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  1. #1
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    Question Is your hosting company perfect?

    When there's a major problem that affects one host or a group of hosts that share similar philosophies, I always see a group of supposed "know-it-all" hosts coming out of the woodwork. They comment on what should have been done, the problem with "most hosts today," and my personal favorite... "you get what you pay for."

    A lot of problems are unpredictable in this business, and even the predictable ones get out of hand sometimes. No host is, ever was, or ever will be perfect, including yours. Don't get me wrong... I hate the phrases "I'm only human" and "nobody's perfect," because those are essentially cop-outs. But what's even worse than that is another flawed person popping up like they have everything figured out. Um... no.

    Example: there's downtime for a lot of sites right now because some hosts didn't have redundancy. And right now, there are hundreds of hosts with redundancy, but cheap hardware...that will lead to downtime for their customers. And there are hosts with top of the line hardware AND redundancy, but their customer service is poor. I could go on & on about hosts that have strengths and flaws, but the bottom line is, every host cuts costs in one way or another, to stay competitive. You all use your judgement to create the kind of company you think will be successful, and to meet the demand of the customers. But none of you are above having downtime or horrific accidents happening to your business.. and I doubt you'd appreciate someone else popping up with the type of needless drivel that some of you contribute to their threads.

    If your company actually is perfect, please disregard this post. For those of you not in denial... yes, you could face downtime, loss of data, or poor customer satisfaction at any time too.
    "Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did."
    - Mark Twain

  2. #2
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    okay
    There is no best host. There is only the host that's best for you.

  3. #3
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    Truly insighting..

    The point of this thread is? I am sure many people realise this.

  4. #4
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    I wrote it for those that don't seem to... I thought that was clear, but maybe not.
    "Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did."
    - Mark Twain

  5. #5
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    and I doubt you'd appreciate someone else popping up with the type of needless drivel that some of you contribute to their threads.
    That's his point.

  6. #6
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    *scratches head*

    I think your sadly mistaken to say that every host cuts corners...

    I could name many hosting companies that don't even come close to cutting corners.....
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  7. #7
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    By "cutting corners," I mean that they find a cost-effective alternative to paying for the "best," not that they look for the cheapest route. Take customer service for example... how many hosts do you know that actually have someone in the data center with 24/7 live support via telephone? I don't mean 24/7 answering machine, or a pager, or a "sales rep" willing to accept an order. I mean someone that a client could call directly, and speak to someone who can manually get their site working right then. Very few, and even some of them cut corners in some other area.
    "Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did."
    - Mark Twain

  8. #8
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    *scratches head again*

    Thats not cutting corners at all... you need to find better words. Those are just operational choices.

    Cutting corners in my mind is buying 100 dollar servers, or not having redundancy, or not preforming proper backups.

    I wouldn't call not having 24/7 live in the datacenter support cutting corners one bit.
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  9. #9
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    Ya I agree - cutting corners is more about what the customer doesn't know (excluding multihoming) that when something goes wrong the true "cheapness" of what ever system shines through.
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  10. #10
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    how is "not having redundancy" not considered an "operational choice" as well? Where do you draw the line? If my site is having problems for days because no one is solving the trouble tickets or my site is down because there wasn't redundancy, it's still a lack of proficiency, based on a decision by the host.

  11. #11
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    Well thats where you get confused. You and I don't draw the line, each person draws the line based on what their site requires, and from that line they seperate the hosts that work for them and the ones that don't.

    Sure, we could sit here all day and say this or that wouldn't be acceptable by my standards but everyone is different and everyone has that choice to make. If everything was a black and white answer it would be so much easier but we live in a world with many choices and options so no one answer is right or wrong as it all depends on the risk that individual is willing to take.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Is your hosting company perfect?

    which is exactly what I said in my first post
    Originally posted by Justice
    I could go on & on about hosts that have strengths and flaws, but the bottom line is, every host cuts costs in one way or another, to stay competitive. You all use your judgement to create the kind of company you think will be successful, and to meet the demand of the customers. But none of you are above having downtime or horrific accidents happening to your business.. and I doubt you'd appreciate someone else popping up with the type of needless drivel that some of you contribute to their threads.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by Justice
    ... how many hosts do you know that actually have someone in the data center with 24/7 live support via telephone? I don't mean 24/7 answering machine, or a pager, or a "sales rep" willing to accept an order. I mean someone that a client could call directly, and speak to someone who can manually get their site working right then. Very few, and even some of them cut corners in some other area.
    The kind of companies that do not charge $49/month for servers? There are many examples of quality hosts and DC's out there. I hate the "you get what you pay for" addage as well, but a host that charges realistic prices to actually provide the support you desire costs more than others. The saying does not mean "if you pay more, you get more", but rather states that there is a minimum price for each level of support your website needs. If you need to call someone at 3 AM (who speaks your language fluently) and get professional answers to your questions, this type of service will cost more than one that "cuts corners" and cannot do this.

    It's the difference between rackspace and rackshack, $3/month host and futurequest, etc...

    Most, if not all hosts (including me) do not think they are perfect. But a few think they are providing the service their website states they will, and working their hardest to maintain that level of service.

    Have I had clients that have been upset? sure. Has our company worked hard to rectify a situation when it does go bad? You bet! A truly effective business plan does not lay out how to make money, but rather has in its text, plans for how to prevent the problems we see here at WHT everyday. (A realisitic backup plan, multiuple providers, cost analysis of how much is needed to be charged per account to sustain the level of support required, plans for growth that include the costs of new techs, new hardware, etc....)

    This is what separates the "children" from the grown-ups. (And no, this is not a slam on young people running businesses, just a politically correct way of saying "separates the boys from the men".)


    - John C.

  14. #14
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    *

    I have dedicated or co-located servers with a lot of different providers. All of them will have hiccups from time to time. But three stand out above all the rest. Why? Because if something goes wrong they don't make up excuses or play the blame game. The resolve the problem, explain what happened and correct the situation and cover my loses. Those three, in no particular order are DataPipe.com, Rackspace.com and Servint.com.
    --
    Speckz

  15. #15
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    IMHO I think all host got room for improvement (not just tech related and such), but I do tend to agree many (as we can see in the offers forum), tend to just load a $100 dedicated server, and like check tickets and try to resolve problems like once per day!

    Sad but its the truth!

  16. #16
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    Just because you get a server from rackshack, does NOT mean you have to sell hosting cheaply... remember the costs to cover are NOT just for servers. There are in most cases staff costs aswell as well a profit to be made
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  17. #17
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    Originally posted by tazzy
    Just because you get a server from rackshack, does NOT mean you have to sell hosting cheaply... remember the costs to cover are NOT just for servers. There are in most cases staff costs aswell as well a profit to be made
    Wanna bet about every 3 host in like 5 that use RS offer low quality and unreliable cheap hosting?

    Problem is everybody thinks they can run a hosting company this days!

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by Rui


    Wanna bet about every 3 host in like 5 that use RS offer low quality and unreliable cheap hosting?

    Problem is everybody thinks they can run a hosting company this days!
    Trouble is.... anyone CAN .... doesn't mean they will be successful, but its easy to do....
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  19. #19
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    Originally posted by tazzy


    Trouble is.... anyone CAN .... doesn't mean they will be successful, but its easy to do....
    It may be easy to do. But it's not easy to do right.

  20. #20
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    Have I had clients that have been upset? sure. Has our company worked hard to rectify a situation when it does go bad? You bet! A truly effective business plan does not lay out how to make money, but rather has in its text, plans for how to prevent the problems we see here at WHT everyday. (A realisitic backup plan, multiuple providers, cost analysis of how much is needed to be charged per account to sustain the level of support required, plans for growth that include the costs of new techs, new hardware, etc....)

    This is what separates the "children" from the grown-ups. (And no, this is not a slam on young people running businesses, just a politically correct way of saying "separates the boys from the men".)


    - John C.
    What you want is a company that appears to be growing, not a stagnant one. A growing company is always improving a stagnant one is just it, stagnant. If one were truely concerned about hosting they would be asking more questions about history, time in business, possible investment opportunities. Dedicated service providers are big business, any questions about investment in the company are going to elicit qualified answers. If you find a host and their website hasn't changed in 3 - 4 years something isn't right. The acquisition of new data-streams is a sure sign a company is growing. People tend to ignore the important questions because they don't want to hear about it. They see the low price and jump on it before they think rationally about their situation.
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  21. #21

    Only a partial point

    When hosts come here to attack other hosts and use every opportunity to invade competitors' threads, that is wrong. As to that point I agree with you.

    However, I disagree on two other issues.

    First, there are certain minimum standards that almost all reputable hosts would adhere to. To broadcast those standards is an important function of public forums such as this one. Most hosts feel those standards include such things as either redundancy or fall-back providers. Any good businessman has contingency plans. Also, those standards include honesty in all relationships with customers. Those standards include taking the ordinary and necessary steps to protect your customers. They include a statement on the frequency of backups and adherence to that policy. They include an enforced TOS and AUP. They include no promises which can not be met, such as unlimited bandwidth, etc. They include honest and prompt communication with customers when problems arise and financial consideration when appropriate. And, it is certainly appropriate for hosts to publicize those critical standards although not generally in threads regarding their competitors. When we are simply questioning the quality of providers, not their integrity, then I, personally, do not speak ill of any competitors.

    Second, there are some persons in this industry who repeatedly show such egregious, dishonest, and unethical behavior that the professional hosting community must speak up and warn others about them. These, fortunately, are relatively small in number. However, they return over and over under different names. The average consumer has no way to know their history, if it is not pointed out. There are at least 10 persons I could quickly name who have frequented this board and used it to build businesses, only then to rip all their clients off. These persons resurface frequently. When speaking of this small list, I and others will continue to warn the unsuspecting next victims when we realize who has returned.

    As to the question of perfect, obviously none of us are. However, the vast majority of hosts are honest and do try to provide quality service. And, it is the actions of the dishonest few that bring the entire industry down. In particular, this board is composed primarily of small to medium hosts. The continued actions of the "crooks" in our industry reflects on us all. Ultimately, it leads potential customers to be afraid of anyone small and to go only to the known names, who may not provide the service we do, but who they feel will not steal from them, nor suddenly shut down tomorrow.

    As to a couple of your specific comments:
    For those of you not in denial... yes, you could face downtime, loss of data, or poor customer satisfaction at any time too.
    Yes, we can all suffer some degree of these problems. However, it is the degree to which we expose ourselves and our customers which is important. Several consecutive days of down time is something that most of us have protected ourselves against. If one isn't currently protected, then they need NOW! to establish an disaster recovery plan.

    Another:
    my personal favorite... "you get what you pay for."
    I find this phrase as objectionable as you do. I can site many low cost providers who afford their customers a high level of service. However, when a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. So, while you may find a good $3.99 per month host or $99/month dedicated, if you allow your greed to lead you to a $10/year host or a $49/month dedicated, then you can only blame yourself for the consequences.

    As to the circumstances I believe may have precipitated this thread, I do believe some criticism is justified. I also recognize that more than one competitor offered assistance. (I, myself, have offered privately to assist others in dire straits previously). However, it is clear that this provider was warned, was given chances to address the issues, and failed to take the required steps to protect his customers. I believe, in retrospect, even he will admit that. It certainly serves as a warning now to others. I also share some and don't share some of the opinions expressed toward the other players in this fiasco. As to redundancy/backup for a communications provider, I do believe strongly that anyone who hosts any mission critical sites where no backup provider is immediately available is unwise. I do use Cogent for some of my servers. However, in all cases, there is a backup available by just resetting the routing protocols. As to any hosting provider who doesn't have backups, that is unacceptable...period. Also, I continue to warn all customers of hosts, have your own backups as well. Now, frankly, backups as most frequently done would not really help in this particular situation. That is because most hosts backup either to a tape/digital/other server or hard drive at the same location as the server. And, under these circumstances, their data would still be unaccessible unless they could physically go there. It does give cause for reevaluation of all our backup methods and our proximity to our data centers.

    To sum this up:

    Perfect-none of us
    Reasonable safeguards-required
    Honesty-required

    Attacks on competitors who are suffering problems-Inappropriate
    Attacks on repeat preditors who return time and again to cause problems-Necessary.

  22. #22
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    Originally posted by lightnin
    It may be easy to do. But it's not easy to do right.
    so true....

    Incognito, I agree with most of your post as well, but I take some objection to your comment about "greed." I don't think a person should "only blame himself for the consequences" of choosing a cheaper host. If someone offers shared plans for $10 a year, or ded servers for $49/mo, that could be for any number of reasons. They could have a surplus of servers, a new sales promotion, etc. A lot of hosts offer servers for $300/mo and have sales for $99/mo, for example. If I'm paying money for a service and the quality isn't there, I don't think it's right to assume more responsibility simply because I paid less. I think that type of logic reinforces the misconception that expensive hosts offer better quality, when that's not always the case, especially when it comes to customer support. I try to evaluate hosts on a case by case basis, instead of ruling out one because it's too cheap.

  23. #23
    Is any body or anything perfect? I think no matter what it is there is always room for improvement. It may not always be economical to do so, but that doen't mean there isn't any room for improvement.

    Regards
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    Exchange 2007 Hosting, Windows/Linux Hosting

  24. #24
    Originally posted by Justice

    I don't think it's right to assume more responsibility simply because I paid less. I think that type of logic reinforces the misconception that expensive hosts offer better quality, when that's not always the case, especially when it comes to customer support. I try to evaluate hosts on a case by case basis, instead of ruling out one because it's too cheap.
    But if it's two cheap, how can the host afford to maintain equipment, pay staff, etc. So what he said on the best part is true, However as you have already mentioned it is best to evaluate this on a case to case basis.

    For example a host might be successful already but as part of an advertising campaign they offer there services dirt cheap, to get new customers and good word of mouth advertising. The people paying full price for the hosting will subsidize the cost of support etc, so those paying less will still get a good service.

    The question is do you want the sort of customers that pay these low rate. However this is a business decision for another thread.
    Adam Heavens
    Server Centre Limited (www.servercentre.net)
    Exchange 2007 Hosting, Windows/Linux Hosting

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