Why Was My Hosting Account Terminated?

Many hosts will tolerate mistakes; some will eventually run out of patience.

Break any of these rules and you’ll most likely be looking for new hosting in no time at all.

1. Illegal Content

Illegal pornography, illegal gambling, stolen content: no host will tolerate them.

Not only will your host give you the boot, you’ll almost certainly get a visit from law enforcement.

Make sure that your content is legal both in your jurisdiction and where the host is located. And keep a close eye on what your users are doing.

2. Spam

If you send out junk, expect your account to be terminated without an argument.

Spam is often reported and monitored by third parties, so your host will know about it sooner than you have chance to react.

3. Copyright

Hosts generally must close any account that’s found to break copyright law.

That means hosting warez, illegal movies, sharing mp3s and other content is really not a good idea.

Copyright-infringing domains are a nightmare for hosts. They tend to generate a great deal of paperwork while also consuming tons of bandwidth and storage space: it’s a lose-lose situation.

4. Scripts

Most hosts have rules about scripts that they’ll allow. Shared hosting accounts are always locked down because the host needs to avoid upsetting other users.

Prohibited scripts usually include chatroom scripts, IRC bots and other CPU-intensive scripts that can cause your site to overload the server.

5. Hacking

Never, ever try to hack something. Particularly something on your own server.

If you attempt to gain elevated access to the machine you are on, you can expect to get the boot almost immediately.

Keeping Your Nose Clean

If you’e done any of the things we’ve advised you not to do, having your hosting account terminated is probably the least of your worries. You’re probably already in trouble with the law.

If you’re not sure if something is allowed, ask your host before you do it – not after.

Why Was My Hosting Account Terminated?

Unplugged

Account termination is normally permanent.Often, there’s little you can do once the damage is done. But you can make sure you don’t wind up being terminated in the first place. Here are some common reasons for termination.

Abuse Complaints

Hosts will allow you to violate the rules once, maybe twice. But if you become a problem client, the plug will be pulled.

For example, multiple copyright complaints practically forces a host to disconnect a client.

Controversy

Some hosts pride themselves on offering hosting to controversial groups.

Most do not.

If your site is objectionable, you may find yourself in trouble, especially if the content could be seen as hate speech. Most hosts bar this in their terms of service document.

Though these types of terminations are very rare, they are something to watch out for. It could result in termination, even if your site doesn’t technically violate the rules.

High Usage

Unlimited hosting never really means unlimited.

It means you can use whatever you like as long as you don’t become a resource hog.

If your site starts to drag other sites down, you may find yourself the subject of a sudden and unexpected termination, similar to what happened to Frogpants.

Security Issues

If your site is hacked, others on the same shared server have probably been hacked too.

Some hosts will disable  compromised accounts. Some terminate, particularly if it has happened before and/ or it’s your own fault.

TOS Issues

Web hosts give themselves a lot of leeway in their terms of service document. This means they can come down hard on activities that could be considered borderline.

For example, sites that try to redefine ‘adult’ content, or send large amounts of emails, could find themselves in trouble.

Attitude

During downtime, mind your manners.

Threatening employees, screaming and swearing will get you axed fast.

Payment Issues

Finally, always make sure you pay for your hosting on time. Most hosts send at least two warnings before actually terminating the account, but why risk it?

Often, you’ll be able to get the site restored. But if a lot of charges and late fees have accrued, it could cost a fortune.
How Likely Is a Termination?
Normally you’ll have to really rub a host up the wrong way to get the chop, but it pays to be careful.
And if you’re concerned, take backups rather than waiting for the worst to happen.

Last update: March 2015

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