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  1. #1

    6 months at zone.net , my resumé (detailed)

    Sometime around May I decided to have my website transfered over to zone.net as I outgrew Dreamhost.

    Dreamhost, which now offers quite some cool setups (such as pimping up your server by additional ram etc), has kind of "chucked me" off due to excessive CPU use that was triggered by my Wordpress install (running WP-Cache of course).
    I was told, I outgrew a shared environment and should opt to either switch to their (at this time) 360$/month plan or get another hosting provider. when asked what to get, I was told "a vps with plenty of ram".

    I had a particular setup in mind and was thinking of either joining jaguar pc hosting or zone.net.

    What I did like at zone.net at this point was the working live-support. I clicked "live support" - chat now and within seconds I was talking to someone who had a clue and cared about getting me to move over.

    I opted zone.net as they promised to set-up my domain(s) in before of moving for free and making the transition happen without any downtime.

    It worked this way, I sent my sql databases to them and uploaded a four gig rar-file to third-party server (always handy to have another one at hand). They downloaded everything and setup my VPS with CentOs, plesk and virtuozzo.

    From my GoDaddy-domains I know there were plenty of discount codes around- as I couldnt find any for zone.net I blunty asked them if they had a promotion campaign running and if there was a zone.net discount code.
    Their honest reply, which I appreciate, was "yes" and I was given the code to discount my setup and monthly fee by 10%. Seeing as I did not find any codes on Google, this was a good catch.

    The transfer went smooth and the first weeks passed. Without any trouble, my site(s) ran smoothly, quicker than ever and with no downtime. Thanks to the watchdog module, that one employee installed, services that killed itself were automatically loaded again.

    Ever since I moved my site to zone.net it has been growing prosperously with 15,000 visitors daily and increasing. Wordpress and WP-Cache are working smoothly, Permalinks with htaccess are operational, too.

    When I had trouble setting up WP-Cache (at one point you have to run a shell command to create a sym-link file), their Live-support helped me out in seconds.
    I really liked the free and high-quality support at zone.net and the polite, yet direct employees.

    The advantage of "sticking" with a company with a dozen employees is that in due progress you get to know everyone and they get to know you. You dont have to explain your setup and problems all over again, as your setup is known and sending passwords over etc has become obsolete.

    Amongst my domains are also two German denic (DE) domains, the setup of them is very annoying, as you have to observe all kinds of regulations (like specific TTL time), different class C ips etc. - zone.net has been so accommodating to setup those different C-class ips for free.
    I am quite sure that I would have had to pay additional money at almost every other company.

    At my VPS I had Plesk and CentOS running, what I did not know is that you SHOULD not (seriously!!!) try to update your VPS (plesk) manually.
    I pressed "auto-update" under plesk, and the whole vps went into full-out lockup mode. zone.net´s experienced techies had the website up within minutes, but still plesk was unaccessible.
    This was the case for a week roughly and I did not receive any email for one week. This really annoyed me, but who to blame? It was all my fault- if I had not played around with things it would not have locked up so bad (internal errors all over the place). I decided to wait one week for them to find a solution, as the website was up, I was earning good money with it (around 40$ a day) and I did not care about emails... since it was only a secondary email address.

    yet I wanted to have my plesk back.- so one employee worked on my vps for two days in a row and tried all kinds of hacks. still I did not work. so without asking, and I appreciate that, they cloned my "running" site and setup another vps and routed all traffic over there. wow. I did not know this was technically possible!!!

    anyway, I had my plesk back and every setting I had done, was input kindly by the zone.net tech-man. If I had to do this all myself I would have lost valuable time at university that (at this point) I did not have.

    Just a few weeks ago I received an email saying that my vps (and basically) every VPS had to be moved, as zone.net had bought their own network or net of servers or datacenter, I cannot remember what it was, anyway... my vps had to be moved, meaning starting at "zero". A new vps was setup again, but since the ips changed, too I had to undergo the whole IPs annoyance with the german denic domains again.

    luckily zone.net helped me out quickly and assured me things would work.
    Indeed it did, the transfer went very smooth, as the old vps was not shutdown until the new one had been successfully "talking" with my nameserver.

    Bad thing though was, that I lost several posts and comments, as in the meantime I was accessing (randomly) two different sites on different servers.
    At one time, the old site loaded, the next hour the new one loaded and vice versa.

    If you plan to transfer sites, you should not post anything and close comments. just as a matter of fact, that was my learning...

    What I did not like about zone.net is that after the server move and in the meantime, they have seem to taken off the live-support. I loved to quickly address my problems and have them sorted out.

    Now I have to reside to their (working!) ticket system, where I usually receive a reply within hours, but sometimes also days (but that´s my fault then again to not "bump" my tickets every now and then).

    In general, I am very satisfied with the performance at zone.net, the level of support and the possibility of having almost EVERYTHING customized to my needs. I appreciate being a customer there, seriously! as soon as I experience something else, I will post it here, promised!

    Yours,
    jez

    (lol this is almost a whole book of a post)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,201
    Great review. Just a few questions:

    What plan are you on? Also what domain(s) have you got on your VPS with Zone.net?
    My Blog - www.Bakie.net
    My Entertainment site - www.SpudMud.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,893
    wow.. helluva review man...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Here @ WHT
    Posts
    1,354
    Good review! I've lately seen a lot of Positive reviews about Zone.net and someone from them is very active here @ wht as well.

    I think when I get my next VPS, I'll give them a shot.
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Ferenginar
    Posts
    4,156
    Quote Originally Posted by Bakie View Post
    Great review. Just a few questions:

    What plan are you on? Also what domain(s) have you got on your VPS with Zone.net?
    I believe he has the VM200 and his domain is http://www.h4x3d.com [source]

  6. #6

    domains and plan

    rossman got it right, it is the VM200 with some customizations (e.g. SVN to update my Wordpress installs automatically using ssh: no more uploading and re-checking files manually) and amongst the domains are www.h4x3d.com , www.trancin.com , www.foldnjoy.de , www.qpoz.com, www.lenazone.com and some misc sites that are parking and rotting away as my studies at university are keeping me insanely busy.
    Last edited by h4x3dcom; 11-21-2007 at 03:45 AM. Reason: forgot something

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Ferenginar
    Posts
    4,156
    h4x3dcom,

    Which data center did you choose?

    How is your VPS uptime?

  8. #8

    data center and uptime

    I choose to be positioned in Dallas, even though I am from Europe and New York would seem to be the better choice, as 57% of my visitors enter my site(s) from North America, especially the west (cluster region: Los Angeles according to Google Analytics).

    As described in my review above, I make quite some good coffee money (actually I need the money for those expensive Marketing books on amazon) off my site, so I am really happy to say that downtime was virtual 0 percent.

    when I was on vacation once in Sardinia (that is Italy), my website went down (I checked via GPRS on my cellphone), so I wrote an email to seankoons and he fixed it up the next hour. So much for downtime.

    Of course everyone should keep an eye out for his/her website and monitor the ram use and spikes from time to time. I usually log in once to see if things are running smoothly.

    The watch-dog module pretty much takes care of it all. You should really get this installed for free (if you are on a managed account).

    Here is a tracert to my website from Duesseldorf, Germany

    Code:
    C:\Documents and Settings\jz>tracert www.h4x3d.com
    
    Tracing route to h4x3d.com [72.249.95.103]
    over a maximum of 30 hops:
    
      1     3 ms     2 ms     1 ms  fritz.fonwlan.box [192.168.178.13] (my wireless blows)
      2     *        *        *     Request timed out.
      3    16 ms     9 ms    10 ms  217.0.75.22
      4    11 ms    13 ms    10 ms  217.5.71.30
      5    13 ms    11 ms    24 ms  4.68.63.109
      6    10 ms    11 ms    11 ms  ae-0-53.bbr1.Dusseldorf1.Level3.net [4.68.119.65
    ]
      7   131 ms   131 ms   168 ms  ae-0-0.bbr1.Dallas1.Level3.net [64.159.1.109]
      8   132 ms   132 ms   134 ms  ae-21-79.car1.Dallas1.Level3.net [4.68.19.67]
      9   131 ms   132 ms   133 ms  COLO4-DALLA.car1.Dallas1.Level3.net [8.9.232.74]
    
     10   132 ms   131 ms   134 ms  ge-1-1.core1.colo4dallas.net [206.123.64.26]
     11   132 ms   165 ms   135 ms  206.123.64.114
     12   132 ms   132 ms   131 ms  72.249.95.5
     13   133 ms   138 ms   133 ms  72.249.95.103
    
    Trace complete.

  9. #9
    Nice in depth review. Hopefully they can keep up their customer service. Did you ask why they got rid of live support?

  10. #10
    thanks a lot brian for your thumbs up,
    as far as I can assume (and I have not clairvoyant skills) they have (had?) a lot to do due to the relocation of the servers. it still says "live-support" available, but when I tried last week and the week before I did not catch anyone in.

    Maybe that has changed already =)

  11. #11
    good job






    tnaks

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    67
    Nice book
    Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

  13. #13
    thanks everyone!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Amex & Amex
    Posts
    1,273
    I keep on hearing such great things about zone.net. I'm glad they take care of there customers.
    Looking for a real host? Companies who care: KnownHost, MediaLayer, WiredTree

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,034
    Jez and everyone, thanks so much for your kind words. Everyone here at ZONE.NET appreciates it.

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