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Buying Web Space Is Confusing!
What you should know about buying web space.
The problem with buying web space, for most people, is that they don't really know what they're looking at when they buy it. They simply buy what sounds like the "biggest" package they can get on their budget, or they buy the first package they see, and think they are all alike.
A package that claims to have "Unlimited" web space, and transfer may sound like the biggest "package" you can get, but rest assured, there are many more important features, and considerations in buying web space. To make things even more confusing, some hosting companies are cheating and lying to their customers! Take a second and find out how below:
Space... The "Unlimited" Trap.
When shopping for a web hosting company, keep in mind that many companies offer MUCH less space than what's in other packages, and call it "unlimited." In making this claim, the company will cover themselves with some tiny, well hidden fine print (look real close!), or simply rely on their customers not using all of what they are paying for. When the customer doesn't use all of what they pay for, they can use that space to cover another customer who is using more than what they thought they might. One of the problems with this technique is, they have to cheat all the customers that don't use more space than they expected, to support those who do.
What do we mean by "cheat"? Read the fine print closely with the "Unlimited" packages. You'll almost always discover that you won't be allowed to resell, or even give away "YOUR" web space. In other words, should you decide to make your best friend a web site, or let them use your space to build it in a subdirectory ... that's just tough... it is prohibited by their well hidden fine print. The explanation usually is because people would abuse the "Unlimited" space these companies generously give you. To a certain extent this is true ... BUT, what effectively happens, is "YOUR SPACE" is limited to exactly what you need for your site.
Traffic... They Said it was "unlimited"!
Just as "unlimited space" is a physical impossibility, so is "unlimited transfer". Beware of companies that offer this as a feature, as there is always some type of fine print that releases them from actually giving you "unlimited traffic". One common stipulation, is to offer you "unlimited traffic" with a little link to the fine print of:
"If you use more than 20% (or even 10%) of system resources, you don't qualify for 'unlimited traffic'. "
Bottom Line: if you are limited to a percentage of system resources (or limited to anything else for that matter) then it's nothing short of a lie to represent a hosting package as having "unlimited" traffic! There are other stipulations, and deceitful methods that many companies use to give you the illusion of unlimited traffic, and once you sign a contract for a year, you can't even back out of it, and find a respectable hosting company
Cgi-bin... Do you need it or not?
It's important that you understand when you buy web space, exactly what is offered in any given package. This means understanding each feature, so that you'll know if you want or need it, that is available to you. Just because you may not know how to write your own cgi-script, doesn't mean that you won't be able to install a script that you get elsewhere!
For example: If you know you're going to want a guestbook, then select a hosting package that either comes with a guestbook, OR gives you your own cgi-bin, so that you can either get your own guestbook script to run, or write your own. We provide you with both...already set up! Why? Because if you want a guestbook, but don't know how to write your own, you'll have it.
Having your own cgi-bin is extremely important, because cgi-scripts are used in so many ways to do so many things. Almost anything interactive on a web site is done with cgi-scripts. With your own cgi-bin (not just access to a community one) you have the option of using scripts that are needed to run your site. There are many free versions of just about any script you can imagine all over the net. With our packages you can either use the ones we provide or install your own. Here are a few examples of some scripts:
Email Features... How much is enough?
100 - 500 - Unlimited POP accounts!! Wow ... such a deal!! Now think about it (And read the fine print on sites that offer unlimited POP accounts) - How many POP email boxes do you really need. You probably already have one with your dial-up provider - maybe a few free web-based accounts as well. Unless you're running a site for an extremely large company, chances are you'll never need more than 10 to 15 POP e-mail accounts for your site since you can use aliases/catch-all features for most instances. Many companies advertise "Unlimited Pop accounts" because it makes their packages seem bigger, and probably 95% of all of their accounts never use more than about five of them anyway.
With some companies, your account is setup to receive all emails sent to email@example.com in the main pop e-mail box of your account, which by default is firstname.lastname@example.org
You do not have to edit anything to accomplish this, but of course you can change it if you like. The difference between a pop account and an e-mail alias, is that a pop account has its own login and password. Think of a pop account like a virtual e-mail box, while an alias simply forwards to somewhere else. As described above, any alias not specifically told to forward elsewhere is automatically forwarded to the main pop account of email@example.com
If you do need more pop accounts - we can of course provide them, however most e-mail needs can be handled through the alias and forwarding functions we provide.
Be sure to check what companies charge for autoresponders, e-mail aliases, e-mail forwarding, and mailing lists (usually 5.00/month each, IF they even offer them) when comparing prices. Even though any mail sent to firstname.lastname@example.org comes to you, without you having to change a thing, there's probably a limit to the number of combinations of keys and numbers on any given keyboard.
These are extremely important features that many companies charge an arm and a leg for! If you had to pay 5.00 each for these features, and you only bought five of each, you'd pay $100.00 per month for these features alone.. that's not counting any web space, traffic, an e-mail account, or anything else. In short, you're much better off not buying these features separately, because they add up quickly. If we charged only 5.00 each, and use a low number like 100 as a ceiling for "unlimited" (That's only 25 of each for e-mail aliases, forwarders, autoresponders, and mailing lists) these features would cost $2,000 PER MONTH!
Misc Features... What do they do?
Secured Socket Layer
Check to see what they charge for SSL access (if you ever decide to accept credit cards on your site, you'll HAVE to have it). Here's one "unlimited" hosting company's quote:
"$449 One time setup fee, and $20 monthly fee The secure server setup includes the purchase of a $349 Digital ID from Verisign."
Not all companies will try to sell you your own certificate from Verisign, because there's no reason why you can't just use theirs, and save your money! Some companies will give you FREE Access to their site certificate, and SSL encryption. There's no charge to set it up, and no charge to use it, no matter how much you use it!
Useful for creating and maintaining databases on your site. Some companies provides this feature at no cost to you. You simply set it up through the control panel. We allow 4 databases per account.
Server Side Includes
Used for many purposes, such as site-wide traffic counters, banner rotation programs, and much more! (see the cgi-section for another example) Some companies provides this feature at no cost to you.
Microsoft Front Page Extensions
An extremely popular program written for web page design, for people who don't know how to program the code to make web pages, and professionals alike. some companies provides support for this program at no cost to you, and will set up your account to be compatible with Front Page extensions at your request.
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