Finding a good web hosting company on the Internet today can be very trickish or a nightmare indeed. This is even more so if you are using e-gold or some other form of e-currency.
Searching for a good web host that accepts e-currency is trickish because of the anonymity that e-currency offers.
Many web hosting ‘companies’ have springed up on the Internet to take earn some income for the owners. Many of such web hosting ‘companies’ are essentially re-selling web hosting packages from other much bigger companies, and they pay via credit cards or paypal for such services, and then re-sell after adding their own margins, to others who might not have access to credit cards, or who simply want some anonymity.
What makes searching for web hosting companies that accept e-gold and other digital currencies even more trickish is the fact that many such companies take advantage of the anonymity the Internet offers to hide their real location. Individuals behind such bogus online ‘companies’ are located across the world. Notably, many of such individuals have been traced to Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia and even Nigeria!
They often put up very sophisticated web sites, complete with very exotic flash animations and very sophisticated shopping carts. Such nice web sites are often times based on web templates that have been customized to suite their specific needs.
They register very attractive domain names and use a US mailing address on their WHOIS information. On such web sites, you would find a US phone number being displayed. Do not be deceived. Some online services like J2 and EFax offer US phone numbers for free! Such individuals register fro such free phone / fax numbers, and display them on their web sites and WHOIS records, to create the impression that they are truly located in the USA. When there is trouble and an agitated customer calls this US phone number, they end up with voicemail.
Such web sites might even install very sophisticated Support Ticketing System on their web site, in other to trick you into thinking they can offer 24/7 customer support. You would have to sign-up to really find out if this is so. If they don’t offer quality support, hard luck.
Another bait for hooking unsuspecting clients is their aggressive pricing strategy. It is not unusual to find such web hosting ‘companies’ offer $1 / month shared web hosting packages or even $99/year 2GB reseller web hosting! Incredible? It really is. Truth is, if the pricing is too good to be true, perhaps it really isn’t true.
To Find A Good Web Hosting Company that accepts e-gold as form of payment, it is advisable to use the many e-currency directories on the web. Search engines don’t offer much help as such phony ‘companies’ go to the extent of spamming search engines. Consequently, a search for “e-gold web hosting” on Google doesn’t provide the best result.
Even then, do not take all the listings on e-currency directories hook-line-and-sinker. Some of such e-currency directories do not verify the authenticity or otherwise of such services before enlisting them. They are more eager to fill up their directories and lay claim to have the largest number of services listed on their directories. Such directories also do not bother to delete web sites that have shut down.
A good e-currency web directory would offer reviews and ratings for their listings. Make sure the company you are selecting has a good rating. Note also that the owners of the web site could themselves have been posting bogus ratings.
Upon visiting your chosen web hosting company, look for their phone number(s) on their home page. If it is not their, go to their contact page. Any good web hosting company that has nothing to hide would list their full contact information and telephone number(s) on which they can be reached in time of trouble. If you can verify if such phone numbers are mobile phone numbers, please do. Also, try calling the number to see if its a genuine number.
Carefully consider their pricing. Compare it to others. If it is ridiculously low, chances are that there is a catch somewhere. It could be that they are compromising on service quality or customer support to offer you such pricing.
Read their terms and conditions carefully to be sure you are not signing up to some conditions you cannot meet.
In essence, if you followed the steps listed above, you are not likely to come up with a dodgy web hosting ‘company’. Good luck!
David Ajao, a web developer with Web4Africa, writes from Accra, Ghana.