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There is an ongoing "features" war among hosting websites, hosting companies and individuals who resell hosting space to persons interested in setting up websites, blogs, e-commerce or just your plain simple website.
The war began when someone or some hosting provider decided to lower their prices to lure potential customers; but, have we noticed where this has taken the consumer? Don't bother with the idea that the cost of hard drive storage has gotten cheap.
Let me break it to you my readers, infrastructure cost money.
Hard drive might be cheap, but servers, server space, establishing lavish data centers, electricity etc.
are all very expensive A few techies have decided they know about features and website needs and have probably contributed to the fact that hosting companies have gotten into the practice of beefing up their packages to undoubtedly some of the most unrealistic and unreachable hosting plans I've ever seen; unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, and unlimited basically everything.
But, before you get too excited, please, look at the end of most of these "unlimited" you will see a seemingly insignificant "*".
Do not ignore it.
Lots of people or should I say, the majority of seekers for online presence do not and probably never will notice the "*", nor do they understand the true meaning of this notation and how it changes the plan.
Frankly, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or bandwidth.
If someone was cheeky enough they would put this to the test and what would the host get from that? ..
a lawsuit.
Thankfully, what would save the day for them is that "*" you did not see.
The big question in my mind is "Are we asking hosting providers for what we never use?" Another question is "Are we leading the hosting sites/companies to give us more and more of what we really don't need?" As someone who has a bit of knowledge in the field of technology (mark you, I am not God's gift to the techie world), my opinion and that of several others, is that these features we so hog are features we really never use.
I visited a website a few days ago and examined the hosting plan the owner had purchased.
I questioned him as to why he thought he needed such an elaborate package for such a small site.
His answer was "The package looked good with all the features".
Might I add, this website does not have a database running on it, it doesn't have any server sides loaded or running, it doesn't have any background applications or anything fancy.
In fact, the site is simply a twelve page site.
However, the hosting package purchased was 5000MB, 1000 POP Email accounts, dream weaver, ASP, unlimited transfer, unlimited bandwidth, PHP, unlimited sub-domain names, you name it, this plan has it only for the price of $9.
95 per month.
Now my readers, what would you do with a plan like this knowing the content and projected size of your website? Are customers being misled, or is it that hosting companies are forced or driven by a fake demand for these elaborate packages? Or, is this "out-doing" the competition? Are customers forced to take features they probably will never ever use? I long to see a plan that really makes sense, a plan tailored for small owners who really don't need the bells and whistles.
What sense does it make to have a bulldozer when all you "need" is a wheel barrow to do the job right? Is this a waste of money or resources? Frankly, it's a waste of precious resources; resources that should be put to better use.
Please, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying hosting companies/sites should water-down their products; what I am asking is, "Aren't the companies/sites the ones who should tailor products to meet the market's needs?" If this is the case please don't say the market is demanding it, because in the real world not all website owners are gurus and want a top notch website.
Secondly, do not fool yourselves with the notion that you might need it at a later time; this is not a disaster we are preparing for.
If that is the case, why not encourage everyone with a computer or a company to buy Filer Server(s) and Rack Enclosures just in case they buy another five (5) or six (6) Servers, then they can use the space.
What I think we should focus on is service; customer service and account service.
Over the years the number one demand from customers has been for better service.
Complaints range from "I can't get any service from this host" to "I have a problem with that host; my website has been down for a while now and I can't find anyone at the host to talk to".
In most cases these problems are self inflicted, simply because features are what catch buyers and not the fine print.
I have always noticed that shoppers in most cases simply pickup goods without so much as a clue as to what the value added is.
However, when we get home we realize we have a "half box" of what we really don't "need" and what is really not necessary.
By that time we are already stuck with the goods or end up saying we had a bad online shopping experience because money back takes a bit of time to come through.
Overall, in my mind, the ultimate question arises, why does the "want" always outweigh the "need", or should I say what is important?

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