If you received what looks like an invoice from a company called Web Host Agents, ignore it. It’s a scam.
The invoice includes a statement that stresses that in order to “maintain an active website, a company may need to transfer your web hosting from your current provider to Web Host Agents. Failure to renew your web hosting by expiration date may result in website outages…”
This email scam has been going around for a few years. I thought it had completely died out, but thanks to one of my clients who took the time to email me a copy of the letter she received, I see that it’s back again.
On the upside, they include a notice on their scam invoice letting you know that the “invoice” is really a solicitation: “This is a solicitation for the order of goods or services, or both, not a bill, invoice, or statement of account due…” But that’s not the part of the invoice that will catch your attention.
What IS true About Web Hosting:
- Failure to renew your web hosting by the expiration date will most likely result in your website being taken off line by your web hosting company. There have been times when a client will email me telling me they can’t access their website, or even see it. Often times the cause of the problem is an unpaid invoice.
- When initially setting up a website, you ALWAYS have a choice of which web hosting provider you want to use.
- You also ALWAYS have the option of changing web hosting providers. There is no “time to transfer your web hosting from your current provider to Web Host Agents — or any other web hosting provider.
Why Would You Change Web Hosting Providers?
There are times when you should consider changing web host, such as:
- Your website experiences too much downtime.
- Customer service and tech support leaves much to be desired.
- Tech support isn’t much more than having someone send you links to articles on their website.
- Security is sub-par; your site gets hacked a lot.
- Cost has gone up, but service has not.
- Your business has outgrown the usefulness of your current web host.
Web Hosting, Domain Registration, and Moving Your Website
Many hosts offer free assistance with switching to one of their plains. Go with a web host that can guarantee a smooth and seamless transition with zero downtime. Most importantly, before you switch web hosts, make sure you have a complete backup of all your files; content, images, themes, and plugins. WordPress users can use a plugin for downloading and uploading their entire WordPress website over to a new host, such as All-in-One WP Migration.
In addition to having the option as to who will host your website, you also have the option to register your domain name (the address of your website that people use to find you on the internet — your .com) elsewhere, and then simply change the DNS settings to point to your web host. While you’re setting up your domain name, it’s a good idea to purchase the .net and .org versions, along with variations of your domain name to prevent anyone else from buying a domain name that is close to yours.
You may also want to keep your domain name(s) and your web hosting company separate. This way, if/when you want to change web host you won’t have to go through the annoying, and often confusing, experience of transferring your domain name.
You may also want to protect your domain name from being hijacked.
Domain Name Registration vs Domain Name SEARCH ENGINE REGISTRATION