Learn web hosting better. Indian Perspective
Question : First and foremost one should remember to ask a hosting provider as to how many websites they host per server.
Answer : Many companies offer cheap packages by hosting more websites on a server which optimally should be running per server. Although there is no fixed criteria or parameter as to how many websites should be hosted per server as a simple gamming website less than 20 MB even can use whole of server resources but such is not the scenario with normal business websites as they consume very less space and resources.
Shared Hosting Servers are more like Bus or Taxi, in order to have a better ride/experience one should check as to how many websites are hosted on a particular server. To the best of our understanding and experience one should not host more than 200 websites on a PIV Server and 600-700 Websites on a Dual Xeon Server with maximum 20-30 mysql database per server on PIV and 50-70 database on a Dual Xeon server to offer best of performance, whereas many web hosts offer mysql db indiscriminately and offer to sell everything unlimited which is a farce as they only try to befool customer by making claims to sell which is unattainable level of performance from a shared server.
One should know that a Server is nothing but a better form of a personal computer. In layman’s language it looks like your personal computer only but is a refined or upgraded version of a PC as it’s job is to serve pages. We try to explain this as most non technical guys who are simple businessman do not even know what is a server and how it looks. They live in their own myth that server is some sort of a super computer in some gizmo world. Please understand Server is an upgraded form of Personal computer which has its own limited resources so whom so ever says unlimited is doing nothing but trying to fool customers of their ignorance.
Question. How many web hosting companies offer unlimited space or many offer GB’s of web space for extra ordinary low price.
Answer : A simple answer to this issue is that previously hard disks used to be of lesser size and now we have much bigger hard disks so one can offer more space but even then anything which comes for pitten’s has to have riders as no one is here to run others business. Any web hosting company which offer extra ordinary cheap space like for example one offers free database etc. than beware that the server performance will surely be compromised and one will see lot of downtimes.
Further many companies hide their interest in their Acceptable Usage Policies and Faq’s linked very discreetly on their website so please make sure that you read their acceptable usage policy and Faq’s. We know of couple of companies in India and USA which offer unlimited space or more space but then they put few clauses in their Faq’s and AUP’s. For example they only allow linked html and php/asp files only.
Now what significance this has can be explained from an example as follows.
Allowing linked html or asp/php files only means that any file which is not linked to each other and has no relevance to the website will not be allowed to be hosted and if this is the case then one does not need huge space or unlimited space as 90% of the business websites are hosted within 10 mb of space.
We can elaborate it with an example of few portals hosted by us like for example we host a real estate portal namely salepurchaserent.com which has hundreds of pages whereas it in total uses not more than 50 MB of space. Another portal hosted by us namely indiaetrade.com which has more than 1,00,000 files uses less than 1 GB of space. As mentioned above a normal website does not use more than 10-25 MB space so even a smallest of package any web hosting company offers is sufficient to serve your purpose.
Question. : How many web hosts offer MSSQL Database for free.Answer : One has to be a real Son of a Gun to offer MSSQL database for free as it is a big cost.
How and with what ulterior motives many hosts try to make such offers is explained below :
1. Many hosts in order to save money host database on the same server where they host websites or run their web services. As it is a bad idea to run web services and database services on the same server at least in Windows Hosting Environment.
2. Many host offer very limited space like maximum 10 MB for database knowing that database consist of mdf and ldf files where in the ldf files keep on inflating for the reason that they contain transaction logs and thus they fill up very very fast. So if the client makes the web application which uses mssql database then one should beware of the fact that he is bound to pay more within the duration of his package which normally is one year as 10 MB is bound to get filled within no time.
Question : How many host offer GB’s of space for Mail services.
Answer : The normal way of doing this is by limiting the POP size of the mail server. Many hosting providers play a game that on one hand they offer very very generous space in GB’s for mails but then on the other hand limit the POP size to 10-20 MB or maybe 100 MB thus creating a need for the client to go for an upgraded package which maybe a good cost difference. Another way to do it is by the way of offering limited server resources where they will come down heavily on the clients website later on complaining that he is abusing server resources and that if he needs to use such resources then he will need to upgrade or pay extra. No hosting provider is here to pay for his clients success. It is either by hook or crook one has to take money from the customer for his usage. People out of their ignorance do not realize that they are being taken for a ride as they create an impression that the company which is selling little expensive is a cheater or an unscrupulous seller. Companies which are old as ours know for sure what to sell and at what price so that it does not bring blemish to the name of the company and thus able to offer best of services at most reasonable prices. Any service provider who is in any industry needs to maintain his hard earned goodwill which is generated from word of mouth by serving customer for over many years. To conclude please make sure that you are working with those providers who are old, experienced and competent.
Question : How come many host offer 5-10 GB of space for like Rs.1000-Rs.1500 per annum.
Answer : Here also the game is simple they make you pay for the space which you will never use as they will put a clause in their Policy or Faq’ that you cannot upload unlinked html files thus even if you have a need to upload few files for some backup purpose or some other need then you cannot do that and trust us 99% of the people will never ever reach 20 MB limit so what to talk about GB’s of space.
Question : Many hosts claim big so how to check their credentials.
Answer : The easiest way to do is by asking them about the big names they host and for how many years they are hosting them or other good names. Also what is the percentage of customer retention has to be checked by asking few names which are hosted by service provider over a period of 2-3 years.
Secondly one should not forget to ask as to how many servers they have and what are the number of websites they host per server. For example if they are selling a website for Rs.100-200 per annum to the reseller or bulk buyer and on the other hand they claim that they have a Xeon server than one needs to do little mathematics to come to the conclusion as to whether they are speaking truth or not.
Here is a simple way to do some logical calculation.
1. To lease a Xeon Server one needs to spend close to $350/Rs.14000 per month which will have a backup drive and at least RAID1.
2. On a Xeon Server one should host not more than 600 websites and if someone is selling the webspace for Rs.100-Rs.200 per annum per website then the total earning per server will be Rs.200 per annum x 600 websites = Rs.1,20,000 per annum where as the cost of the server will be Rs.14000 x 12 months = Rs.1,68000 per annum. So to break even one will need to host atleast 840 websites @ Rs.200 per website per annum. Thus to break even either one is overloading the server by hosting more websites as it should have thus for sure leading to poor services or one is lying that he has so many customers as many hosts in India lease servers and not able to use them optimally so in order to get their monthly rent out they sell it at whatever price. You can very well understand how one who is incurring losses will be able to survive or offer good services.
Please bear in mind that when one buys server it take some time to add websites/sell web space on it and to break even for a new entrant or even few old ones it may take many months and up to a year. On reaching the point of renewal the host finds that lot of his customers are not ready to renew due to the bad service it offered thus he is again in the same vicious circle of trying to find customers. At times many host buy another server after it gets full within couple of months for the fact that they are selling cheap but once the year is completed and they do not get renewals the issue crops in that none of the server is optimally used thus brining in more frustration to sell at whatever price but to get money to pay for rents.
So please make sure that do not get biased by the prices and few false claims made by some host, think twice and try to make some logical conclusions as to whether a hosting provider is old enough to withstand such issues and is it financially sound. Visiting one’s office can make you understand its financial standing for the fact that how many people work for the host and if one cannot make a physical visit then how many good names are hosted by the service provider and whether it has some other valid credentials.
3. One other way to check it is to find how many employees are their in an organization and how many they are able to retain from last many years.
Let us give you an example using ourselves as a yard stick using which you will be able to make some logical conclusions about a hosting provider.
1. We at Economicalhost.com run our own server farm in USA and thus hosts who offer cheap and claim to host 1000’s of websites should have at least their own server farm as else they will not be able to offer such cost effective services for long or are bound to close as unless you run your own infrastructure one cannot sustain for long with down to earth prices.
2. How many new server has the hosting provider taken in last one year and what is the magnitude of his addition of new servers in a year.
3. We have added 10 Server in last 1 month and out of them 7 servers are Dual Xeon Servers with RAID1 and 2 GB RAM and REST 3 are PIV Dual Core with 2 GB RAM and RAID1. We have no doubts to claim that this feat is extremely extremely difficult for any service provider in India to achieve. On monthly basis we add not less then 1-2 server but for the month of November 2007 we placed order for 10 new server which is something to feel pride about.
4. In the month of October we offered a Brand New Santro Car to one of our senior Employee for his personal usage. Almost 75% of our employees are 2-9 year old.
5. In last 1 year we have opened two new offices in Delhi. One at Patel Nagar and Second at Naraina. Both the offices are very very Prime commercial properties and located on the Naraina Ring road and main Patel Nagar Road.
6. We have started a new portal with the name IndiaeTrade.com . The cost of making this Portal has been more than 1 million as 15 people are working on it from last 9 months on the payroll plus we have used service of many outside service providers too.
7. In last one year we have participated in many outdoor advertising campaigns and exhibitions to promote our business among masses. Very soon we will start a unique service of offering free email ids to Delhites by way of offering 2 GB mail space for an email id as per the colony they live in and for college students as per the college they study in. One will have an option to choose from 150+ Colonies and close to 50 Delhi University Colleges at our website YourColony.in