While my last post eBay Affiliates, was all about using the eBay editor tool to create an affiliate window to their auctions to earn commissions on sales, this one follows on in a “what happens when…” vein. To badly paraphrase the famous Elton John song, I chose Don’t Let The Host Go Down On Me as the title because I just had a problem with one of my hosts deciding to suspend my account at the drop of a hat.
Not much fun, when I came to editing one of my newer sites that lives on a different hosting account (thankfully to The Honest Way and most of my money making sites) and saw that I couldn’t access is via FTP. On trying to display the site in my browser, the ominous message was pasted across the screen telling me that my account had been suspended – no reason was given, of course.
I was to contact the host and find out myself. Well, as this particular host came with a certain affiliate package that I belong to, I didn’t have the details to contact the host directly, so had to contact the package owner. Not good as I’m at least 6 hours in front being in Europe and the guy is in the US and it was only 8am here!
I was aggrieved because while I only had a handful of low performing websites hosted on that account, one of them was being used in a niche where I was using my eBay affiliates tools and it was just staring to show clicks on the account – and in this game, clicks equals income! It meant that the site was getting enough organic traffic to generate those clicks which meant that to lose it at this stage could kill it dead.
As I had no idea what the perceived problem was with the hosting account, therefore having no way to know how long it would be down for, I had no option other than to switch nameservers to my main hosting account here at Hostgator and rebuild he site on the fly – fast!
By noon I had a working site back on the air complete with eBay affiliate tools. Two hours later, the other host account was reinstated with the lame excuse that it was a billing glitch.
Well, that’s not bloody well good enough!
When this is your main source of income and some spotty little oik can make a decision like that whcih could potentially cost you a lot of money, I start to think seriously about my hosting options.
For one part, I’ve been seriously thinking about upgrading my main host to a reseller account for better stability and less likelyhood of it being pulled if one or more sites suddenly start getting a lot of traffic. Now that I have close to 50 (top level) domains that is starting tomake a lot of sense.
Hostgator are still my first choice for host and they’re cheapest reseller account comes in at only $24.95 a month, so methinks its time to upgrade.
Why a reseller account?
Well, the shared account idea is fine if you only have one or just a few sites hosted and don’t envisage any of them setting the world alight with traffic spikes of 20k hits in a day. Although your host may tell you that you have 250gb or so bandwidth to play with, you really don’t want to push that to anywhere close to its limits. The reality is that the hosting company (in my case Hostgator but it could be any of them) doesn’t expect anyone on a shared host to get anything like their stated bandwidth limits – each server may have a thousand accounts on it and if they all started getting big spikes in traffic they’d bring the server down in short order. Before that could happen, the accounts that were suddenly performing too well would be shut down to protect the thousand or so others sharing the server (and the bandwidth).
With a reseller account they treat you differently. Because they expect you to have a large number of sites hosted on a reseller account, they give you much more leeway with bandwidth usage. While you are still sharing a server with other accounts, the reseller account is given priority with bandwdth and allowed to stay up where other shared accounts would be pulled. That’s food for thought when you are attracting more and more traffic with more and more sites as your business builds (if, of course your business model is set up to expand in that direction).
As for little old me, I intend to keep expanding the number of domains I host, so it makes sense for me to upgrade my host. This has been made all the more prominent following this morning’s debacle. Ok, it was only one performing site that I lost for a few hours, but what if it were my main host and dozens or even hundreds of sites that were all making money all suddenly go off the air because I was worrying that spotty little oik sitting in his office watching my traffic increase a little too fast for his liking.
Unlimited domains they may offer, but realistically, for $7.95 a month you can’t expect to host a hundred or more domains that all attract steadily increasing amounts of traffic. Better to upgrade and be safe than sorry.