My budget is $5/mo (or less!); I don't need too much space (50 MB now, but more than double a year from now); I'm not sure how much bandwidth I'll need (the site is for a Pakistani rock band, about to release its first album), though 5GB is a good upper margin for the time being. Except for news and forums, the site will be pretty static for at least six months. I don't know how forums figure into the bandwidth limit, so I am considering redirecting visitors to an external forum site, should I find that its using too much bandwidth.
I've heard good things about all three hosts (even though ************** is banned from this site), but I'm in a dilemma over which to choose.
The Intersabre X3 gives the most bang for the buck, but if I had a choice I'd start with the X1 (cheaper!) then, if need be, switch to the X3. However, their website doesn't say anything about their plan-switching policy, nor does it contain a single e-mail address or e-mail form where I can ask them any pre-sales questions! Also, when you sign up, you have to transfer your domain to them. I don't particularly want to do that.
ICD seems to be very reliable (and very popular), but Chronic offers almost exactly the same service at a lower price. They also let you switch to a better plan (even though the next plan is at $6/mo), should you need to. ICD has just one plan, though you can exceed the bandwidth limit (for which you are charged additionally). I doubt I'll be exceeding either space limit for at leats another year.
At present, my first choice is ICD, mainly because of good reviews, despite the fact that it costs the most. I would happily move to Chronic if someone gave me a reason to, though! I'm wondering how much of "you get what you pay for" applies when choosing between these two. Intersabre is almost out of the running, by the way, unless I have a very good reason to reconsider it.
Which do you suggest I choose? And why?
Last edited by anon-e-mouse; 05-12-2004 at 11:15 AM.
I used ICD for a year and they were amazing.
The one and only reason I left them was because I needed a reseller account for all of my own domains & sites and this is not a service ICD offer.
I don't monitor my own websites, however not once did I attempt to access my site and get a "Page not available" or similar - my site always seemed to be there.
When I was with them they only had servers in Hong Kong - however they were still really fast even though I was in the UK.
I believe they now off you the choice of US or HK servers - whichever suits your needs.
Support - this is the one, this is the killer feature from ICD.
Over the year I had the need to raise a few tickets with them.
Nothing major, I remember one issue where some of my e-mail messages were coming through blank when I checked them in webmail, but where fine when I downloaded them.
There were also other questions here and there - I think I raised 6-7 tickets over the year I was with them.
I never waiting for more than 1 HOUR for a reply from them.
I'm not talking about automated responses, I'm talking a full answer to my query within an hour, most were replied to within 15-30 minutes.
Even on the occasion where I had the need to message back, the whole process was completed within an hour.
I created tickets at some strange times here in the UK, midnight, 2:00am, Sunday afternoons, it didn't matter - they always responded quickly.
English is not the support guy's first language, so you get a little bit of translation problem but I'm talking about silly little things.
You know what English can be like - so the occasional word was missed out, the occasional wrong word was used, but the replies were still concise.
I have no hesitation in recommending them to you.
For the price you get so much - for their support alone you would expect to have to pay a lot more.
Thanks Bladerunner, I figured as much. I'll probably be going with ICD.
I do have one more question, though: how much bandwidth do web forums take? I don't expect too much usage and, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter all that much, but I am curious to know if anyone's collected any stats about this.
I think it really does depend on how busy they become.
My forums are phpBB and I've got around 185 users, 2500 articles posted.
I would guess that my forums don't take more than 1GB - 1.5GB per month.
It's difficult to tell really.
I know that during the first few weeks of my forums going live they took a lot of bandwidth - there was a specific reason for them being created and they were linked to via theregister.co.uk for that reason.
However once the initial interest died down a little bit so did the amount of bandwidth used.
Okay, so a 5GB bandwidth should be more than enough to start with. Thanks!
By the way, I tried to get an account at ICD, but their bank (Click Bank) kept declining my credit card. Apparently, my Citibank VISA card is too risky for them. I e-mailed their support and was told to check with my vendor to see if they'd received a verification request. They hadn't, which means that its Click Bank's risk management system that is rejecting my card. Their support was very helpful, but there's nothing they can do about it (i.e. they can't manually override their system). I can't pay by PayPal, either: Pakistan is not a PayPal approved signup country. ICD's third payment option is Western Union, but since that costs about $40 per transfer, I exceed my monthly $5 budget for the website! *sigh*
Being stuck, I figured I'd signup with Chronic for the time being, only to find that they don't accept credit cards at all! Their only online payment menthod is PayPal!
I now have to start from scratch to find a web host that meets my requirements! Oh well, such is life. *sigh*
I've been with ICD for a year. One thing about ICD:
EXCELLENT SUPPORT !! (under 8 minutes, 5 most of the times, response time with a valid, proper answer. (not crap like "we will send this ticket to Tier II")
However you should consider these too;
1. when I tried upgrading my service, they do not offer an upgrade.(in case you need more space)
2. they do not have a module that enables you to see how many and which domains are hosted under your 'main domain' account.
3. Unless you keep your own records, or ask to support, there isn't a way to see when your hosting will expire.