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Australian webmaster hosting question...

Local versus overseas hosting

5:53 am on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Would be interested to know what other Australian webmasters think about hosting clients' sites in other countries (mostly in the US).

I can get far, far better value for clients by using overseas hosts and apart from a slight increase in ping times I can't see too much downside (except a negative effect on our GDP ;)). There are some customer service issues due to the time difference but some of these companies have Australian or Asian help desks anyway. My own experience has been very positive so far.

I don't want to confine this thread to Aussies only - any replies welcome.


6:41 am on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I host all my personal and client sites off shore simply because it is much cheaper. Some sites are with an Australian host where the Server is in the US, which makes service a phone call away, whilst others are with hosts ranging from the US to China. So far no major hassles.

I don't see any problems hosting overseas as far as speed goes. I guess you simply have to weigh cost vs local support.


7:04 am on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I have 2 .co.za sites. 1 in SA other in USA both administered from SA. Not much difference in access times.
Main point of concern is whether or not you're on a virtual server - and if you are, what sort of company are you keeping.
10:48 pm on Dec 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Have only hosted externally once before - one thing you may want to consider is being outside the reach of Australian laws (think of examples such as online gambling) - this may be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your content!
11:00 pm on Dec 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I am in the UK and have used US companies to host client's sites before. I think the access time is quite a bit slower. A ping is not much slower, but the browser loading time seems to be. The company is a large and well respected.

As for customer service, i need it too rarely to consider it an issue.
1:22 am on Dec 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm happy to pay the extra money so that if my hosting company rubs me the the wrong way theyre only a five minute cab ride away!hehehehe
6:55 am on Dec 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

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My experience is that you always get what you pay for. If you want good customer service, conversations with actual people on help desks, great stats reporting, good script,asp and database support, help with those unexpected things that seem to crop up....then don't expect these to be available from the cheap hosting operators.

Also bear in mind the politics of perception... would the site be better off with .au in the url? What line of business is the customer in? What would their customers expect?

But those types of considerations aside, I have placed quite a few sites of my own with chaeper overseas hosting over the years and never had a problem. I will continue to do so when appropriate but some sites will always need to be hosted locally.

7:20 am on Dec 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

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If you're hosting anything even vaguely "adult" - ie discussion of "adult themes" such as suicide or marital difficulties, then I'd avoid Australian hosting as you're at least notionally subject to Federal and (in some states) state Net censorship. In pratice, because the schemes are complaints driven or arbitrarily enforced by police, most sites theoretically subject to take down notices or criminal prosecution won't be, but why take the risk - it's easier to avoid the uncertainty and host overseas.

For more info about this see the Electronic Frontiers Australia site [efa.org.au]. (Disclaimer: I'm a board member of that organisation.)


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