* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Web hosts to avoid

I've been with ixwebhosting.com for quite a while now and at the beginning had no problems. Recently however, (since their move to a *new *improved data center) my site is either dead slow (0.5K/s downloads) or dead. Their responses to my support queries are all along the lines of "we are so sorry, we are monitoring the server, it should be better now" etc. etc. But nothing seems to change. This is not to mention all the problems I've had with emails.

Despite the inevitable pain it will bring, I am now looking for a new RELIABLE host to move my site to. I'd need at least 40GB bandwidth per month and about 400MB disk space.

Reliability is the most important thing for me and I'm prepared to pay for it. Any suggestions?
Dominic Send private email
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
 
 
Avoid Hostway.com - consistently bad levels of support when things do go wrong.

You don't mention if you want Linux or Windows hosting but I have moved over to powerdnn.com 6 months ago and have been very impressed. my last ticket (a question) was closed in <10 mins!
Grumpy Dude Send private email
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
 
 
Thanks Grumpy.

I'm looking for linux hosting, must have php, mysql (at least 5 databases).
Dominic Send private email
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
 
 
We moved our Linux hosting to HostGator a few months ago when our traffic picked up and have had a good experience with them.  We moved to them based on the recommendation of a few other parties for Linux hosting.
Kendall Miller Send private email
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
 
 
I have been using Pair for a while and not had any real problems.

I hear good things about Media Temple also.
MT Heart
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
 
 
One company I'll never use again is dreamhost. They just keep having problem after problem. First there's the downtime. Then they had some major billing problems....and it goes on.

Personally, now that a VPS is just as cheap as decent shared hosting, I don't think I'll ever go back. Sure it's a little more work to set up, but it's worth it (to me at least). I've had good experiences with Linode, and a great experience with SoftLayer (for dedicated)
Starr Horne (ChatSpring Live Chat) Send private email
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
 
 
Was just going to suggest the two that Starr mentioned - we've had great success with Linode for VPS and SoftLayer for dedicated servers.  In particular, SoftLayer's private network between datacenters lets you do things like replicate database in near realtime without having to go over the public network.

For shared/managed hosting, check out Eleven2 or ThisWebHost - they offer solid service had have great teams behind them.
Jason Abate Send private email
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
 
 
+1 for avoiding Hostway. I had a ValueWeb dedicated server that never had any problems until Hostway took over. After that it seemed there were significant outages every couple of months.
The Original Henry
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
 
 
I'm a big fan of http://www.servergrid.com myself. They are windows-only, but very cheap and basically give you a big block of features/bandwidth/disk space from which you can do almost whatever you want, including adding as many websites as you want.
Nathan Ridley Send private email
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
ipowerweb is a horrible hosting service provider. they upgrade their server every year, and every time they did that, my website was down, my databases were lost. they really really suck!
Robert Lee Send private email
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
the most horrible thing about ipowerweb is, when you are trying to transfer your domain to somewhere else, they totally ignore you.
Robert Lee Send private email
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
Hostway USED to be good until they partnered with Domain People. +1 to iPowerWeb being a terrible host. Especially now with their new and "improved" reseller interface.

I moved to HostGator a few years ago and never looked back. I recommend them highly!
Monique Stover (SeaGreen Software) Send private email
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
Avoid ServInt too... ugh.  I hosted with them for a year and the first 8 months were fine.  The rest were a complete and total mess... 12+ hours of downtime each week at minimum.
KC Send private email
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
Don't ever use Siteflip !!!! - they are hell to break away from and make it impossible to quit the contract requiring photocopies of driver's licenses, faxes, certified letters, etc.

Then they treated me like a criminal sicking their lawyer on me for $35 (which becaome 1080$ total court costs) because...
When I finally got them all the forms and managed to cancel they did not acknowledge it for a week and thus the new year rolled over and they billed me $35 automatically to my credit card. Then, I contested the charges and had my credit card company reject the bill.  Then that's when they started treating me like a criminal.  Not a classy place.  This was a year ago, but I will never forget it.
a normal guy just hosting his blog
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
Title of the thread is "web hosts to avoid" and then you are asking for a new hosting suggestion.

I'd suggest you try HostMonster.com. They are very good to work with. Support is responsive, although in Christmas time they were black-out :)
anon19
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
Had a lot of trouble with fasthosts. The dedicated server just "lost" its network card which took them over a week to get round to fixing it dispite their SLA. Some of the server management functions also went offline one day and took weeks to return.
Dan
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the Grandaddy of all bad web hosts:  Network Solutions.

They were the only game in town is you wanted a domain name back in the 90's, and they've been fighting to hold on to those domains ever since.  I'm finally off of them for good, having made the terrible mistake of registering jasonkester.com for 10 years.  It took three full weeks battling them as they sent email after email requesting that I call their 800 number to talk to a "Domain Transfer Specialist".  No thanks.  Transfer my **** domain.

It's been like that for every single domain that I transfered out of there.  Back in the day it used to be like that just to change basic things like repointing the DNS or adding an A record.

My advice it so steer well clear of any company that used to be a monopoly.
Jason Kester Send private email
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
United hosting. Their support is second to none. I've used them as my primary web host for four years and they've been great.
Duncan Send private email
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
Wholeheartedy second the vote for United Hosting. Was a little uneasy about no phone support at first but their email support is nearly instantaneous.  Little more expensive but certainly the best shared hosting I've found in the last 12 years.
Brian Briggs [Mission Expert|SWOT Expert] Send private email
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
Freewebs is kinda sorta OK... for a starter host. I would like to get onto Bluehost or Slicehost.
Just Another Dude Trying To Get By In CyberSpace
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
To ensure that you are never held to ransom by your hosting provider, make sure that you can change your DNS settings even if your provider locks you out.

What this means in practice is you should either
(1) have your DNS hosting separate from your website hosting
OR
(2) if your DNS and web hosting are provided by the same party, make sure your registrar is a separate organisation.
Matthew Webber Send private email
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
Two things:

1. I recommend checking out http://www.webhostingtalk.com Lots of great reviews and comments on hosting companies.

2. Secondly, and I'm not saying this is the case in your situation, but a lot of people will bargain shop for a host expecting great service and reliability. These things don't come cheap, so don't expect much from the lower bidders...
Stephane Grenier Send private email
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
I'd stay away from Dreamhost and Joyent (their hosting is OK, their web panel is awful). I've switched to Pair and other than email being a bit slow I've got no complaints.
Martin Pilkington Send private email
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
Another -1 for Dreamhost.  But really, if you are paying < $15 per month for hosting and getting tons of bandwidth and storage for that prices, you can expect subpar support and uptimes.

If your only method to reach customers is online, then please spend a little more money on a service that is not 300% over sold.
Doug
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
I should add that the same goes for email.  If you are paying $0 for email, then don't expect 100% uptime or delivery rates.
Doug
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
Of course, with Gmail, which hosts my email for $0, I expect 100% reliability and delivery rates...
Steve
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
 
 
From my experience:

hostway.com - worst support ever
canaca.com - very bad service quality
netfirms.com - very bad service quality
nsi.com - very bad service quality

dreamhost - some downtime but good relation of price / features, as shared hosting isn't so bad (IMHO)

Best regards
Marcelo
Friday, May 16, 2008
 
 
Some time ago i tried finding a suitable web host and wrote up a summary. It's at http://www.ubercode.com/how-to-find-a-web-host.html and I'm still with hostmatters.com after 3 years.
Will Rayer Send private email
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
 
 

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