If you have browsed around different hosting companies websites you are bound to have come across at least one that either offers unrealistic amounts of disk space storage or data transfer and then conceals what they really do offer through clever jargon in their legal agreements. Some providers have even gone as far as advertising “unlimited” disk space and “unlimited” bandwidth in an effort to pull in unsuspecting customers. In the industry we refer to this practice as overselling.

The keyword here though is advertising. That’s really all these oversold providers are doing. They are advertising (falsely in my opinion) something they can’t actually deliver. If a provider is advertising 750GB of disk space and 10,000GB of data transfer (or worse “unlimited”) for $8 per month, as an example, then something is not right. It is not possible for a provider to buy resources this cheaply and then once you factor in other outgoings like the servers themselves, support engineers and other costs of doing business it just doesn’t add up. Both disk space and bandwidth are a finite resource like anything else. Disk manufactures like Seagate and Maxtor have not designed hard disks with unlimited storage yet. Bandwidth providers such as InterNAP and Level 3 have not worked out a way to push unlimited data down their pipes yet.

False advertising is not the biggest issue here though. The biggest problem is that these practices impact your website load times and its overall performance. These providers are counting on the fact that the vast majority of users on a server will not consume the advertised amount of disk space or bandwidth and the few that do will be offset by the other paying customers. This is partly true but it does not stop very serious problems from occurring. By allowing a few customers to use these levels of disk space and bandwidth in a shared environment it can cause major stability problems for everyone else on the server. Their shared servers end up drastically overloaded which then hits your site load times. Worse still, they might just cut you off if you use too much yet you are still within their advertised limits.

There are two main reasons that many hosting providers manage to get away with these dubious practices –

  • Through no fault of their own the average consumer of web hosting services simply isn’t educated enough and when they see these falsely advertised plans they think “fantastic, that’s a great deal” and they go ahead and purchase. If I didn’t know any better then I would probably do the same thing. That’s one of the reasons for this blog post to hopefully try and spread the word. Education is king.
  • Due to the web hosting industry not only spanning across many states and territories but the entire globe there is little to no regulation on the way many providers advertise their service. There is no one to turn around and tell these providers what they are doing is unethical. Some of the providers doing this are well known brand names and huge multi-million dollar corporations.

Our aim at Rochen has always been to provide our customers with ample resources to run their website and provide seamless upgrade paths as they grow while not falsely advertising our service. Rochen not overselling is a huge benefit our customers have but it is also our heavy investments in infrastructure and systems like Rochen Vault that set us apart. Rochen’s commitment to proper, no nonsense, 24/7 support backed by certified engineers is another big selling point.

Speaking of Rochen Vault, I will try and blog in more detail about this another day, as it truly is a fantastic system that allows you to easily restore files or an entire account to points in time over the past 30 days. If you have had a problem with a script upgrade, mistakenly deleted a file etc. Within a matter of a few seconds you can have your site recovered and back online. Back to overselling and performance for now though.

We often get emails from users looking for Joomla hosting and web hosting services for other types of dynamic scripts (PHP / MySQL driven mainly) and they tell us that things are running slow with their current host. Nine times out of ten this is due to the fact they are hosting with one of these oversold providers and as soon as they move their website over to Rochen it is like it receives a new lease of life. All of our plans come with a full 15 day money back guarantee, so you can try this theory out for yourself completely risk free.

Rochen’s primary target market is those users looking for a truly performance driven hosting platform where their sites will load fast and they will not have many of the common hosting hassles they would with other providers. Whether it be a personal homepage, business site or providing reseller hosting for your own customers we likely have a solution for you. If you are not sure what you are looking for then drop us an email via [email protected] and we will be happy to have a chat with you. If Rochen reverted to the ways of some of these providers then we would lose our core user base who demand performance at reasonable prices.

Before signing up with any provider examine their offering in great detail, see what added-value services they offer (e.g. Rochen Vault), see what their track record in the industry is like (Rochen has been around for over eight years) and see if they are misleading you with a hugely oversold offering. Also, try and calculate how much disk space and data transfer you actually require. This can often be tricky, but using Joomla as an example again, you can deploy a good sized Joomla site, store a good chunk of email and still have space left over out of 200MB disk space. In a lot of cases we see users vastly overestimating the amount of disk space they need to get started. Remember, as your site grows you can easily upgrade.

So join with me in saying yes to performance driven hosting and no to the misleading oversold plans. Thanks for reading and I hope you find this information useful.

– Chris

Chris Adams is the Founder and CEO of Rochen, a web hosting provider specializing in providing a performance tuned hosting platform for dynamic database driven scripts like Joomla! Rochen has hosted all of the official Joomla! websites since the project began in August 2005.