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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 Hosting Advice

I'm looking for web hosting recommendations.  I'll be getting a new website and need new hosting when it's ready. 

My Needs:
The web site itself to host (no big deal), FastSpring for eCommerce (they host all their stuff so that's covered) and Soraco QLM for licensing, for which I bought (and own) the licensing software but it includes a web service that apparently needs to be hosted on a windows web server.    (Their hosting requirements: http://www.soraco.co/Forum/tabid/68/forumid/4/threadid/37/scope/posts/Default.aspx)  Soraco will do that for $400 a year but they only host their piece, not my website.

I'd like to find one company to host both my webpage and the Soraco QLM piece, but in looking around I'm learning that I've been blissfully ignorant about web hosting.  If I want to install the Soraco piece it seems I need a dedicated server ($$$) or at least a VPS.

FastSpring verified that they do backup the licensing data with the sales so I am considering running the Soraco piece from my own server.  Bad idea?  I don't expect high volume at this point.

So I was thinking shared hosting on something like GoDaddy or HostGator for my web page but in looking around tonight I stumbled upon HORRIBLE reviews for GoDaddy form many furious people.

I was annoyed by my last host because they limited email attachment size to 4MG initially, wouldn't process email addresses with capital letters, didn't have a c panel -- little things I didn't know to question in advance.

Now I wonder how much they were doing that I took for granted that I'm too ignorant to question now.

1. Am I being ridiculously cheap to not want to pay $400 a year to Soraco to host the licensing stuff? 
I chose them was because I could own the licensing software outright.  Who knew it had to be hosted? (seems obvious now...) But now I feel resistant to paying  more. (Wow, I sound whiney.  still....). 

2. Assuming I handle Soraco separately, am I safe with shared webpage hosting with a company like GoDaddy?  Or is that garbage hosting and I should look for something better?

3. What do you guys use/recommend.  As you can tell by my questions I don't have the where-with-all to host my own website as some of you seem to, so that's out.

4. Does anyone know of good Windows hosting (not Linux) that would let me install the Soraco piece and my web page that's reasonably priced?

As always, thanks so much and sorry so long!
Emily Jones Send private email
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I just found this from another thread in this forum:

They offer Windows VPS hosting starting at $13 a month.

Does anyone have any experience with them?
Emily Jones Send private email
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I'm going to try to address your questions.  I'm not sure you're in the right forum but I'm assuming:

1/ You're a software developer.

2/ You're intending to sell software from your web site therefore it requires the licensing web service from Soraco so you can issue licenses to customers who purchase from you.


1.  $400 for hosting sounds high but they do set it up, maintain it and provide updates for the licensing software.  If you host elsewhere, the cost is up to you.

2. I would try to keep all of the "moving parts" in one place.  Spreading them across different providers invites trouble and finger-pointing when things break... which they will.

3. Discountasp,net is a good host for developers and should be able to handle your requirements.  Note that their target market is software developers who are reasonably knowledgeable.

Setting up a professional ecommerce site that is secure requires skill.  If you don't have those skills, I recommend you find someone (local) to assist you.  It will save time and pain.

James Crossley Send private email
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Thanks James,

I will check out DiscountASP.

Yes I am a "software developer" but not necessarily a "reasonably knowledgeable one" in that I just develop MS Word VBA apps.  (I follow this forum and currently about 60% of the terms people use go over my head...)

I have hired a local web development company to set up my site and so far I believe they have the required skills.  They have done several other ecommerce sites,  though I don't think software sales. 

I am getting a little concerned because I went back and forth with my web developer by email 3 or 4 times times regarding "what do I need for hosting?"and in each answer he gave he was either glib, mistaken or left out how I'd handle one of the components (like Soraco).

I don't think he's incompetent so much as dismissive because he's busy and doesn't want to think deeply about this part yet.  I know I need to take that up with him, but I figured I'd also come in here to see what others are doing and if my expectations are realistic.
Emily Jones Send private email
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I'll try to answer your questions:

1) It depends on how much $400 is to you. If you make for example $1 per sale, then $400 is a lot, but if you make $50, then it isn't so painful. Also, if they host it, you can concentrate on building your business. Opportunity cost often counts more for time than money. If it goes wrong, you might have a couple angry customers, but at least they'll be on the hook to fix it, and hopefully will know where to look and what to do.

2) VPS is probably fine, as long as they allow you to install what you need.

3) I'm planning to use AWS, but my requirements are very different.

4) No, but hopefully someone here will be able to help.
Scorpio Send private email
Thursday, January 30, 2014
I'm also working on a project with QLM and I've successfully setup the web service on a SmarterASP shared hosting web site without any problem. The project is still WIP, so I don't know if SmarterASP is reliable enough to host that service. Currently I'm running a number of web sites on it and I'm really satisfied with their service and the performance for ASP.NET and PHP websites.
barnacleboy Send private email
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Another option is hosting using Windows Azure. http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/ . One nice thing is you can start with shared hosting and easily migrate to higher levels of hosting as needed.

Also I think you do MS Office plugins. Have you looked into BizSpark. It was mentioned before. If you join BizSpark you get a couple of years worth of credits to spend on Azure services so it will likely not cost much of anything for a while.
TrippinOnIT Send private email
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Fastspring - good choice in my experience.

1) No you are not cheap

2/3) GoDaddy - had all kinds of stupid issues with them. I stay far away. For cheap web and email hosting I have had good luck with 1and1. Price is low, reliability is good and their tools are pretty decent.

4) I had the same need to host an ASP.NET licensing service. I went with LFC hosting shared account. They do not charge separate for SQL Server. You just have to keep total disk space usage within limits.
Comes with ability to install ASP.NET applications and SQL Server access (also MySQL). Costs around $120 per year. Have not had any problems with them. I tried some cheap Windows VPS but they are not true virtualized OS, more like partitioned. For example you cannot install a Windows service.
Craig A Send private email
Thursday, January 30, 2014
I think it all boils down to your requirement to install the Soraco  piece.  Needing full trust is going to be what cuts out probably 80% of the Windows shared hosts out there.  If you can find one that will do that, that is a huge start.  And anyone that can install this will easily be able to host your website.
Doug Send private email
Thursday, January 30, 2014
> I am getting a little concerned because I went back and forth with my web developer by email 3 or 4 times times regarding "what do I need for hosting?"and in each answer he gave he was either glib, mistaken or left out how I'd handle one of the components (like Soraco). ... ... I don't think he's incompetent so much as dismissive because he's busy and doesn't want to think deeply about this part yet.

He sounds lame.  I don't know much about web hosting, but I know what decent customer service is, and that aint it.  "Dismissive because he's busy"--give me a break.  I'm not faulting you for saying it, I'm faulting him.  My auto mechanic gave me a similar line recently.  Since when does "busy" == "dismissive" or really in any way lacking?
Racky Send private email
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Wow thank you so much for all the advice, I'm going to look into all of these things, including the BizSpark. 

Also, thanks Doug for reminding me of the "Full Trust" requirement, I will point that out with potential hosts.

That is the kind of thing I am talking about when I say my web developer was dismissive.  I get this feeling from him and a couple hosting companies I contacted that they just glanced at my question "can you do this" and said "yes" without thinking much. 

Since I'm pretty ignorant regarding web hosting, I'm left thinking "OK, they answered me... but I don't trust their answer and I'll be the one with problems down the road."  So I send a follow up question feeling like a pest, but lo and behold -- the answer changes.

Honestly, it seems you guys in here spent more time reading my requirements than the people I'm trying to pay!

Many many thanks.  I get so much helpful advice and many valuable ideas reading this forum.
Emily Jones Send private email
Thursday, January 30, 2014
As an aside for anyone considering GoDaddy, yes they are awful.

A much nicer alternative is BlueHost. Same kind of pricing and features, in fact slightly better, much better customer service and without the constant upselling that drives GoDaddy customers crazy.

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Monday, February 03, 2014
all the advice are nice and if you want to buy cheap logos, you can visit this page "http://www.logodivine.com/cheap-logo-design/"  right now.
sushaiss Send private email
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

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