Category: General

Resellers and Their Stigma

The views and acceptance of reseller web hosting providers seems to differ greatly when it is compared to local (South Africa) and international markets. The general perception amongst South African consumers is that resellers accounts are somehow inferior or not to be advised – something that is mostly in deep contrast with international consumers. International consumers understand that a reseller who is on top of things with their customer support and have partnered with a professional web hosting company can offer good service, often with value added services.

Just to describe exactly what a reseller is, a reseller is basically an individual or company that sells a service with a source that they do not provide themselves, i.e. a middleman if you will. In web hosting, they usually have their own plan breakdowns, as well as billing system and are usually required to provide basic support to their clients.

I am often amazed at how vehemently opposed local customers are of resellers, just recently I read a post on a forum that one should not purchase web hosting from a company that does not have their own data centre. This is a bordering idiotic statement, simply because it costs tens or even hundreds of millions of Rands to just to build and develop a datacentre, never mind infrastructure, staff, marketing, licencing or networking equipment / servers.

There are extremely few web hosting providers that own their own datacentres and locally I can only think of a few, most of which don’t provide shared web hosting. Most of the largest and fastest growing shared specific web hosting companies in the world do not have their own datacentres.

We rent and own servers from numerous data centres and do not own any such facilities, which are all best of class and I doubt could be run any more efficiently than they already are. I cannot fathom why that would put us at a disadvantage to a datacentre which does actually provide shared web hosting accounts (which again are very rare to begin with).

I would be interested to know how these individuals would conduct a comparison between two such datacentres that provide web hosting – would their floorspace make a difference? What if they own multiple datacentres versus a provider with a single facility?

I wonder what these same people would answer if posed questions such as “Do you only eat at restaurants that own their food supply chains (the farms, etc), as well as building?” or “Do you only use flight services from providers that own their own airports?”. When it is put into such everyday perspectives, the absurdity of these claims can be easier understood.

Please be careful when reading advice from people on forums or social media – it should often be taken with a pinch of salt.

The Flood of Web Developers

There has been a steady increase in web developers over the years and it saddens me to see some of the quality of work and abuse of technologies employed as a drop – in replacement for clear lack of ability. Take for example CMS based platforms – these are meant to be used to enable websites to be easily updated and manage a decent volume of articles in a logical manner.

What I see more and more often are simple, static websites that are built using these technologies on the basis that:

  • The owner can update the website easily.
  • Articles and data are stored logically.

Fair enough but these are the kinds of websites that will VERY rarely be updated and are extremely simple. I am talking about 4 or 5 page websites with simple “About Us” and similar descriptive pages that are using these CMS platforms.

I suspect that one reason why these CMS platforms are chosen is due to the apparent absolute lack of knowledge of even simple HTML and CSS design. It is far easier to just download a template, apply it to a CMS and edit the content in an easy to use web – based editor then create an efficient, static website.

Considering the website is easy for the owner to update, there is almost zero possibility of the website owner ever updating their website script, which begs the question if the web developers who employ this simple means of website creation understand the risks involved. What you end up with is a web developer who spends a few minutes to install a CMS script, followed by applying a (often free) template. Finish it off with a few minor adjustments and that is what they would consider a job well done.

What you really get is a 4 page website that uses 15 megabytes of storage, with a database holding 15 tables and 5 records.