Tuesday - Jul 16, 2019

Web Hosting in South Africa


Today I decided to go scouting around for alternative hosting providers in South Africa. With sembeo.com banging past 2M monthly unique visitors my cheap reseller hosting was starting to edge toward me breaching the terms of service with processor, memory and bandwidth usage was a bit excessive, blah blah blah fishpaste.

I decided to start with Google and ran a few queries like “Professional Joomla and WordPress Websites”, “top designers and developers”, “personal web site hosting”, “PHP Content Management System”, “website design and custom web development”, “preferred website design company”, “wordpress designer” and “joomla designer” to reverse-engineer what hosting platforms the local designers and developers were using to host their client websites in South Africa.

What I found was a bit of a joke!

In my tested segment Hetzner was by far the leading local web hosting provider for websites and domain registrations, presumably due to the R39.00 “cheap” hosting package they advertise! Easy to sell I guess if you have a site with no traffic or database requirements.

The cheapest business website package I could find that supported a database was the “basic” R99pm. Problem if I host this package in South Africa it is capped at 4GB.

Sembeo.com can sometimes chew more than that in a good day, on average this site can consume over 370GB in a month. As you move up the sliding scale of Hetzners local offers the biggest baddest dedicated server option would set me back south of R3000 p/m. In effect I would shoot my bandwidth load in the first week; so add another R7000.00 p/m for additional bandwidth charges. Einah!

Not this blogger!
Not all client websites have sembeo’s high traffic volume requirements however my point is this is just a frivolous blog so I only need frivolous blog hosting not even a fraction of what corporates could be shelling out to host their applications/weblications and sites. I bet they feel it.

Yes, yes, ja! met ys ja!
Now I’m not here to knock Hetzner, in all fairness they are probably one of the best local hosting providers you get into local web providers in South Africa and they are only a handful in SA.

Local hosting and web providers?
There are a few good ones, but the the majority of the “other host providers” offer hosting in the US from accounts and probably smashing clients for “local hosting” fees and skimming the difference for themselves? or passing on the cost savings? who knows?

My research on Google is perhaps also a bit skewed as many of the web designers link back to their sites from their clients websites using words like “web hosting”, “web host provider” or “SEO”.

Disconfobulated DNS
Some “local hosting providers” put the DNS servers overseas so even if in the case that the site is hosted locally!!!!

  1. So the request still has to travel up the pipe to London
  2. across the pond into New York down the US coast backbone to resolve.
  3. The response then heads back up the New York,
  4. back across the pond and
  5. down the pipe to South Africa to
  6. resolve at the server physically sitting 3 blocks away.

WTF!!! how on earth can that be optimal?

So what’s the solution?
Host in London if you have high traffic sites and cant afford local SA bandwidth monthly violation.
It’s by far the cheaper than SA and the round trip far quicker than sites hosted in the US. (For South Africa) 90% of clients wont know the difference.

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