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  1. #1

    Should I change?

    Hello all! I'm glad I found WHT. It's a wonderful resource and I hope you guys can help me out a little more.

    My sites have been hosted by FlareHosting since May 2003. They've been a fine host... 99% uptime, quick and friendly support, and rarely any problems from their end (technical, billing, or otherwise) throughout this entire time.

    However, I'm wondering if I'm overpaying. I see other places offering a lot more for less, and in my two years with Flare, I haven't seen much in the way of improvements (plans, technology, etc.).

    I'm essentially paying $35 a month for this:

    * Dell PowerEdge Dual Xeon Processor Servers
    * Hot Swap Ultra320 SCSI Drive System
    * 3 separate domains, sharing space and bandwidth
    * 300 MB space
    * 15 GB throughput
    * 150 MB SQL

    ETA: Flare also has a major negative, in that there's no web-based control panel. All file permission changes, subdomain management, etc, have to be requested through support.

    Should I be expecting more for that price? Or should I be satisfied with what I've got?

    For the record, I can't live without ASP and the SQL space. I also worry about the throughput and all the normal concerns associated with shared hosting plans. My sites do use a bit of resources and that'll only grow as my sites grow, too.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Chattanooga
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    8,985
    WatcherJohnny,

    I wouldn't be too quick to make any rash decisions and leave a host - however without a control panel you have to rely on support an awful lot.

    I would recommend shopping around nonetheless but I wouldn't abandon them yet - ask them if *they* can provide you what some of the others do. They may have no issue with installing a panel and setting up an alternate server.
    David
    Web hosting by Fused ó For businesses with more important things to do than worry about their hosting.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    5,010
    It all really depends on if you need more or if you are just looking for something cheaper.

    My suggestion would be if you have been with them for 2 years and you have had no issues (other than no control panel) with them then does the extra $15 mean enough to you to risk loosing that.

    I would say for those specs from a decent provider you are probably looking at the high end of $15-20/mo which I am sure everyone will come along and scream how bloody expensive that is but the fact is you have a realiable setup, priced a bit high but reliable which is what most people need.

    If you don't run a site where uptime it critical then you may want to try one of the budget hosts you can find here at WHT.

    To look at this in a different way I can tell you I pay $350 for a server some other datacenters are only charging $240/mo for.. Why do I stay? Because I have been with them three years and they have proven to be very reliable to me and for my customers..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    EU - east side
    Posts
    21,913
    First of all, there's nothing like a host you're used to and happy with.

    My suggestion would be if you have been with them for 2 years and you have had no issues (other than no control panel) with them then does the extra $15 mean enough to you to risk loosing that.
    If I put my customer hat on, I see this as a rather skewed perspective. We're not talking about an extra $15, we're talking about an extra 24*$15=$360, and in this case I can more easily understand a certain motivation to find a new, more cost effective service.

    WatcherJohnny, IMO you are lucky that you have a good provider to rely on. This means you're not in a particular hurry to change hosts, so you can take you time and read about hosts, test hosts, read and test some more, until you're confident enough you've found a new good host at a better price and with features that fit your needs better.

    Also, in case the new host proves to be a dissapointment, you'll always have your old host to go back to.

  5. #5
    Personally I think thats quite a bit for hosting without any control panel. For another 20 bucks you could get a cheap server. But if your happy with what you have and your site works great I wouldn't change.
    Eleven2 Web Hosting - World-Wide Hosting, Done Right!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    9,852

    Re: Should I change?

    Originally posted by WatcherJohnny
    ETA: Flare also has a major negative, in that there's no web-based control panel. All file permission changes, subdomain management, etc, have to be requested through support.
    WatcherJohnny, until you mentioned the control panel issue I would have said stay with what you have if the service is good.

    Finding a new host can be hit and miss.

    As far as the control panel issue goes, how often to you make changes that require you to contact customer service and how long does it usually take to get the changes implemented?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    New York.
    Posts
    773
    hmm it sounds like you are paying a little much for those specifics. However, if you are happy with the host and payment isn't a problem I wouldn't recommend moving. You always risk the possibility of switching to a terrible host . That happens to many people these days.

    I would recommend sending an email to your host explaining that you would like a control panel, and believe they should install it in the future to make the service better. Talk with your host and maybe you'll get some results for the better.
    GenerousWebHosting.com Home of Generous George the Red Monster.
    24/7 Live Chat Support - 99.9% Uptime - 30 Day Money Back Policy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    855
    You can have a VPS for this price.
    .:. Enterprise SAN Consultant .:.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA U.S.A.
    Posts
    163
    WatcherJohnny,

    Some things you're paying for that you didn't mention and may be overlooking are the quality of service and support. You say you are happy with the uptime and their support is "quick and friendly"? You need to decide what value you place on those two intangibles as they are certainly worth something.

    The Control Panel issue is a personal choice thing you'll have to decide on for yourself. Everything comes with a price, not always more money but most control panel software degrades overall performance to some degree.

    I know it's "the norm" to have a control panel attached to every server these days, we do it too on most of our machines, but it really isn't required, as you've experienced.

    Like I said, CP's are a personal choice that's up to you...

    HTH,
    Scott
    BanPro NET - stable & secure web services since 2000

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,830
    Originally posted by SJRHosting.com
    Personally I think thats quite a bit for hosting without any control panel. For another 20 bucks you could get a cheap server. But if your happy with what you have and your site works great I wouldn't change.
    Ok, this comment isn't directed just at you but I keep seeing these types of comments pop up all the time and you cannot compare shared hosting to a cheap dedicated server.

    When you are thinking about the extra $20 getting a cheap server, are you also considering that the machine needs to be setup, secured and maintained? All of these items cost time which equals money. Also, not everyone wants or can run their own servers, some people just don't have the time, want or knowledge to do that.

  11. #11
    Originally posted by ldcdc
    WatcherJohnny, IMO you are lucky that you have a good provider to rely on. This means you're not in a particular hurry to change hosts, so you can take you time and read about hosts, test hosts, read and test some more, until you're confident enough you've found a new good host at a better price and with features that fit your needs better.
    Amen to that. And that's why I'm here. ;-)

    Originally posted by ScottBannon
    Some things you're paying for that you didn't mention and may be overlooking are the quality of service and support. You say you are happy with the uptime and their support is "quick and friendly"? You need to decide what value you place on those two intangibles as they are certainly worth something.
    Web hosts must be in a sorry state right now if uptime and good support are considered intangibles. I know there's always a risk in switching hosts, but I get the feeling too many people are having bad experiences in areas that you'd think are givens. I mean, should these guys even call themselves web hosts if they can guarantee neither the uptime ("web") nor the support ("host")?

    But I digress...

    Originally posted by blue27
    As far as the control panel issue goes, how often to you make changes that require you to contact customer service and how long does it usually take to get the changes implemented?
    I've learned to develop a game plan well before I contact support. It's not great for spontaneous ideas, but even then, I don't have to wait more than an hour before support addresses my request. I never considered asking my host if they can or will add control panels to their plans. I'll definitely do that.

    But the lack of control panels is a mild annoyance for me. I only started shopping around because I'd like to cut down my costs. Failing that, I wonder if a VPS at the same price is a good "next step." If there's any real complaint I have, it's about shared hosting. My ASP server occasionally slows down or times out, and I suspect someone else's site is hogging resources.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    522
    Often, if you're fine with a shared host, you should probably stick to a shared host. A VPS often performs worse.

    If you're satisfied with your provider, stay with them. However, I'd probably request shell access or probably have them install usermin.

    $35/mo does seem a bit high, but you should probably be sure that you're switching to a good host before you attempt to just break all connections.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA U.S.A.
    Posts
    163
    WatcherJohnny,

    I meant 'intangibles' as an adjective to describe the lack of physical existence since I was comparing uptime and support to the list of more tangible items you presented. However, your perception of it isn't very far off in the industry today, which is why I say there is value to be associated with those items.

    A brief browsing here on the forums will display how often people find the lower priced hosts turn out to lack in service uptime and quality support. Not all of them, but the reality is budget prices have to equal budget services otherwise the provider can't last.

    The lesson (I'm just repeating what you'll read in all such threads) to be learned is you'll get what you pay for.

    I agree that quality service and support should be a given, but there's a limit to what can be had (or expected) for $0.99 per year. I realize that you personally are just seeking to lower your costs if you can and that you're not asking to be given the world for a dollar.

    My statement was only to point out that if you're happy with the service and support you have, you should keep that in mind while searching because there's a value in it.

    Good luck in your search and hope some of my input is of use,
    Scott
    BanPro NET - stable & secure web services since 2000

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    India
    Posts
    505
    It's good that the support of your current host is really serving you very well and you have had no issues in the past 2 years. But there are also hosts that can give you good support at a cheaper rate. You can also have VPS for the price that currently you are paying for.

    For you current host I would say :

    #1. The price is far too high.
    #2. The Account without a control panel is very very tough to manage.
    #3. Disk Space and the Bandwidth seems to be low.

    My suggestion would be to look around for other hosts and the services they offer. You may find some host reliable as well as cheap and offereing services like control panels and good support and uptime. You can then decide whether to stay with the current host or change over.

  15. #15
    I realize this thread is 2+ months old, but I was in the exact same position as WatcherJohnny and I feel compelled add some info.

    I hosted about 15 sites on Flare Hosting and they were exceptional. Almost no downtime and EXCELLENT support! I cannot stress that enough. I would submit a trouble ticket and sometimes, 10 minutes later the problem would be solved!

    They are one of the best vendors that I have ever dealt with because they understood the importance of communication.

    But like WatcherJohnny, I was a little put off by the fact that they didnít have a control panel. I even asked them for one, but they said they didnít have plans to put one in yet.

    And as my clients were growing, it was a bit troublesome to contact them each time I needed something done. The main issue is that we started doing a lot of .NET development, and each time we needed to set certain permissions, we had to contact them. And because I tested things a lot, even a 10 minute delay or would add up if youíre testing w/ 10+ clients!

    One other issue that bothered me was security. There was no way to change your FTP password w/o emailing them. That felt a bit, well, dangerous.


    So in May of this year (2005) we decided to change hosts. The first one we tried was Digitalibiz.com and they were HORRIBLE. First of all, when you signup, thereís no SSL! The only reason we tried them was because it was owned by a friend of a friend so we figured that it should be relatively ďsafe.Ē Boy were we wrong! There was trouble from the get-go and support would take HOURS. Nothing worked right.

    Ugh. Luckily we were only in the testing phase so none of our clients were affected.

    So instead of merely relying on a friend's recommendation, we decided to do some hard research and came upon WHT. From here we narrowed it down to a few hosts, and finally settled with Reseller-Center.com

    The reviews were excellent and the community forum was great. The owners really seemed to know their stuff and they were very helpful (their prices were good too). So finally we decided to move to them.

    Anyway to make a long story short, the were great at first, but after 2 months w/ reseller-center we are regretting leaving Flare Hosting.

    Reseller-Center was bought out and the new owners are having troubles with it. Email service was out for 2 days and we barely got any communication from them. My clients were very, very upset... and there was nothing I could do.

    So is the cheaper price, more features, control panel, etc. worth it?

    I donít think so.

    Service is key, and Flare is one of the best.


    *sigh*

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    EU - east side
    Posts
    21,913
    Anyway to make a long story short, the were great at first, but after 2 months w/ reseller-center we are regretting leaving Flare Hosting.

    Reseller-Center was bought out and the new owners are having troubles with it. Email service was out for 2 days and we barely got any communication from them. My clients were very, very upset... and there was nothing I could do.
    That, as you can easily see, has to do with your luck as well. All companies can be bought, mergers can take place, the owner can have health problems etc. and the level of service can decline (often suddenly and severely). You're never 100% protected from that kind of change.

  17. #17
    ^^^ Oh definitely.

    And now that we are a reseller, itís very hard to go back.

    I guess Iím just venting a bit. These last 2 days with reseller-center have been nerve-wracking.

    Anyway, I suppose my main point is, if it works and you have no real compelling reason to change, then donít.

  18. #18
    I would change it you have to pay too much !!

    But if you have money and it really is working super than stay 'cos else you will be looking for good hosting for a while !

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