I can only state my own experiences with Bluehost. As a longtime web designer I have been sending my clients to Bluehost for years. In fact I started a web service at that will do free setup and install of Wordpress if you open a account with Bluehost. I like to keep all my clients in one place. I have had no problems with Bluehost over the past five years. If a client's website starts to get many hits and more traffic than a standard shared hosting account can handle I then move them over to a real VPS. But if your just starting out Bluehost and a service like mine is a good choice.
I noticed a trend - I don't know if it's very new, but it can't be very old either - that quite a few people are looking for hosting and specifically ask that the host is not a reseller. Obviously they have somehow decided that a reseller is not a good choice for them.
A host that rents servers from a datacenter and then sells shared hosting and/or reseller hosting accounts or whatever other types of packages, is in fact reselling what it has bought from its provider. Despite that, it is generally regarded as a full-fledged host. Sure, they do take care that the servers are managed properly, that they are secure, they provide customer support, so they add to the original product that they have bought, but in essence they are resellers.
The first one is that the reliability, the uptime and server performance depend almost entirely on the upstream provider (the host behind the reseller). Considering that the reseller did a good job in finding a great upstream host, these things should be fine, but, unfortunately, in their search to get the best deal out there, many hosting resellers (if not most of them) end up being hosted for just a few bucks a month on highly overcrowded servers with stability and performance problems, frequent downtime etc. which will in turn translate into poor service for the end user.
The other major concern is the knowledgeability of the reseller. The very ease of becoming a reseller and the fact that almost anyone, or, as a WebHostingTalk user said it once, "anybody and his dog", can be a reseller, makes it very hard for some to trust a hosting reseller.
I would never say a reseller is a bad choice, but some things are not to be expected from a reseller. For example most resellers are a one man show and thus 24/7 365 days a year support can not be achieved without outsourcing some of it. This however is not a very cost effective solution for low volumes and this is why most resellers provide all the support themselves, which will obviously not be 24/7.
Also a reseller has only so much freedom on the server. A reseller cannot do some things and has to ask his own host to do them for him. That means it will take longer for those things to get solved.
On the plus side, a reseller often gets to know his customers and their needs and the client-reseller relationship often gets quite close. A friendly tone is worth for some people more than a 99.99% uptime statistic. If you're one of those people a reseller could very well be the right choice.
I am running some blogs on JustHost, a WordPress Web Hosting recommended by WordPress. You can visit my JustHost Review for reference.
I have a pro-bono client...a gardening group, say 200 or so not-too-tech savvy folks who need hosting. A very small (16M) simple-minded site with 2-3 PHP scripts for form responses and a Gmail userid for receiving public questions and answering them. Okay? They need a site where, if I get run over by a semi, they can take over for awhile if needed, until they find someone else.
ASO is only for ubergeeks, as I've seen in their forum (especially), their wiki, and somewhat in their tech support. Even *I* am no ubergeek, much less, my clients. Hostgator for their smallest plan, at the $4.95 price requires 3-years up front, else $8.95 per year: a bit much for my not-for-profit group. (And Lifehacker says, Hostgator is just a reseller for The Planet...)
I am about to outgrow my current server and want to upgrade to a set-up with one web server (my current one) and a new separate database server. I am very happy with my current host (Liquidweb) and want to stay with them. So I need to decide which option from them will best suit my needs.
1 - I have a standard LAMP website, but with a fairly large db and plans to add others. My understanding is that the biggest factor in db performance will be the amount of RAM I have installed. They offer a Q6600 Quad Core that will take 8GB of RAM. The only other servers they have which take more than 4GB cost at least $180/month more. I donât think the extra CPU will make much difference, and I am hoping that 8GB will be enough RAM for a good while (my current box has 2GB, but that isnât really enough anymore). So I think that my choice is obvious, but I recognize that I am really only guessing and would appreciate any advice about whether or not this would, in fact, be the best server for me.
2- I can order the server with a 32 or 64 bit OS for the same price. I donât have any idea regarding which would be better. I donât know which system my current server is running or whether both boxes need to have the same OS. Also, I am currently running MySQL4 but will probably upgrade the new server to 5. I have read elsewhere that there is a 64 bit version of MySQL that is needed to make maximum use of installed RAM, but I really donât understand all the issues involved here. Is there something I need to know before I set this server up to make sure that I get maximum performance from it? I will, of course, also be running PHP on it.
As you see, my understanding of server requirements is very limited.
I saw an alphared banner the other day here on WHT, and checked out their prices, and WOW (Yes, I know the old adage...I don't need to hear it...)
I did some searching and read all about the drama that happened around them several years ago. I'm not interested in that. I want to know how they are now. Has the level of service gone up or is it still in the crapper?
I'm in the market for a dedicated server once more, and since Theplanet was going down hill the last time I was there (9 months ago), I don't imagine they've gotten much better (After the merger with Ev1).
So I need to find a new datacenter, however my problem is... I'm unsure what I want to go for - currently I have $1200 that I can dedicate to a server, so a 6 or 12 month plan would be ideal or possibly even co-location. As for the actual SERVER - I need a place that offers Linux/BSD, cPanel, at least 2gB of memory, and half way decent processors. Any help would be appreciated - the only datacenters I have been with over the past 5 years are Ev1/Rackshack, and Theplanet/Servermatrix.
I'm moving to another server in the next day. I've got a choice for an operating system (as I did last time). I thought I'd ask for opinions, thoughts, and experiences with the choices.
FreeBSD Fedora Core 7 CentOS
A little info about the sites. I host 2 Gallery sites, a fairly popular Drupal based site, a relatively static PHP site, and soon and osCommerce powered site. I use PHP and MySQL a good bit. The server is managed by Plesk 8.3 right now. Which takes me to my other question.
What other control panels are available that offer good feature sets and low overhead (resource wise)? I'm impressed with the look of Plesk, but the workings leave something to be desired. My server comes with Plesk unless I tell them otherwise. They don't offer an alternate control panel solution.
As far as technical knowledge goes, I work with Linux (SLES/SLED) on a fairly regular basis. So I'm not a complete rookie. But I definitely don't consider myself an expert.
I run a Travel and Tourism Agency and plan to host my website online so that my potential customers will be able to book tickets, reserve hotel rooms, rent cars etc. My website will be built using PHP with MySQL at the backend. I plan on targeting mainly customers within the UK at first but will expand soon.
I expect to be getting around 10,000 visitors a month to start with and will expand rapidly. What Webhost should I be looking at? What are the things that I need to look out for specifically? Should I go for Shared or VPS?
I have an IBM System x3250 Intel Xeon 3040 Dual Core 1.87GHz/1066MHz FSB, 2x1MB L2 cache 2x512MB 667MHz PC2-5300 ECC DDR2 SDRAMs/8GB Max (4 DIMM) 250GB Simple Swap SATA HDD
This is mainly going to run MySQL database for my e-newsletter application. I do an email blast of about 100,000 email at a time about 3 times a week. Every clicks and every opens of newsletter will be recorded in the database. Is this server a right choice?
I'd like to start an ongoing thread here listing the 'Good Hosters with Good TELEPHONE tech support'. In other words, out of the 1,000s of host companies, this may cut it down to less than a dozen.
( And for all you Hosters out there who really want your company to grow, and want to know how, - it's easy: just read here.)
Good telephone support is the #1 ultimate requirement, because:
-It's a lot faster and easier for both the user and the host company, because you can state and answer all questions and clarifications on the spot, you don't need to continually pass new emails with new questions and clarifications, back and forth for days on end, until the issue is solved. It saves tech time and user's time. And saves a lot of nerves.
- It's the best way to sort the good guys from the bad. A bad company isn't going to bother to answer the phone, - or will make you wait way too long, - because they are likely getting endless complaints. The good guys are always ready to answer the phones, with a friendly voice, - because they really WANT to please the customer.
- If a company can't be bothered to pick up the phone, we can't be bothered to even consider them. They're a joke, and so won't be listed here on this thread. (So, before adding or listing any Hosters here, please verfify that they do have Good, quick, friendly, telephone support,; ideally 24/7, but 9am to 10pm might be acceptable, if it was supplemented by some emergency contact. AND:
- Hoster ALSO needs good EMAIL support (and preferably, Chat online, extended hour availability). (I spend a lot of time overseas). It sems all emails should get a non-automated response within about an hour, - and then support should jump on fixing any problem.
I only need support a few times a year. To answer some questions, or fix a problem, or do an install. That's lesss than 1 hour total, so any company paying maybe $18/hour tech support should be able to handle this. It IS reasonable to charge a custm for extended calls, beyond say, 90minutes a year, IF you don't count the 80%? Of times an issue is the Hoster;s fault of stmg gone wrong, and don't count the 'hold' times.
ALSO IMPORTANT: - Uptime - site Speeds - Monthly plans, no contract (Only a dishonest host will try to force you into a contract, where they can then ignore you.) - Reasonable price. (? Maybe $12 to $18/month for a basic business site. We don't need massive bandwitdths, - we all know that's an overselling scam, and can't ever be delivered.) - a good upgrade plan of bigger options. Maybe even VPS. - Dedicated IP, and availbility of SSL -PHP 5, mysql, phpMyAdmin, etc - cPanel ( Some Hosts are using problematic panels, like Hsphere, which are slow to load, slow in operation, require many more clicks, have too many options, spread apart on many separate pages. Time is money, and this really slows down the ability of a small business to manage his own site in effective time. For example, one WHT user wrote somewhere: "I don't feel that HSphere's interface is nice at all, although I have worked with cPanel and DA all my life... I just found it to include un-necessary features or split features up in to different hard to find pages, such as backups - mysql backups you had to find on a completely different page than file backups, and then there were options to have it in the home directory or server-end backup, in which then you had to wait a good 10 minutes before it was ready. cPanel, just hit backup and hit download and instantly it does everything you need...".
I have used several hosters. Currently on Aplus.net and Godad, which have phone support, and mediocre service.
My LIST So Far: - Liquidweb: a very impressive company with good, 24 hour support. But to get dedicated IP, you need to go with their $25/month plan. Yikes! - NewIdeaHosting.com. A very small company. My call was returned, and the owner chatted with me for an hour on the phone! Plans have small bandwidth, but promises No overselling, and personalized attention. Extra $5 for dedi IP. He specializes in Small business sites, and small eCommerce sites. He has only 250 accounts, on 3 servers. He rents servers from the Equinox data center of Chicago. Seems exceptionaly honest. - MegaHosters. Excellent phone support and WHT reviews. But company was taken over by another company, and so may well go downhill in future. Another problem: uses Hsphere. - Steadfast. Has a good rep on WHT, and seems impressive. Tech answered the phone immediately, but they say they prefer emails. Sales phone has limited hours. Good price on $20 SSL. But, uses Hshhere. - JodoHost 24 hour phone. But, uses Hsphere. An Indian company with office in Florida, and good rep. I like the idea of outsourcing phone support, if it makes it more available and affordable. But, the accent on the phone was very hard for me to understand, so maybe this might not work..... - Hostgator. Yes, it's a big overseller, but seems to get good reviews/results anyway, and good phone support. - ? ThePrimeHost ?? Mostly good WHT reviews; some dissenters. Site says 24hour phone, but when I called on several nights, no one ever answered... - Can anyone add to this list? Please list only hosts that meet the above minimum requirements of phone support, etc. Especially useful is hosters you've tried. TO AVOID: - Avoid Arvixe. I had a horrid experience with them, here: [WHT forum]:/showthread.php?p=5097822#post5097822 - Avoid WebHostingBuzz. This company never returned my phone msessage inquiries.
There seems to be a lot of negative press for bluehost... are they really that bad? Or was it a short period they went though? The bigger a service is, the more people there are so the higher the odds are of someone having a bad experience... have they really gone downhill?
So when you got a website for a service and it says "$6 per month for 3 years" would you take that as they charge you monthly, $6?
Well Bluehost doesn't. They charged me $250 and I didn't realize what they were doing until the charge went through.
I called within 24 hours and spoke to billing. I cancelled the entire service. She said it was only a "hold" on my account and she would make the hold credit me back and it would be done within a few hours and that I would receive an email from her confirming. Well, I got another confirmation email NOT a we are cancelling the service email.
Then, one $250 charge dropped off... AND TWO MORE APPEARED.
In one of the confirmation emails they sent there was an email address for the help desk. So I emailed this to them. I am not speaking to them on the phone. I want it in writing this time. Two seconds after I sent the email I got an auto response telling me they don't read the email and I must formally put in a ticket.
I didn't think I would be able to since my account was supposed to be cancelled. Well, it did let me log in. She didn't cancel it and if she did she went and put it back in again twice.