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Thread: Web Hosting

  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Looking for a web hoster.

    Small church with few if any bells or whistles.
    Searched here and last comments were 2009.

    Searched the internet for reviews. Most of the big names are listed below the top 20. Never would have thought that. Most that I found I have never heard of. Kinda scary. But then again, the reviews all could have been "paid for". So who really can I trust?

    Of course I can trust "The Lounge".

    Open to your thoughts and opinions.
    I was trained on vacuum tubes.
    Most everything I've worked on are in museums.
    Yea ... I'm old.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Ah, hosting reviews. So much anger and confusion. I'm not aware of any perfect web hosts at a value price point. Particularly when you are sharing your server with dozens of other customers, you can expect occasional slowness and outages, and possibly even having to restore backups once in a blue moon. You learn that "everyone has a bad day now and then," and you can judge how poorly it was handled by measuring the harshness of the reviews. As you do your research, it would be interesting to hear which of the many review sites you find more or less useful.

    Unlike a lot of people, apparently, I've had good luck with 1&1 (Affiliate Link). I've used the Windows package for some personal sites (to run .asp-based sites), and we've used the Linux package at the office (for our .php-based site). They have made billing errors on a domain we transferred to another registrar (why are their systems out of sync for over 2 years??), so I can relate to complaints about billing. But those were easily resolved.

    (I have a second hosting account with WestHost. I haven't tried their new shared hosting plans -- my account is under their old VPS architecture, which is good for "tinkering," but that has migrated to a completely different platform.)

  3. #3
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    I have used GoDaddy with success. Cheap for basic hosting.

    It doesn't really matter who you use as long as they are within your price range and you ensure you have backups of the site.
    It is worth setting up a free web site monitor to notify you if your site / host is down.
    http://www.serviceuptime.com/
    http://www.siteuptime.com/

    cheers, Paul

  4. #4
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    >It doesn't really matter who you use as long as they are within your price range and you ensure you have backups

    I think it does. Everyone messes up now and then, and everyone who's competent messes up infrequently. But how quickly and effectively a host responds to mess-ups when they happen can be very important.

    As an example, I'll use my own hosting service (whom I won't name because I don't think they're uniquely bad). A couple of years ago I gave them new contact information, but they never updated their records. As a result, I never received notice when my domain name was about to expire, and the first I knew of it was when my web site and email service went away.

    I called them, found out what was wrong, and authorized a renewal. They told me my services would be restored in two to four hours. Four hours later my web site was back but my email wasn't. I called again and was told that restoring email service would take 12 to 36 hours, not two to four, and that if I wanted to complain about that I'd have to call some other company to whom they had subcontracted my email service without telling me.

    By then it was about 5:15 on a Friday afternoon. I called the other company and got a recording which asked me to please call on Monday morning.

    I called my host back to demand a 24-hour contact number, but I got nowhere. They either thought or pretended to think that I had transferred my email service elsewhere myself, and they just acted puzzled: how were they supposed to know who I should call?

    Luckily my email service was restored a couple of hours later, so the damage was tolerable. I thought about changing hosts anyway, but decided against it; it would inevitably create more problems, and I wasn't convinced that I could find another provider that was better.

    BTW, the original post -- "Small church with few if any bells or whistles" -- gave me an image of an old fashioned New England church whose steeple contained... only a few bells and whistles. The subdued ding-TWEET-dong I imagined echoing through the town on Sunday mornings has brightened my day.

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    It is not your ISPs fault you didn't remember to renew your domain.

    cheers, Paul

  7. #7
    2 Star Lounger
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    I also used 1&1 for several years and was very happy with it as a basic host and email provider.

    They have some very cheap packages and the web site builder is fine if you don't want to do any fancy coding.

    I had to switch when I started doing some ASP stuff on several domains that I host with one account. 1&1's implementation of ASP made it possible for a visitor to one site end up on pages of another site.

  8. #8
    4 Star Lounger
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    Paul, your reading of my account was remarkably selective.

    Yes, if I had disregarded the fact that the host promises to notify its customers when their subscriptions can't be renewed automatically, that it's in their rational self-interest to do so, and that they had notified me in the past, I could have prevented the problem by contacting them (and presumably every other auto-renewed service I use) every time a renewal was coming up to ask if they were really going to do what they were supposed to do.

    Do you really believe that excuses the multiple bungles and outright deceptions they committed, both before and after the incident?

  9. #9
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    Their service was indeed poor, but you could have avoided the pain by renewing early. I try not to rely on reminders which may or may not arrive.

    cheers, Paul

  10. #10
    4 Star Lounger
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    > Their service was indeed poor, but you could have avoided the pain by renewing early.

    You are missing the point. This service provider bungled my service in several respects and shifted parts of it to a third party without informing me. Then they gave me conflicting information, some of which had to be untrue, and left me with no email service over a weekend.

    It's unlikely that they will mess me up again in just the same way. On the other hand, I think it's very possible that sooner or later they'll mess me up in some other way that's unpredictable and quite possibly unpreventable.

    It's not a good use of my time to guard against this particular type of mess-up just because my host has done it to me -- or to guard against every foreseeable and preventable type of mes-up just because my host might do one of them to me in the future. If I can find a host that I can rely on, I'll switch, and eliminate the problem at the source.

  11. #11
    New Lounger
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    That is an interesting thread. At the moment I am also looking for a web host and I am not quite sure which one I should choose. Some friends of mine recommended IX Webhosting and at the moment I would choose them. Will definitely also check your suggestions.

    http://www.ixwebhosting.com/
    Last edited by jscher2000; 2011-07-06 at 12:59. Reason: Moved link so it's visible.

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