Web Hosting Companies
There are many web hosting companies and web site hosting providers as it is likely one of the most profitable businesses in the IT space, as the service is built on a recurring payment model and in most cases, little technical work is involved outside of providing the actual space, and maintaining the security of the overall computer network which is usually provided to hundreds or thousands of customers, all of whom pay a monthly or yearly hosting renewal fee. In some ways, web space, can be compared to leasing virtual real estate.
Web hosting companies provide “virtual space” on a computer or server which is connected to the Internet, and depending on the service provider, will assign a customer the virtual keys via “FTP” (File Transfer Protocol) and access to a web hosting control panel, to that space so that the customer can upload, download and manage the web based files which make up the visual elements and software components of a website. Depending on the service provider, a varying amount of help or assistance will be provided in the form of support, along with the actual hosting service and web space lease agreement.
Most companies will have something called an “AUP”, or an “Acceptable Use Policy”, which outlines the specific things a customer is permitted to do with the web space being leased as well as a long list of things which are not permitted, some of which include the fairly obvious abuses such as using the web-space to host copyright violating, offensive or hateful content and material, selling illegal products or using the hosting company’s computer network for spamming.
Many customers who are in need of web hosting services are not familiar with the different levels of service and/or what the vast differences in price are related to, or even what type of hosting environment they may require and will wind up relying on a third party or the hosting company itself to make this suggestion for them. Customers often don’t understand what if any support they might require, and for what reason, or what issues could arise from mismanagement of the hosting account, for instance, being hacked or compromised due to security vulnerabilities in either the network, hardware, or site software.
At Internet Marketing Services Inc., our team prefers to work with Rackspace, a publicly traded company and one of the largest web hosting providers in the United States. Not surprisingly, Rackspace is also one of the most expensive, but when it comes to keeping your intellectual property safe and secure, a little more fees per month will be less costly in the long-run than a compromise, loss of critical data, or frequent network outages. For this reason, all our customer sites are hosted on our leased dedicated machines at Rackspace.
To help customers get an idea of some good companies to work with and a general idea of what’s included with those services we have complied a short list of some major hosting providers we most often encounter for customers and what customers can typically expect from them.
Prices and Level of Services:
- Rackspace – High prices, high quality of services, optimal security, potential for advanced assistance on ordinarily unsupported help depending on the support person you speak with, access to database administrators and experts on staff, best support by ticket and phone. https://www.rackspace.com
- Host My Site – Low prices, decent quality of services, better than average support by ticket or phone depending on the support person you speak with. https://www.hostmysite.com
- GoDaddy – Low prices, satisfactory quality of services, satisfactory support by ticket or phone. Nickle and dimes customers for any advanced or unsupported work. https://www.godaddy.com
- Host Gator – Cheapest provider, poor quality of services, long wait times, poor support by ticket, very little phone or technical support. Decent total DIY “do it yourself” solution for experienced server administrators. https://www.hostgator.com
The above list should help most business owners decide on what type of company is likely to be best for them. However, small business owners should be aware, that few hosting companies will provide a website administrator or webmaster or website manager with the hosting account service. Most hosting companies are primarily providers of hosting services in the form of virtual web space, computer hardware, including services related with overall network security across their entire customer base and/or supporting the software involved in managing the web space itself, not the site hosted on it. They generally do not assist with actual website management.
Small business owners that are looking for web hosting services expecting there to include a website administrator or website manager to act as the business’s web master or web developer or website services provider are in essence seeking the incorrect solution. This expertise is never included with a web hosting service contract from a company that primarily provides web hosting services. For company’s seeking a website administrator visit our website manager section or full-service managed provider services.