Best Server Companies for Webcomics?
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 13, 2006 - 15:50
Just another good thread I wanted to move over and hopefully get some interest in updating on: best hosting setup/deal for a growing webcomic. Previously someone mentioned Cologuys (http://www.cologuys.com) - are a lot of larger webcomics still using them? They do dedicated servers... Also Ghastly explains the dangers of "unlimited bandwidth" offers:
Beware the term "unlimited bandwidth". It's a form of marketing speak designed to confuse the casual consumer. A little lesson in bandwidth for the newly webified. There are some hosts that don't charge you for bandwidth. But the term you're looking for is "unmetered" bandwidth, not "unlimited" bandwidth. Unmetered bandwidth means just that. They don't meter your bandwidth (well they probably do, but you arn't charged by how much bandwidth you draw). Places like Keenspace and Keenspot are like that. There are other places too like that. Unlimited bandwidth means they don't put a cap on how much bandwidth you can draw. For example, you might pay $5 a month for 20 gigabytes of bandwidth. Now if your site has limited bandwidth as soon as you draw 20 gigabytes of traffic your site shuts down and the server puts up a notice telling visitors (this site has used all its bandwidth for this month, please check back next month). If your account has "unlimited bandwidth" and you reach your 20 gigs and move on the site remains up, but the bandwidth you are using is metered and you are charged for it (usually a rediculously high rate too). Bandwidth is like peanuts. You can buy a small 100g snack pack of peanuts at the corner store for $.75 or you can go to the bulk-barn and buy a 2.5kg sack of peanuts for $5. The bulk store peanuts are much cheaper than the peanuts you buy at the corner store, but you have to buy a whole lot more peanuts, more than you will likely ever eat. This is what keeps companies like Keen in business. They don't buy bandwidth the way you as an individual webcomic artist might, with a piddly little 20gb account (I don't think anyone still sells hosting smaller than 20gb/month anymore. At one time you used to be able to get it as low as 5gb/month though). They buy a big wonking chunk of bandwidth. They'd never be able to afford the peanuts for all their artists if they had to buy them in individual snack-packs. It would costs thousands and thousands a month. I would not doubt that at $150/month the Colo Guys account is, indeed "unmetered" bandwidth because $150 will buy you a whole shirt-load of bandwidth, far more than most people will ever use. The Colo Guys realize this and they know that even though some people will draw more than $150 worth of bandwidth from them, the vast majority will never come close to drawing that much so when all things are added up, they win. Now it might just be "unlimited" bandwidth but at $150 it would have a cap so high that it's likely snoozer simply hasn't reached it yet. I would not be surprised at all if in the future all internet hosting is sold "unmetered". In fact, I'd expect that by 2007 metered bandwidth could well be a thing of the past. Your hosting will be charged based on the services they offer you and based on how much file storage you get. If bandwidth is sold at all in metered packets people will probably be paying per terrabyte what they pay per gigabyte now and you'll be buying a 5 terrabyte hosting wether you use it or not. Now it might seem rediculous but you have to realize too that in the very near future all internet access will be broadband. This will cause websites to become bigger and bigger and offer more and more content which will cause a demand for hosting in the terrabytes to be the norm. By 2007 a site that draws only 1 terrabyte of bandwidth per month would probably be considered small. When I was a kid you could actually buy a 1 megabyte hard drive for the commodore 64. I used to have a whopping 5 megabyte apple II+ hard drive. On the PC a 10 megabyte hard drive was more than enough for any user and only the serious power business users needed a 20 megabyte hard drive. The first time I saw a 100megabyte hard drive I damned near plotzed. The thing was not only huge in terms of what it could store but it was physically almost as big as a PC of the time. All those hard drives would not even be capable of holding the operating system required to run today's computers. Trust me. Internet bandwidth is going to be the same thing. In a couple more years we'll be looking back and wondering how we ever managed to get by with less than a terrabyte of bandwidth.