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Finding Web Hosting

Lorelle is having issues with her web host, and wanted suggestions on what host to switch to. People have many answers, but they are sometimes conflicting. Is Dreamhost good or bad?

No, I’m not moving Lorelle on WordPress. In spite of the limitations, I adore blogging on my WordPress.com blog.

However, for over three years I’ve been dealing with a web host from hell for several of my other blogs.

It began with promises of less than 24 hours to activate my site and transfer the domain which turned into six weeks of hell, excuses, and lousy customer support. The horrors continued with massive site downtimes, excuses for lousy service, failure to upgrade PHP, MySQL, and Apache so I couldn’t even have permalinks until recently, copy and paste online technical support, and then the killer of lowering the database access level without warning by over 75% and claiming that one of my blogs crashed the shared database and I was to blame. They lowered the number. They continue to blame WordPress and my blog for being the troublemaker. I’ve had WordPress experts go in and dig around and all come up with the answer that this web host sucks.

Well, I suggest that web directories are a helpful tool in assessing if a host is good or not. I suggest checking out the Web Hosting Directory that Blog Flux has as a good start. There are more and more reviews on there each day about different companies.

It definitely helps to get an overall picture of a host before signing up with them. While I am sure everyone has a recommendation on which host to pick, I am more interested in why people pick a certain host. Did you deal with their customer service early on, and have a great experience? Were you given a test account? What made you pick a host, other than cost?

Categories: Blogging Tools

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Comments

  1. Lorelle says: 3/30/2007

    Those are EXACTLY the questions I want answered, too. It’s one thing to read the propaganda reports and another to get the inside info from those who really use it.

    A lot of people go for cheap, but I need flexibility and intermediate strength, not GoDaddy stuff. ;-)

    I do not hop hosts. In the past 10 years I’ve had two web hosts. Both were “top of the lists”. I left the first one after a buyout changed everything, making it too expensive and too limited for the price, and the customer service went straight downhill. The second one, now, is just lousy with customer support and hosting inconsistencies. With my big mouth, you would think someone would love having me on their side. ;-)

    It’s such a difficult decision. A part of me misses the days of walking into a store and judging quality by the people I met and the look of the store.

    Reply

  2. Steven says: 3/30/2007

    I would have to recommend the hosting company I use as Lunarpages has proven to be an exception company to deal with. I won’t even post my affiliate link either :) http://www.lunarpages.com

    Reply

  3. David Peralty ) says: 3/30/2007

    Steven, if you have examples that kind of information would help. I think we need to see more reviews on hosts that contain success stories or tell it like it is.

    Lorelle – I totally feel your pain. One suggestion is if the host as a forum for support and whatnot, check that out to see how many things have come up and if they’ve been resolved fast. Picking hosting can be one of the hardest things to do. I would give out some recommendations, but honestly… I have none. The hosts that I have used have not lived up to my expectations, save one company, and they are a pretty small time operation, and fairly expensive.

    I can only stress again, research, research, research!

    Reply

  4. David Evans says: 3/30/2007

    MediaTemple. Go look at their client list. The new Grid Computing system and containers for databases, Ruby, etc have gone through the beta phase and are now mostly live. Incredible service, great knowledgebase and the admin panel is tops. People argue hosts all the time because they personally have so much invested in their often-less-than-stellar host.

    Me, I’ve had 10 hosts the last 10 years. I’ll be at MT in 10 years I think. They are that good, and far ahead of the competition.

    Reply

  5. Dawud Miracle says: 3/30/2007

    I use DreamHost. Very few problems with them. Sometimes, their servers seem a bit sluggish – especially the mail servers. And periodically I get some odd error with not connecting to the database. But all-in-all, I’m pretty happy with them.

    AND, I’m not opposed to moving servers if someone has something better.

    Reply

  6. David Peralty ) says: 3/30/2007

    David Evans – I have heard from more and more people lately that MT is the new DreamHost, with outages and service problems, especially with their new more affordable Grid Computing…

    And Dawud Miracle – Don’t get me started on DH… Their control panel, though recently updated, is still garbage compared to Cpanel, and they limit connections, which meant that on one of my sites, a percentage of people trying to visit my site thought that it was down…

    Reply

  7. Doug Karr says: 3/30/2007

    I found my host, http://jumpline.com, by scouring through mounds of data at http://netcraft.com. I did analysis on how many people were joining vs. leaving each host. Leaving a host is so painful, that I believe sites moving from one hos tto another are probably the perfect indicator of a bad host. Jumpline wasn’t the largest host, but their ratio of abandons was the lowest.

    That was about 4 years ago. I haven’t had a problem since.

    Reply

  8. Duncan says: 3/30/2007

    True
    DH isn’t the prettiest or the best looking, but dollar for dollar I’d think they are the best shared host out there, I’ve kept my shared account there despite having numerous dedicated servers now because I know they won’t let me down, and I’ve been through more web hosts than fingers on my hands so I’ve got a little authority on the matter :-)

    Reply

  9. Max Limpag says: 3/30/2007

    Hi David,
    A Small Orange is a good host—I’ve had no major problems in a year of hosting with them. Aside from going through web hosting directories, you’d do well to monitor the uptime performance of sites hosted in these companies before you sign up with them. Here’s a post on how to do it. And here are the latest results.

    Reply

  10. David says: 3/31/2007

    I use Site5 for all my hosting. The big problem the I see from the hosting industry is the particular specs they choose to promote mean very little to bloggers.

    Take DH for example. They push their disk storage and monthly bandwidth. But should a blogger be worried more about database storage size, and number of people on each server? The fewer people sharing your server, the more access to processor and memory resources you have for your site, which is exactly what WordPress requires.

    Make sure you ask how many people they have on their servers, and how much they are over-selling their resources…they all do it, just some do it less than others.

    Reply

  11. Han says: 4/2/2007

    I’ve had some bad experiences, first with webhost2’s downtime then with acehost deleting all my sql data, then I got suspended for sending over 200 emails an hour (which i wasn’t doing) then charging me for it, twice! After that I left! I’m with resellerzoom atm.

    Reply

  12. Jesse says: 4/5/2007

    I DO NOT recommend using Media Temple. Their new grid server is extremely slow and I had a lot of problems with database connections with them. There were a lot of timeouts and downtimes.

    They used to have great customer server and fast loads, but I think they may be a bit overwhelmed these days and the service has suffered.

    Reply

  13. DM Web Directory says: 4/30/2007

    I use Hostgator and am very happy with their service. I have used Dreamhost and Godaddy in the past.

    Godaddy is a total peice of -insert bad word here-.

    Dreamhost was ok until I ran into problems trying to get unique C class IP’s.

    Hostgator just added a feature that allows unique C IP’s, so I am happy.

    Reply

  14. Shaun (GadgetGuy) says: 7/2/2007

    hi, I only cam across after having a look through your site looking for info on blog editors (ie desktop applications.)

    I have to say straight out that I’m currently with DreamHost but have not had any problems … yet.

    The two other web hosts I have been with in the last 5 years, were both horrible.

    SmartyHost: A local Aussie host. Extremely expensive and horrible support.

    3ix: Crap, why you ask? Because not only do they allow repeated root level hacking, their support in relation to basic server issues is less than helpful. Whats worse is when they nod their head adimittedly denying any security breaches only after speaking to the 3rd representative who says their was a server issue.

    Feel free to drop me a line if you require any further details or feel free to check out my blog.

    Thanks,
    Shaun (aka GadgetGuy)

    Reply

  15. Vassilis says: 9/16/2007

    Nice…

    Reply

  16. Paul Hartrick says: 10/8/2007

    Hi All, I also use smartyhost for my WP blog, I cannot get permalinks working after trying every solution described on the web. Can somebody please advise if it is smartyhost and how to get the permalinks working on smartyhost. I read abaove “failure to upgrade PHP, MySQL, and Apache so I couldn’t even have permalinks until recently” which means permalinks eventually worked on smartyhost but I cannot get it working.
    thanks in advance.

    Reply

  17. sohbet says: 7/23/2008

    Those are EXACTLY the questions I want answered, too. It’s one thing to read the propaganda reports and another to get the inside info from those who really use it

    Reply

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