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Web Hosting Thoughts
I’ve had a bit of experience with a plethora of web hosting companies over the years and thought I’d post some of my thoughts and experiences over the years.
Speaking of “a plethora of web hosting companies” here are the ones I’ve dealt with over the years (that I can remember) in order of when I had my very first family website with e-access.net:
e-access.net – had our family website here for about 3 years starting around 1998. Their site hasn’t changed since.
hostonce.com – BAD COMPANY. Lots of downtime, terrible support.
cfm-resources.com – a bit of downtime
ehostingbiz.com – pretty good product and support
worldwebhosters.com – bad support and product
host4students.com – very short stay
prowebspace.com – started off really well, but couldn’t handle growth and had lots of unexplained downtime and data loss
dathorn.com – Very happy with them, but outgrew their services after a bit over a year
I’ve now moved to a server that provides me with way more resources, features, and access than I’ve ever had before!
Update – 1/11/09:
Boy, I haven’t touched this page in a while! I’ve been at my current datacenter for almost 5 years and couldn’t be happier. I’m paying a premium for top of the line hardware, management, and trunk internet connections, but it is worth it to have the security and scalability, especially as BYC grows.
One thing that has been frustrating over the years, especially since taking on BYC, is dealing with some people that don’t have server management experience that say, “Why not use one of those unlimited hosting plans for $5.00 a month!?” It is really hard to convey to some people that these cheap plans are usually provided by companies that are overselling their servers.
I learned the hard way that these cheap plans (50 GB disk space and 500 GB transfer) are perfect for a family, hobby, small business site, but try loading a CPU / Memory intensive database driven website and you’ll quickly get a SUSPENDED notice from the host and wake up to 300 emails from clients and site visitors (I know from experience). You, like me, will say, “But I didn’t go over my disk space or bandwidth!!!???”. The host will either not answer you or will say that you need to get a dedicated server (I’ve received that email a few times too).
There is a light at the end of this tunnel! Every once in a while I run across members of my communities with server management and/or large website hosting experience and find that they totally get it. They empathise with me and know that as the site’s usage grows linearly that the complexity of running the services and keeping them up, along with other challenges grow exponentially.
Update – 3/05/11: I’ve been with my webhost for 6.5 years now. I’ve upgraded many many times with them. I’m on a pretty beefy dedicated server and am really happy with the experience. I always try to put off having to upgrade, but every time I do I say, “Dang, I should have done this months ago!” The extra headroom of a larger box is always a breath of fresh air!