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Finding decent webhosting
Support is practically non existant.

 6:19 am on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Tried to post this in the hosting forum but it seems to be private access so had to stick it here.

I'm finding myself constantly held to ransom by hosting companies that offer no support.

When I started web designing I only had a couple of sites and went with a local hosting company. When their service and up-time started to deteriorate I made a few complaints, most of which were ignored or the customer (me) was blamed.

Now I'm managing over 30 sites and have moved a lot of them over to my own dedicated server (from <snip>). Again the thing is down right now and I can get nothing in the way of support from them.

I'm looking to transfer the sites again as clients are screaming at me but I have no idea where to turn in terms of hosting. Most of the sites are quite small but one or two occasionally gets large spurts of traffic.

Any advice on webhosts, reliability and support will be greatly appreciated!

[edited by: trillianjedi at 2:55 pm (utc) on July 28, 2006]
[edit reason]
[1][edit reason] No specifics please [/edit]



 6:46 am on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

You should search for really big hosting companies with real 24/7 support chat but
a) maybe it's not the cheapest option
b) support will only cover the dedicated server setup, not the applications you're running

If you really want good support, then you should move to managed servers in big hosting companies (500$/month and above).


 10:10 am on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Don't think my current clients can stretch to 500 bucks a month.

<snip>My server was off for 28 hours, it was a mySQL problem that we eventually fixed ourselves as these incompetent idiots couldnt even be bothered to reply to support emails and calls.


Trouble with hosting companies is you never know what they're like until you've tried them and usually its too late by then.

[edited by: trillianjedi at 2:56 pm (utc) on July 28, 2006]
[edit reason]
[1][edit reason] <br>[1][edit reason] No specifics please as per TOS [/edit]
[/edit][/1] [/edit][/1]


 10:57 am on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Problems with applications like MySQL are often not part of the management contract with the hosting company. You most of the time get what you pay for, but this also translates to "you don't get what you didn't pay for". Many problems with MySQL databases turn out to be configuration and usage problems by the end-user, and not MySQL installation problems. I find it therefore fair that many hosting companies don't offer MySQL support by default.

I specifically choose to have a hardware/basic OS contract only for my dedicated servers. It is the responsibility of the hosting company to replace faulty hardware and keep the network in the air, it is my responsibility to keep the application running. In my definition, application means web server program, database server program and all scripts and other programs needed to keep the web server and database server running, including backups and MySQL database tuning.


 11:35 am on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Don't think my current clients can stretch to 500 bucks a month.

Lexur was talking about "whole server", that is you can put multiple websites on one server. $500 / 30 is only about $16.6 per website. Isn't bad at all. I'd say that's a regular price you'd pay for a worthy hosting.

Of course if you are on one of those dollar/year hosting plans, what do you expect? They obviosly cannot deliver quality service for such low prices.

Hosting is no different than any other business - you get what you pay for.

So to summarize, look for "expensive" plans.


 5:56 am on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree with your points but surely if the hosting company have sold you a service regardless of what they say they should have the common decency to reply to your emails and calls.

We couldnt even get the thing on and they wouldnt boot it up for us. How we are supposed to manage database problems when we cant even access the machine is beyond me. This must be the hosts responsibility, all we asked them to do was re-boot it ... could they do that for us? could they f...

Agree, the $500 a month server looks good if I can get that out of my clients monthy ... without having to refund them all for this fiasco.

Thanks for the PMs, will look into them.


 2:01 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

There are millions of hosting companies ran by high school kids. They buy a reseller account with dad's credit card, and then obviosly they can't reboot the server, because they don't have access to that themselves.


 5:06 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

I use a hosting service whose name <snip>

My ISP doesn't have 24/7 support (only 8am to 8pm); however, they seem to have 99% uptime so contacting more than 3 times in the last year hasn't been an issue.

My ISP prior to that was a well-known volume leader and they were incredibly horrible. And their tech support people were rude and surly (sorry if your job sucks and everybody hates because your service sucks sooooo bad). Incidentally, this former IP's name begins with an <snip> and if you go to google and type in their name followed by the word "sucks", you'll get thousands and thousands of pages of complaints in various forums.

[edited by: physics at 2:38 am (utc) on July 30, 2006]
[edit reason]
[1][edit reason] No specifics even if your're really tricky. [/edit]


 6:09 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

There are millions of hosting companies ran by high school kids. They buy a reseller account with dad's credit card, and then obviosly they can't reboot the server, because they don't have access to that themselves.

One of the problems I faced recently. There happens to be a large new datacentre nearby, and rumours go that Google also uses this datacentre. I wanted to hire a dedicated box there, but found out that almost all hosting providers there had either a mobile telephone number as contact, or an address in the well known student area of that city.

I therefore decided to use one of the larger hosting providers on another location who have there own staff and access to the data centre where the servers are located.


 6:45 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

lfgoal, yep, once you land in a real hoster, you will never leave. No problems, close to 100% uptime [not 99%, that's upto 4 days down per year], 24/7 email/and or phone support, own datacenters, not outsourced junk.

There are very few hosters like this, and once you find one, your troubled hosting days are over.

Dead giveaways of bad hosting: unlimited anything, badly done hoster website, no real contact information. Uncontrolled mysql connections on shared hosting is another bad sign, which some people erroneously consider a good thing, since it means that their db driven site will be allowed to knock out the rest of the sites on a shared server because it's getting too much traffic to run on shared.

Many hosters will lie about owning their own datacenters by the way, or will word it in a way that makes it sound like they do when they don't.

Small hosters won't have access to the bandwidth/multiple data trunk lines that will keep your site up when serious network issues happen.

Check out who the best tech sites on the web are hosted by, usually that's good hosting, tomswardware.com, WebmasterWorld, etc. Not always though, as WebmasterWorld's recent issues with their previous hosting provider shows. But then again, WebmasterWorld isn't using them anymore...

[edited by: 2by4 at 6:58 pm (utc) on July 28, 2006]


 6:47 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

"unlimited anything, badly done hoster website"

This was the case with my prior host...may they rot in #$@%


 6:52 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

ifgoal, yes, I bet I can name the prior hoster, or at least give 3 good guesses, but tos doesn't allow it. But don't worry, in a few years the painful memories will just be that, memories, and unless you are unlucky, like me, and get clients who insist on using bad hosting for various bad reasons, you'll never have to even deal with hosting issues again. Sadly, I am constantly reminded of this fact because I have to deal with other hosting companies, who have, without exception all failed in one way or the other over time.

Of course, there are so many bad large hosters that it's a real competition to find the worst one, they are generally fighting for the 'worst hoster' designation since they will never achieve even a mediocre ranking.

If I contact my hoster about an actual technical issue once per year nowabout a problem, not caused by me, that requires resolution I'm surprised . And I've never seen one of my sites not up. I'm sure they are down now and then, but I've never seen it.

Eventually though if you keep looking and researching you have to find the good ones, there really are not that many, I only know of one good shared hosting company for example.

Oh, one more thing I've seen, no hoster that offers shared hosting with urchin stats has ever proved to be top end, that's because urchin costs a fortune to license per box, so they always cut something from the service somewhere else. I have seen no exceptions to this rule, although one or two companies got my hopes up, but after wasting a few hours with their tech support walking them through the process of figuring out why our site suddenly failed [server configuration errors] I now consider urchin stats to be another warning sign.

Another easy way to find good hosting is to simply search for: <hoster name> problems
on google. Everyone likes posting about bad hosting. When I found mine, there were literally zero negative pages on the web about that hoster. Now there are a few, because some people complain when their sites get kicked off of shared for using too many mysql resources....


 6:50 pm on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

I use four different hosts. The biggest problem I've had was an annoying sign-up process (took multiple phone calls for them to take my business!) and misconfigured DNS. No other real problems to speak of. My rule of thumb is to never go for the cheapest, or near-cheapest host. Pay even just a few extra bucks a month, and it makes all the difference. The very best host I use charges about 3-4 times the cheapest going rate for shared hosting, but they've handled everything excellently, including some big traffic spikes, and offer good technical support.

[edited by: FourDegreez at 6:51 pm (utc) on July 29, 2006]

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