Webmaster Papers

Will All The $1.95 And Free Hosts Survive?

The main thing wrong today with trying to find a host for most individuals and businesses is the shear number of them. Their prices range from free to hundreds of dollars per month. When you go out on the web today and do a search for hosting you will find page upon page of hosts. Some are well established companies with solid reputations and business plans that make sense. Yet some are beyond belief that anyone would host with a company that offers you a 100mb website for $.99. Yes I said that right $.99.

The other day I was purusing the search listings and came across a host that is providing just such a product. What I cannot figure out is why? The simple fact is to make any money on this plan with your expenses figured in it would take around 100 to 200 hundred such clients. That seems like an awful lot of work for any company for such a small profit margin. I thought to myself that the headaches alone would finish off any profit you might have made via hospital bills. These plans are numerous in varying denominations. And one has to think what in the world are they thinking.

I am not saying that they should not provide a cheaper alternative, but that in the end it is the client (you) that will suffer. Most of the hosts that go under each month are the ones that did not properly figure in their cost structure to allow for all their true and tangible and untangible expenses. They also do not consider the work involved in servicing those 200 accounts each day for their possible $50 per month profit if you can call it that. Ahh just enough to buy some Excederin! If only they would have taken a moment to think of the ultimate outcome of this course of business.

I know you are thinking that you are one of these people that have a host providing you with ultra cheap service. "What is he talking about my host is stable" or are they? So one day you are sitting at your computer desk and you go to your computer and go to your website and oh no the site is gone. You think to yourself "I know I paid my $12 for the year last month so I should not have any problems", but you do. Your host who most likely has been running their service from their home also has just gotten out of the business without notifying you at all.

This sounds impossible, but it does happen. And even worse is the cost of trying to recoup your lost $12 worth it? Probably not! So why did they go out of business? Well that is very obvious. They were simply overwelhmed by the sheer number of clients and the negative cash flow. And guess what dont feel bad because there are people everyday that this happens to from both free and budget hosting companies. Including myself. Yes I said myself.

It was not to long ago that I first got on the internet and decided that there is no reason that I need to pay for hosting when I can get it free. So I went out on the internet and searched every free host for the largest most feature rich plan and signed on with them. That is when my nightmare began for 2 tortous weeks. The very first day I loaded my site and began thinking of ways to promote my new game site that I had created. My kids were excited about and I wanted them to spread the word at school.

That evening I got on to check on my site and found the system down. I thought ok it is just a glitch for a few minutes. Three hours later the site comes back up. I send off my email to the company support who states they had a client who overloaded the system with to many downloads. Now I did not say much as this could happen to any system. And so I went on about promoting my site. Things went well for two days and I was starting to see my forums take off as we allready had 30+ members.

Then it started again as the site went down again. This time for three days, with no contact from the company. When I finally was able to contact them they gave me the same reason and told me that this was free hosting and if I did not like it to find another host. Lets just say that I was not real happy with this answer or statement. So as my site is running smoothly again for a couple days the excitement level builds until "blam" the site is down again. Now I am very upset and wondering what I was thinking in joining these guys. This time the site never comes up again. I mean never! When I finally get an email from the site owner he says that this other client was downloading 20gb of material per hour at a sustained rate. He then proceeds to tell me his overage bills are astronomically high. Now I stopped dead in my tracks and could not believe he said that. The reason I say that is because when I signed up it was an unlimited bandwidth providor. How could that be?

Well people there is no such thing as unlimited. Everything has a limit in this world. It is a matter of if we find it and he did. Seems that he did not figure in what would happen if one of his clients actually used unlimited bandwidth. Failure to plan a solid business model had got him. It also got me as I had information on my site that I had not backed up yet. So I lost a whole lot of work.

The sad truth is that no matter if you think you have gotten a great deal on hosting, have you? What is here tommorrow could be gone tommorrow. This is not to say that you might not go out and join up with a host that charges alot more and they might not go out of business tommorrow. It is just a simple fact that they might have a more sound business plan and also be able to afford to have a technician available for problems that may arise. I made the choice to go with a more expensive plan, but I also was able to get a real amount of storage and bandwidth also. Not one of these 100mb to 500mb plans that charge you $10 to $25 per month. Now that is highway robbery and another article in its own.

So make sure that you choose wisely and if your budget allows maybe consider going with a host that is little more expensive, but lets you rest assured at night that they will still be there when you wake up in the morning. And will these budget hosts and freewebsite hosts be around next year? Well we do not know. If run well they might. Just remember you are usually paying a one man team on these hosts. Good Luck!

Kevin Grames is the CEO of TheNetCode Hosting. Born in Toledo, Ohio in the 1960's he made his way to internet hosting several years ago via his experiences with web hosts at that time. You can visit his site at http://www.thenetcode.com


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