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) – CyprusWebSpace.com . 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:
- Go to DomainTools.com
- Type cypruswebspace.com in the Whois Lookup form at the top of the page and press the Search button
- Scroll down the resulting page to where it says “Server Data”
- Find the line with the American flag and a description “Texas – Dallas – Theplanet.com Internet Services Inc”.
- 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…