I am disappointed at my host. First, I want to tell about the good features I got from them. It's a decent package in terms of space, bandwidth, and price. I am provided with a shell account with access to emacs, pine, and other useful tools (such as limited crontab, which is cool). Support is excellent in terms of response time (but just satisfactory in terms of quality).
Now, the more I play around, the more problems I encountered. Because my account is on a shared server, most of these issues are attributable my account type. First, they advertised csh as one of the shells I have access to. But now they're saying I only have access to bash (tcsh is advertised too but not available as well). That's okay. Second, the accounts are not secure, I can log in to my shell, enter /www/some_user 's folder and view perl and php scripts which sometimes contains passwords to databases and such. I reported this two months ago and the problem hasn't been resolved, and I learned that this is not resolvable unless they upgrade apache to the latest 2.0. And lastly, I tried to ask for a mailing-list for server updates because they upgraded PHP and I just noticed when I checked the phpinfo page. I got a reply saying they don't do notify users on the shared server and most of their customers there are not using PHP. Therefore, most of the features they have are to make the sign-up form attractive. I understand that as I know it's a business. But on my perspective it's quite disappointing, as I expected to stay there longer.
If you believe this is a normal experience then let me know. Or if you have any other thoughts on it then please post.
I have run into the same problem with smaller hosts that advertise everything. They simply don't have professional
sysadmins on staff.
The thing to remember is that if you really want
"not-so-used" features/benefits you are better off going
with a hosting provider that has the experience. And also
not necessarily for the cheapest plan. Many of the cheap
providers are good enough only for simple html and images.
You might also e-mail them for versions of required tools
or setup instructions (ie cron etc) before signing up.