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  1. #1

    Looking for host for phpBB forum

    Hello all,

    I'm in the process of researching a new host for my phpBB forum. I'm currently hosted with FatCow and the response times are just horrible, often in the 30 to 60 second range to paint a screen. My forum is brand new, so I only have 250 members and we average about 10 messages per day, so it's not a volume issue on my side.

    I have contacted their technical support repetedly but with no resolution (and little concern). My help desk tickets are summarily closed with a response of "We just tried it and it's fine. Ticket closed." Calls to their support staff (30 minutes on hold waiting to speak to someone) have promised that they would stay in communication with me and that they would resolve the problem. Needless to say, neither of those promises were kept. Just to be clear, I used internetsupervision.com to ensure the problem wasn't local to my ISP (of course my members are screaming about the response time too). I took screen shots of those timings and forwarded them to technical support so they could match the dates/times to their own logs and identify the source of the issue. I'm thinking that it was just wishful thinking on my part.

    I apologize for the rant! The point it that I am looking for a host that doesn't the response time issues when running a mySQL / phpBB environment. Before coming to this site, I have searched for objective reviews of the web hosts, but most look like they were written by their own marketing department. I found glowing reviews for FatCow, so I know those reviews can't be trusted. I've not been able to find a review that specifically addresses the performance for a mySQL/phpBB environment. My budget is $100 to $150 per year.

    In reading though the posts on this forum there seems to be a reluctance to name specific providers, yet that's what I need. A short list of hosts that I can evaluate.

    Can I get some feedback on these hosts? Of course, I would welcome a recommendation for any host that can provide quality tech support and fast response times.

    HostGator
    HostRocket
    BlueHost
    GoDaddy (all marketing?)

    Thank you in advance for your input!

    Joanne

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    563
    Whats your max amount of users online at peak times? Do you plan for this number to grow?

    Whats your current space/bandwidth usage?

    Your budget seems to be pretty reasonable and for $150/year their are a lot of hosts who can fill your needs.
    eLief - Where your business matters.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    76
    HostGator will do fine for you at this current scale - we use them with no hassles for our PHPBB v2 forum. We have many more users than you do, but not many active ones, and not too much posting activity.

    As you grow (in terms of visitors per minute) the loads may exceed any shared host's limits. That is something to be aware of, and at that stage you will have to look for a beefier option like VPS / Dedicated Hosting.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich - Elief View Post
    Whats your max amount of users online at peak times? Do you plan for this number to grow?

    Whats your current space/bandwidth usage?

    Your budget seems to be pretty reasonable and for $150/year their are a lot of hosts who can fill your needs.
    Richard,

    I do expect to grow, but our max concurrent users was something like 6 or 8 members. This month the bandwidth is 1.81g. We are tiny, so in my mind there is no excuse for the response times we are seeing. (Actually there is no excuse for FatCow not taking the matter seriously. It's obvious to me that they simply don't care.)

    I'm sure that there are LOTs of hosts that can do a great job. I thought I had done due-diligence with FatCow. Their reviews were good, yet their service is very poor. The online reviews appear meaningless. It appears like finding a quality host is like throwing darts with a blindfold on.

    Joanne

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Indiana, USA
    Posts
    16,087
    I don't see why it would run as slowly as you state does, this is certainly a problem on the hosting end of things. Many hosts will work and your budget is decent. I'm sure you can get good hosting for your forums for less than what you have budgeted. I also suggest HostGator.
    Michael Denney - MDDHosting LLC
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    563
    Quote Originally Posted by vegas_joanne View Post
    Richard,

    I do expect to grow, but our max concurrent users was something like 6 or 8 members. This month the bandwidth is 1.81g. We are tiny, so in my mind there is no excuse for the response times we are seeing. (Actually there is no excuse for FatCow not taking the matter seriously. It's obvious to me that they simply don't care.)

    I'm sure that there are LOTs of hosts that can do a great job. I thought I had done due-diligence with FatCow. Their reviews were good, yet their service is very poor. The online reviews appear meaningless. It appears like finding a quality host is like throwing darts with a blindfold on.

    Joanne
    Joanne,

    It's most likely running slow due to poorly optimized MySQL servers, or they could be overcrowding their servers.

    The reason I asked for the max users online, and bandwidth, was to judge if your budget is reasonable or not. Your not using much resources at all, so many hosts are able to help you out within your budget range.
    eLief - Where your business matters.
    cPanel Hosting - Reseller Hosting - VPS - Dedicated Servers - Magento Specialists
    Celebrating over 4 years of providing quality hosting.
    cPanel/WHM - LiteSpeed - CloudFlare - R1Soft Backups - 15k Cheetah's - 24x7 Support eLief.com

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDVB View Post
    I don't see why it would run as slowly as you state does, this is certainly a problem on the hosting end of things. Many hosts will work and your budget is decent. I'm sure you can get good hosting for your forums for less than what you have budgeted. I also suggest HostGator.
    I'm guessing that some users are running scripts that are bogging down the server. I say this because the response times are quite variable. Sometimes the response times are sub-second (almost instantaneous), a few minutes later it will be 20+ seconds. Unfortunately, the slow times prevail.

    In fact I just checked the site and the response time is beautiful. I guarentee before the afternoon is over that we will be back to a crawl.

    I believe that if their sys admins were doing their job that the issue would get resolved. There just doesn't seem to be any focus on the issue regardless of my complaints. (and I have a hard time believing that I'm the only one having these issues)

    Thanks!

    Joanne

  8. #8
    It's possible that they have one or a few rogue clients hosted on the same server that you are located on that are running things they shouldn't be. If they take this seriously they will suspend or cancel those that are violating usage policy.

    Then again, what's been written in the Terms and Conditions may be revealing. Their limits may be on disk and bandwidth rather than CPU usage. This would allow the rogues to play havoc on the server and still stay within their Terms.

    Personally, I would push their support for an answer and if you don't get a reasonable answer with reassurance that this sort f thing is being monitored and will be resolved shortly - I would simply move to a better host.
    Peter Marek
    https://www.UltraQuantix.com
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    EU - east side
    Posts
    21,913
    I thought I had done due-diligence with FatCow. Their reviews were good, yet their service is very poor. The online reviews appear meaningless.
    They run a high paying affiliate program, which may heavily influence some of the "independent reviewers" out there, "top hosts" websites and the like. It happens all the time I'm afraid.

    Fatcow is owned by EnduranceInternational, as are a good number of other hosting companies (powweb, ipower, bizland, among others). Your review is not exactly a surprise I'm afraid.

    It appears like finding a quality host is like throwing darts with a blindfold on.
    Get the blindfold off: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/search.php and read threads thoroughly. Sometimes the conclusion is not dictated by the thread's title.

    Regular shared hosting should be able to fit your current needs just fine.

  10. #10
    Thanks for everyone's input. Your honest evaluation of the host's services and explanations of their practices is apprciated! I've learned a lot as I've read through other threads.

    Not that it matters really, but I've attached a screen dump documenting this morning's 45 second response time on my forum. Hopefully I'll have it moved onto a new host this weekend.

    Thanks again!

    Joanne
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails response_time.jpg  

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by pmarek View Post
    <snip>
    Personally, I would push their support for an answer and if you don't get a reasonable answer with reassurance that this sort f thing is being monitored and will be resolved shortly - I would simply move to a better host.
    Peter,

    I agree with pressing them for an answer, but I've been fighting with them for a couple of months now and I don't see an indication that they are interested in resovling the problem. I'm outta' there!

    Joanne

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=ldcdc;5031055] <snip>

    Get the blindfold off: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/search.php and read threads thoroughly. Sometimes the conclusion is not dictated by the thread's title.
    [QUOTE]

    Sorry I wasn't clear when I wrote that! My frustration at finding honest hosting reviews was BEFORE I found this forum. I spent quite a bit of time looking through the Web Hosting forum before I posted my request for information. I just wanted to see if I could get a recommendation based on my need for mySQL, PHP & phpBB support.

    Thanks for your input!

    Joanne

  13. #13
    I have used Fatcow hosting for years with great service until recently. MySQL problem is very bad and to the point of being not a valid hosting option.

    I just got offline with Fatcow chat tech support. I was told that they do know it is a problem and that they are working on installing new servers and equipment to fix it. They could not give a date of when this would happen but gave the impression that it would be very soon.

    Will see what happens. If they do not get it fixed I will have to switch hosting.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    9
    I think alot of companies can help you out which are able to provide you:
    - Quality support
    - Perfect surrounding for your website

    Maybe ask for some offers? Good luck!
    Sorcer Internet Services - Sales(@)sorcer.nl

    Quality Dedicated Servers, Colocation, Shared & Reseller Webhosting and managed services!

  15. #15
    I use GoDaddy
    Todd
    ---------------------------
    Domains for Sale at Afternic!
    http://www.afternic.com/names.php?best=1&u=104718

  16. #16
    Fatcow now has a message that they are doing the MySQL server upgrades this evening. Yes it took a bit of work to get them to fix the problem but they finally realize something was very wrong and the needed to do something or start losing customers.

    I think whatever company you use for web hosting it is worthwhile to go the extra mile and try to get them to deal with the problems you are having. All of the companies in this price range($150 year or less) are going to be dealing with the same issue, trying to sqeeze as much $ out of each server. They are all volume based and have to be to provide an entire years hosting for almost nothing.

    Jump up to the next tier and you are looking at $100/month and maybe better service but things still go wrong.

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