The Internet Escort’s Handbook

Safe, Sane, Successful Escort Work is Possible!

Is Your Web Host Ripping You Off?

In researching escort-specific Web designers for Book 2, I’ve looked at many design sites. Some of them offer solid design services at fair prices (compared to mainstream Web design). Many don’t – but that’s no different from any other industry. For instance, authors are as bamboozled by unethical designers as escorts are. The difference seems to be in the amount of price-gouging.

But I’m willing to accept that. Every industry has a contingent willing to fleece the unwary or ignorant. I feel educating escorts about Web design will allow them to make better choices and hopefully unethical designers will lose business and eventually go away.

Almost every design firm on the planet offers Web hosting (sometimes they’re a re-seller, other times they have their own servers). Those that don’t will often recommend particular hosts. Those who offer Web hosting, especially to escorts, have high prices. It’s not unusual to see charges of $25-$50/month for basic hosting.

As I said before, I’m willing to accept some price-gouging in the market because I see it everywhere, not just with escort-specific Web design. It’s a fact of Web-life.

If I were to spend $50/month on hosting, it would be because I had an extensive e-commerce site that required a lot of sophisticated programming languages, SSL, tons of bandwidth and huge amounts of disk space; and probably my own sever. None of my sites currently require that amount of work.

The Sport of Ripping Off Escorts

This weekend I looked at a design site that offered Web hosting services as well. My jaw dropped. I could not believe their gall. Their top-end Web hosting service ran $500/month. That’s $6,000/year. Purchasing your own server and setting up a secure network from a home office would be cheaper. Purchasing Web hosting almost anywhere else on the planet would be cheaper. In fact, I can think of a lot of Web-related things that are cheaper.

For an honest breakdown of what a rip-off this hosting service is, here’s a comparison of their plans (with all the detail they offered on their site), with selected details from my two current Web hosts: Simpli and WebMasters.

The Rip-Off Web Host

(includes unlimited e-mail accounts with every plan)
$25/month (base plan)
50MB disk space, 10GB bandwidth

$79/month
150MB disk space, 25GB bandwidth

$125/month
250MB disk space, 50GB bandwidth

$??/month (price not listed)
500MB disk space, 100GB bandwidth

$500/month
Unlimited disk space and bandwidth

Simpli

(offers 99.9% uptime guarantee)
$7/month (base plan, paid annually)
1GB disk space, 20GB bandwidth
100 e-mail accounts (with autoresponders)
10 subdomains
10 MySQL databases (good for things like mailing lists and blogging)
30-day money-back guarantee
Over 50 pre-installed scripts (like blogs, e-commerce programs)
Nightly backup
Additional bandwidth – $2/month per extra GB
…and more!*

WebMasters

(offers 99.9% uptime guarantee)
$9.95/month (paid annually; this is their only plan)
Up to 100GB disk space and 1000 GB bandwidth
1000 e-mail accounts (with autoresponders)
Unlimited subdomains
300 MySQL databases
30-day money-back guarantee
Over 50 pre-installed scripts
Nightly backup
…and more!

What is disk space and bandwith? Why do they matter?

FYI:
1 gigabyte = 1 million megabytes
1 megabyte = 1 million bytes
1 byte = 1 bit of information –Without going into computer-programming detail, let’s just agree that a byte is one bit of information, like a character in a document.

Disk space is the exact amount of space you’re allocated on the server to store your Web site’s files. Since a server is a big computer, this is just like the amount of space you have on your computer at home to store your files.

Bandwidth is the amount of traffic your Web site is allowed to handle. The bandwidth that gets used depends on the files that are downloaded by your visitors. For example, if you have 50 users who look at your Rates page, their computers request the Rates page information from your server. If your Rates page is a 20kb file, then your server has just transferred 1megabyte of information. If your pages are media-heavy (pictures, MP3, video, etc.), then every time someone loads that page, they’re downloading all those extra things, eating into your bandwidth allowance. (There are ways to conserve bandwidth usage through smart Web design, but that’s a whole other post.)

For most Web sites, disk space is the bigger issue than bandwidth. Bandwidth comes into play for either high-traffic sites (tens of thousands of visitors/month) or sites with lots of large files to download.

What about security?

Simpli and WebMasters discuss security as a main issue. There is physical security – protecting the actual servers in their actual location from vandalism, power outages and natural disaster. Then there are Internet security measures – protecting against hackers, viruses, and unethical sites operating on their own servers. Most escort-specific hosts, including the one I’m ranting about here, never discuss security of any kind. (And if they’re hosting out of their own homes on their own servers, it’s doubtful that they’re implementing up-to-the-minute security tactics.)

Which company gets your business?

It should be easy to tell which of these companies does not really care about the people using its hosting. It cares only about making as much money as possible. Which of these companies care more about offering what their customers need and want in order to have them come back year after year? They want their happy customers to do what I just did – which is spread the word about their great services.

There are many other good, professional Web hosts out there. These two aren’t the only choices you have. They’re ones I’m happy with and have had experience with; especially WebMasters – I’ve been with them since 2002.

When you’re looking for the right place to host your Web site, take a critical look at what’s really being offered. It is just a scheme to get rich quick off of you because you’re an escort (i.e., stereotypically dumb yet full of money)? Or is it a professional company that makes Web hosting its #1 priority and has a roster full of happy customers?

Put Your Web Host on the Spot

Ask your prospective host for every detail of what they offer and the cost per month. Then compare their price and offerings against these two $7 and $10 per month hosts. Who wins the comparison?

I Wasn’t Paid to Write This

Neither one of my Web hosts has anything to do with this post. In fact, I’d be surprised if they even learned about it. Nor are the links to their sites affiliate links. I’m simply a happy customer who likes getting great service at a very reasonable price. The way I look at: the more people use these companies, the longer they stay in business. That means I don’t have to go shopping for a new Web host. One less thing in my life to worry about.

* I just read Simpli’s FAQs and they’re pretty adamant about not serving adult sites. I still think they make a great offer, but had to let you know.

Originally published 8/6/07, but due to technical issues, is dated several months later.