Are You a Hosting Hostage?

Written By: John Calder

2004, John Calder

In recent years, the hosting business has become extremely competitive. Not so long ago, the monthly price for an average hosting account for one domain was in the $35 and up range, at a minimum. Now, you can get a hosting account where you can host unlimited domains (up to the disk space and network usage limits of your account), for $25 and under. To try to win more customers in this crowded field, most hosting companies offer bundles of features, included at no extra charge in your hosting plan.

On the surface, all of those features look great, and they are. From single autoresponders to shopping carts, from private name servers to the amazing Fantastico package that lets you install any of numerous software packages, like blogs, content management systems, forums, help desks, and so on, with near one-click ease. But there’s a hidden, more self-serving reason the hosting companies offer this convenience to their customers. They hope you’ll become dependent enough on the software features they offer that it will discourage you from changing hosting companies.

Their service may suffer at some point, perhaps due to sale of the company, support staff cutbacks, problems within their network, and a variety of other reasons. You may want to change hosting companies for good reason. But if you’ve set up your entire site using the software your hosting company offers, you won’t necessarily be able to take those software packages with you. You can probably find another hosting company that offers the same software, but you’ll still have to transfer all of your databases and configuration settings yourself.

One way to help eliminate this problem is to use third-party services where you can – for example, autoresponder services and visitor tracking are good candidates. Your next best choice is to install your own free or paid scripts, that you can delete and reinstall on another server, should a move be necessary.

About the Author

John Calder is the owner/editor of The Ezine Dot Net. Subscribe Today and get real information YOU can use to help build your online business today! http://www.TheEzine.Net

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