Don’t Let The Host Go Down On Me

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.

Terry Didcott
The Honest Way

16 thoughts on “Don’t Let The Host Go Down On Me”

  1. Pingback: bloggingzoom.com
  2. That is why I am afraid of this hostings. Because I hear very often that persons claim and claim bad servises. I don’t know one who did not claims one. But now when I think to open a shop-site I have to think about it… Oh my god, why I did not learn it when I was young? No, not so, there was not all this in that period. Oh my dear god, why I’m not young else???

  3. I should be more worried about free blogging accounts – if they pull you off the air you not only lose you blog but all the content in it.

    With your own host, your content remains yours – they cannot delete it for no good reason. When hosting accounts are suspended, the owners are informed by email and given the chance to put right the problem.

    Free hosts and blogging accounts unfortunately can simply pull the plug on you.

    I have been going through all my free blogs and copying the content onto my hard drive, so if the worst ever happens, I can simply start a new blog and use the content from the deleted one to populate it! Same goes for Squidoo lenses and hub pages.

  4. A, it’s a great advise. I opened a blog in italian ffor my new project with a e-shop. And I see that blog-platform not very sure. But I write there good artices and if it’s really possible that they could close the site i’ll be fired really. Haveto think about it.

  5. Pingback: Eric
  6. Liudmila, its very uncommon for free blog hosts to actually delete an account – and it might happen if there were ground s to believe the blog was spam. But if you have a legitimate blog, then there is little chance it will be deleted. The safest way to be with any free hosted stuff is to keep a copy of all your articles on your own computer’s hard drive – that way if the unthinkable happens, at least you still have your original articles safe.

  7. Eric, thanks for saying so. In the end, everyone has a choice. Some may have their choices limited by money or time, but the ultimate choice remains, which is either do it or do not do it!

  8. First off, what a fantastic title for your article. It’s a great example of using a title to hook your reader.

    Secondly I have a really wonderful hosting service that has seen me through some rough spots to say the least,however, I also went to login on day only to discover that same horrible warning, Account Suspended, making me feel like a criminal.

    I think a gentler message would go along way to soothing the owner of the site and his reader when something happens to a site. In my case I got hacked. Not sure how. The problem was easily resolved by the wonderful tech team at the site, but the damage in confidence from my readers took 3 months to repair.

    Over all however my experience, at least with my host has been remarkably good.

    Nick

  9. Hey Terry

    I know I’ve come in a bit late after your “problem” and was just wondering how it was all going a few months later 🙂

    The reason I ask is because I’ve had two major issues this year with that particular reseller hosting which resulted in accounts being suspended.

    One was for “abuse” because a busy site (100k visits a month) actually got too many visitors at the same time – by the logs, that was about 20! That problem took over three days to resolve, and I got NO notification from them, so I had to sort it out myself.

    The second problem was a mini-DOS attact which they could NOT help me solve!

    Needless to say, these “problems” were fixed by moving those nasty sites to a VPS (virtual private server), an option that might be better than a “normal” reseller server.

    Even though a VPS is slightly more expensive, it would be a better option for web sites which are critical to your online business!

    Cheers
    Stephen Spry

  10. Hi Stephen, thanks for reviving this old post.

    My problem was not with my own reseller account, but someone else’s. The owner of that account ran an affiliate member’s program which included “free hosting”. This was useful to me as it meant a different IP address to place some sites which is good for backlinking to my other sites. I believe it was the owner of that reseller account who managed to forget to pay his monthly subscription
    which caused the outage and not a problem with the hosting company.

    This is one of the problems with having a free or cheap shared hosting package on another individual’s reseller account. You are at the mercy of the owner and if they forget to pay their subs, their account becomes suspended until they do, which means all shared accounts on that reseller go down with it.

    That was my gripe and the reason that I will never again rely on anyone else to get anything done online ever again, because while you can chastise yourself for making your own mistakes, you have no control over other people making theirs.

    I upgraded to my own reseller with Hostgator several months ago, have had no problems whatsoever and am perfectly happy with it.

  11. In the attempts to learn how to make money online, I’ve tried a variety of hosts, and owned reseller accounts from such places as godaddy etc. in the past. I’ve recently moved to another host (link removed by tel) after doing tons of research. Well, their service so far has been fantastic. They really do go out of their way in order to help. They respond to everything in good time. While they’re not the cheapest host around, in terms of service and reliability, they are well recommended!

    I wish I could have put up a link to that host, bust as I can’t I guess I’ll just have to thank you anyway for a great post on the subject of hosting and will certainly look at Hostgator as a viable alternative to the rest of the bunch when I start to figure out how to make money online fast.

  12. There is just one word for it.

    Back-up

    You have got to back up all your content

    We do it woth our computers so it stands to reason that we shouuld do it for our income generating sites

  13. Terry,

    Quick question on hosting. I am going to be responsible for getting my church’s website up and running. It will probably only have 2-3 domains on it at the most and probably not a ton of traffic as we are mostly focusing on local traffic and I don’t live in a hugely populated area.

    I know you mention a reseller’s account is preferred, but this is not going to be a true business site. Should I just go with Hostgator’s business account instead of the reseller’s account?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  14. Tom, that would have been a better one to throw at the forum as you’d get more opinions there.

    But here’s mine for what its worth – if you’re only going to host a couple of domains, then a shared hosting package from HG is fine and a lot cheaper!

    Resellers are really only for those of us who are hosting multiple domains that we intend to get some serious traffic to… one day, anyway!

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