As the World Wide Web grows ever larger so, it seems, does the proliferation of web hosting companies. They offer more and more facilities at cheaper and cheaper pricing. Of course there are reputable web companies that offer affordable web hosting plans ? they have to compete in the market place after all. But, ever heard the saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is" well, this is just as true with web hosting companies as it is with everything else. There are certain limitations that all web hosting companies face regarding web server resources and specifications.
There is no such thing as a web server that has a limitless supply of RAM and CPU. We have all seen web hosting companies claiming to provide unlimited space or bandwidth for your website. But it is a fact that, unless you have a large business website, the average web site uses 50 Megs or less of space and usually less then 1 gig of bandwidth per month. So, why would a hosting company offer unlimited bandwidth and space per month? Simple,??.they don't tell all the truth! They often make up unrealistic plans with huge amounts of space and bandwidth for around $5.95 a month.
They play the percentages game. What I mean by that is, that they know, maybe one or two of every 100 websites that they host on these plans are going to use all the bandwidth that they claim to provide. How do they deal with these higher bandwidth sites? They usually close the accounts of these websites saying, "your site is using too many resources." They are of course telling the truth about the resource usage. It is important to realize that bandwidth, and the space a website is using, have nothing to do with the server resources being used. Resource usage has to do with the amount of CPU and RAM a site uses.
If your site is using a lot of bandwidth you aren't penalized for using the bandwidth on your web hosting plan, your site is kicked off the server for likely using most of the web hosting companies servers cpu and ram. Also it is possible that the cheaper the web hosting plan offered, and the more bandwidth and space provided - the more sites per server the host will cram in to make their profit back. Which also means poorer performance for your website. Another thing to bear in mind is that a lot of these "too good to be true" plans want you to pay for a year up front.
You would think that a hosting company couldn't care less if you pay monthly or yearly for your hosting. Because, if you're happy with your hosting, you're likely to keep your hosting plan going as long as you own the website ? certainly longer than a year! It doesn't cost that much to process those monthly fees, so why pay yearly? Well, could be that their support sucks, their servers are slow, slow, slow, possibly your site downtime is also going to become an issue. Obviously If you pay on a monthly basis you're going to move your site in double-quick fashion. If you paid for a year up front, it's going to be a painful and frustrating 12 months for you and your customers! One other red flag to be aware of, with cheap web hosting companies, are the claims of zero downtime.
It is impossible to guarantee 100% uptime, as it is necessary to reboot all servers occasionally for updates to software and to maintain security. No updates to security means an easy target for hackers and the like, who trawl the web constantly looking for holes to exploit. You don't want your valuable customer info to fall prey to security flaws at the server level. So, now you are better armed to go out into the web hosting company jungle. As I said at the beginning, there are many web hosting companies out there that provide stellar service at a reasonable price. Follow a few of the guidelines touched on above, and you should have a relatively problem free start to your life on-line, ignore them at your peril!.
This article was co-written with Jim Turner, the owner of hot5hosting.com Feel free to visit his site at http://www.hot5hosting.com Otherwise learn more about Martin's businesses at Truepot.net http://www.truepot.net