i've found this site an invaluable resource when it comes to comparing hosting, but i'm in need of some help -- i'm not sure what exactly i need.
i work for a small web design/video production company in chicago. currently, we use site5 as our hosting, but we've been running into some snags -- their email support is lacking (8 months ago it would take them 5 mins or less to answer a support question, now it takes hours), and we've experienced more downtime than we want. other than that, i absolutely love site5. their custom control panel is awesome, it's very easy to use. however, i think we're outgrowing a shared hosting solution.
we currently host about 20 domains, most of which are powered by php-based websites. we've got a few sites with e-com/shopping carts using mysql databases, etc. and we'll probably have more in the future. we serve a lot of multimedia/video/flash files on several domains too. we use about 30-50gb of bandwidth, and we're pushing 20-25gb of disk usage.
we'd also like to find a host that offers some kind of backup service where we have the ability to restore. my boss got really paranoid about this here in the last few weeks. he wants the ability to be able to restore files if they get corrupted or even if we accidentally delete a folder or something. i'm not sure how many hosts can offer this, but it's on the wish list.
before we were with site5, we had a dedicated server from hostway, and i could not stand their control panel. i had to call them up for any change, plus, they charged us a monthly fee to host extra domains on top of the dedicated server fee. at the time, we only hosted about 5 other domains, so i switched us to shared hosting, but now i think we've outgrown it.
we're looking to spend <$200/mo.
knowing that, what should we upgrade to: shared cluster serving (like mosso or media temple), VPS, dedicated?
media temple i don't think would suit our needs because their (gs) accounts do really do reselling very well. i've also looked into mosso, and i'm not a fan of their control panel and the features they offer (or don't offer) within it -- can't do multiple FTP addys for the same domain, no auto-responders for email, no custom SPF records, no parked domains/domain pointers (that i could see), no file manager, etc.
would our needs be suited by a dedicated server?
i just don't want to have to deal with managing a box, i know very little about linux, so i don't want to have to worry about commands and setting stuff up. i'd like the ability to set up a new domain, set up some space for it and be done (like site5's multi-admin control panel).
sorry for the lengthy post, i just want this hosting move to be the last (at least for a long time).
okay, so i thought my budget was higher than it was... the boss informed me he'd like to spend around $50/mo. are there even dedicated servers offered for this much? or am i left with a VPS as my only option?
I would recommend you convince your boss for some more funds for these projects. With what you are showing right now, I would completely recommend a dedicated server, and then you are talking about getting into a .net enviroment in the future. Windows hosting is always more expensive than Linux.
yeah, i think i've talked him into it. just gotta find the best service/product for our needs for the best price.
so anybody got any recommendations for good, yet cheap, dedicated server offerings? i've been looking at rackspace, but they don't list any prices. i've looked at serverbeach.com's offerings as well, and they seem alright.
now with regards to control panels, i'm pretty pretty familiar with whm/cpanel, so i kinda know the capabilities of it. i was playing around within a plesk demo, and i didn't see an option to create multiple ftp users with limited access (one of my concerns). am i just missing it?
Are you still also looking for a Windows solution on the side? I would look for a company close to you that can get you "blanket" coverage, and you only have to deal with one account rep for everything.
(I used "blanket" term, because I just did it with my insurance, and saved a bunch of money)