ho-ho-hosting woes


After too many years of billing errors, DNS outages, and other woes, I've finally moved lawley.net to a new hosting service...with other domains to follow suit shortly. It took a long time to find a place that would give me the range of services I need, at a reasonable price. On the "must have" list are mySQL, majordomo, telnet or SSH access, and plenty of storage space and transfer allotments. All that, and reliability and low price, too. Not an easy combination. CIHost had given me all the features I wanted for $23/month (quarterly), but the reliability just wasn't cutting it.

Spent a long time yesterday researching--from rating sites to company sites to google groups searches to find a place I might be happy parking my beloved domain names. Finally ended up with Web Intellects, which seems to have the right combination of price/performance/features to meet my demanding needs. Made the switch last night, reconfigured the DNS entry, and voilá voilà*! All seems to be well. Web site is up, majordomo lists are working, email accounts are all live.

The price is good...$24.95 for the "webmaster" account, which lets me host up to 5 different domains (real hosting for each, not redirection to a subdirectory). Not bad for only $1.95 increase in monthly cost. If I only had one domain, I could go with the $18.95 hosting version, which has the same feature set. And the reviews on webhostingratings.com are quite good. (I note that CIHost has "requested removal of reviews of its services." Why am I not surprised?) Keeping my fingers crossed...

The only snag was that my OS X beta version of Eudora (haven't paid for the upgrade) doesn't want to pick up mail using encryption. The good part is that's going to finally force me to make the switch to mail.app that I was going to make over the Thanksgiving break.
*<vent>It drives me nuts when people spell this "wah-lah" in their writing. I know it's petty, but for some reason it's become a linguistic hot-button for me. And I see it everywhere these days, it seems.</vent>


I pay $9.95/month for MySQL, PHP, 10 accounts (with shell, ftp, and e-mail), 400MB of storage and the ability to assign my own quotas, and something like 15GB or 30GB of traffic. Down side is I can't reach the server for a couple hours every day, something about a "faulty router". Oh well. At least my blog is hosted at school, where I can keep an eye on it.

I use ICD (http://ICDSoft.com). Only 5 Gigs of transfer (like I would ever use that :), but only $5 a month. I picked them because my old host was iffy on uptime. ICD, on the other hand, has something like 99.999% uptime over the last 1000 days. No shell access, but otherwise a nice deal.

If you've got a bunch of domains up, probably wouldn't have worked out for you--too late anyway!--but if students are looking, etc..

I looked at ICD...the lack of shell access was a deal-breaker for me. I really like being able to telnet in and set links, edit files, etc.

Few of the low-cost providers offer the combination of power-user tools (shell access, unrestricted CGI, php/mysql) *and* convenience tools (easy pop user configuration, web-based e-mail, majordomo mailing lists, etc). It's finding the right balance that's the biggest challenge.

Thanks for the suggestions, though. Every year I have my web design students do an in-class exercise where they have to evaluate hosting services and make a recommendation for the best price/performance combination given criteria that I set.

Actually, it's spelled voilà, with an "accent grave" over the A.

Aargh. Fixed it. I should know better.

There's clearly a variant of Murphy's Law that holds that any time you criticize something, you'll make an equally egregious error of your own. :-)

Thanks, Seb.

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This page contains a single entry published on December 24, 2002 1:14 PM.

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