* The Business of Software

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Successful Software

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Jonathan Matthews
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BreezeTree Software

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

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Does anyone use shared hosting for their uISV?

I was just wondering for setting up blogs and your business website (for sales, etc.), does anyone here use shared hosting for this?

All that I have read says that VPS or dedicated is the way to go ... but the problem for me is that I am a Linux novice (Windows guy through and through) and good Windows VPS providers, from what I have seen, are just darn expensive (maybe I am wrong). And, I am not sure I want to spend the time learning Linux instead of concentrating on my uISV, blogging, etc. Maybe that is what I have to do though.

Just wanted to get some real world info here.

Thank you.
StartingUp
Monday, June 02, 2008
 
 
I am still on a shared hosting provider (futurequest.net) - for my linux commercial site.  I've used it to build the business to 550K/year gross and just now outgrew it - building my new site now on a dedicated server from crystaltech.com.

This is for a desktop SW app, ecommerce site, authorize.net back end with my custom cart scripted into the authorize.net api.
anon_for_this_one
Monday, June 02, 2008
 
 
I went VPS and never looked back.

It's faster for me.

Note: I already knew most of how to admin a Windows server.
Steve Send private email
Monday, June 02, 2008
 
 
The Linux based VPS + domain registration is about €20/month (at hosteurope.de). A Windows VPS with 786 MB of memory and 1.5 TB traffic is about the same. That doesn't seem to be a lot to me. (I suppose other vendors have similar offers.)

In return you can install the server software (and DB!) you want and have no dependency on the preferences of some other admin. You can actually stage everything on your local PC and make it run exactly the same on your VPS as your production environment.

In my case management is via plex and virtuozzo. I have no experience with windows VPS's though.

VPS is the way to go (for me at least)!.
HB Send private email
Monday, June 02, 2008
 
 
There are some really good (at least by reviews and word of mouth) Linux based VPS at reasonable prices. Linode and Slicehost being what I have researched to be the best. They are like $20/mo for pretty good packages.

The only Windows one I have seen at near that price is VPSLand, which has had mixed reviews. Even GoDaddy VPS is quite expensive.

So I guess I was just thinking that maybe a shared host would be good until my blogs/site get enough traffic to warrant a VPS. However, I hate to pin the hopes of my uISV on some shoddy, overselling host either.

Maybe learning Linux is the way to go.
StartingUp
Monday, June 02, 2008
 
 
I just migrated from shared hosting (enom.com) to Windows VPS (http://www.appliedi.net/vps-hosting/).  You will see several posts in the past week documenting this and some of the issues I've wrestled with.

I am paying $40/mo for the VPS + $10/mo for Shared SQL Server.  The costs are not significantly more than the shared hosting price I was paying although I am being miserly with the VPS RAM (256 MB) so will have to run it stripped down.

I kept my DNS/domain hosting with enom.com, something they do reasonably well (which is more than I can say for how well their shared hosting works).

I was going to blog from my VPS but decided to host on Wordpress.com [free] but I pay the $10/yr to let my DNS point to their server.

I have moved my email to Google Apps [free], which so far has been successful especially with the IMAP protocol option.

I think it depends what your experience is with Window Server.  If you are comfortable with IIS, ASP.NET etc. then you may be frustrated with the control panel world of shared hosting.  Many shared hosts make promises their servers/tech support can't keep whereas at least with a VPS you should know where you stand.

Good luck,
mISVfit Send private email
Monday, June 02, 2008
 
 
I'm on shared with Pair (pair.com). Unless you need a lot of control/resources you don't really need a VPS, shared should be enough. And if you're expecting a large amount of bandwidth for a download or something then try Amazon S3, because it's usually cheaper.
Martin Pilkington Send private email
Monday, June 02, 2008
 
 
Couple of my sites still running on shared hosting.
The reason is easy: i don't want to babysit the server. Instead i want to focus on sales.

The cost of my shared hosting is not that cheap too. Almost $100 a month total for bandwidth, SQL Server DB (almost 1GB summed up) etc etc.

In shared hosting you sacrifice for speed, but i'm not sure how big is the difference. But you have someone who manage your server when it's down, requires maintenance, software upgrade, etc etc. And that means a lot to me to have someone watching my site up 99% of the time.
Rizal Firmansyah Send private email
Monday, June 02, 2008
 
 
I'm using shared hosting from Web.com for $30/mo (which included an MS SQL Server).  Their support is not too bad, and uptime is probably 99% (down for a few hours
anony
Monday, June 02, 2008
 
 
Bluehost.com <<  1500GB of space with 15,000GB (15TB) of bandwith per month. for only $8.00 per month

sure its shared hosting..

But anytime I test it it maxes out my 6mbit internet connection when I download my trial for a test.
anon
Monday, June 02, 2008
 
 
I used shared hosting for my first year and a half.  Its perfectly adequate for the typical uISV site, particularly if you're not skilled enough to maintain a Linux box and don't need much or any server side scripting.  (It wasn't and I didn't... when I started.)

I changed to VPS because it let me deploy my home-brewed Rails site, which has worked out very, very well for me.  I suppose theoretically I'm not subject to GoDaddy shared hosting outages any more, although I can only remember one serious one in about 18 months.  (Though that was an off-again on-again problem for 2 weeks.)

But yeah, capsule summary: shared hosting from a reputable provider (don't buy on the stats, all shared hosting packages lie, buy on the reputation) is adequate for most host-a-few-pages-and-a-download starter uISV sites.
Patrick McKenzie (Bingo Card Creator) Send private email
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
 
 
I've been on shared hosting for a while and it was the best thing I ever did.  I don't have the time to fool around with server administration, and I was having a lot of downtime because of it.

I did as Patrick recommended, bought on reputation rather than figures from sales guys.  It's a small local company that has space in a very large regional datacenter.  I've used a few national providers and the service and reliability from this company is by far better than anything else I've had. 

I'm a reseller for this company, so if you're wanting something very reliable at a good price, contact me via email and we can talk.
Clay Dowling Send private email
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
 
 
<...good Windows VPS providers, from what I have seen, are just darn expensive...>

Not true.

I subscribed for Verio shared hosting (see http://www.verio.com) about a month ago.
There are NO bandwidth limit. I didn't believe that, so I asked the sales rep. Indeed, download as much as you wish, - no extra change per 1 Gb or whatever.
The provider is very respectable.

Also, I have a virtual server with vpsland.com: http://vpsland.com/ezwin.html
$63 / month
2048 Mb of RAM (!!!)
I'm going to be using it for hosting my custom executables and experiments and DLS license server.
This hosting is just crazy. I wrote and installed there a simple windows service which writes a DateTime value into a local database every 30 seconds. I did this to test how reliable they are.
This was about 3 weeks ago.
I downloaded the database to my local machine to find out how much downtime there was in 3 weeks.
Believe it or not, there was 0 (zero)!
I am absolutely sure that my SQL query is correct (it's just too simple to be wrong ;-).
It's just a shocking fact: in the last 3 weeks, there was exactly zero downtime.

I did a VERY extensive research, and I am very happy that I found those 2 companies: Vpsland and Verio.

I am also not very good with Linux administration, but have pretty good experience with Windows Server 2000/2003.
Apparently, you can run (and administer any way you want) quite a few websites on Server 2003, if that's your intention.

I highly recommend both Vpsland and Verio.

P.S.: BTW, when I subscribed for Verio, they sent me a boxed Microsoft Expression Web 2.0 for free.
I use Visual Studio 2005 and 2008, but I just love having free stuff.
Dmitriy
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
 
 
Shared hosting can cause a lot of issues for you. At the very least get VPS, dedicated preferably. Sure it's a little bit more, but if you can't afford $50/month to for your main public facing then you might want to reconsider if an ISV is for you...

Remember that if you're site goes down, you're down. If it gets hacked, it's your reputation. If your server is unresponsive because of another person on the shared system, it's your website that looks bad. How much is it worth to you. If $50/month will make or break your business, well then...
Stephane Grenier Send private email
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
 
 
Stephen's advice is solid in one respect there.  I've had shared hosting providers who overloaded their servers and dragged the machines down.  The company I'm with now watches their servers very closely and corrects these kinds of problems quickly.
Clay Dowling Send private email
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
 
 
Clay, I am curious, what company are you with? Feel free to email me, if you prefer. Thanks.
Joel Marcey Send private email
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
 
 

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