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June 27, 2007

The Hidden Costs of a Cheap Dedicated Server

Finding the right web hosting for a determined purpose is not an easy task. The variety is so immense, that the offer of a cheap dedicated server might be tempting. The advantages of having a server exclusively reserved for you are widely known, in terms of customization, bandwidth, memory, storage, whatever traffic the hosted site may have, but at the beginning this option was nothing but very expensive and restricted to wealthy clients.

After a little while, some companies thought that it would be a great deal, to give users with a tight budget the opportunity of renting a cheap dedicated server. But… is a cheap dedicated server really cheap? Unfortunately, in most cases, it’s not.

It is important to notice that frequently what is supposed to be hosting cost is not actually hosting cost. Many corporations offer very low cost servers, but hide tricks which can lead the user to fall into a trap. People argued that they found out some services where not included, when they were billed by the end of the month, with astronomic prices for basic usage of control panels, an essential feature of dedicated servers.

What happens afterwards is that the client must wait until the contract is over with the subsequent waste of time and, of course, money.

How to spot hosting hidden server costs

The most important thing to do is to read the terms of use and service thoroughly, to find out specifically what kind of software is included, which hardware is implemented and whether the possible license fees for managing the control panels are included in the final price, as they are crucial to customize the features of your dedicated server.

In general, dedicated servers’ providers may offer different types of managed server support and several levels of administration services: Fully Managed, where customers are completely hands-off; Managed, where customers may perform specific tasks; Self Managed, where customers provide most operations and tasks on dedicated server; and Unmanaged, where there is little to no involvement from service provider and customers provide all maintenance, upgrades, patches, security and everything else that is needed.

Whatever type of support a provider selects to offer to its customers, it is essential that every specific aspect is mentioned in the contact to avoid surprises by the end of the month. Other important issue to consider is what kind of hardware is offered. It’s very usual that the devices offered by cheap dedicated servers’ providers are not enough to keep the dedicated server running in a high load scenario. Therefore, you may eventually need to upgrade the hardware, and that will leave behind the idea of a cheap dedicated server.

As a general rule, the finest web hosting providers ensure redundant systems that will decrease the number of potential data or connectivity errors, which allows them to be able to guarantee higher uptimes. However, some web hosting companies offer additional redundancy for a fee, and if you choose to go with one of these offers your cost will definitely be increased.

Keep in mind that these are only some of the aspects to consider when choosing the right cheap dedicated server; sometimes cheap ends up being costly, and if you take the time to double check what your web hosting company has to offer at first, you will definitely save yourself a lot of headaches later.

Author:  Henry Walsh is a reputed expert in the web hosting industry. He is a regular contributor of several specialized web pages and ezines related to the subject. To get more information on the dedicated server hosting industry, please visit us at