November 28, 2005 (HOSTSEARCH.COM) Delaware-based US web hosting provider Host Color has suggested that the exaggerated offers prevalent in web hosting are damaging the industrys reputation. In a press release the company claimed that over the past year web hosting has experienced a worrying marketing trend that exploits customers' lack of knowledge of how web hosting services work.
In their announcement Host Color suggested it was an industry norm for web hosts to promote their services by stating the figures related to their services. These include the number of megabytes of storage on offer, and how much data can be transferred. For the layman end user who does not fully appreciate the issues, there is a tendency to compare what is available and purchase packages that appear to offer the largest amount of space or bandwidth, etc. This tendency in turn drives hosts to offer packages that seemingly offer more and more to the customer, until there is essentially a bidding war with hosts inflating aspects of their service to out do each other.
"It is not uncommon for a web hosting company to offer 20 GB of web space for a shared hosting plan priced at about $10 per month. Most of you would say that this is a great offer and the clear winner is the customer. Compared to the hosting companies that have not followed the giga trend this offer is too good to be true. Well it is not!" says Host Color's Executive Director Vesselin Drangajov.
Host Color went on to explain that the average hard disk capability of the machines used by budget hosts is around 400 GB. This caters for only 20 user accounts and at $10 per month this would only generate monthly revenue of $200, meaning hosts would have to operate for a year to cover the cost of a server. Most sites, however, need only 1 or 2 GB of storage space and only a few users can fully utilize the space they are paying for. Likewise with data transfer many offers include 300 GB of data transfer, an amount that would cost more than the $10 charged for the service. "We have not made a detailed market survey but I am almost sure that half a megabit of backbone internet connection costs even more than $10. This means that if the service that was offered was used the hosting fees cannot even cover the bandwidth costs," said Mr. Drangajov.
According to Host Color, many hosts offer services they do not want users to fully utilize, and in fact offer terms of service that limit usage. For instance, although users receive 300 GB of bandwidth, the daily transfer limit suggests they are unable to use more than 10 GB on two consecutive days. Other limits include a limit on the number of visitors per second a site can receive.
"We have been part of the hosting industry for 5 years now. With my comments I am in no way trying to sell Host Color's service. There are hundreds of good hosts. I however feel that customers deserve a fair deal. I feel that only informed customers can help the hosting industry to develop. When buying hosting you need to consider is that you probably do not want just megabytes of storage and transfer. I'm sure customer are looking for a quality, and feature rich service. Experienced web hosting users can tell you that technical support and customer service are crucial to a successful host," said Mr.Drangajov.