it provides.
Section 21:  Limitation of Liability
Starts by explicitly stating "if something goes wrong, Just Host cannot be held liable for it."

The remaining sections apply only to affiliates of Just Host, so I'm going to even bother reading them.

Here are some user reviews of Just Host:

Well that's it.  That's all I'm gonna write.  No more.  I can't even believe I wrote as much as I did, and on such a boring topic too.  Is this really what my life has become?  I'm pathetic.


  1. sounds kind of like a load of shit if they're making me pay for two years up front. what if i want to switch over to a better/cheaper host?

  2. DreamHost is ultimately one of the best hosting company for any hosting plans you might need.