Did you see? They’re selling hosting on the cheap… for less than $20 all your hosting needs can be taken care of forever! Or… can they?

And while we’re at it – you can be free of all your autoresponder bills by simply buying this script (or access to that SaaS) for a measly $9.95 here. (sorry, no link 😉 )

Ugly duckling or duck-like ugling?

But hold on a little bit… before hitting those buy-buttons, let’s examine why that might not be such a great idea.

There are actually a few reasons to consider. Both with regards to comparing the quality of such products with, well with what the vendors are comparing them to. But also with the meaning of the word “lifetime”

Lifetime? Really?

There’s a couple of things it’s important to stress when talking about a lifetime offer.

One of them is what could be termed as quite a sleight-of-hand. Because the term “lifetime” is very much an eye-of-the-beholder term.

When the prospective buyer sees the word lifetime on a salespage, instinctively it will mean “until the day I die” to them. To the vendor, a more pragmatic meaning must be read into the term. To the vendor, the meaning can be boiled down to “as long as it is viable”.

So far, so good. Because as buyers, we of course deep down know, that the day where some product no longer works, becomes untenable, the vendor goes belly-up or whatever, can come (and probably will).

I’m pretty certain most people involved in some kind of marketing online has tried purchasing a piece of software that quickly changes status to unmaintained. Sometimes even as quickly as the-day-after-launch-has-ended.

So yeah – we know…

What happens more often than not in the IM-niche though, is the peddling of such a lifetime-product where there is probably no intent of ever really supporting or further developing the product. Such vendors would much rather spend some money on a fresh coat of paint for the product, to release under a different name in 8 months for another grand lifetime offer – pretty often sold to the exact same crowd as last time around.

[insert-service-here] killer?

One of the main selling-points used by vendors and affiliates alike, when it comes to these products is that they are able to completely replace existing, established services. Or to put it like they do:


Say Goodbye To Your Hosting-Company

Complete Photoshop Replacement

Etc., etc. As a reasonably deductive human being might be able to deduce… No, they’re not.

Look, I’d be willing to admit, that at least most of these products are able to perform some of the normal, most-utilized use-cases of their big-name counterparts. But they are no match when compared feature-to-feature.

And many newbies will say, “I have no need for these advanced features, so why should I pay for them?”. But when they one day need them, they face the job of transferring everything from that lifetime-platform that hasn’t been upgraded since day one, onto that exact big-name platform they wanted to avoid in the first place.

And features are not even the biggest problem.

That would be service and support!

You try getting 24/7 support for a $15 lifetime service. No, let me rephrase that – you try getting competent 24/7 support for a $15 lifetime service. You might very well be a bit disappointed. Especially if you’re trying to get someone to solve a hosting problem that suddenly occurred 2 hours before your launch goes live :-/

Inject some common sense, please

Now, might there not be some edge-cases, where such a product/service just might be the next best thing after hot chocolate? Can such offers not simply be an obvious way for a company to gain a bridgehead in a competitive market?

Of course they can – but… let me ask you something in return. If I came to you, in a brand new car and said “do you want to buy this car. You can get it for $10,000 and it comes with lifetime servicing”. Would you buy that car?

Whoa… wait, you’ll be saying… that’s not comparable.

But in a way, it is.

Looking at autoresponders, for instance… the code will often not be developed by the company or individual selling the service (it will often have been bought for cheap at a place like CodeCanyon or similar). Which probably also means, that there will not be anyone in the company able to do bug-fixing or additional features.

This can of course be outsourced… but how much outsourcing will this company do, if they sold 5000 copies at $20? How much outsourcing will they do in a year… in two years?

Each and every time you run into a “lifetime” offer, you will need to inject some common sense into your purchasing-process… You will have to ask yourself… “how will they make money for development and support”? Because even though it may seem prudent for you to not want to pay for it – someone has to.

If no money comes into a business – no money goes out, plain and simple.

Put yourself in their shoes

Also, try to imagine, if you had to launch a hosting service, what would be your methods for generating the recurring revenue needed to keep the service afloat after launch week? Because the company has recurring expenses even if you don’t.

Does it seem like the company in question has put any plans into being that addresses this? (And simply saying “we’ll go to recurring after launch-week”, does not cut it – how will they get new customers on a scale similar to the affiliate-fueled launch? What is their USP for their recurring service when compared to the players already established on the recurring market for said service?)

In short, who will be willing to pay recurring, when you don’t?

Oftentimes you will end up finding there is a very good and valid reason, why established services charge monthly (or yearly, or whatever).

My recommendations

I would personally never leave my business in the hands of a company where I wasn’t more than reasonably sure they would be in business next month or six months from now. (Remember – the lifetime mentioned on the salespage is the lifetime of the service… not the lifetime of your business).

So, you might have to pay a little extra by choosing an established company to run your hosting or autoresponder through – but you get something much more valuable (at least in my view): you get to be absolutely certain your business is in good hands, today, tomorrow and a year from now.

You could also say – you get to sleep more soundly at night 🙂

I’ve tried quite a few autoresponders and hosting companies over the years – and the ones I mention below is what I have found to be first class services that you can sign up for knowing you’re in good hands.


Sure, there are probably more advanced services out there, perhaps also cheaper, but I have not found anything as intuitively easy to use and with as good a track-record when it comes to deliverability as Aweber. Do your own due dilligence – but Aweber is what I would recommend.


Hosting of course comes in many shapes, sizes and colors, but when all is said and done, if a hosting package delivers a good performance, what it all comes down to is… support.

I have seen some dismal support-effort from quite a lot of hosting companies – even if their product was quite good as it was… and when you’re faced with a hosting problem (which can quite easily cripple your business for the duration of said problem), you do not want to face neither support-techs that don’t know their way around their servers, nor are not able to understand your problem at all.

So, I’ll recommend 2 companies that both deliver great hosting at affordable prices, and where I have found impeccable tech-support. (And I should know – I was in tech-support for 30+ years).

Do check them out if you’re looking for quality hosting – but again, do your own due dilligence.

D9 Hosting

D9 Hosting is started and run by a couple of marketers, and thus knows marketing inside-out (which of course means they’ll understand your problems from the get-go)


NameCheap are of course a big domain-name registrar, but I’ve found their hosting to be excellent and their support to be equally so. They are of course a big company, so you might experience to be bounced between supporters during a call – but they stay on the ball and see your problems through.

Let’s Talk

I hope you got some inspiration from this article – feel free to comment below, both with your own experiences but also with constructive criticism if you should disagree with my points.

Let’s have a fruitful debate 🙂

    2 replies to "Is it a bird, is it a plane… or is it a scam?"

    • […] I went at it and came up with this post – a semi-rant as it turns out (one of the things Randy suggested in the […]

    • TJ Moss

      Having created my first webhosting company in 1998 I can attest to the fact that there is no such thing as a “lifetime” one payment webhost… not a legit real one anyhow.
      There are very real expenses for a webhosting company that do not go away but they are reoccurring every month.
      Bandwidth, Internet connections (many of these are redundant, so a good webhost will have several), support staff etc… just to name a few, and these bills come every month. Not to mention that every webhost has to constantly be investing into new hardware as it gets worn out, out dated, or goes bad on a regular basis.
      Paying a lifetime subscription for a webhost is like paying a lifetime subscription to your electric company… it is not possible.

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