Which Hosting Agreement?
The standard web hosting agreement templates we have currently available are suitable for use in relation to relatively straightforward hosting arrangements involving shared servers.
The premium web hosting agreement templates cover not only shared hosting, but also a range of related services: dedicated hosting, co-location services, domain name registration, SSL certificate provision, support services and email services.
The two "terms" style documents broadly favour the interests of the host over the interests of customers. The two web "agreement" style documents can be easily adapted to favour either party, or indeed to balance the parties' interests.
Key Provisions of Hosting Agreements
Implementation and transition
A host may be responsible for transferring a website from its own development servers, or for assisting with the transition of a website from a third party's servers. These optional provisions, including in both the standard and premium hosting contracts, are designed to account for these possibilities.
Services: standard agreements
In the standard hosting contracts, the services consists of the hosting of one or more specified websites or web applications, plus ancillary services. Various optional sections are included in the templates:
Services: premium agreements
- A defined level of resources can be promised to the customer.
- The hosting company may or may not give the customer direct access to the website (for instance, via ftp).
- The host may provide email services (e.g. POP3, IMAP, webmail) to the customer. Mailboxes may be subject to specified storage limits.
- The hosting company may provide a helpdesk.
- A back-up service may also be provided.
There is a fundamental difference in approach to the definition of services in the premium hosting contracts. Unlike the standard documents, which provide for the hosting of a website or websites, the services in the premium documents are defined in terms of resources made available for hosting. They do not specify that those resources must be used for hosting a particular site or application.
Different types of hosting may be supplied under the premium documents. Separate sections cover shared hosting, dedicated hosting and co-location services.
The premium hosting contracts cover all the ancillary services referred to above in relation to the standard documents, but in more detail. They also cover a wider domain name registration and the provision of SSL certificates.
Availability and maintenance
The hosting contract may provide for a guaranteed level of availability - for example, 99.9% availability during each calendar month or part thereof during the term.
All the hosting contract templates provide that the host may suspend the hosting services to carry out scheduled or maintenance or repairs. Optionally, emergency maintenance may also be permitted without impacting any agreed availability service level.