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The ServInt Source

The 5 Worst Products In Webhosting

I was talking to a colleague yesterday, and he used the word ‘bulletproof’ to describe the robustness of our services. I responded with “That word doesn’t mean what you think it means.” It got me thinking about buzzwords we use for hosting that sound good but aren’t. I’ve tried to crack the code on a few of those phrases below.

1) Bulletproof hosting

Photo by amayu

What the customer is meant to assume: “I don’t want my sites to go down no matter what happens. So I want them to be bulletproof, right?”

Cracking the code: The host is a haven for criminals. Are you one?

Want to SPAM, distribute warez, pirate Avatar, or stream child porn on your servers? Go nuts!

You can be as illegal as you want and they won’t pull the plug. They’ll hide from the authorities so you don’t have to!

The bottom line: A respectable business doesn’t want “bulletproof” hosting. Period.

2) Unlimited hosting

Photo by Erica Marshall of

What the customer is meant to assume: ” I don’t want limits on my hosting! Who wants limits on their hosting? Of course I want my hosting to be unlimited!!111″

Cracking the code: I’ve made my feelings on Unlimited Hosting well known.

In the context of these providers, “Unlimited” really means “We’re not  going to tell you how well your systems are going to be able to scale, so good luck growing!” These providers bet on the majority of their users simply not using that many resources to compensate for those that do. But believe me, there’s a limit, a responsible provider will simply boot any abuser off their network if they start taking the term “unlimited” literally.

Contrast this with a provider like us who tells you precisely what you’re getting for your hard earn money and I think you’ll agree we have the better business model.

It’s a lazy, lying marketing game to call a hosting product unlimited and I am still disgusted that otherwise respectable hosts use it.

The bottom line: If you want to set yourself up for surprise failure, buy into the hype – go unlimited.

3) Cheap hosting

Photo by ecastro

What the customer is meant to assume: “These guys are amazing! I’ve never heard of them but they say they can host my whole business and give me 100% uptime and rock solid support for a few bucks a month. Of course I want to save the money and get me some cheap hosting!”

Cracking the code: If it’s too good to be true, it is. We’ve been around for over 15 years, and we’ve seen more dead, failed, shuttered hosts than you can imagine.

Many of them were hot for a while before they up and died. Most lie about their infrastructure and experience to get you to pull the trigger.

Experience matters. Transparency matters too.

Learn about who you are trusting your business to, and figure out what you’re giving up when hunting for a bargain.

The bottom line: Going out of business is not cheap. Stay away from cheap hosting.

4) Free hosting

Photo by Lori Spindler

What the customer is meant to assume: “I get to put up anything I want and you won’t charge me anything? Where do I sign up? Of course I want free hosting!”

Cracking the code: Somebody else gets to make money off of the efforts you put in. Somebody else gets to exert control over you if they want to, whether you are doing something illegal or not. Somebody else is deciding what resources you need to grow. And they are getting a big cut of the fruits of your labor, which isn’t very ‘free’ at the end of the day.

Whether they are selling ads based on your content, or whether they are simply taking a cut of your revenue or of the traffic that you attract, that’s money you’re not getting. With a provider like ServInt, you know exactly what you’re getting.

The bottom line: TANSTAAFL. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Know what you’re giving up to get a free resource. If you are popular in the least, I’ll bet it’s far more than what you could gain by taking control yourself.

5) Windows hosting

Photo by Justin Marty

What the customer is meant to assume: “I’ll get the same level of usability, security, performance, and reliability that I get on my Windows desktop! Of course I want Windows hosting!”

Cracking the code: You’ll get the same level of usability, security, performance, and reliability that you get on your Windows desktop! Yikes!

The bottom line: Ok ok, that was mostly a joke. Windows hosting does indeed do some things really well.

But as a general rule, the infrastructure that supports the bulk of the Internet is Open Source and the vast majority of server related applications, and the innovation guiding them, is based on free and open software.

In general, steer clear of Windows hosting unless you absolutely need it for a specific technological reason.

Cracking the code,


Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, or on our Facebook page!

Photo credits: amayu, Erica Marshall, ecastro, Lori Spindler, Justin Marty.

An Unlimited Credibility Gap

To Infinity and Beyond?

To Infinity and Beyond?

Years ago, the usual stomping grounds for those of us in the hosting industry took an interesting turn as shady fly-by-night hosting providers started using the term ‘unlimited’ to describe their product plans.

These companies offered ‘unlimited’ bandwidth or ‘unlimited’ disk space as an enticement for customers to buy their products. There was a strong negative reaction within the hosting community and a sincere attempt among responsible hosts to make it known that ‘unlimited’ plans lacked credibility.

Last week it was announced that 1and1, an industry peer who I like and respect, has joined Verio, another one of the good guys, in touting ‘unlimited’ hosting plans.

I thought we had learned better.

Read more

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