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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Suggestions for finding web host?

    I'm not really asking for suggestions regarding hosts here -- just for review sites or other information that might help me make an intelligent decision.

    I'm a one-person business (organized as an LLC), and I also have a domain for my family. I'm growing disenchanted with my current host, and want to explore whether it would be worth changing. So far I've only found one review site that seems to be completely independent and objective, but it hasn't been updated since 2008!

    If it makes any difference to this particular question, I have a few decades in the software field, though I'm fairly new to web programming. I did create my site by writing CSS and HTML scripts in Notepad, so if a review is oriented toward techies it's not a problem.

    Any suggestions to help with my search would be greatly appreciated!

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  3. #2
    Star Lounger
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    A caution on webhost review sites. I have yet to find one that is truly unbiased. All that I have visited are marketing sites for one or a few hosts. The reviews are often written by host employees, as are the comments. The more sites that you visit, the more you will see either the same review or a slight variation on multiple sites. The same goes for any supposed user comments.
    Don
    Windows 7 64bit, Intel Core2 Quad 2.4 GHz, 8.0 GB RAM, nVidia 9500 GT, 1230 GB HD

  4. #3
    Star Lounger
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    One of the bigger sites that might be worth a look is Web Hosting Talk.

    There are alwso some very good forums at SitePoint.

  5. #4
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    I am also very interested in this question.

    Long ago I used to be with SiteHosting.net. They got bought and went to H***. I switched to Aplus.net who was the best rated ISP at the time. What a shining star of quality they were! Then they got bought and went to H***. Is this a trend? It looks like switching to the best is a bad idea. How does one find the upcoming new company which is likely to provide good service for 6 or more years before they get bought and go to H***? I need a new web hosting provider and would like one I can stick with for a while.

    I, too, have started to notice that the rating sites appear to be biased. I see the recommendation for Web Hosting Talk. How do I know that they are truly unbiased?

    I could really use some help here. I've got a few commercial websites, a few non-commercial ones, a few speculative ones (not domain name squatting, but domains I bought for people with the intention of building them out, but didn't end up doing it) and a club website. There are forums, blogs, a CMS, photo galleries, email lists and forwarders, etc., etc. Right now the club is getting ready to fire me if I don't do something. The effort to change all of these sites will be extreme and I can't be trying out this provider and that until I find a good one.

    If anyone knows of a top quality, new and upcoming, full service shared hosting provider, please feel free to name names!

    Thanks, --Brian

  6. #5
    Platinum Lounger
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    I don't think you can really expect much from a cheap commercial host. I always make sure the domain name is registered independently so I can control the DNS entries, then I can change hosts at will - allow a day for the changeover. Apart from that ensure you have a full backup of the web site and any database.

    cheers, Paul

  7. #6
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Changing hosts is a huge ordeal. I'd prefer to find a good one and keep them until they spiral out of control. I think "cheap" is the problem. It seems to be the only word that anyone in this country knows anymore. It isn't really cheap if you are not getting good service for your money. I want a shared hosting service because they generally come with all the utilities and functions that I need. I always get the highest level (usually the "enterprise" plan or something like that.) I have looked at virtual servers, but a service with similar capabilities to the shared "enterprise" type account costs many times more money and they require that I do all of my own system administration which I don't have time to do. There must be some middle ground. I'd happily pay a premium for a reliable shared hosting service that actually worked as advertized. That's really all I need.

  8. #7
    New Lounger
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    IMHO, "stability" is a very relative term on the internet. Even measuring time in "dog years" is unreliable. Five years is basically a lifetime. If you get 5 happy years with a host, anything longer is like living on borrowed time. I've had the same experience, highly rated hosts who sell out with lots of promises that are ignored while service goes down the tubes in a hurry. That said, I've had an account at WiredHub (f/k/a iVersit) for 10 years, same price the whole time, some hiccups around the 5th year but they came through (surprise!). I've had an account at DreamHost for 8 years. They make me crazy sometimes and I periodically come close to abandoning ship but then they get back on course. And I have a "lifetime" account at TextDrive which is an unusual and, to some, interesting story but I won't bore you; if interested, Google it. I wouldn't buy a new account at present. As recommended by PaulT, domain registration is elsewhere than the host, as are all DNS zone records (I use DNS Made Easy), and I keep full backups. In fact, with three "important" websites, a backup is at a different host with a "fallback" setting at DNSME, so if the "main" host goes down the world gets sent to the fallback host. For this, of course, it helps to have an account that can accommodate more than one domain. I'll second the previous comment about Sitepoint forums and articles. I tend to drone on and on, so I'll just conclude with: Good luck!

  9. #8
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, harpshot. That would seem to imply that recommendations from someone who has had good luck with a provider for a few years would actually be a recommendation against them. It would mean that they are about to go down the tubes. A fairly new company which is providing stellar service at the moment is really what I'm looking for. I still haven't found it.

    So I would like to migrate my domain registrations. I have a few with Network Solutions, but just the ones I registered back in the dark ages before every Tom, Dick, and Harry could be a registrar. Most are with my hosting provider. Would NetSol be considered a good place to keep my domain names or is there a better one for that?

    (Dog years. )

  10. #9
    New Lounger
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    I wouldn't say avoid a host with a good 5 year record. I only intended to say that when it comes to internet, 5 years is a long time. And it's not just the internet, y'know. Staying with the same employer more than 5 years is getting to be novelty. Concepts like loyalty just don't carry the weight they did 20 or 30 years ago, whether we're talking about jobs or commerce or whatever. I will say that for well over 10 years in every internet and website forum I ever hung out in, there was unanimity about NetSol: stay away. I've never used them, so I can't say anything from personal experience. I'd say do some research and make the most informed choice you can. Hedge your bet by keeping as much control as you can; register one place, host a different place, DNS yet another place. I like having more than one host, as I mentioned earlier. Good luck!

  11. #10
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    You sure are correct about the transient nature of things. Though I have been with the same employer for over 20 years ... me! Self employment can be a struggle, but at least nobody can fire you but you.

    I registered a couple of domains with NetSol way back in 1995 when I think they were the only domain registrar. They were a pain to deal with, but magically got a lot better when the pool of registrars became larger than just them. Some people cling to hatred long after the offense is taken, so maybe the people complaining about them got burned ten or fifteen years ago and are still bitching about it. I only use their domain registration services and nothing else, so maybe I am blind to their other problems. The cost is reasonable for a business. It is trivial compared to my total Internet expenses. But I suppose it might seem expensive to individuals. If I were going to start moving my other domain registrations away from my Aplus account I would then have to start asking the same question: who is a good one to move to? Or what is a good strategy for choosing one?

  12. #11
    Lounger PamS's Avatar
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    I originally had my domain registered with Network Solutions because "back in the day" they were the only place you could register domains. Eventually I did move my domain registration away from them and it was a pain to get them moved, but that was a long time ago.

    I have been with the same hosting company since I started my website which was back in May of 1997. So it is possible to find a good one and they still be here after all of these years! I admit I got lucky when I found them and feel blessed that they are still around to host my website and would not even think of moving anywhere else. They have everything that I need and have always been there to answer my questions and help me out when I needed it. So like I said, I feel blessed to still have them and do tell them often how thankful I am that they are still around!

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