In Search of a New Webhost

Recent issues with my current webhost, IX Webhosting, have spurred me to initiate yet another search for a new host that offers more robust MySQL support. In a nutshell, I woke up one day early this week to discover that Scot’s Newsletter Forums was down and all its MySQL database files were deleted. I filed an immediate trouble ticket to tech support. Some 26 hours after the problem with the forums began, it miraculously reappeared with all data perfectly intact. But it wasn’t for another three days that IX actually answered my trouble ticket with a vague and wimpy note lacking any real explanation.

All in all, my IX experience has been much better than that with my last webhost, Invision Power Services (IPS), the company that makes Invision Power Board, the software that powers Scot’s Newsletter Forums. IPS was the worst webhost I’ve ever used. Other hosts I’ve used in past have included Hostway.net (reliable, surly tech support, not a great value) and SectorLink (bad reliability and support but I stopped using its services almost 5 years ago).

I have very specific needs, all of which need to be met, for me to move to any new webhost. They include:

  • Highly reliable SMTP/POP/IMAP email hosting that does not use a stupid method to protect against spammers taking over the SMTP server. Preferred security would be user/password authentication required for both inbound and outbound mail. Using the same server for both with POP authentication is acceptable, but I think the separate server approach is much smarter. SSL is not my preference, although my primary concern is performance with SSL — so if it’s got snappy performance, I’m OK with SSL.
  • At least 50 email accounts per domain, with a high level of account configurability.
  • A liberal limit, or unlimited, MySQL concurrent connections. The concurrent connections number is something of an oversimplification, but it’s a starting point for discussion. To put it another way: Robust MySQL server performance that can handle the load when I send out my newsletter and everyone is attempting to hit my server-installed WordPress blog simultaneously. I also have a MySQL-based forums that has been affected by the newsletter too.

       Also pertaining to MySQL databases: I’m looking for at least five MySQL database sets, daily backups, and phpMyAdmin with multiple user logins (preferably in control panel). I also need to be able to configure multiple user access to the database with configurable permissions.

  • Configurable FTP access by multiple user accounts, with permissions, with configurable volume access.
  • Free multiple domain hosting, with a minimum of five domains plus at least five subdomains for each. More domains would be vastly preferred. (Not to be confused with domain name registration/management, which I could care less about.) Controls for managing domains should be full-featured and intuitive. The control panel should provide full ability to create, manage, and delete new domains without needing a trouble ticket.
  • High bandwidth limits or unlimited bandwidth.
  • Linux hosting only. I don’t do Windows for webhosting. Too many problems with server apps.
  • Quality Web metrics not just logs. Webalizer is OK.
  • Reliability and rapid technical support. Generally speaking, it’s impossible to know this upfront. But a word-of-mouth recommendation from an actual customer on these two points would go a long way with me.
  • The control panel: Generally, I don’t care much about the UI. What I care about is the full depth of the configuration features, functions, settings, and nuances. What I have found is that many control panels with terrible UIs also don’t offer all the functionality. cPanel is the classic example of a limited-UI product that also offers limited functionality.

Of course, each webhost can customize the control panel it offers, so not every cPanel configuration is equal. But I’ve spent time with cPanel from two webhosts, and the experience was bad with both — not because the UI isn’t great (and it isn’t) but because features and configuration options were limited.

In general, the control panels I’ve had the best experience with were custom built or heavily customized by (or for) their webhosts. Hostway’s email-management tools are the best I’ve ever seen. I left the company recently because of its price/performance ratio, which wasn’t great. But I wish I could have taken that part of their otherwise lackluster home-brewed control panel with me.

The control panels I like best are H-Sphere and Plesk. Again, of course, the functionality has to be surfaced by the webhost too. H-Sphere was the first CP I ever used, and it’s the one that I’m using now. The UI is so-so, but the functionality — especially as IX has implemented it — is quite good. The UI requires a lot of extra clicks and isn’t all that intuitive, but I’ll take the depth of settings and functions any day. I’ve never had the pleasure of using Plesk, but all the demos I’ve taken have left me very intrigued. I just discovered that Parallels apparently purchased Plesk. Good move, Parallels. But please keep delivering the webhosting admin and client product.

JaguarPC, a webhost recommended to me by a colleague, comes very close to what I’m looking for. It comes in shared and something it calls “semi-dedicated” shared service, which costs $30 a month and promises that the number of shared users on each server will be 1/6th or less that on the company’s $12 (less with longer pay periods) shared hosting service. I’m attracted to that option because my experience has been that a few bad apples on a server can make a big difference in the reliability of a shared hosting site. I’m willing to pay $30 per month for a year to explore the possibility of better reliability.

There are two problems with JaguarPC that I’ve identified so far:

1. It uses the cPanel control panel, and the company was good enough to give me 60 minutes of live access to the actual control panel for a practice account. (There’s also a less functioning online demo on the JaguarPC site that I linked to show cPanel above.) What I found in using JaguarPC’s CP is that it is a good cPanel implementation, but that there were controls and settings I want that weren’t there. Hard to warm up to that.

2. Working with JaguarPC’s sales department about how many concurrent MySQL connections it supports elicited a less-than-encouraging response. Sales was unwilling to actually talk to me about the subject, but instead pointed me to this support page on its website. The upshot being, JaguarPC isn’t saying how many simultaneous max. connections to a MySQL database it supports before its servers throw off a MySQL error message.

As I alluded to above, “max. conncurrent connections” is truly imperfect terminology — a gross oversimplification of how databases may be limited, especially on a shared server. But the wording on this knowledgebase article basically promises nothing. The aspersions cast upon “your developer” don’t match the reality of the current state of the world, where the popularity of MySQL-based CMSes, blogs, forums, and other server applications — like WordPress, Movable Type, Drupal, vBulletin, Invision Powerboard, and many others — have become such a key goal for customers of shared hosting sites that any webhost that fails to recognize that is apt to fail.

Bottom line: because I want a lot from my next webhost, it will likely take me a long time to find one that actually delivers what I need. But none of the specs and functions I’ve listed are negotiable for me. I need robust MySQL support above all — that’s the main thing I’m lacking now. But this is my list, and I’m sticking to it. Anything less is going to cause me headaches.

All that said, I welcome any and all suggestions about webhosts coming from actual customers of other products. Please post comments here or send me email, whatever you prefer. One SNB reader, alexgieg, posted interesting comments and details about his new webhost, which offers liberal and I think very smart support for MySQL databases and overall bandwidth on its clients’ websites. Among the comments he posted is a message from his Webhost about problems with WordPress that might be addressed by applying better hardware.

In essence, alexgieg’s new host, nearlyfreespeech.net, offers a pay-as-you-go plan that charges you a penny a day for starters and charges two cents for each additional process. It doesn’t offer email support, and that lets me out. But it’s interesting just the same.

45 Responses to “In Search of a New Webhost”

  1. lenardd Says:

    Hi Scott,

    If FreeBSD/HSPHERE is okay with you, have a look at FluidHosting.com. They have been in business for a long time with excellent customer support. I’ve been using them for many years and they have been excellent. Tickets are usually answered within minutes.

  2. Graham Says:

    Why not use Google Apps for your email hosting? They offer 6+GB per mailbox, reliability is great, and their implementation of IMAP is better than most. I know this doesn’t address your hosting needs with regards to MySQL, but you could eliminate the email criteria and just focus on the MySQL performance of the host.

  3. animadversor Says:

    I have heard very good things about Joyent, especially their customer service. http://www.joyent.com/connector/web-hosting/

  4. alexgieg Says:

    Thanks for mentioning my comments on the main page. :-) But let me complement what I meant about NFS.N not offering e-mail support.

    What actually happens is that one can have a single domain “serviced” by more than one company for different services. Few people use this very powerful DNS feature, as it’s usually easier to purchase e-mail boxes, web hosting, FTP storage etc. from a single company that happens to offer them all and charges for them as parts of a single, unified package of services. The alternative approach, evidently, is to get these different services from companies that specialize on one or the other, as a way to get the best in each category, or maybe the best in one, the cheapest on another etc.

    This last approach is the one I use with the domains I have a say on, such as my job’s one (www.intercomp.com.br). We don’t have strong website needs — no database required at all –, but we use e-mail A LOT. So, following my advice my boss contracted a very cheap web hosting provider for our web site ($7/month, and not, it’s not NFS.N… yet), which as usual provides some poor e-mail offering in the package, then went ahead by completely ignoring this offering, signing for a Google Apps account, adjusting our domain’s MX settings to tell the world our e-mail is handled by Google, not by our web hosting provider, and done: cheap hosting company taking care of our spartan www.* needs; good e-mail hosting company taking care of our huge *@intercomp.com.br needs. And everything Just Works TM.

    So, I’d suggest you don’t let NFS.N out yet just because they don’t provide e-mail hosting themselves. As I see it, they being honest by telling their clients that e-mail just isn’t their business, thus not offering it at all and instead directing users with specialized e-mail needs to 3rd party solutions for whom professional e-mail hosting *is* their business, is a much better approach than they offering some half-working solution that would be both technically worse and more expensive.

    Whatever hosting provider you chose as your future one, keep in mind this option of going with different companies for different services even if it offers e-mail services, as being able to ignore a bad e-mail package linked to an otherwise very good web hosting plan, then going with a 3rd party e-mail hosting solution, is too amazing power for we to just give up on it. :-)

  5. Scot Says:

    alexgieg, hey, it’s just not my cup of tea. I’ve already got way too many companies to deal with. I like having all of website-based configs in in one control panel, one trouble-ticket system, one tech support team. I understood what you were saying from the start. And it may be great for some people. I’m not knocking it, but it truly isn’t for me.

    I’ve published my list of needs, and I really am sticking to it!

    — Scot

  6. Jojo999 Says:

    You should review the posts at this forum:
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/index.php?s=

  7. alexgieg Says:

    Ah, understood! Never mind then. I always think that maybe I’m not being clear. Since English isn’t my primary language, when I try to be concise I’m never sure what I wrote expressed precisely what I thought, so I err on the side of caution and end up “over-explaining”. I should stop doing that. :)

  8. hammerz Says:

    Hey, Scot! Check out Site5 Hosting. I’ve been using Site5 for several years, and they’ve got the fastest and most friendly customer service I’ve ever found. HUGE space and massive throughput, too.

    http://www.site5.com/

    Chuck in Taiwan

  9. MikeNash [Tall Emu] Says:

    Hi Scot,

    I don’t know what your budget is – but have you considered dedicated hosting?

    The advantage of course is – your server, your rules – do what you want with it, configured as you please.

    The hosting provider that we use has a list price for an Intel 2.4 GHz machine, with 1GB of RAM and an 80GB IDE is $215/mth – which includes 500GB of transfer.

    https://www.sprocketnetworks.com/dedicated.htm

    We have several dedicated servers there, and are planning to add a few more – after an initially shaky start with them, they were acquired by another business and we haven’t had a jot of trouble since.

  10. rschumaker Says:

    I currently use the Hostgator Swamp plan. Until recently, I have been extremely pleased with their service. However recently, they sent me a note explaining that I had exceeded my inode limit of 50,000 (files). This limit is buried in the terms of service and really changes the nature of the overall disk space promised.

    One may not be able to use anywhere close to the promised disk space if script such as WordPress load the disk with numerous small files since the inode count is based on the number of files without consideration of their size.

    This is one issue to investigate when making a host selection. I am undertaking a major server clean up effort in an effort to get back under 50,000 inodes from over 574,000.

  11. scuzzy Says:

    Scott,

    Sometime ago, my partners and I went in search of a new host after using FutureQuest.net for a few years. FutureQuest is an excellent host, but it is comparatively very expensive to their competition.

    After spending months testing various hosts, we finally settled on Lunarpages (http://www.lunarpages.com). After approximately 15 months, we have not regretted our decision once. Lunarpages has given us excellent value, service, and performance.

    Alex in Colorado

  12. scuzzy Says:

    I forgot to mention that another good contender is http://www.netfirms.com (based out of Canada) which we also considered for our site.

    Netfirms has many strong attributes along with great bang for the buck. I find their customer service to be excellent, and I continue to use them for my personal site.

    The biggest reason we chose Lunarpages over Netfirms is because Lunarpages uses cPanel, which is our preference for a control panel – mostly because we’re familiar with it. Netfirm’s Control Panel, however, is also excellent, as well as easy to use.

    Alex in Colorado

  13. LilBambi Says:

    Scot,

    Have you had a look at an offering for web designers from Rackspace called:

    http://www.mosso.com

    It’s a lot less expensive than Rackspace, but has the same reliability, and provides a wide range of services from both Linux and Windows services on one hosting account. Very kewl. The call it a hosting cloud due to the scaling and combining of services from both Linux and Windows services under one account.

  14. scuzzy Says:

    If Netfirms is a consideration at all, you’ll want to take a look at this great deal for the first year:

    http://www.netfirms.com/pcworld

  15. scuzzy Says:

    Scot,

    I noticed that JaguarPC is running a special in the month of March “while supplies last”. The special brings down the price of the semi-dedicated package to $23.97 monthly for life.

    Alex in Colorado

  16. Scot Says:

    Yeah, JaguarPC is always running a special, is what I’ve noticed. The price doesn’t matter to me that much in this price range. I really need a webhost with robust MySQL support. So many shared webhosts throttle everything back to nothingness in order to jam hundreds of shared users on one server. While JaguarPC does appear to offer some difference on the web server, my sense is that they’re still jamming together scores of MySQL databases on one server. That’s the pressure point for my sites.

    On the dedicated/managed side, the costs are much higher. For example, on lunarpages, which someone recommended above, my minimum monthly fee for managed would be $140 a month, and to improve the RAM on the server from 512K to 1GB would cost me $20 a month in perpetuity. What a rip-off. And this isn’t limited to lunarpages. I’ve seen this same come-on with many other dedicated/managed webhosting packages. It’s highway robbery. I’d like a host that deals straight with me and stop nickel and diming me for every stupid little thing.

    LilBambi, I looked at Mosso. I love the Rackspace connection, but the site is extremely vague about service levels and really any sort of specifics. Reading their FAQs, it’s filled with little witticims about how limitations in their service offering are actually “benefits” in your favor. Advertising 101. My sense with Mosso is that they evolved a marketing plan, and they’re inflexible. You do it the Mosso way — complete with their wizard-based control panel functions — or the highway. But do you know anyone who has Mosso service? You may know more about it.

  17. Ross Says:

    Scot,

    I thought I’d chime in here as I run a website that recommends web hosting. One thing I noticed in your post you put high bandwidth limits or unlimited bandwidth. There is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth and high traffic hosts for a cheap price are typically unreliable.

    If you want some decent hosts then you should check out:
    http://www.medialayer.com (i use them and they are great for forums)
    http://www.precisioneffect.com
    http://www.asmallorange.com
    http://www.unitedhosting.com
    http://www.doreo.com
    http://www.downtownhost.com
    etc.

    Check out my site if you want some more recommendations.

  18. JEfromCanada Says:

    I was drawn to this site because of your discussion about Online Armour vs. Comodo. I then saw this post and decided to register and comment.

    I use 110mb.com as a free host for some of my domains. Although they don’t support all features you require, they recommend a paid hosting plan offered by http://www.anhosting.com

    You might want to check our their offering.

  19. Kingpcgeek Says:

    It is time to step up and play with the big boys and get a dedicated server. I did the shared hosting thing for a while because I was afraid to mange my own server, but when I was running $2000 a month in excess bandwidth charged I jumped ship to a dedicated server and never looked back.

    I use Windows hosting and the problems with it are grossly exaggerated. A fully patched firewalled Windows 2003 servers is just as secure as a Linux server. You can install MySql or SQL Server Express for free.

    I have been with theplanet.com for years and have been very happy. They are the largest out there are are not going anywhere. You get get servers starting at $70 a month and they do offer Plesk and 750GB of bandwidth.

    First time posting here. When I was writing this post I had to turn off the fancy editor. It would not let me type a small c. A capital C was no problem.

  20. AussieRodney Says:

    Try http://www.servage.net, use coupon code CUST12585.

    You don’t need me to sell them, I know you’ll check it for yourself anyway!

  21. rschumaker Says:

    I just got snagged on a Terms of Service technicality that I never new existed with hostgator.com. They have a 50,000 “inode” limit, regardless of the amount of space you are using.

    When I received my nasty-gram, I was at over the 540,000 files/inode level – although I was far below my max space limits. Each file counts as an inode so a 10 kb file is measured the same as a 10 mb file. I am working toward reducing my count but it doesn’t take many Fantastico scripts to get to 50,000 in short order.

    This is definitely a terms that anyone looking for a host should keep an eye out for.

  22. open4biz Says:

    When you say ‘semi-dedicated’, you mean a VPS plan or Virtual Private Server plan. They dedicate a portion of the server, memory and HD to you. That’s the intermediary plan between a shared hosting plan and a dedicated server.

    My question to you is: why have you not migrated to a dedicated server plan by now? I researched hosting plans last years and after seeing the priceing to features ratio, the dedicated plans were a no-brainer. I spend $59 a month for my own 2.0Ghz Celeron server, Linux (Fedora Core 6), Plesk, 512MB ram, an 80GB HD and 500GB montly bandwidth. I get root level access and control of the setup.

    Two good companies for this are:

    ServerADay.com (run by OLM.net) – 2500GB transfer a month(!)
    Aplus.net

    I currently use APlus.net and will be switching to OLM in a couple months.

    Hope that helps.

    -Ansel

  23. John259 Says:

    Have you checked WestHost http://www.hosthost.net ? I don’t know enough to say if they’d meet all your requirements, but they have a section on their forum where prospective customers can ask technical questions. So far they’ve served my much less sophisticated requirements entirely to my satisfaction. HTH, John

  24. HiltonT Says:

    The big question I have is why are you looking for a shared server when a dedicated server would best suit your needs, and also why are you looking for something with a crappy control panel interface when you can just get a dedicated server, install FreeBSD, OpenBSD or one of the 14.7 Trillion flavors of Linux on it and run the whole thing yourself?

  25. JA Says:

    Have you looked at pair.com? They have excellent, very thorough and promptly responding techs when you have a problem. They host thousands of sites world wide.

  26. RabidWolf Says:

    You are looking for a shared server because this is not a huge enterprise newsletter with tons of cash to burn, right? đŸ˜‰

    I’m using Powweb.com for one of my tiny, never-visited, waste of money, websites. They had a hands free WordPress that I took, and so they obviously take MySql. I am thinking of moving my other, slightly-more used websites when my I have to renew my domain-name for it, which was a 10-year thing. I don’t see my renewing with Web.com, which is overpriced and not what Interland was.

    Just an FYI/some more stuff for you to slog thru!

  27. L5eoneill Says:

    I second the recommendation of http://site5.com hosting. Excellent features and resources. Been using them for 6 or 7 years now. Unlimited email, domain pointers, you manage your MySQL users, FTP users, etc. I think you’ll find all you want there.

  28. Rebus Says:

    Check out Jumpline.com I’ve been using them for years with virtually no downtime, rapid tech support, virtual dedicated hosts (VDS), MySQL, multiple domain hosting for the price of one, multiple E-mail accounts, competitive pricing, web application installation, webstats, etc.

    Scott

  29. Silvertip Says:

    You might want to check out Crystal Tech. I have been pleased with them and I believe they meet many of your criteria, although you are the one who has to determine that.

  30. leland Says:

    I have had good luck with totalchoicehosting.com and they have great support. Plus they have a good forums for asking questions that can be quite helpful. We used to use them where I work before they decided they wanted a bigger hosting company and we moved over to Verio. They are good but a lot more expensive and in my opinion Total Choice Hosting was at least as good as Verio. Good luck with your search.

  31. JA Says:

    Hi again, so many interesting, intelligent and thoughtful comments. I hope you will let us all know where you end up with your choice of hosts and why.

  32. worm1000 Says:

    Hi Scott.
    I really like bluehost found at
    http://www.bluehost.com/
    They have great support, plenty of php databases they use c pannel for the control pannel but I really think you should take a look at bluehost.
    I’ve referred 4 friends over to them and I really like there service.

  33. Peench Says:

    I was very interested in this topic when I received the newsletter notice as our website is currently hosted with someone with whom we are not very happy. I am happy that you will be reviewing hosts and trying to find someone that offers all of the features you are looking for and I hope to learn from the investigation you perform. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when two people comment here recommending the very host we are trying to escape: Site5.

    To assist you in your investigation I offer you our experience. We signed up with Site 5 in October of 2006. We are currently on a shared reseller hosting plan with them. We have not resold or hosted any sites other than our primary. The server on which they initially had our site was overloaded and we were down regularly. No explanations were ever provided other than “apparently something happened, but it is running now….”

    Based on the consistent down time I requested the promised credits on our account. They refused in a manner that was clearly incorrect based on information published on their website. It was not until one of the owners got involved that a credit that was duly owing was issued. I note that they still have not updated their “terms” to reflect the interpretation they were attempting to force on us.

    Late last year Site 5 merged with The Planet (or are somehow sharing server space with them). The server on which they placed our site started off much more robust and was down much less frequently (for about 4 months). Unfortunately that changed. Apparently because Site 5 added more sites to the shared server. I say “apparently” because every time our site goes down the tech response is “there were load issues on the server caused by another site, but they have been corrected.” Yes, this generic response is provided every time despite my request for more pertinent information as to how they intend to correct the issue so it will not arise again. To compound frustration the technicians often fail to read the prior comments in a trouble ticket and ask questions for which answers have already been provided.

    I don’t want to further pontificate on the issue, but wanted to share the horrible support experience we have received with Site 5. Since two people recommended them I felt it necessary to provide you with concrete examples of why you may not want to pursue them.

    I look forward to your continued investigation with the knowledge that you will thoroughly review this issue and offer up useful and pertinent information to all of your readers. Thanks!

  34. Scot Says:

    When you say ’semi-dedicated’, you mean a VPS plan or Virtual Private Server plan. They dedicate a portion of the server, memory and HD to you. That’s the intermediary plan between a shared hosting plan and a dedicated server.

    Open4biz: No, I don’t mean VPS. Yes, you’re right that that’s the generic next level up before dedicated (although I think you’ll find that some shared hosting services employ that method too without telling their customers). My use of the term “semi-dedicated” refers to the marketing term used by JaguarPC. I was not pointing out a generic service, but talking about JaguarPC’s specific service level, where, as I said, they promise fewer clients per shared server. It’s not a new idea, but I’ve always liked the idea. The proof is in the pudding though.

    Why have you not migrated to a dedicated server plan by now? I researched hosting plans last years and after seeing the priceing to features ratio, the dedicated plans were a no-brainer. I spend $59 a month for my own 2.0Ghz Celeron server, Linux (Fedora Core 6), Plesk, 512MB ram, an 80GB HD and 500GB montly bandwidth. I get root level access and control of the setup.

    I have covered this shared vs. dedicated vs. managed debate in the past, so I’ll make this brief. In a nutshell: Dedicated is not for me. I’m not looking to become my own sys admin. I have enough to do as it is. The last thing I want to worry about is security patches for my server OS and supporting applications (like Apache, PHP, MySQL, etc.). I need to focus what little moonlighting time I have away from Computerworld researching and writing stories, not messing around with my server.

    Managed hosting would be the right solution for me. It combines the best aspects of shared and dedicated hosting, but it also starts around $150 a month — way beyond the means of a labor-of-love enterprise like Scot’s Newsletter. Believe me, I’d do this if I could afford it; I looked at it very closely before I made the jump to IX a couple of years ago.

    In my ideal world, I’d have something like Rackspace’s managed plan (last I checked, something like $400 a month, but it may be more than that now). But there are many, many other webhosts that offer decent managed service. I’m just not in that league at this time. Note that I eliminated all advertising but ad programs (like Google AdSense) recently. I haven’t even been coming after SNB’s audience for donations much over the last year or two. I’m trying to make the site live within its means.

  35. chriscjd Says:

    I wish you luck with your search, there are so many out there…

    I use, and have switched a number of my clients over to: http://www.1and1.com/?k_id=9025464

    I have been using the Linux Business Package for years now, which provides lots of space/features at a great price.

    Check it out…

  36. JanCounselor Says:

    Recommended to me by a friend who knows, (one of two), and I’ve been with them since mid-January, and though not yet completed my large transition, I’ve had good vibes and experience with Brent Oxley, the boss at Hostgator.com. He communicates with me directly, usually within 24 hours, and ends every email with “Thank you for allowing me to work with you!” Now that’s a service attitude!

    I didn’t research and am not technical enough to know all your parameters, but feel sure you’d want to do that yourself. Good luck.

  37. pja Says:

    Scott,

    I have been using A Small Orange (http://asmallorange.com/) for several years now. The service is good, with only several minor problems (generally server outages). The range of features is very extensive and the price is reasonable.

    Highly recommended.

    Peter

  38. Peter Says:

    Scott,

    As a follow up you might like to look at these three sites that do hosting comparisons:

    BestHostRatings – http://www.besthostratings.com/
    Hosting Comparison – http://www.hosting-comparison.com/
    Hosting Review – http://hostingreview.com/

    Regards,
    Peter

  39. Gary Says:

    I would have to assume that the web hosting problem has been fixed by now. The current problem and a lack of a professional reason as to why the Forum is down leaves allot to be desired. The we will be back when we wnat to attitude does not cut it.

    http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b243/TK-1913/759507a0.png

    If the forum is to be brought back on line a better message than the above should be posted. If not then post a message that it is shutdown.

  40. Scot Says:

    Gary, you’re being a twit.

    I will handle the forums as I see fit for the safety and well being of all who are members. This will be explained when the forums re-opens. The website problem has not been fixed by now.

    Any time you would like to donate $500 a month for dedicated hosting on Rackspace (or you and a hundred friends), please let me know. Until then, cut the attitude and be patient. I’m working on a lot more than just changing webhosts.

    — Scot

  41. Gary Says:

    Scot,

    OK so I am a twit. But there are others that have already removed your site from their bookmarks.

    Scot’s Newsletter Forums is offline until further notice. My apologies for this interruption. It may be several hours, days, or weeks. We shall return.

    Even a Twit such as me knows that the above message is not professional. It does not live up to the standards set up by The Highlanders. I know that your working on a lot more than web hosting, that is not my point, and the fact that your forum is down is also not my point. The only point is that the message that one sees is not professional and makes one believe that we will be back online when we feel like it.

    I cannot care less if it does take weeks months or even years before it comes back on line. The Net and myself and others will do just fine without Scot’s Forums. Have a great day.

    -Gary

  42. Scot Says:

    Gary:

    I don’t know what “unprofessional” means in this context. The message is truthful. I don’t know when the forums will return. I’m working on it. I will reopen it when it’s the right thing to do. Or, yes, when I feel like it. Although this is not about whimsy on my part, believe me, nor is it something I don’t care about. The message doesn’t signal lack of urgency on my part. What it does signal is that I don’t know how long it will take.

    Your sense of entitlement is palpable and, I think, wholly misplaced. This forum is a non-profit labor of love that exists because I spend time and money to support it. It represents significant time away from my personal and professional lives. It’s time that is precious to me. Many of the forums mods and admins also donate significant personal time. What’s important to me is that the forums is safe, that people are safe viewing it, and that we protect the investment of 5+ years of a great community to ensure it continues. That is my responsibility. And I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that — regardless of what anyone thinks of me.

    So, I don’t really care if people are removing the forums from their bookmarks. I suggest that YOU do that, though. The place is about community, and from the start we’ve been looking for a positive, constructive community. I don’t really care how many people visit it. What I care about is that the people who do come enjoy it and find that it enriches their lives in some small way.

    Finally, it’s just a forums. It’s not life and death. You and everyone can live without it for a while. I don’t read the shutdown message the way you do. I’m sorry you think the message is flip. It was not meant to be. It was meant to be truthful without being scary. Saying something unfortunate with a twisted smile. Looking fate in the eyes and not flinching. I’m not sure whether it accomplishes that mission, but there’s nothing more in it. It’s possible others have read it the way you do — and if so I’d like to hear from them. But I haven’t had any other complaints. I will check in with a few key admins and see what they think.

    It doesn’t matter to me whether you disagree or give up on the forums. I’m sorry you’re angry because that was not the intent. But I’m doing the best I can. A little patience and some trust would be a better plan than lashing out at me because my message isn’t what you think it should be.

    — Scot

  43. Nnyan Says:

    Scott,

    I would recommend staying away from shared hosting, it’s really not geared for any volume. While you can be fine for awhile eventually you’ll hit a wall. If you’re not ready for dedicated server I would recommend getting a VPS account. It’s a middle ground between shared hosting and a dedi.

    I also highly recommend using a community like webhostingtalk.com to check out reviews of any host before you make a selection. Some of the good things about a VPS is that you get full root access and control of your “virtual” server, dedicated resources and the FULL features of CPanel (with shared hosting you get a very limited version with very few features) or any other control panel you choose. Nice thing is that most VPS providers allow you a choice in control panels.

    As far as Gary is concerned even the biggest websites have been hit with outages that have lasted days. These are huge companies with multi-million dollar web budgets. Things happen, get over it and move on already. Those of us that are a bit more realistic will be patient and will still be here.

  44. nedbek Says:

    Scot,

    Sorry for commenting on such an old post but I just thought I could provide some insight. If you ever need to look for another host again I would suggest searching for a provider that offers Litespeed web server. It offers all your requirements and more, including faster SSL for email use.

    A few hosts that I know that offer this:
    http://www.medialayer.com
    http://www.elief.com
    http://www.eleventwo.com

  45. Scot Says:

    Well, as it happens, I’m with MediaLayer — and have been for about four months, give or take. I’m very happy with them. Better security, superb customer service, and a good overall value.

    — Scot

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