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hosting company problems

     
7:23 pm on Jan 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi

I run a web design business and have around 50 clients who I hold the register domain names for and provide hosting through another company.

The hosting company is causing me big problems and I'm unsure on the best course of action.

I host using a shared windows server the location of which I'm unsure about. The hosting company say it is housed in their 'datacentre' but I feel it is off site.

My existing clients are extremely important to me and although I do my very best to provide a great service I am frequently let down by my hosting company. Downtime happens maybe once every couple of weeks. This can be without warning and in the middle of a business day.

As you can imagine clients are straight on the phone to me and I have to make excuses due to the fact the hosting company will hide behind an answer machine and won't give answers or resolve the issue. My only resort is email support through a ticket system which can takes days to resolve.

Many times even the hosting companies own website is down which means it's even impossible to raise a support ticket. This leaves me furious.

When I need to register a new domain through the company they take the money straight away but the registration may take up to five days. This leaves the domain still available for competition and I regularly get clients asking me why the name is still unregistered.

I have asked on numerous occasions to meet with the company directors to discuss some sort of service comitment to my company but I'm I never get a straight reply.

I am looking for advice on the best course of action. How do I stand legally if I'm losing business or clients due to thier inconsistant service? As I explained I have 50 domains and this will certainly double over the coming year. I am extremely wary to host new clients with this company but I'm caught in a situation due to finances. I understand it will take time and money to shift my clients to a new company. I am worried about downtime for my clients with this transition. Is there an easy way to move hosting? I want to cause the least amount of disruption to clients.

Any help or advice is much appreciated.

8:24 pm on Jan 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My advise? I do the same sort of business as you do on the side, and I had the same problem at one time, albiet I had MUCH LESS clients than you have. I call all of them and told them in one month I was "switching to more secure servers". At this point I took all the sites I had on CD, opened new hosting accounts on a MUCH better host (If you are curious as to who I use, sticky me), and fowarded the domain pointers to the new host. I waited until all the sites were seen on the new host and after that, and only AFTER that, I closed all my old accounts and called it good. Since, I've had zero downtime except when notified 2 weeks in advance once that the servers would be down from 1am to 3am for server upgrades. Plenty of time to notify my customers.

Like I said I gave my customers a months notice, just incase there were any complications during the switch... Fortunately there were none. And I actually saved money on the deal as my host is really reasonable.

10:48 pm on Jan 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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thank you for the response and advice.

bubster

4:26 am on Jan 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think you should become a web hosting reseller. Check out the main web hosting forums and get a feel for what is available and what you need. It sounds as if you are dealing with a reseller, whose "datacentre" is further up the line and even they might not know where it is.
9:48 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Have you checked out [#*$!?...] They've got a lot of info on their site
10:20 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You need a new hosting company. There are some that don't use answering machines. :)