I'm currently hosting my Web sites with FluidHosting.com. I'm been fairly happy with their service and with their support over the past year. However, they are more expensive than some of the other hosts, and I thought I'd shop around to make sure I've got the best deal. One gripe I have about Fluidhosting is the H-Sphere control panel. It's not bad, but I don't have much control over IIS, which I did have when I was at ************. That was one of the few good things about WH4L is that I could create applications/virtual directories for subdirectories in my hosting account.
Anyway, these are the hosts I'm thinking about switching to, with a few comments that I have about them.
JodoHost - seem to get consistently good reviews, and offer good price/ratio; however, they also use H-Sphere. Their reseller program would actually be cheaper than my current plan with FH.
DiscountASP.net - this is probably my first choice. However, it looks like I can only host a single domain for each account. I believe this means I'd have to purchase a separate account for each domain I host, which immediately puts DiscountASP as the most expensive host I'm considering. Am I missing something? Every other host seems to offer the option to host multiple domains under one account and one purchased plan.
CrystalTech - another host that gets consistently good reviews. Anyone have any experiences to share?
HostNexus - don't know much about them, but they seem to be reviewed fairly well.
My requirements are: ASP.NET (1.1 and 2.0), SQL Server 2000/2005, multiple domains under one account (FluidHosting allows me to host 8 domains on one account), reasonable bandwidth and disk space, and all the standard features offered by Windows hosts. I'd also like to be able to create a virtual directory in IIS. For example, my blog is a separate application beneath my main site. To get this set up with FH, I had to submit a support ticket, but maybe this is asking too much. I'm not entirely sure of all the security implications of this. However, I had control over IIS in my account with ************.
HSphere has only 2 limitations in Windows - FTP sub account support and Virtual Directory creation from the control panel. Most HSphere hosts do this manually for customers. We do it for free over livechat or over a ticket.
These 2 features are under development and should be introduced into H-Sphere in the near future.
I've looked a little more closely at the hosts I mentioned, and right now JodoHost and DiscountASP.NET are my top choices. Two more questions:
DiscountASP.NET - Can I host multiple domains with one DiscountASP.NET account? In other words, will I be able to have domain1.com and domain2.com as two separate Web sites after paying for one hosting account with them?
JodoHost - Why would I not want to go with a reseller account if I think I'll need 3 or more SQL Server databases? The reseller account is $17.50 and supports unlimited databases, while the Windows Gold plan, which supports 3 databases, is $18.95. The reseller plan seems to offer more features at a lower cost. Am I missing something?
I don't think your missing anything, Jay. The only incovenience I can think of might be having to log into different control panels to manage your seperate domain accounts, instead of being able to just manage them outright as add-on domains from the same shared account login. But that really isn't a big deal, in my opinion, and you actually might like having seperated domains/resources anyways. Please report back with a review of whoever you choose after you've been with them for some months, if you can. Good luck!
I am a CrystalTech reseller for 3 years and recommend them.
LIKES: Their support is phenomenal. I have called at all hours seven days a week and almost always have someone on the line in under 2 minutes. Sometimes problems were mine, occasionally theirs. Site set ups, including $9 domain registrations, are usually 2 hours or less, sometimes up to 24 hours (rare). Since my clients rarely want to do more than look at stats or modify their emails, it's a great solution. Most accounts are on the coldfusion servers. Additionally, the forums are active and you can usually find any answer there.
Dislikes: I would like to change the 'master account' billing for all domains at once ( or use a checkbox system to select) not have to open each domain to modify. As more clients require CMS solutions, a linux solution with apache mod rewrite for clean SEO URL's will probably drive my business elsewhere. There is no suitable painless alternative solution on the windows server at this time.