Care For Some Cheap Webhosting No Thank You

Care For Some Cheap Webhosting No Thank You

No, ‘cheap’ is​ not necessarily a​ bad thing (well, not always), but when it​ comes to​ a​ services industry as​ competitive and​ with as​ thin margins as​ the​ web hosting industry, customers better watch out. Hosts offering ‘low-cost’ services tend to​ offer the​ world for​ Rs. 900 per year but, usually fail to​ deliver even the​ most basic of​ services. Surprised? I’m not. Let me explain some basics for​ the​ benefit of​ the​ vast majority who would still be unsure as​ to​ what I’m rambling about.

A “web host” is​ a​ company (well, most like to​ think of​ themselves as​ such but that’s a​ whole new article) that is​ in​ the​ business of​ procuring bandwidth (internet connectivity) and​ servers (glorified computers) with the​ intent to​ re-sell the​ same, in​ smaller bits, to​ people who need storage space for​ their e-mails and​ websites. This is​ usually (read always) accomplished by renting out dedicated servers with a​ decent hard drive and​ bandwidth quota and​ then using a​ hosting automation suite (control panel) to​ divide the​ server resources up into smaller chunks called ‘hosting plans’. the​ goal is​ to​ price these plans in​ a​ way that they remain affordable for​ the​ client while helping the​ host maximize profit from the​ resources it​ has.

Now comes the​ fun part…

Since there are almost no barriers to​ entry in​ this particular industry, new web hosts keep popping up every day. This helps keep the​ price for​ hosting services sane and​ should also mean better service for​ the​ customers since there are many hosts competing for​ their business. What really happens is​ that one Johnny-come-lately decides that the​ only way he can grab some market-share is​ by offering the​ lowest prices. Once customers start quoting his price to​ the​ host struggling for​ their business, the​ host decides to​ match it. Before you know it, everyone has slashed their prices by half! This, in​ Pakistan, can be seen every 10 – 12 months.

“Good”, you say? Read on…

What does this mean for​ the​ web host? Suddenly, all their existing clients are paying them half of​ what they used to. This means that in​ the​ coming year, they would have to​ generate twice as​ much new business just to​ make the​ same amount as​ last year! is​ this considered growth? I think not!

Sadly, the​ number of​ clients does not magically increase with every price shave. So, the​ web hosts are left with little choice other than to​ cut costs just to​ make ends meet. Where there were 3 support people, they decide to​ make do with just one. Where there were 2 servers earlier, they decide that they can load all of​ the​ clients onto just one server resulting in​ lower operating costs. These measures, needless to​ say, do have a​ positive impact on the​ host’s bottom-line but deteriorate the​ services resulting in​ un-answered support queries and​ long periods of​ downtime (website/email inaccessibility) or​ extremely slow server response due to​ excessive loads on the​ server.

Now, if​ the​ host were to​ put their existing clients first, they would price their service fairly so that every client not only feels good in​ his wallet, but can also rely on the​ service being offered. I guess, all it​ boils down to​ is; whether a​ web host is​ in​ this business to​ provide a​ top-notch service with a​ long-term business goal or​ is​ just there to​ make a​ quick while competing with all the​ fly-by-night hosts who happen to​ come along.

Recently, I have come across at​ least three such hosting companies that are now in​ financial peril because they could not resist the​ urge to​ slash prices in​ order to​ try and​ capture some new business. Sadly enough, these are not people who are ‘new’ to​ the​ industry. Such an​ impact on the​ market is​ magnified 10 fold when an​ older host decides they would be better off by just slashing prices rather than improving on service. as​ a​ result, the​ younger companies follow suit and​ create a​ mess for​ themselves and​ more importantly their clients. the​ ultimate outcome is​ that frustrated clients decide to​ switch to​ foreign web hosts that provide a​ better service at​ a​ saner price.

From experience, I have learnt that providing a​ good service is​ what really matters. the​ rest falls into place when clients realise that they can only run their online business if​ the​ service they get is​ of​ good quality. After all, you get what you pay for. What good is​ a​ cheap service when you will eventually stop getting any?

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