What is a shared server exactly? In order to keep costs down, many webhosting companies utilize shared server technology. What this means is that many different sites are housed on one server with the underlying concept being small websites won’t need to harness the full power of a dedicated server. Dedicated servers cost a minimum of a couple of hundred dollars per month. The obvious advantage of dedicated servers is that they can handle a lot of traffic; however, most people don’t require the horsepower of this setup. Unless you’re striving to be Amazon, and attract thousands of purchasing customers per day, you usually don’t need a dedicated server. Some less scrupulous companies will sell small businesses dedicated servers leading them to believe that this is their only alternative. It’s not true.
Most small businesses are utilizing the Internet to create a web presence and help drive customers to their brick-and-mortar establishment. In this day and age, this is a wise business maneuver as many potential clients want the comfort of checking out companies, such as their hours of operation and general information, before they decide to make that call or drive down to the establishment. The quality of this page is crucial to the customer’s perception of the business. Websites hosted on free servers are riddled with ads and have limited capabilities–thus, making the site, and consequently the business, look unprofessional. Ever go to a webpage and see the email address of the company only to click on it and have Outlook Express, which no one really uses anymore, pop up? Most people are using online email services like Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail these days. These “mailto:” links are old and deprecated on today’s Internet. With Spongy Donuts, you can have a contact form that allows visitors to quickly and easily contact you without ever leaving your site. This is one of the many differences between paid hosting and free hosting.
Does Spongy Donuts use dedicated hosting or shared hosting? We use shared hosting to keep costs down, which is why if you’re the next big Amazon we’ll be happy to point you to some fine dedicated hosting companies. I saw that fill-in-the-blank company only charges $5 per month and offers an unlimited/a bazillion megabytes of storage and bandwidth. They’re lying. This is a common practice in the business called “overselling.” It means that these companies cram as many people on one server as possible and promise way more than they can or will deliver. If you see a company offering unlimited bandwidth, you should ask yourself why large companies like Amazon or Apple wouldn’t just pay $5 rather than the tens of thousands of dollars (and sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars) per month they pay to host their sites. Again, it’s because these unscrupulous companies are overselling. They are gambling on the fact that most people utilize a tiny fraction of the storage advertised and even less bandwidth. If you ever go over their real hidden quota they have set for you, you will get a friendly email asking you to upgrade to a larger plan.
At Spongy Donuts, we do not oversell. The bandwidth and storage you see advertised is the bandwidth and storage you really have. In fact, we suggest you do not actually use all 1 gigabyte of your storage because that’s a lot of stuff for a webpage! For example, a standard webpage is anywhere from 4 kilobytes to maybe 30 kilobytes for just text with no images. Images for the web must be optimized and made small enough for people with slower connections and older computers to be able to see them. This is a thoughtful ratio of quality vs. speed that must be decided on by the webmaster as it relates to who the target audience is. That being said, most images are reduced to around 150 kilobytes for a nice high quality picture that you want to focus on. Those 5 megabyte pictures that come off your digital camera are not meant to be uploaded straight to a website–it would take forever for most people to view it! So, a full one page website with a lot of text and one picture would come up to around 200 kilobytes or so.
That’s a lot of information you can store on the 1 gigabyte storage we’re offering! However, when we state you receive 1 gigabyte of storage and 1 gigabyte of bandwidth, we mean it. We figure you probably won’t use all that storage, but you can. When we run out of space and bandwidth as allocated to us on the server, we don’t continue selling packages on that server like other companies do. Instead, we have to pony up for another lease on a server to accommodate more clients. We don’t oversell, which makes a better client experience for you, and that’s the Spongy Donuts Difference!