4 Questions To Ask Yourself About Lifetime Web Hosting

We have all see these deals from time to time “Lifetime Web Hosting! Pay one price for the lifetime of your account!” On the surface the deal seems to be good. But is it? There are several questions you should ask yourself before you consider such a deal, because you may not get your money’s worth out of it, and you may experience some other unfortunate consequences. So how do you know if lifetime web hosting is right for you?

1. How long will you have your web hosting account?

The first question to ask yourself is how long will you have a hosting account for the particular site you are building? The way most lifetime hosting offers work is they determine how long (in months) an average customer stays with their company and multiply that number by their monthly selling price for a web hosting account. They will then use that number to determine how much to charge as a one time hosting fee.

If you are only planning to have your account for 1 year or less, it probably isn’t worth it to purchase a lifetime web hosting account, as you will be charged a premium for your hosting account.

If you plan on keeping your account for more than 2 or 3 years, it may be worth the price, but you will have to answer the following questions to see if a lifetime hosting account is really for you.

2. Is your web site going to require a lot of resources?

If you plan on having a web site that has a high amount of traffic, or will actively use a database, you may want to re-think your purchase. Companies that sell lifetime hosting accounts make money from you once, but their expenses happen every month. As a result, they have to continue to sell lifetime web hosting accounts in order to make enough income to pay their expenses, which gives them a strong motive to minimize.

One of the expenses, is server space and capacity. The more servers a web hosting company has, the more their monthly expenses are. One way to reduce their expenses, is to put more hosting accounts on a server than it can reasonably handle with the expectation that most websites will not use the full capacity of their account. Many times, these servers are oversold on space and bandwidth (think of an airline selling more tickets than they have seats for a specific flight).

The result is that sites on these servers tend to be slower than average, and if you have a site that has a lot of traffic, many of your visitors may have trouble getting to your site, and will leave before your web page shows up in their browser.

If this situation isn’t important to you, the next question is certainly one you should be asking yourself.

3. What is the refund policy of the hosting company?

Since many of the servers in these lifetime hosting companies are overloaded, they usually take a zero tolerance policy on any web site that causes any extra load on the server, which may cause it to crash, and it can be a one strike and your out, with no refund.

On over-extended servers, (servers with more hosting accounts on them than they have capacity for), it is very easy to create an overload on the server. It can be as simple as having a lot of page views from the traffic the website gets, or having your blog attacked by a bunch of robot scripts trying to post comment spam to your blog. There is nothing you can do about it in these cases, but it can cause a server that is already at it’s limit, to crash.

If this happens after only 6 months into your web hosting contract, you may be totally out of luck and have your site shut down with no refund. In this case, it would have been a very expensive hosting service. Be sure to check the terms of service before purchasing this type of hosting.

4. Do you expect a high level of customer service?

The quality of the customer service goes along with the theme of reducing expenses. One of the first places most customers experience in expense cutting is the level of customer service. Much of the time, customer service is outsourced and overseas. There may be language barriers to contend with as well as some delays in getting your questions answered, and problems resolved. Sometimes you may have to deal with less experienced hosting administrators, but by no means do you find the less experienced customer service representatives only in the lifetime web hosting arena.

This is an important factor to consider because if the customer service is really bad, you may be forced to leave the hosting company and walk away from your entire hosting investment. Be sure to get as much information as you can about the particular company you are considering, especially their level of customer service and their technical competency.

When asking the question, “Is lifetime web hosting right for me?” you want to determine what kind of site you plan on having, and how you plan to use it (will there be heavy traffic or not?), how long you plan on having your web site up, and some other factors such as how important are things such as customer service to you. In a limited number of circumstances, lifetime web hosting can be a deal as it is better than free hosting, but if you step outside of the limited situations, you may end up paying a lot more than you bargained for.

Look for resource sites to help you with deciding how to pick your web hosting.

Copyright 2006 B Hopkins

Top 10 Web Hosting Trends

If you’re just starting out in the world of the Internet and the world-wide-web, welcome to the fastest growing, most competitive and most exciting marketplace in the history of buying and selling. By definition, web hosting is a type of service that gives individuals and organizations the opportunity to make their own web site accessible via the world wide web. So, if you want to setup a web site on the Internet, you will need a web host. But after a quick search in Google, you will see that making the choice as to which type of web hosting you will need for your web site is no easy task.

Spend a little time searching the web and you’ll find a gazillion web hosting providers, review sites, data centers, collocation facilities, and even a company that offers domain name registration by a hunter of African elephants. They make it sound easy to build a profitable web business, but wake-up-call time: building a profitable, web-based business takes hard work, long hours and, most importantly, careful planning and selection of the right vendors. Sure, your neighbor brags about the dough she’s raking in on her maintenance-free web site, or your brother-in-law just bought a fancy car on his PPC earnings. People do earn money on the web, but it isn’t luck or good karma. It’s planning for success and if you’re just starting to think about taking the digital dive in to the world of the Internet, consider these questions and, oh yeah, develop the answers before you spend a penny on your vision.

Top 10 Web Hosting Trends:

  1. Green web hosting – Green or Eco-friendly web site hosting is a contemporary addition to the field that involves a given provider attempting to prove that they do not have negative impacts on the environment. Many webmasters are moving their web sites to a green web hosting provider not only to reduce their carbon footprint, but also to prove to their visitors that their company values the environment and is respectful to it.
  2. Cloud hosting – Cloud computing provides on-demand resources via a computer network and offers computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services. Parallels to this concept can be drawn with the electricity grid, where end-users consume power without needing to understand the component devices or infrastructure required to provide the service.
  3. VPS hosting – VPS hosting or Virtual Private Server hosting refers to a virtual machine for use exclusively by an individual customer of the service. A virtual machine is a completely independent and isolated operating system installation within a normal operating system. VPS hosting allows customers who need a dedicated machine and root access but are not yet ready to pay the large investment required for a dedicated machine.
  4. Carbon neutral hosting – Carbon neutral hosting refers to a service that has a net zero carbon footprint and allows webmasters the opportunity to achieve net zero carbon emissions resulting from the hosting of their online pages.
  5. Wind powered hosting – Wind powered web hosting refers to web hosting services that use wind energy from wind turbines, for example, converted into electricity.
  6. Solar powered web hosting – Solar powered refers to web hosting that is powered by radiant light and heat from the sun as opposed to traditional electricity.
  7. Joomla hosting – Joomla is an increasingly popular open-source content management system for publishing content on the world wide web. Joomla easily integrates with themes and extensions that are available from third-party sources that make designing and developing a sophisticated yet aesthetically pleasing web site simple. There are numerous commercial extensions available from the official Joomla! Extension Directory and quite a bit more available from other sources. Many providers offer the installation of Joomla on their accounts for no additional charge, but be fore-warned that not many provider have adequate experience needed in order to provide support to clients who are developing their site with Joomla.
  8. WordPress hosting – WordPress is an open-source blogging tool that is used by nearly thirteen percent of all web sites on the Internet. It is an easy to learn and use tool that makes setting up a web site simple due to its plug-in architecture and template system.
  9. Drupal hosting – Drupal is an open-source content management system that provides web developers the tools needed to customize Drupal’s behavior and appearance. Drupal offers a futuristic programming interface for developers, and no programming skills are required for basic web site installation and administration, but it is more complex than Joomla and WordPress. Drupal powers nearly two percent of all web sites on the Internet. Drupal offers modules, themes, and associated configuration settings that prepare Drupal for custom operation for sophisticated web developers.
  10. Reseller hosting – Reseller hosting refers to a provider that has purchased services with the intention of reselling them. Because of the multitude of resellers in the web hosting industry, it has become more difficult to differentiate a reseller from a web hosting provider that has their own dedicated servers. Reseller hosting has become increasingly popular as a means to generate income for web design firms.

Choosing a new web host for a redesign project

Many companies are re-designing their web site to remain competitive, to simplify the navigation and provide visitors with a more user-friendly experience. By redesigning a web site, companies have the opportunity to remain more competitive and stay current with new technology. And by offering a better web site – voila – simpler navigation, simpler search for a specific item may lead to increased sales or leads. Yep, even the most successful sites are constantly revising their look, the organization and the ease-of-use for site visitors.

Web site redesign tips

Your web site navigation should be simple, straightforward and 100% functional. Labels should be clearly understood by any site visitor. Assume no knowledge on the part of the people who visit your on-line business site. They may not have any knowledge of your business and you have only a few seconds to engage a visitor and create interest in your brand before the visitor can hit the back button and exit your site.

When designing your site, place yourself in the position of the first-time visitor and configure your site for that prospect. Hey, if it worked for Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s founder)…it should work for you.

Choosing a web hosting provider

When making this important decision, ask a lot of questions of your web host or prospective provider. Do you employ Energy Star equipment? Do you use power from carbon-neutral sources? How is the office powered? How are the servers cooled? How is old, outdated equipment disposed of? If you don’t like the answers you get, you won’t like working with that web host.

Further, a truly contemporary hosting service wants YOUR site visitors to recognize your commitment to a cleaner planet today and in the future so most offer an emblem you can display on your web site – an emblem that proudly proclaims that your site is hosted by a green corporate culture…a corporate culture that becomes YOUR corporate culture.

So go green and tell prospects all about yourself. It’s the future of web hosting today. It’s the future of our planet. Today.

Free Web Hosting – What’s the Catch?

Is FREE web hosting really free? What are some of the clauses that are attached to it?
1. Service may offer crappy servers which have very poor uptime.
2. Ads may be served on your page.
3. Share a percentage of money earned from your website.
4. Its totally free!

It is still technically possible to get absolutely free hosting, some strings attached. The servers are really crappy, and your websites are likely to be down for a few hours everyday. Almost all of these free web hosting sites that you will encounter, offer no interface or a poor interface with extremely limited features. There is no support team what so ever and there is nothing much that can be done, when your website goes down. Anyway, there is never a chance to complain, since the service is offered for free. It is a good idea to Google for the company name, check for their alexa ratings and similar metrics before you decide to stick with free webhosting.

WordPress:
The next best thing of getting a free website are the industry leaders WordPress and blogger. While WordPress is totally free, you may rarely see ads served on your page. Also, there are a few restrictions that are tagged along with WordPress. For instance, you cannot write sponsored content on your webpage. While sub-domains are free, you cannot use your own domain for free(Pointing your own domain is a premium feature and costs $15 per year). Even with all these clauses, WordPress.com is still the leading blogging platform for its awesome features.

Blogger:
The next best thing is Google’s blogger. While blogger has been around for even longer time than WordPress, it is not cutting edge technology. The website builder has seen some changes recently, but it is not extremely flexible. You have the option of using CSS to create custom themes, but this demands some technical expertise. The interface is not so intuitive, the plugins are so very limited. For instance, it is so easy to add social bookmarks and seo plugins in a click with WordPress. The number of theme options in blogger has been on the rise and has become a substantial collection. The good news though is Blogger offers complete free webhosting, no strings attached. There are no ads served on your page and you get to voice your own opinion, no matter what, which is not the case with WordPress.

Devhub:
Devhub is a free website builder where you get free web hosting. The service offers unlimited free subdomains and also you can use your existing top levels domains for free. The website builder is truly cutting edge, offers drag and drop features with tons of modules. The sweet part of devhub is that these modules can help you make money, and you can add, remove, edit, move around modules in a matter of seconds. However, you get to share the revenue made from these modules with devhub. This is a great option for many people who lack technical expertise to build websites and also do not wish to pay for web hosting. The number of theme options is quite limited relative to blogger and WordPress. Just like blogger, you can customize themes with your own CSS.

Wix:
If you are a fan of flash websites, wix might be a good solution for you. There are a lot of themes to pick up from and the interface is good. There are ads served on your website though and you cannot use your existing domains for free. This is a good fit for invitations, portfolio kind of websites. However flash websites suck at SEO and hence if you need a business page, wix is definitely not the way to go.