The Iron Triangle of Web Hosting
Web hosting is made possible by the interaction of three distinct resources:
Bandwidth is the simplest resource. No matter what type of site it is, anytime someone accesses it, bandwidth is used. The more popular a site is, the more bandwidth it uses.
Storage is also fairly straightforward. All the files that make up a site, whether dynamic scripts, images, movies, audio files, or any other type, take up space. The amount of space a file uses may or may not be proportional to the amount of bandwidth it uses; for static files it usually is but for dynamic sites it frequently isn't.
"Oomph!" refers to the server resources (CPU and RAM) required to turn storage (and input from site visitors) into bandwidth. For static files, this is pretty negligible, but when scripts are involved (like CGI or PHP) the amount of resources can vary widely depending on what they're doing and how well-written they are.
Every web site needs each of these three things in some combination, which is why we call them the iron triangle of web hosting. However, some sites use a lot of one and not much of the other two. Others may use two or lots of all three. For example, even the largest, most popular static site might use a lot of storage and bandwidth but often uses less server resources ("Oomph!") than even a small dynamic blog. Because of this wide variation, our billing plans track each one independently.
|Base Charge||$0.01 / day||$0.05 / day||$0.50 / day|
|Intended Usage||Personal sites, beta sites, experiments||The website is for your business.||The website is your business.|
|Restrictions||Limited quantity, limited realm selection, may be selected for betas||None||Requires subscription membership|
|Base Bandwidth||1 GiB / day||10 GiB / day||100 GiB / day|
|Extra Bandwidth||$0.00 / GiB*|
|Storage||$1.00 / GiB-month|
|Resources||$0.01 / 44.64 RAUs**|
*Currently we are not tracking (and hence not billing for) extra bandwidth usage. This could change in the future, but currently we have no such plans.
**A RAU is our unit of CPU-RAM accounting. It refers to the use of one gigabyte of RAM for one minute, or the equivalent amount of CPU power.
Try out our Pricing Estimator! It'll help you figure out your likely hosting costs.
We know that some people who host with us really do need the absolute lowest possible price, and this is it. This is a plan designed to minimize the price by reducing access to some features that are expensive for us, and giving us some flexibility with respect to how we host these sites. As such, this offering represents a subsidy; it’s below our costs. That has three main consequences:
- Non-Production Sites may not be used for production services, or for sites that generate any kind of revenue. If you’re making money on your site, we’re not willing to lose money to host it. Personal sites are OK. Beta sites are OK. Development sites are OK. Resume and personal portfolio sites are OK.
- Non-Production Sites must constitute no more than half of the sites on your membership, rounded up. So if you’ve got one site, it can be non-production. If you’ve got more, you’ll have to maintain a mix. If your ratio falls out of balance (e.g. by deleting Production sites), we’ll apply an adjustment charge.
- Non-Production Sites will help us improve our service. When we need sites to help test new features in the future, those sites will be automatically drawn as needed from the pool of Non-Production sites. They will also be limited to upcoming stable, beta and experimental realms to help us make sure third-party software updates are production-ready. (Realms are the huge collections of third-party software we provide preinstalled for all sites.)
If any of those limitations are undesirable for any reason, then a Production Site will be the more appropriate option.
Production sites have full access to all features and realms, support static and dynamic content, and may be used for any production or revenue-generating purposes. There is no restriction to the number of them you can have. They may have some ability to opt into future tests, but that ability may be limited.
Although we don’t require it, we strongly recommend that if you are generating revenue from a production site, you should have a subscription membership. The cost is very small and if there is real money on the line then being able to ask for our insight and help when there’s a problem can be invaluable. It’s a good investment in your own success.
Critical sites are particularly sensitive or important sites.
The higher price includes a custom entry for the site in our network monitoring system. That notification can be set to alert you, us, or both, in the event of a disruption. (We do reserve the right to adjust how vigorously it notifies us based on the frequency of monitoring events that result from issues determined to be under your control.)
In addition to those notifications, in the event of a disruption to our service, we will use critical site monitoring to verify that service is restored to your site.
Also, with critical sites, if we detect an issue, we will be able to devote more effort to investigating what’s going on to see if there is any helpful information we can proactively provide to the site operator, or if there is anything we can do on our end to help restore proper operation.
This doesn’t change the fundamental do-it-yourself nature of our service, nor will it keep sites online if they are hacked or compromised. To give an example, if we detect a WordPress blog is compromised, we disable it and our system sends out an automated notification via email to the site operator to let them know to take care of it. If that site were a critical site, we would still have to disable it, but we would send out a manual notification instead, including whatever information we can find about what’s going on, and if it were agreed upon in advance, we’d be able to alert the site operator by SMS as well.
If your site is vital to your business or generates enough revenue that you feel that a little extra attention is worth it, that's a Critical site.