A look at web hosting companies
DoesWhat currently maintains two blogs external to the tech news front-page which are ‘Tutorial What’ and ‘YouTubeing’. As of today we’ll be offering ‘Hosting Review’. Over the past couple of years we have tried and tested web hosting companies big and small, cheap and expensive and we would like to share our experiences here at DoesWhat. When it comes down to it, you don’t necessarily need to even pay for web hosting. If you are starting a business that competes with Amazon then you will probably want to get yourself a nice dedicated server, but if you are hosting a small blog then you might not need to pay anything or just a few dollars a month. Hopefully we’ll be able to point you to the holy grail of web hosting (in respect to what you require). To kick things off we’ll give you a bit of background.
Shared web hosting is an interesting and sometimes confusing business. The principles of ordinary selling don’t seem to apply, the name given to this is overselling. Nearly all web hosting companies oversell their web hosting. Take a quick look at three of the most popular shared web hosts. Rarely are web hosting companies open about their business model, however when HostGator upped some of its shared hosting to unlimited bandwidth they left a detailed post talking about overselling. To us this was nothing we didn’t already know, but it was an honest perspective from a big player. Brent Oxley stated,
“Just ask yourself one thing… How do all us shared web hosting companies sell more disk space and bandwidth for ten bucks then the dedicated server providers sell for hundreds?”
This is the lack of logic behind shared hosting; web hosting has become ‘scummy’ as Oxley puts it. But hosting is so widely accessible that to stay competitive this is apparently what they must do. Oxley carries on saying,
“It’s an easy concept really. Every web host has a terms of service with CPU and memory limits. If your website consumed too much of its share of CPU or memory then most web hosts will require you to upgrade. When you purchase a dedicated server you can’t get shut down for CPU or memory abuse so they have to sell you a plan based on what your site could use with less restrictions. At HostGator, we pretty much get an unlimited amount of bandwidth from our provider thanks to having thousands of servers. We also have 10,000’s of gigs disk space not being used. Giving away unlimited disk space and bandwidth doesn’t really cost us anything. It’s the CPU and memory that has a real value. A server will usually become extremely overloaded way before you ever get close to using the amount of disk quota and bandwidth it comes with.”
When it comes down to it, the amount of resources that a standard website requires is minuscule. HostGator say the problem is with one or two websites on a server of around two hundred that start causing everyone else trouble. HostGator remedies this by declaring that for those who make the most of their hosting they will move these sites onto other servers. HostGator actually lose money on these particular customers, however they a make hefty profit on all their other customers.
One of the key ways in which web hosts make money is stale or unused accounts. These are the users who buy hosting with good intention and then never actually end up using it. We’re guilty of this and have probably wasted hundreds doing so. The right host is extremely important but so is your own planning.
So how do web hosting companies get away with offering unlimited bandwidth and web space? It’s all in the terms of service or terms and conditions; this is when you tick the box that states ‘I agree to the Terms’, most of us read very little or none of the terms. But when it comes to web hosting it can actually be worth reading. Generally most web hosting companies keep the legal jargon down to a minimum and they are actually quite easy to follow if you know what you are looking for.
Purchasing shared web hosting it is generally a bit of a gamble. You’re provided with information such as bandwidth and disk space, which is like purchasing a car only knowing how large the fuel tank is and how spacious the car is. Details such as processor and memory coupled with how many other websites there are on the server are rarely divulged at selling point. When purchasing web hosting you really need to take a good look around at unbiased reviews and find real opinions.
We’ve opened DoesWhat Hosting Review with a fairly negative review of GoDaddy web hosting services. We’ll be trying to post a review a week.