Don’t we get a little bit confused when many web hosting providers charge different prices on the hosting plan which seems the same? Here, you'll find some tips when it is worth paying more for a hosting service and when you should just save on that.
All hosting providers can be divided into 3 types: resellers, data-centers and hosting companies, who own hardware and rent only space (e.g. a rack) in the data-center. So what's the difference among them?
1. Data centers
Like big malls, large hosting companies provide you with a bundle of services starting at the server rack and up to the traffic, remote hands service, cross-connect and so on. Such companies are interested in developing their infrastructure attracting new rack holders.
There are also some small companies that rent out dedicated servers to startups or individuals and provide only hardware maintenance. They usually don’t include any support services due to their business model. Besides, they offer servers in basic configurations and any changes (upgrade/downgrade) will cost you way more.
Due to the aim of getting more new customers, such web hosting companies never really care much about the quality of services they provide.
2. Web hosting providers who own hardware
Meanwhile the data center take care of power, cooling, security and fire systems, hosting providers serve the rest. They monitor and manage server health and performance, including SSDs and HDDs endurance. Here, you can worry-free upgrade your server because anything you might need (like RAID cards, RAM, drives) are already in stock ready to go.
In addition to that the providers offer some extra services such as server administration, backup, CDN and so on.
In other words, the web hosting providers have been building a rock-solid reputation for years providing full turnkey services to meet the customer's needs. And Hostiserver belongs to that type of hosting companies.
As a rule, those companies do not have their own equipment. They rent it from the data centers or other hosting companies and resell that equipment to end users. So, their business philosophy is simple, namely, buy it for cheap and sell for more. In addition, the resellers have no control over the hardware they rent, as when the equipment fails they will not have access to that. And the companies that rent the hardware out usually don’t care much about somebody’s customers.
In this way, when the equipment fails it takes a lot of time to fix the problem. You’ll probably get another HDD but its replacement might take weeks. In some rare instances, the honest resellers may lease out another server for their customers losing their money.
So, there is no point in waiting so long for the replacement of the broken server or paying out of pocket for a new one.
Traffic speed depends on the Internet Service Provider your hosting company choose to partner with. The best practice is using traffic channels from 2 different Tier-1 providers http://as-rank.caida.org/. For example, HostiServer partners with two of them - Cogent Communications and Hurricane Electric, Inc. So if one network fails, you’ll be automatically switched to another network. In that case, hosting provider pays the price two times as high compared to a regular one.
Many data centers may have different problems like power outages, equipment failures and so on. The best option to avoid that is housing at Tier-III data-centers where an average price starts at $2,000 per one 42 units rack. Meanwhile, price in a low-cost data center goes for only $500 or even less.
If your server is twice as cheap compared to the regular price on the market, you've probably rent desktop hardware which is not suitable for the heavy loads. Besides, they may sell Chinese replicas. For example, the average price for an enterprise server starts at $5,000 meanwhile the Chinese replica may cost two times cheaper like a desktop one. In addition, some Chinese processors have a poor quality, generally speaking, they are not compatible with branded motherboard such as Intel, HP, Lenovo and Dell, etc. In other words, the hardware is not really suitable for the regular heavy load.
Technical support level
Technical support is the backbone of any hosting company, and the level of service you experience afterwards. Better, if you are served by the expertised admins instead of the unprofessional staff hardly fixing even the most simple issue. It goes without saying, the average expert admin salary is much higher.
Network hardware and rack power distribution units (PDUs) redundancy
The cost may go up to $20,000 or more for the one switch, but even a good one could fail. Therefore, each hosting provider must have the spare one when it happens. The same story with the rack power distribution units, as every server must have two power supplies connected to separate PDUs (starting at $400 each) to prevent the failures.
No fault-tolerant infrastructure
Web hosting company must invest in the fault-tolerance to prevent catastrophic failure. If they don’t provide that you will have various problems in the future.
No technical support
Let’s say you have problems with the hosting, the technical support is the first option that comes to your mind. But what if they aren’t available at the time they’re really needed? Surely, you will lose your money.
Cheap or old equipment
Old hardware isn't that reliable, so you can go offline at any moment losing your visitors and budget. To avoid this, old drives (both HDD and SSD) should be replaced and all the hardware should be able to handle heavy loads. As a rule, the cheap hardware would break down faster over time.
It often happens that the hosting providers overcharge you for the internet traffic, IP address or other services while providing “VIP services”. No matter what type of plan you choose, but you cannot be billed $60 for the network traffic per 1TB. Even though, you have been offered the brand equipment, overpayment is not always the right decision.
It is always important to choose the right hardware for your project otherwise you will lose your money. The experienced hosting provider always help its customers choose the right option or plan. For example, no need to rent 500 square feet of office space if you work alone. So, you need to pay only for things you use. In other words, you choose the hosting provider that offers flexible price plans and great experts who can help you with your needs.
It goes without saying that your online presence as well as the earnings depend on the hosting provider you choose to house the project. On one hand, you should not get the cheapest one and on the other, you don’t need to overpay for that as well.
First you need to compare the average prices for bandwidth on the market, data center your hardware is placed at and what is the most important - are you pleased with the support team you get? How long does it take to answer on your questions? Have they being helpful? Are they available 24/7?
In addition to that it would be great if some services will be included in the package plan. Especially, when you want to rent the server, included time of tech support is the best option that comes to mind. As to the third-party web system administrators, there is no guarantee that they configure or set up your server properly. Keep in mind, if your server is not configured correctly, you will probably lose your network traffic, target audience, as the server won't be able to perform the right tasks for you. Having the expert to optimize and improve your hosting environment instead of upgrading the equipment, will save you a lot of money.
Finally, you should never pay extra money for the services and server resources which you just might probably need in the future (and are absolutely unnecessary at the moment).