Monday, January 17, 2007 | Posted by Jay
When you actually go around searching for a good one you're usually so lost in all the deceptive ads that you're not sure what's good anymore. That plus all those promo codes and rebate deals floating around and you're pretty much gone.
Really, it reminds me of the scramble before college application deadlines. To sort of counter that I've decided to write a list of all the bad-to-okay hosts I've ever been with (or who knows, it might end up creating even more confusion).Dreamhost
For those of you who browse around design forums a lot, or at least the ones that I browse through, you may have heard of Dreamhost already. I've heard some pretty good reviews for them, and it's not hard to hear since they happen to be a rather large hosting company. They do have fast support (they reply within 24 hours usually) and they even have a site for all their errors/downtimes
and another site for all the FAQs that come through
. However, they've also got a few downfalls:
- Support is fast, but it's email-only. You don't want someone like that. When you see a host with an 800-phone number (and it works!) you know they're likely to be a lot more serious about customer support.
- Dreamhost uses a very awkwardly-organized Control Panel. Rather than ease-of-use, it makes things even more confusing - sometimes they'll have little sections describing one feature you can use, you click on it, and oops! This section has been taken down and merged with some other section! Please go to [insert some other link here].
- During the year I was with Dreamhost, my site wasn't down much. But it did hit frequent phases of slowness.... Like go to the restroom and come back and the page is still loading.
- If you're looking into scripting or webprogramming, don't use Dreamhost! I can't tell you how many times I was delayed from testing scripts because of "Server Temporarily Down" errors. And oftentimes a script, which tested perfectly fine before and checked out, would suddenly not work under the same testing conditions - working code doesn't suddenly not work on its own.
By far, the worst host I've ever had is HostingInsiders.
- Support STINKS. They have a contact form - that's it. And here's the best part - they never reply when you have a problem! If you go to their site right now and look at their contact page, you'll notice a line that wasn't there when I was with them: "IMPORTANT: Please keep in mind that emails can get lost. There may be temporary technical problems with your or our mailserver or a spam filter on your end may be blocking our response. If you do not receive a response within 24 to 48 hours please send your request again preferably from another email address hosted with a different ISP." In other words, your problem might never even reach them! Thank you for providing us with such an efficient means of support!
- "Our network uptime is above 99.9%. We do not offer an uptime guarantee for single servers but our average server uptime is above 99.8%.
My site was down frequently - sometimes for 1 hour, sometimes for 5...sometimes a whole day. 99.9% uptime per year = maximum 8.76 hours of downtime; 1% downtime per year = 87.6 hours downtime, roughly 3.5 days. The net time my site was down was almost a week. The math is there.
The only real reason I left Freepgs was because they had an 'act-of-god' incident that messed up their pace - a fire destroyed a big chunk of their hubs, resulting in loss of data, tons of downtime...and an infinite number of other problems. However, before all that happened they were pretty good about keeping out of your hair while providing fairly good service.
Since the fire incide they've made a nice comback, or so I've heard anyways (I haven't gone back to them since I left). I have a friend who still uses them and is still very happy with their service.
- Awesome deal if you've got light pockets. One-time payment service (as in no monthly fees etcetc!). It's not a whole lot of space, but it's a really good deal for the price they're asking for.
- Excellent for newbie webdesigners and more advanced designers looking for some extra cheap space for sideline work. I would recommend it.
- Their support is kinda community-knit if you take a look at their forums. But introduce yourself and as long as you don't act like the world revolves around you, you'll probably fit right in.
Ranked #1 on quite a few webhost review sites. But then again those sites have have developed quite a reputation for being biased and corrupted.
IXWebhosting is what I'm currently using, and I'm about 87% happy with their service. I hear from some people that my site's pretty slow sometimes, and other times there are moments where the site just suddenly goes down (no more than a few hours, and this only happens every few months).
I have complained to them before about an exceptionally longer downtime period, and they've agreed to give me an extra month of hosting free of charge, so they are reasonable people who are trying (and succeeding 95% of the time). Overall...
- Fair service. You get what you paid for for the most part.
- They are expensive but they give you large helpings of everything for your trouble.
- Their control panel is pretty standard, but slow. That's probably one of their most fatal flaws - slow control panel. But then again I don't use it all that much so it's tolerable.
- Support requires a process, but they're pretty good about getting back to you quickly.
That's all the complaining I'll do for now. I've just signed up with a new host, so we'll see how that goes.
After going through all these hosts, I've concluded that even when they promise 99% uptime etc (or even 100% uptime...which is pure BS) they're still only humans trying to make a business. It's nearly impossible to find the ideal host. You can only try some and get some.
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Who is behind TJN?
Read more about Jay
My name is Jay Lee, and I have traveled to the East Coast of the United States, studied in Kyoto, Japan for a time, and currently live in Southern California.
My preferred art mediums include: digital on adobe products, corel, web; fine on oil-on-canvas or charcoal; photography in black and white, with a focus on portraiture and music; and classical music on piano.
I work as a graphic designer and web developer with a primary interest in marketing, advertising, and business.