Joomla CMS and Infoathand CRBM Hosting SolutionsSo there is usually a reason a hosting company can offer cheap hosting. Most of the time it is because you are just communicating with a machine and bunch of automation scripts. Since the biggest expense of providing hosting services is the humans that have to interact with it. The IT staff and support call centers and subsequent training cost way more than the hardware infrastructures, so the lessof this they can provide the more profitable they can become. Another key factor is that the bigger they get the more they get the attention of hackers and thus are more susceptible to security threats since hackers know that the companies are trying to have less human interaction they know they can get away with more if they keep looking for ways to get in etc... well this forces the hosting providers to increase the limitations on what you can and cannot do so they can further reduce their liability and potential security risks across their systems. Well if you are a novice with little system admin skills and your needs are very basic perhaps this can be a worthy option if you have the patience for long tech support hold times and fell comfortable with WYSIWYG script execution user interfaces.  However, these restrictions and automations is not how the IT guys or developers supporting your project think or prefer to work. Most system admin's wan what is called shell access which gets right down to 1's and 0's with what are called command line executions. Most good admin's can get their way around the underbelly of a server in a mere fraction of the time required by slick user interfaces and the systems themselves can manage tasks equally as efficient.

If they are limited with access or have to wait long hold times to coordinate something with an under staffed call center and go through tier one techies that have to escalate the ticket to tier two support anyway... well you are going to find a frustrated system admin or developer with a bit of an attitude after a while. So let's do the math here... you get hosting for $10 - $15 cheaper ($120-200 per year) than the competition let's say... ok your IT guy/gal or developer bills at $50 per hr or more plus you end up having to interact with their frustration so it takes your time. Then you have to figure it is going to in most cases take them longer to accomplish many simple tasks, you may have to find technical workarounds given buy the security restrictions and any frustration is going to roll up hill and stir up everyone's blood pressure.

Starting to get the picture why this may not always be the best approach...?

I have worked with GoDaddy (I was even a reseller), BlueHost, SiteGround, Aplus and Aplus Dedicated Services and HostYourSite and many others. They all have similar issues and challenges and in our case it significantly interfered with our ability to respond quickly to our customers needs and provide the best possible value for supporting their technology investments. This is why we have made the choice to build our own hosting infrastructure around our service model so we can meet our promise of Better Support, Faster Innovations and Greater value for your investment. We are not trying to mass market our web hosting but rather work like a department designed to support your business goals and objectives.

A while back I worked as a developer for a company and the IT guy whom personally I liked but he admittedly did not understand the needs of my development team. So he kept imposing security restrictions and other measures that inhibited our ability to work efficiently and what he did not realize at the time was that what we were doing impacted many other aspects of the organization through dependencies on us completing our work on time and to a particular standard. While what he was doing on one hand was keeping the company safe and making his job easier he was actually on the other hand strangling our ability to make our deliverables, satisfy customers and generate new business. Not to mention that it drove the costs of development up considerably due to the lack thereof efficiency. He was not realizing that the reason he was there was to support our efforts ... we were not there to serve his. I could go on but it is not an uncommon type of dynamic in many organizations.

This is in effect what you are doing when you go with the cheep hosting solution thinking you are going to save money. We recently had a customer with a board mandate where they were required to have a different company host than support develop. So once the site was finished we whet to move it to their new host. This is usually a simple job that takes a couple hours depending on how big the site is and how long it takes to pass the files and wire it up to a new DB. The customer  chose the $9.99 special at a company with a glitzy marketing campaign and pretty WYSIWYG UI tools and as it has happened similar in the past... we encountered a number of issues determining that the new host would not be compatible with the technology they wanted us to put there. Ok so first we uploaded a file set and gave a DB dump so their IT guy could spent endless hours beating his head against the wall, so then he passes this back to us and we spent 5 hrs of billable time (frustrating billable time which should cost more don't you think J ) to determine this hosting environment was not going to be compatible. Granted this is a very big site with a tone of technical goodies but not very fun to be in this situation for anyone involved.

Now what if they got the "better" deal through purchasing a year up front ? What if they made the choice in the first place because they were already on a tight budget?  Where does that put all of us techies that worked our tails off now that the customer is feeling more pain and still without a solution? Well I think you get the picture here. They are surely not saving any money and none of us get a warm fuzzy out of the experience.

You will most likely, unless you have very specific security restrictions such as DoD contracting or Medical Services, be much better off, from an efficiency and cost savings perspective, by  outsourcing your hosting at a datacenter vs trying to manage tone yourself. I have a whole server cluster bought and paid for in the other room in my office and even with this I am saving tons of time and money by having our internal systems outsourced at the same data center we use for our customer solutions.

I know we charge a little more than our competitors for our hosting but we are not trying to compete on price but on value. The big difference with our approach is that we have built our server infrastructure to support what our customers and developers need, so we can respond efficiently with the specific platforms we service and support and keep the required investment in balance. We can still provide the highest level of security but you are getting metaphorically "the healthy home cooked cuisine and hospitality vs processed fast food from a drive up window". While the "fast food drive through" approach has its place it is not for everyone and it is very important that you weigh your options carefully before you make decisions for your solutions provider. If you are building your business on the web you need to have a much more reliable and responsive hosting and support infrastructure and personalized technical support.

Through our approach though it has take time and careful planning to achieve, we are now more than ever able to put focus on what is going to help you achieve the best results for your business, proactively respond to your needs with greater efficiency and deliver more value in service and advise.

I hope this little insight is useful when considering your hosting and I encourage you to go with value over price any day since in the end this decision with more than pay for itself in savings and peace of mind.

CN