Actually - if you do a TCO (huh?) of H-Sphere vs. just about any non-integrated control panel + the additional software required to make it work the same -- you would be spending alot more money.
Sure, but if you're talking about any of those licenses "as-a-service" (like you quoted for our pricing), then your TCO should also consider the fact a hosted service is like having an extra server, more storage space and possibly no bandwidth bill.
The redundancy that allows you to still talk to your customers (helpdesk, live chat, billing) while your main server is down is quite a bit of value on the other side of your TCO example.
I'm a bit biased when it comes to our app, of course. But for us I'd say the same thing about Campfire, Ubersmith or Salesforce. We could host it all ourselves and pretend it's cheaper if the licensing alone was the TCO. It's not.
Jeff Standen, Chief of R&D, WebGroup Media LLC. - LinkedIn Cerb is a fast and flexible web-based platform for business collaboration and automation. http://www.cerbweb.com/
It is about a kilobyte of disk space per page of text (and code), images and downloads are what take up disk space and even images dont take up much normally, unless you are running some kind of photo site. To calculate bandwidth just multiply the size of the pages+images people will see with how many times they will see it.
Is there any good book or other resource out there that can help shed some light on how much bandwidth AND what kind of hardware any given site might need? Can't give any details on what I have in mind because it's currently in development. It's a RoR site, not sure on expected hits, etc...
To be honest most people do not need even half as much of what their hosting plan offers them, hence why hosting companies are even able to oversell on their servers so easily.
In my opinion if you're just starting out you shouldn't jump in the deep end with such a large hosting plan. The chances are that you will be wasting money for at least the first couple of months until your site really starts to pick up momentum.
So my advice on choosing how much disk space and bandwidth you should look for in a hosting plan is this.
- For disk space, consider the total file size of your site and multiply it by 5.
- For bandwidth, I personally use the rule that your bandwidth amount should be at least 10 times the total combined file size of your site.
I think in most cases you tend to find out that you usually over compensate how much you need. Most clients I talk to say they need 8gigs of space, then they turn around and only use 100MBs - I guess it's always nice to have a little leeway - sure - but if you're not using it, then you're wasting it.
1. NEVER trust a site that says "unlimited bandwidth"
that is probably THE #1 rule, for any customer to keep in mind. Unless your google, or a celebrity, or someone with a very large user base, chances are your not going to use more then a few gigs of bandwidth anyway, so don't ask for, or expect, what the web host probably cannot deliver. I like the idea of starting out with 1 gig. Even if you go over, at least you'll know how much you need, thats better then estimating anyday.
Most hosts do not suspend your account if you go over anyway. Most of the decent ones just charge you more for the extra bandwidth at the end of the month, and leave you a friendly email recommending you upgrade to a new plan, so its never a big deal.
If a host suspends your account for going over, I'd suggest switching hosts. As much competition as their is now, with consumers getting into the web hosting biz, its not worth it, you can always find someone better then that.
I actually have other such rules that I follow, which are more my own personal preferences then anything else, such as...
#2 NEVER trust a host that doesn't accept paypal.
Well, its not that I don't trust a host with my credit card number, well I don't but thats beside the point. The reason I think paypal billing is so important, you never know what the person on the other end is using your Credit Card # for. Maybe not the host, but datacenter, or a bad employee that works for the host, I mean you never know. I had my credit card number stolen from a host web before, and it was NOT fun getting all those charges off my credit card, especially when all I had was a debit card. With debit cards, there is no fraud protection, so once charges are made, its gone, end of story, so for that reason, I don't trust ANY host anymoore with my credit card. paypal or NOTHING in my book or pay by check with snail mail, but NEVER by credit card.
#3 always do your homework. Pick a host that is fairly close to your geographical location. If you live in Chicago Illinois USA for example, and the majority of your user base is located in the United States somewhere also, don't pick a european or russian or UK host, for example, because not only will your visitors complain about the speed of your site, but you won't like going to your own site either, so pick a host thats fairly close to your geographical location, who has the backbone speed that you need.
Also, make sure the host is an actual company, and not just some little kid playing "web hostie" with his dads spare computer lying around. Any decient web designer can make up a webpage looking like an actual web hosting company. An 11yr old could probably do it with frontpage 97 more the linkely. hehe. With routers and home networking, this pops up all the time, so remember to do your homework throughly. If its possible, call the websites number, talk to people over the phone, go visit the company, if possible, make sure the host is who they say they are.
#4 and of course, this is my personal favorite, esp for newbies, since newbies generally switch hosts ALOT trying to find one that suits them best.. get a host that uses CPANEL, and Fantastico, and RVSkin. I absolutely cannot stress that enough. Reason being, cpanel has a very nice "site transfer" script that you can use to transfer your site over to a new host, just in case you run into problems, and have to switch hosts for some reason. It could be, the host goes out of business, or the customer support isn't what you expected. Whatever the reason, its always a good idea, not only to keep backups, but a way to transfer a host to a new server at any time. Even if you stick to the same host your entire life, its easier for the host to transfer your account to a new server if something goes wrong on their end, if you have Cpanel, so definitely get cpanel, I can't stress that enough.
#5 and lastly, pick a host you like. Talk with a representative, ask him about the company, read reviews from others on what the customer service is like. Even if you talk to the host on the phone and visit the location, talk to others who have been with that host and ask them how their experiences are/were. I don't think its necessarily important to pick a host that has 20 minute guaranteed response times, or anything crazy like that, but at least pick one that gets back with you within the same day, who always lets you know whats going on, even if their working on the problem, its always a good idea to send out a quick email to the user to let them know the status, even if its not completed yet. That way, the user isn't left hanging out to dry, which usually ticks people off, especially if their site is down for any reason, they want to know whats going on. People don't so much mind their site being down, because problems always come up noone can guarantee 99.9 to 100% site uptime, thats just crazy, so long as the line of communication is open, customers really do understand. Personally, I think when customers do start yelling, or getting angry at the customer service reps, is almost always due to a lack of communication on the hosting providers part. it almost always is. I see it all the time.
those are my recommendations.
nice share Tom, it helps me for web host. Thanks for sharing Tom