It's that time again to decide whether to renew for another year or to give another shared host a try. The host is www.openbluhost.com based in Fort Luaderdale, with their basic package "Super Plan" for $7.95/mo.
I signed up with them after several failed attempts to locate reliable hosting with both large diskspace (2GB+) and Java Tomcat. Ten months ago, they were the only ones found offering that much diskspace along with Java for the price of a fully-featured shared hosting account. It's a great bargain today still, even though other hosts now offer similar features. Some pluses (+) and minuses (-) have been:
hard to find all-in-one-package: Java with 2GB diskspace and 95GB/mo.
quick, error-free signup with a check-for-real-dude phone call
shared Tomcat JVM has been problem-free since day one with JSP and servlets
flawless uptime, account has been down once in ten months for a few minutes
fast servers running RedHat with few shared accounts on them
knowledgeable support, usually responds quickly
realtime bandwidth often peaks at only 100KB/sec., but is better most of the time
crontab can only be edited via SSH, changes require admin aproval (sucks)
interesting VPS-like environment contains many linux system directories
expired certificate when logging into CP since day one
fairly restricted access: Java apps cannot freely access disk files, no writing files from PHP, many directories are unwriteable by account owner, many common linux commands not available (top, free, uptime, etc.)
Lastly, recent trends haven't been very encouraging: some emails going answered, software versions for Tomcat, and PHP have not been updated since signup and are falling behind. Their message board isn't very popular, but at least they have one. Their basic account was very attractive ten months ago, but many hosts have caught up now by offering the same or better. I'm itching for a move, if nothing improves soon. I've always wondered how well they'd make it through a nasty hurricane too.
We appreciate the pluses and we will definetly work on the minuses. We are planning to do some updating to the our servers soon which will include PHP and Tomcat. I hope you decide to stay with us and if you want to talk to me directly about some of those minuses I will be happy to speak to you. [email protected]