I read a post this week from a popular and successful blogger who recently experienced his site being down for a week because of a DOS attack*. DOS attacks are common and you have to deal with them, but what surprised me was this very knowledgeable and successful blogger (who makes GREAT money blogging) still had his blog on cheap shared hosting at a discount hosting service. THAT shocked me.
I guess being a technical guy, a programmer, and a developer, I just assume that anyone knee-deep in blogging and websites for several years is going to know that once you start getting any real traffic or blog success, it’s time to invest in some high-quality hosting and dedicated (or semi-dedicated) server hosting. Let me see if I can explain in simple terms.
You Get What You Pay For
When you are investing from nothing to maybe an entire $4/month for hosting, you get what you pay for: your blog is loaded onto a server with (typically) THOUSANDS of other blogs along with their files and databases. To make matters worse, the cheaper, less-reputable services will horribly “overbook” a server in order to maximize profits at the expense of performance and reliability. It’s like an airline that sells way too many seats for a flight then the customers get to deal with the headaches and hassle (an airline would never do that though, right?).
So you bust your butt, your blog is growing, and you’re only paying $0-4 a month for hosting. What a deal! Until one of the those thousands of sites get hacked, DOS’d, or by virtue of bad programming from one of those thousands of site owners, something takes down the entire server – along with your blog. Or maybe the overloading just affects the performance of the server and your site is loading slowly. However it manifests itself, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
The Good News
That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can get dedicated or semi-dedicated hosting for very reasonable prices. Semi-dedicated hosting is available for less than $50/month and dedicated for $100-300/month depending on the server you get (power, memory, storage, etc).
- Semi-dedicated hosting: you share a server with a FEW other people, and get dedicated processors and memory assigned to you
- Dedicated hosting: get a whole computer/server as your own
Gasp!!! $20-50/month… does that bother you? People have become SO cheap because of all the “free” stuff on the Internet. You want a great blog. You want thousands and thousands of people a day to come and read your blog, buy your products, and view your advertising. You want your blog safe, secure, and always available. You have a dream of making a nice side income or even full-time income from your blog and your online business. But the thought of investing $35/month in reliable, quality hosting is just “too much” to consider. Really? You get what you pay for and if you are serious about blogging and/or serious about an online business, then you have to be serious about building the business correctly.
I can’t imagine a traditional business settling for a cardboard building because it is cheap; while hyperventilating at the thought of investing in brick, mortar, and lumber to construct a real building. And yet, that is the common response of bloggers and people online. “Oh, I can’t possibly spend $20, $40, or more a month on real hosting… I’m not making any money yet.” I’ve rarely (ever?) met anyone who can’t give up a couple of times eating out, cable TV, or some other luxury and save that much per month. It just depends on what is important to you. It depends on how serious you are about being a successful blogger.
To clarify, I’m not saying the blogger I read about this week didn’t have good hosting because he was cheap. He clearly is not cheap as he invests a lot of money in the quality of his business. I think he just didn’t know better (which still surprised me given his success). I have a 10th of his traffic/income and I spend more than a $1000/month on hosting-related services. Now, I realize that is the exception but the point is this: I’m investing in my future. I sacrifice other things to make sure I’m prepared for success online. He apparently didn’t know about “cheap hosting.” But now YOU do know. So what will you do with that knowledge? Ignore it? Will you hear and not do? That is always a recipe for trouble.
You get what you pay for. Invest in your own success and don’t be cheap when cheap will hurt you. If you ignore this advice now, you won’t be ignoring it later. Problems with cheap hosting are inevitable – not just possible.
I recommend Arvixe for quality, reliable, and very reasonably priced hosting. I have several hosting accounts with them, 3 semi-dedicated servers, and one dedicated. If your blog is growing, don’t wait until it is downed for a week on some cheap shared-hosting service before realizing you need quality hosting you can trust. You can visit Arvixe here…
* DOS Attack:
In computing, a denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the means to carry out, motives for, and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it generally consists of the efforts of one or more people to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend services of a host connected to the Internet.
Perpetrators of DoS attacks typically target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks, credit card payment gateways, and even root nameservers. This technique has now seen extensive use in certain games, used by server owners, or disgruntled competitors on games such as Minecraft and League of Legends. The term is generally used relating to computer networks, but is not limited to this field; for example, it is also used in reference to CPU resource management.
One common method of attack involves saturating the target machine with external communications requests, so much so that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered essentially unavailable. Such attacks usually lead to a server overload. In general terms, DoS attacks are implemented by either forcing the targeted computer(s) to reset, or consuming its resources so that it can no longer provide its intended service or obstructing the communication media between the intended users and the victim so that they can no longer communicate adequately. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOS_attack)
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