In dealing with Real Estate,
whether you do your business in an office, a building, or a shopping mall,
there will always be rent. And of course, this figure will vary
considerably - according to the amount of space you're renting, where
you're renting it, and who you're renting from.
The same is true in Cyber
Space. The only thing different is the term used. Way back in the late
1990's when the Internet was brand new and had just come into existence,
the popular term among web professionals was "maintenance". Now
that we've all become a bit more enlightened with the changing of the
millennium, it's more commonly referred to as "hosting" fees.
Undoubtedly, the term will continue to evolve. But no matter what you call
it, it all means the same thing.
Maintenance = Hosting = Rent.
Now, as to what
"Hosting" really is... well, it really is rent! And when
you pay a monthly maintenance charge, or hosting fee, you are actually
paying rent for the space your files take up on the Hosting company's
You see, a web site is
actually a group of files, stored on a computer, and served to anyone who
asks to see them. And in order for people using the Internet to see those
files, they have to be stored on a special kind of computer that is very
powerful, extremely expensive, and unbelievably fast. This special
computer is called a "server"... because
that's what it was designed to do; serve up web sites.
Technology is always
improving. Servers are getting quicker and quicker. And with good reason!
Statistics show that if a web site isn't served within about 15 seconds, a
significant loss of traffic will occur. After about 20 seconds, almost 50%
of your "could have been" customers have already moved on.
A hosting company must
continually upgrade to the latest and fastest serving technology to stay
on top. When it comes to servers, last year's "cutting edge, state of
the art" server is this year's "discontinued close out
With as fast as technologies
is advancing these days, when a "cutting edge" hosting company
upgrades it's equipment, it is left with a mountain of enormously
expensive equipment - that although it is in great shape, and hardly used,
it is literally useless to the company. So in order to recoup some of the
cost of this expensive, but now useless equipment, the company sells it
But who would buy this
"excellent condition" but obsolete "blue light
special" hosting equipment?
Well... let's just say that I
hope it wasn't the hosting company you're thinking about going with.
Don't get me wrong. There is a
place for economy web hosting. If you want to put up a web memorial for
your dearly departed pet hamster, "Grizzly", by all means
utilize the most economical hosting company you can find. There are even
places that you can host a site for free. (Be sure to keep in mind Tip
1 and Tip 2 from the previous page.)
But if you are in a business
of any kind, and you are serious about your success, going with anything
less than a "cutting edge" host is self defeating.
1. There is no free lunch.
2. Keep your site's visitors safe from unethical prying eyes.
3. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for.
Okay, now let's move on to
other ways to evaluate
a hosting company.