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December 06, 2002

Boast About Your Host?

I'm shopping for a virtual host. Who's hosting your site, and how do you feel about the service and value you're getting?

What were your criteria in selecting a host? Who should I stay away from?

I had a great experience with flex.net a few years ago. Absolutely no customer support, but after the initial set-up fee (which, I think, was fifty bucks), I only paid the $9.99 a month I was already paying for the dial-up access.

That's not going to do it for me anymore, though, as I've joined the DSL legions/victims. So I'm looking for a new home. Or two.

Posted by scrivener at December 06, 2002 08:08 PM


Posted by Jon on December 6, 2002 11:26 PM:

(Getting ready for Apple Store interview.)

I too used Flex hosting for a long time, then I switched to .Mac.

Yes, there are better deals out there, but if you're a Mac user then all the fixings that come with the subscription are worth the initial cost.

Gandi.net is my DNS. TalkStink.com takes you to my .Mac site.

Phew. It's late. Closing time mall traffic is incredible.

Posted by macpro on December 7, 2002 9:28 AM:

For my internet access I am still happy with LavaNet, who I have been using since 1995. They are a bit pricey for dial-up, but offer excellent tech support. I may look into getting their DSL service. I don't want to get Roadrunner because it just appalls me to be so tightly associated with Time Warner/AOL for too many things... basic cable is good enough, though expensive too.

As for website hosting, depending whether or not you are doing commercial or personal content, there are many web hosts available. I tend to lean toward host providers who run some kind of Unix server since I think they are more secure than those running Microsoft. That said, I am using Names-Are-Cheap.com for the Hawaii Radio & Television Guide website that I publish and Xvertx, a local provider to host Small Business Hawaii.

Names Are Cheap has a variety of low cost hosting plans with different types of features and storage space maximums. The plan I have is the $75/year unix host with several email accounts, web hosting and the ability to run your own CGI scripts and stuff like that. It cost more I think if you want to add something like an online shopping cart service.

Xvertx is a local provider and they also offer web hosting and DSL access. I don't know what their prices are as we struck a special comp deal with them to host the SBH website.

I have a personal website hosted at SDF Public Access Unix / Freeshell.org, which is a non-profit public access unix provider. They offer free internet email, webspace hosting and a bulletin board service. However if you pay for the $36 lifetime membership, you get to use more of their services and get more webspace. I have 100 mb of space on which to host my personal website. Been using them since 1999 or so.

I have some pages hosted at H4 Hawaii's DataSuperhighway and on a couple of banner type services such as Tripod.com, though I am moving away from these pop-up banner hells. LavaNet also hosts the original pages of my personal website. Generally most ISPs offer a small allotment of webspace to their customers for non-commercial websites.

Finally, it seems that our board host Ryan Ozawa has access to several domains and possibly servers as I know he hosted Lacene Terri's recent campaign website for State Senate. Any comments Ryan?

Posted by Ryan on December 7, 2002 5:13 PM:

Three posts in a row? Where were you all last week, scrivener? (Dusting off HawaiiStories cobwebs.)

I host all my domains at Dreamhost: HawaiiStories, HawaiiNews.com, Diarist.Net, Lightfantastic.org, Ozawa.org... Even the sites I develop for web design clients.

(Well, my work website is hosted by a company in Seattle, but that's only because that price can't be beat - free! Because my boss knew their boss.)

For a while they were a bit pricey for what was offered, but they had captured much of a niche market - personal journals and weblogs (them and Aletia, which, sadly, I hear has really gone downhill). I liked that I was with a company used to dealing with the kinds of scripts and server setupts used by folks doing the same things I was.

I've been with them for years, though, and keep getting "grandfathered up" whenever they rework their service plans. So I think I'm getting the features of one of their business-level plans but for the price of a personal account.

I like them, although they seem to be having a few problems now with a major server upgrade over the summer. Even so, they fix things, and I've gotten used to the way you can manage everything via their increasingly powerful "web panel." Most importantly, though, to me, is price. And not only am I benefiting by being a longtime customer, but Dreamhost also has a referral service that - each month - credits you a percentage of whatever is paid by anyone who signed up and named you as a reference. And since, in its heydey, Diarist.Net launched more than a few personal journal domains, I can go several months without having to pay a dime.

Posted by Lisa on December 7, 2002 8:56 PM:

Locally, NetEnterprise has some good plans, and as for support, well, if you don't get a response quickly let me know and I can holler over the cube wall to get things done :)

On the mainland, I have worked with ModWest, and I really like their Web Control Panel. You can set up and configure just about anything via point-and-click. Their prices are extremely reasonable, and unlike DreamHost, if you run a database you don't have to worry about weird formulas for the number of queries you're executing.

My personal criteria for hosting are support for php/mysql/etc because that's what I develop my sites in; good online support (tutorials and knowledge base so I'll never have to ask a question) and great prices.

Sites like Rate My Host andWeb Host Ratings can also be helpful.

I suppose I should note that my personal host is actually none of the above- I have one of those "friend of a friend" special hosting plans :)

Good luck!

Posted by Vivi on December 8, 2002 8:27 AM:

Since we're talking websites, can anyone recommend a good domain registrar? Good as in, under $10 with all the bells and whistles one should get with a domain name (i.e.: mail forwarding, email addresses with the domain name, etc.).

Posted by Lisa on December 9, 2002 6:52 AM:

I use GoDaddy to register these days. The setup is kind of a pain - they try to get you to buy all kinds of useless crap - but their prices are good.

I'm not sure about the "bells and whistles", as I've always had my host handle the mail stuff.

Posted by Lisa on December 9, 2002 6:53 AM:

I use GoDaddy to register these days. The setup is kind of a pain - they try to get you to buy all kinds of useless crap - but their prices are good.

I'm not sure about the "bells and whistles", as I've always had my host handle the mail stuff.

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