So, great forum. Thought I would give it a go as my latest reseller host is having some serious problems (I'll get in to that some other time).
First, I am looking for some honest reviews and experience with westnic, hostgator, and reseller zoom as they all have comparable packages and price. I am currently leaning heavily towards westnic for the ip addresses and end of year deal. I am a little put off by the idea though that I have to put up for a year contract to get the discount, before I really have a chance to find out if I like them.
I have been around the block with discount reseller accounts for a few years now, and fully sympathize with the companies selling the reseller accounts and dealing with newbie support issues from people that should likely not be hosting websites let alone reselling hosting.
I know, I know a lot of people will say you get what you pay for, but on the flip side I don't really need to pay for support I am not using. For the most part, I only need to bother support every so often when I run in to something that is over my permissions level.
I don't resell hosting, but do web design for a few select people and mostly my own site projects. I don't need all the payment system / proxy support for my customers.
Beyond all the typical cpanel features, I need my own dns with some sort of reliability,
I don't need a lot of bandwidth or disk space. Any of the basic reseller packages they provide will more than cover what I do, but more is nice (20 gigs or up).
IP addresses are important to me for the nature of my SEO projects. I do believe in the ip address spread for Google.
Mostly I need support in an emergency, reliable backups, and very low down time. Also help with moving would be nice.
I would also like some sort of option for the future to spread my site and dns over different data centers for security. Hosts with capacity to handle emergencies is important and keep my sites online, and most importantly keep email servers operational.
My own DNS is important because I host country domains from countries with rather complicate legal procedures for accessing the registers (NOT RUSSIA).
I am open to other suggestions, but these three seem to most closely fit.
Although I have no personal experience with them, HostGator seems to be the most tried and tested. You are going to get the odd bad review but considering the amount of customers they have, I don't see it as a major barrier..No host can please everybody.
You could possibly talk to each host and how the money back guarantee works and if you have the time - sign up with each and test it out till the end of the money back guarantee. Cancel with those that you did not like and keep the one you did. But like I said, make sure you consult them and their respective TOS about conditions of the money back guarantee before you do test the waters.
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