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  1. #1 -- 2 month review

    Recently, my once great host Affordable Host, was being sold and reading the signs I was preparing to flee (read other posts here for more info there). Since I host mostly blogs and non-profits, cost was a major issue. Since I am not a professional at this, good customer service is also a major issue. Simple things to a Linux guru are Greek to me, and I need someone to hold my hand. I am not a reseller, but I have multiple domains I baby sit and its cheaper for me to just get a reseller account. I have been with them two months and I will recount my experience both good and bad.

    I have a reseller plan with 2G of space and 20G of transfer for $4.95 per month. Itís more than I need, but itís the smallest they had. I host 9 small domains, not all of which I have fully transferred yet.

    Customer Service: There is someone always minding instant messaging, even at 4 am. I contacted their support at all hours with both stupid and difficult questions and I never had to wait more than 1 minute for a response. I also submitted 2 help tickets and my request was honored in less than 20 minutes each time. Although both of my tickets were responded to almost immediately, I only received an email confirmation on one. The attitude of the support personnel was excellent. Some of my stupid questions were deliberate, and they seemed glad to help.
    Overall Grade: Outstanding

    Server speed: I usually run sites made from Expression Engine or pMachine that are a PHP content management system with a MySQL back end. They take a few more resources than a static page and although not the best test, itís a realistic one. Server speed has been good to very good. I have tested my sites on a few computers and page loading has been fairly quick.
    Overall Grade: Good You can check one here

    Value: I could not find a host that offered as much for so little. Since I host mostly small sites and non-profits, I donít receive any income from hosting. Value is important to me.
    Overall Grade: Excellent

    Uptime: I donít have any e-commerce sites so uptime is not mission critical, but its of course important. No one likes to hear a site was not up all day. Sadly, this is Varhostingís weakest areas and the server I was on (Node 103) was hit by two all day interruptions in two months. The first one I was not sure of the source, but the second was due to a virus. After the second interruption I requested I be moved to a newer server, and my request was honored within 20 minutes cheerfully and without an argument. It turns out the outage was about 14 hours. I will wait and see if the new server holds up better than Node3.
    Overall Grade: Poor

    Overall, Varhosting has great potential. Their customer service was the fastest I have ever seen and was willing to answer any question I asked. If you have sites that are not mission critical, I would recommend Varhosting. Itís a perfect host for blogs, brochure-ware, non-profits or hobby sites. If you have eCommerce or customers that will call you if your site goes down for more than 2 minutes, I would put them on a host that has a sterling uptime reputation even if you had pay more, even much more. Another potential use for Varhosting is as a backup for mission critical sites, the price for that cannot be beat.

    Problems can happen on any server with almost any host. Varhosting needs a better contingency plan to respond to those disasters. Virusí happen but it did take Varhosting about 15 hours to recover and get the server running again, which is too long in my opinion. There are ways through clustering and redundancy to minimize the loss of a server that can be answered by people more skilled than I, but I hope Varhosting improves their critical response times even if it means charging higher rates. Another minor complaint is that I had to get new IP addresses with a new server, although its not fatal, I believe there are ways to set things up where I could change servers without changing IPs and repropagating. If Varhosting can solve both of these issues, I would give them a higher grade.

    Overall my experience has been good and I would recommend them for less critical sites, and to people without a lot of knowledge or experience, like me. For critical sites I would wait and see if they respond to the problems on this one server (I believe node 106 has had a few issues as well, but not as bad). Their excellent customer service gives them the potential to be one of the best hosts around
    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" -- Ben Franklin
    Twice Tied Laces

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    im in node6 so far there are no major issues at least for me..what makes so surprising for me is thetr support....i find it disappointing in a sense that i expect fast support reply as you have experienced and the rest of post reviews here..but i havnt experince it. maybe in this regards im so unlucky.

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