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  #1  
Old 01-29-2006, 02:58 PM
batman697 batman697 is offline
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Navigating the web hosting minefield


Hello folks,

I've been searching for a new host this weekend and this site is the best place I've found to read up on the various hosts. I thought I'd post my experience thus far.

Currently: ~6 year customer of Hostway. Site is gortner dot com. Main component of my site is a movie site gortner dot com slash movies. It uses ASP and an MS access database (which I may switch to MySql). Hostway has had great customer service and as far as I know I've never had downtime or lost email. My traffic is light but I'm looking to get more space for pictures. The site is basically a hobby that generates zero revenue. I currently get 600 MB of space for ~$17 a month. Not a very good deal, eh?

Obviously, searching for a new host gives me a dizzying amount of options. A few I've read about and am considering (or not):
GoDaddy - dirt cheap but poor service and downtime (ruled out)
Brinkster - good deal but potential of bad service?
iPowerWeb - awful service (ruled out)
Bluehost - ?
Midphase - ?
Icdsoft - ?

I'll keep browsing these forums for info on these hosts. When you google any company along with "problems" its easy to find reason to rule each one of them out. I had thought Brinkster was great but then googled "brinkster problems" and found many complaints. Same with Bluehost.

My question for the experienced folks: How does one navigate this minefield? Am I a fool for wanting to leave my current host who I have nothing but praise for? Saving $10 a month on a site like mine makes me feel this search is worth it...(especially with a wedding in the near future).

Thanks!
-Matt

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  #2  
Old 01-29-2006, 03:29 PM
trau trau is offline
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My advice would be to stay with the host you have since they have been good so far. Is it really worth $10/month to gamble on whether your new host will actually meet your needs? If you have been with them for 6 years and are considering leaving for a "better value" try contacting them first. Maybe they'll be willing to work a little with you.

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  #3  
Old 01-29-2006, 03:33 PM
batman697 batman697 is offline
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Very good points.

I'm in a position where I'm trying to nickel and dime my budget at every turn so $10 a month would be a pretty big savings... (one solution would be to make a site that actually brings in some revenue, eh?)

Actually, I have emailed sales at hostway and am waiting their response. Unfortunately I sent it before I did extensive research and gave go daddy as an example site I might switch to. They might not take me seriously after reading that!

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  #4  
Old 01-29-2006, 03:36 PM
Nadabrahma Nadabrahma is offline
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I would also tend to agree.
Personally, I have not left any host because of the price - I have left either because they didn't offer the features I came to need, or because of poor support.

Sure, you could find a somewhat cheaper deal but you cannot be sure you'd have the same good experience with the new host.

As a rule, no host has 100% satisfied customers (although I've seen some that come fairly close.)

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  #5  
Old 01-29-2006, 03:53 PM
NyteOwl NyteOwl is offline
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The old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" definitely applies. That said there are some good hosts that some determined reading should dig out if you really feel you have to switch.

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  #6  
Old 01-29-2006, 03:59 PM
Dormouse Dormouse is offline
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You'll increase your choice if you go to mysql.

You don't need a lot of space (& bandwidth?), so there's no incentive to go for a mega package from a budget host. There's ASO, if you do go to mysql ($5 for 400mb & $10 for 1GB). Liquidweb will give you 1GB for $14.95/mo. (Paid Monthly) or
$12.46/mo. (Paid 6 Months).

I currently have account at ASO & Bluehost (amongst others). I have no problem swith Bluehost, but would not recommend them to your needs. ASO I would.

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  #7  
Old 01-29-2006, 04:33 PM
SpookyET SpookyET is offline
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I can vouch for ICDSoft. They are not the cheapest, nor the most generous in their offer, but the speed and support rocks. It takes 10 minutes to get a response from an email to custommer support.


Right now, I'm looking to sign up with www.cats-hosting.com. Like, ICDSoft, they have servers at Savvis, but they have newer software.

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  #8  
Old 01-29-2006, 04:53 PM
batman697 batman697 is offline
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ICDSoft was looking very nice until I found out they don't support ASP. I'm no coding expert so I doubt I can easily switch my site to a different language. But I can probably figure out changing my db from access to mysql.

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  #9  
Old 01-29-2006, 05:03 PM
Martie Martie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batman697
Hello folks,

Currently: ~6 year customer of Hostway. Site is gortner dot com. Main component of my site is a movie site gortner dot com slash movies. It uses ASP and an MS access database (which I may switch to MySql). Hostway has had great customer service and as far as I know I've never had downtime or lost email. My traffic is light but I'm looking to get more space for pictures. The site is basically a hobby that generates zero revenue. I currently get 600 MB of space for ~$17 a month. Not a very good deal, eh?


My question for the experienced folks: How does one navigate this minefield? Am I a fool for wanting to leave my current host who I have nothing but praise for? Saving $10 a month on a site like mine makes me feel this search is worth it...(especially with a wedding in the near future).

Thanks!
-Matt
Hi Matt!
Well my advice would be to STAY PUT! If youve done some browsing you know what kinds of complaints are out there. Unfortunately its these lo-baller hosts that try to entice clients with the too good to be true offers so of course you are curious. Thats understandable, but also part of the problem as you can tell from many complainers that some were SO much better off staying with a host they've been with long term and then ended up regretting their decesion.
On another note, I think thats quite cheap for 600MB space but if you need more why not contact your current host as they may be able to do a custom plan for you or something. Better safe than sorry

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  #10  
Old 01-29-2006, 09:41 PM
Tukar Tukar is offline
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I recently switched to Dreamhost (dot com) and couldn't be happier. They've got great reviews and even greater deals. However, they are linux servers so you would have to use php/mySQL rather than ASP/access.

They have a plan for $10/month billed yearly with 20 GB space, 1 TB bandwidth (both more than enough I presume) with all the goodies you'de expect (php/mysql/perl/email accounts/ftp accounts/shell access/etc). In addition, if you use the promo code 'hugesaver' you can get $90 off your first year which translates into just under $3/month for the first year! (Because they know you'll stay once you try it). There's also a 3 month money-back garuantee so you can try it out with no risk.

I've personally never had downtime with them, and a 3rd party test concluded 98.7% uptime. The shell access also makes it incredibly easy to move the files from your old site instead of having to download/upload them to/from your home comp.

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  #11  
Old 01-30-2006, 11:01 AM
Website Rob Website Rob is offline
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Hi Matt, welcome to the Forum.

Whenever looking for Host you must make sure you know what 'your' needs are and that a new Host can provide for them. In your case, you have a need for ASP and MS Access databases. This restricts you to searching for a Host that uses the Windows platform for Shared Hosting accounts. To use a Host providing the Linux OS would mean immediately switching to using mySQL, which you may not have the time or inclination to do right now.

As to other Services offered by a Host, Features / Price / Support can be checked out before signing up with anyone. The last point to consider, Service or Uptime, cannot usually be determined until one actually starts using it.

To help overcome that, there are various places that provide Free or Paid uptime monitoring and the following three provide both:

http://easymonitor.com/
http://siteuptime.com/
http://host-tracker.com/

Using a combination of all on one Hoster or each on different Hosters, can give you a good idea on their Service before using them. And, as people are quick to complain and slow to praise -- just the way we are I guess -- look for a Forum at your potential Hoster. Reading through various posts will give a good idea of how other people judge the Hoster along with how they reply to posts.

Overall, research and patience are two important tools when checking most things, Hosting or otherwise.

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  #12  
Old 01-30-2006, 11:17 AM
skysenshi skysenshi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tukar
I recently switched to Dreamhost (dot com) and couldn't be happier. They've got great reviews and even greater deals.

...In addition, if you use the promo code 'hugesaver' you can get $90 off your first year which translates into just under $3/month for the first year! (Because they know you'll stay once you try it). There's also a 3 month money-back garuantee so you can try it out with no risk.

...I've personally never had downtime with them, and a 3rd party test concluded 98.7% uptime. The shell access also makes it incredibly easy to move the files from your old site instead of having to download/upload them to/from your home comp.

What's your URL? I'm curious.

(I personally wanted to try out Dreamhost, but...well...It'd be a shame if one of them is found advertising here. Not that I'm saying you are. I just want to be sure. )

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  #13  
Old 01-30-2006, 07:42 PM
ewebzone ewebzone is offline
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My recommendation would be for you to remain with your current host and to explore the migration of your database to mySQL. I realize this will take time, but your options will be far greater and you will likely be able to find better hosting deals/packages.

Many hosts are willing to offer migration specials. You might want to explore into this option.

Best of luck.
Alex

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  #14  
Old 01-31-2006, 08:59 PM
Tukar Tukar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skysenshi
What's your URL? I'm curious.

(I personally wanted to try out Dreamhost, but...well...It'd be a shame if one of them is found advertising here. Not that I'm saying you are. I just want to be sure. )
It's warcraftcheese (dot com) - though recently I have just been using it as a file server and for hosting temp projects as the front page hasn't been updated in awhile :x

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