Cyprus web hosting? Really? Think again …

I’m far from honest myself, but at least I don’t charge for my lies. Plenty of people do, however. One of the commonly told lies that I come across rather often these days is the one of Cyprus web hosting. Some companies are telling lies out loud, others are just being overly silent about the truth. But the fact of the matter is that Cyprus web hosting is almost non-existing. There are only just a few companies providing web hosting in Cyprus (PrimeTel and CytaNet, for example), and in most of the cases, their offerings don’t make sense financially. That’s one of the biggest reasons for most of Cyprus web sites being hosted outside of Cyprus, in countries like USA, UK, Germany, and Netherlands.

Still, most of the web design and development companies in Cyprus offer “Cyprus web hosting”. Here is just one example, that I found (ironically, I found it through AdSense block on my own blog) – . Here is a partial snapshot of their front page.

If you are using Firefox browser with Flagfox plugin, than you will immediately notice the United States of America flag in the bottom right corner of your browser window. If you don’t have the plugin or don’t trust the information that it provides, or use a totally different browser, here is how you can arrive to the same results:

  1. Go to
  2. Type in the Whois Lookup form at the top of the page and press the Search button
  3. Scroll down the resulting page to where it says “Server Data”
  4. Find the line with the American flag and a description “Texas – Dallas – Internet Services Inc”.
  5. Bonus point : look at the map, provided by GeoTool. The area you see is pretty far from Cyprus.

Now, there is always this argument, that the web hosting company runs its own web site on a different server from the one that it uses for its customers. It is a theoretically valid point, but the one I haven’t seen in practice just yet. Most of the web companies offering web hosting in Cyprus only have a single server (usually it is a shared or dedicated server, or a VPS account), which they use for all of their hosting needs.

There is also another argument to this point – what exactly is a Cyprus web hosting? Is it hosting on the web server which physically resides in Cyprus, or is hosting on a web server, which is assigned one of the Cyprus IP addresses? And it is, in fact, an interesting point. There is significant difference between the two. If the server is physically located in Cyprus, then chances are, that it will have a lower latency, meaning that web sites on such a server will appear to respond much faster to visitors who are also in Cyprus. This is what matters for many site owners. On the other hand, Cyprus IP address of the web server might be more important to other site owners, since some search engines use this information in scoring their search results (that is considering, for example, that web sites residing on servers with Cyprus IP addresses are more relevant to Cyprus related queries than web sites residing on other web servers).

Technically, it is quite possible for a web server to be physically located in one country, while carrying the IP address, which belongs to another country. But situations like this, aren’t so common, and that is specifically the reason why search engines (and other tools) utilize the information of IP address location.

So, back to the issue of Cyprus web hosting. How bad is it? Let’s see. Examine the first 10 or so results for each of these queries at Google, using the method above:

Impressed? I am. Results:

  • Companies with web sites physically located in Cyprus: 0 (zero).
  • Companies with web sites hosted on a server with Cyprus IP address: 1 (one).

How do I know about this one company with Cyprus IP address that it doesn’t have the server physically located in Cyprus? Because I am an employee of that company (disclaimer and blah blah blah). And even if I wasn’t, finding this information is rather trivial with any traceroute tool (here is one, for example).

So, keep this stuff in mind before you pay for you Cyprus web hosting next time. Maybe this Cyprus offering is not so Cyprus after all. But then again, maybe you just don’t care…

10 thoughts on “Cyprus web hosting? Really? Think again …”

  1. That’s a good point right there.

    It happens that my company is running one big portal, targeting mainly cipriot market, thus we have decided back in 2006 to approach one of the biggest Internet Providers in order to acquire access on one of their servers (providing our users faster peer with the server, etc..)

    After many phone calls, we have arranged a meeting with a so called Sales Person in charge with Webhosting at PrimeTEL (and believe me, i have to tell their name to give them a real public bashing).. and we were even invited inside, to see their data center.

    The prices were incredible high and like you said above, were not justifying the specs our hosting account was having. However, we decided to go with it despite that the price was around 40 (forty) times higher than annual hosting package we’re paying now.

    We have chased the sales person for another two months to give us a trial access on their sever, in order to check the environment, as our platform requires special fine tuning for each and every hosting account. Our efforts were in vain; nobody replied to our emails or return our phone calls.

    So even if you are willing to pay, trying to be a good customer, you will have to deal with the “professionalism” of the local companies.


  2. Andrei,

    possibly, but not necessarily. Cyprus is a rather small market, so probably it doesn’t make any business sense to start hosting business here on its own. However, we might benefit from “side” offers of companies that have the infrastructure for other needs.

    Now all we need is these companies with other needs and some resource leftovers for the side offers. :)

  3. I agree with you but in this day and age, Cyprus must wake up. Fast! We’re in 2008, in EU. There will be a lot of cyprus business oriented websites coming up soon so they will start looking for a good hosting inside the island;

    You have to agree that we’re way to far behind many other countries around us when it comes of internet using, and hosting will be just another issue to delay that booming market.

  4. Andrei,

    I disagree. I think Cyprus is pretty far ahead of many countries. It can be better, but it’s not all that bad.

    And Cyprus web hosting is not a critical issue. It would be good to have it, and I wish I had access to it, but it’s not something that stops or slows down the pace of the Web adoption in Cyprus. After all, UK is only 80ms away. Netherlands are 150ms away. And you can get a decent hosting offer from over there.

    Many countries have their own local web hosters, but the majority of it still happens in hubs like USA, UK, and Netherlands…

  5. i used to work for and just wanted to say that for most people it doesnt matter where the servers are. What matters is price, and if you compare prices to cyta or primetel you know what what the deal is. Small businesses and private people dont care aout latency issues. For 90% it doesnt make a difference if the servers are abroad.

  6. Boris,

    it’s not the point. It doesn’t matter if it is important for people to have servers in Cyprus or not. The point is that if your hosting is not in Cyprus, you shouldn’t say that it is. That’s misleading at least.

    Price-wise, why then would you compare the prices to Cyprus companies? Cyprus companies charge so much because the prices are like this in Cyprus. If your hosting is in the USA, then take USA prices and compare your prices to those.

  7. Well, even now, one year later, I barely see any improvement at all.
    Indeed I am following my visitors and I really wonder how many are bouncing back or leave our websites just cause of the loading time is quite high.
    We’re always improving our sites’ back-end, optimize it to load faster, but with so many queries on each visit, we still can’t keep up. Even myself I get frustrated sometimes over the loading time.
    The main issue is, as I see it, that if you’re targeting the local market only, then it would be ideal, no matter the price let’s say, to have decent local hosting on the island. Don’t you agree?

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