I've been hosting my company's email and ewb internally for quite some time, and would like to move it to another host mainly for bandwidth and security reasons. My website isnt particularly large, under 25MB of data, and we only have about 15 active email addresses, but can generate some very large emails with CAD and drawing files being sent and received.
With that, how in the world is someone supposed to make a good choice of a hosting company? There seem to be thousands, and while I expect good and bad reactions to all of them (thats just the nature of things) I want to find a host that is reliable, not necessarily the cheapest, has good support, and preferrably based in the US.
Am I making a mistake by trying to find a single site that can handle both email and web? Should I be looking to split these? My domain registrar (bulkregister) has a new email hosting solution that looks decent, but they are new at it, so should I be concerned over that?
I found a review on cnet about various hosting companies, and their top three are OLM, Hostway, and Aplus.net. I've been only looking at shared hosting at this time, but maybe I should consider a dedicated server? As for monthly costs, I would probably be willing to pay up to about $50, give or take. Obviously this price seems to get beyond the normal shared service, and in some cases a bit more, can get me into a dedicated server, but what are the pitfalls? I could just really use some decent tips, on how to proceed, and what companies are good to deal with, not just the cheapest. Also, if there are further review sites for hosting where I can get more info, please let me know this as well.
I look forward to reading your responses and learning.
The web hosting needs with only a 25MB website could be met by just about anybody. I think you are definitely doing the right thing in moving away from "self-hosting" for security as well as reliability and backup issues if your data is at all critical.
Disk space will not be a concern so you need to guage your data transfer (aka bandwidth) requirements. It doesn't seem like your site will eat up too much but those large e-mails might if you're sending them many times a day and they are multi-MB in size. I'm assuming that the staff is all in one building and it would be much more efficient to have your own simple mail server rather than eating up your broadband connection sending e-mails to and from the Internet just to get a file from one desk to another. If using your host is most economical, however, you might need 50-100 GB of data transfer.
As for choosing the hosting company, there are many to choose from with mixed stories about customer service, reliability, and quality of tech support. Three recommendations, for what it is worth are LunarPages, Site5, and DreamHost.
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Yes we are all in one building, and I had planned on running an internal email server for sending files between employees. It is quite possible that a single user here could consume upwards of 400-500MB in a day. Not everyone would use that much, but a few of us would. Also, the pewny site of about 25MB now, eventually I want to make a better site with more functionality, which will consume more data, and hopefully more hits. I was originally planning on something in the 30-50GB range.
I'm quite glad that I found this site too, as I *almost* signed up for a company that appears to be quite fraudulent! Quickly learned my lesson there!!
25MB is about the size of my website files.. not email. My only limit on email size now is the size of my drive, about 147GB for Exchange (YUCK!!! another reason I want to move it from internally hosted). Obviously I dont need 147GB for email at some other host as I will be popping the mail daily.
You should not worry about having to seperate your hosting and email with different companies. You will find alot of excellent hosting companies here at WHT who can service your needs without any problems. Good luck.
I also forgot to mention that I do prefer to have a dedicated IP, in fact, in my case, isnt it required? Since I host my domains/DNS through bulkregister, I have to set my BR account to point to a new home for mail and web. Also, I like the option of being able to set the new web/email up based on IP only, test it, and then transfer my DNS pointer. I could then still run my internal servers for a few days to catch any straggling sites that didnt get updated right away.
It is this dedicated IP question that got me wondering if I need to look at a dedicated server option instead of simple web hosting, as I have yet to really find a shared service that offers an IP, but maybe I just havent looked hard enough yet.
Almost any host will offer you a dedicated ip for a setup fee and/or a monthly fee or some offer them for free and build it into their price. You will not have to lease a dedicated server to obtain a dedicated ip.
I would give strong consideration to a Virtual Private Server. It sounds like that is exactly what you need. With most hosts I’ve read about, they offer VPS’s in your price range, they are easy to manage, will give you dedicated IP addresses, full control over email, web, etc… and most companies offer their VPS’s with tech support included.
Ok so I have been looking around some more, and talked with support at Site5.com and asked where their servers are actually located, they said Lansing MI. Thats cool, I am in Michigan too. Then per the previous post I went over to the VPS forum and looked up some places, one being Liquid Web. Wow, amazing, they are in Lansing Michigan too. So my question is, is this just coincidence, is Lansing a hotbed of data center locations, or should I be digging deeper to possibly find out that one site hosts the other? And if its the latter, does that necessarily make it bad?
Some hosts share datacenters, there's thousands of hosts at places like Dallas TX where you have Savvis / EV1 and The Planet.
Site5 has a great rep, and Liquid Web has been pretty solid as well. In this case I wouldn't bother digging deeper, secondly, both Liquid Web and Site5 are pretty large and they don't host each other.
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it's simple ... first you find out what you need, then you find out how much you cand spend, then you come here and read reviews, or go with google ...
P.S: there is no "the best webhost", there's only "the best webhost for you"
personally I wouldn't recommend a VPS for your needs. I think that is really a bit of overkill. I would look into getting a shared busines type package. Something that will accomodate your disk space requirements. With no need for more features than you are requesting, anything else is really just overkill.
I have heard good things about Liquid Web and Site5 alike. As for the DC question. Wanga said it best, places like Dallas, TX contains a large amount of Datacenters. I think the issue with Michigan is rather coincidental.
Well given a lot of looking around here and another review site, I have narrowed my choice list down to Liquid Web, Site5, and Lunar Pages. No specific order there, but all three were also recommended in this thread, so thank you for those recommendations.
On a related note re: site5, I submitted a long list of pre sales questions to their sales address, about 10 minutes prior to their sales deptartment closing, figuring I would see an answer this morning after they got back in to work. Actually wound up getting the answers (and good ones at that) about 10pm EDT, or 2 full hours after they were supposed to leave! Not a bad first impression to make at all.