Entries Tagged as 'Web Hosting'

Just Host

As I posted a couple weeks ago I’d gone ahead and moved some of my domains over to JustHost.com.

Mainly I was looking for an affordable hosting package that supports server side includes in addition to what I already had at 1and1.com for around same price.  I also wanted unlimited bandwidth (but frankly I could have gotten that at 1and1.com with a cross-grade for just a small amount more per month with no hassle).

The way I started looking for a new host was to find some the “10 best” “50 best” or what ever they happened to be articles on the internet for hosting companies.  I read through them, looked at their current offerings, features, and prices.  The ones I felt were interesting I looked for reviews on the internet and read them.

Reviews from people you don’t know are not necessarily valuable.  Read the review, see what they’re saying, see how they’re saying, and see if their needs and abilities closely ally with yours.  And look for a pattern in reviews — if many people say the same thing, it’s far more likely to be true and not simply an isolated incident.

Once I narrowed down the field to a handful I reviewed any demos they offered of their control panel, features, etc.  If they didn’t have any demo I placed them on the bottom of the list.

Then I tried their online “chat” feature to talk to a pre-sales person.  If they didn’t offer an online chat I placed them on the bottom of the list (the very bottom — online chat is more important in the long run than a demo).

For the chat, I asked a few questions that there were in fact answers to on their site (just to see how quickly the person on the other end could provide me with a response, and if their response agreed).  Then I ask any questions that I had that were not addressed by the site.  Finally I ask one question that would require the person to actually think and apply the information on their site to the context of the question.

After that I decided on going with JustHost.com — they seemed like they provided the best package, best support, and most reasonable price.  When I went to order the package they offered me a better price when I was going to navigate away from the order page to check on a couple things.

I’ve moved all my domains over to JustHost.com; I’ve put an affiliate advertisement for JustHost.com on my web page and my BLOG (if you’re going to order service from them, I encourage you to click on the advertisement on here so as to help defray the costs for maintaining my BLOG — and hopefully growing it; it won’t cost you anything).

Things I don’t like…

  • They have the concept of a “primary” domain; which makes all domains but that reside under the primary in the directory structure.
  • They do not allow direct access to DNS on shared packages.
  • Shell access is extra (quite a bit extra) per year.  It would have been a “nice to have”, but I didn’t need it, and didn’t pay for it.
  • PHP5 doesn’t work by default in subdomains.
  • Databases are on the same machine as web servers.  I know this is very common, but I prefer databases to be on database servers and web servers to be separate.  This item is on the end of the list for a reason.

But…

  • They will allow you to use a “fake” domain (I did a subdomain of their domain) as your primary, which makes all domains equal, but if you want to access the root you have to use the host name where your hosting account files are located rather than your domain name (you could have them enter a CNAME for you if you like, but if you forget the host name just do a trace route to one of your domain’s web addresses and you’ll see it).
  • While you don’t have direct access to DNS, they will enter DNS records for you — CNAME I know (they did that for me); and I expect they’ll do TXT, A, etc.
  • To enable PHP5 in a subdomain you just need to add a couple lines to your .htaccess file (the service representative didn’t know them right off the top of his head; but after confirming it should work, I had no problem).

Things I do like…

  • The price is very reasonable for a unlimited shared hosting package.
  • Customer support is great; the people who’ve chatted with me or replied to my tickets have been extremely courteous and have resolved the issue.
  • Server side include support.  It really is nice to be able to have dynamic content that is provided by the server rather than have to have intricate AJAX requests (and faster).
  • Performance.  Thus far I can’t complain about the performance.
  • IMAP, POP, SMTP email both clear text and SSL versions.  SMTP is offered on alternate ports as well for individuals who’s ISP block access to port 25.

I often say..

Rarely do you get what you pay for.

With JustHost.com you may in fact get what you pay for (and maybe more).

Originally posted 2010-02-07 01:00:29.

Domain Registrars

In going through looking for a new domain hosting company I also looked to see about costs for domain registration.

I can certainly tell you that all my domains will remain registered at 1and1.  I will be switching from a hosting package to their “instant domain” package (it’s free; but it does in fact have more than just basic registrar services).

Why?

Well, 1and1 isn’t quite the cheapest domain registrar (you can save a little with a few of the others), but 1and1 offers private domain registration at no additional cost.

A private domain registration does not publish your personal and confidential information in the ICANN database, so marketers cannot get your phone number or address.  It does publish an email address that will forward mail to you; but you can easily filter mail coming from that address (it’s likely SPAM) or change it occasionally (make the domain public then immediately private and it’ll generate a new email address — it would be nice if they just let you enter an email address).

Also, I’m not sure it isn’t a good idea to keep your domain hosting and domain registration separate — that way it’s much harder to fall into a trap (though we have to hope that the companies we use for either of those services are reputable).

Originally posted 2010-02-08 01:00:21.

Just Host – Just A Dependable Hosting Company

It isn’t often that I get to praise companies over and over — and honestly this time I’m writing about Just Host again not because they’ve done something great, but because they’ve continued to do what they’ve done since day one — work.

When I originated my multi-year hosting contract with Just Host I was expecting that I’d be canceling it and taking advantage of the money back guarantee… while we’re no where near the end of the term of my contract yet, I’m beginning to believe that the likelihood of canceling the hosting is far lower than renewing the contract.

Now if you need 99.99% uptime (high availability) and you’re running a web site that makes you millions of dollars every day this isn’t for you… but if you have a business or personal site that isn’t mission critical, but could still be very important to you — this might be for you.

I don’t know much about the internals of Just Host, and I’m glad that I haven’t needed to figure all that out… when things work, I’m perfectly happy just using the service.

At the moment I’m hosting my forty plus domains; sites for several of my friends and relatives; and a number of sites for clients of mine (for the most part I designed and manage the sites — and they’re nothing lavish, just basic sites that provide these business a presence on the web).

If you’re looking for a solution to your needs for hosting, click the ad below (or the one I put in my sidebar long ago) and try a reliable, reasonably prices solution that seems to just keep working.





Originally posted 2010-10-19 02:00:31.

A new host…

I’ve mentioned before that I was considering moving my web sites to another hosting company, not that there’s anything really wrong with my previous hosting company, but more so because I wanted some features that were just too expensive for me to justify.

My new hosting company — JustHost.com — offers fairly attractive prices, has a fairly good reputation, and has the features I most wanted on an unlimited hosting package.

It’s still too soon for me to give them a recommendation; but I have placed an advertising link on the side panel of my site and blog to them (and yes I will get a referral fee if you use it).

A couple things…

I’m not hosting any domains with them; their registration price isn’t bad, but private registration is extra (and I really don’t like my personal and confidential information published on the web to be harvested by those who will not benefit me).

The cPanel interface they use is fairly common at hosting companies (I guess vDeck is the other big competitor) — but it’s totally different from what I’m used to.

Keep in mind, you should evaluate a web hosting company against your personal needs and requirements.  Remember, most hosting companies packages like this are not suitable for companies that have a great deal of web traffic and would suffer should their web site not be able to deliver information to customers.

Originally posted 2010-01-31 01:00:06.

Time To Move On…

That would be more precisely time to move my BLOG to another hosting service.

My contract will be up with 1and1 in April, and while I’m not at the limit of my monthly transfers, it’s conceivable in the next twelve months I will be fairly close.

And while I don’t need a great deal of customer service or technical service from a hosting company, I prefer to spend my money with companies who realize that customers can take their business where it’s appreciated, and where they actually get real value for it.

At the moment the two hosting companies that appear most interesting to me are:

The two companies are actually owned by the same individual… and seem to be highly focused on customer service.  Their prices look fair (by no means the cheapest, you can after all get totally free hosting — with no advertisements as long as you’re will to follow all the rules).  More important to me is they offer a set of features I want.

My timeline is that I’ll sign up for hosting around the end of the first week of March and then use the remaining month I have service with 1and1 to move content over.  That might mean that you won’t see as many new posts next month, and of course there may be some slight instability as I move my BLOG.  My expectation is that it will go smoothly and that content will be up and running at my new hosting facility almost immediately (probably before the domains are transferred, but I can override the DNS any time) In the long run this make it much easier for me to update and maintain my sites.

If anyone has personal experience with any of these companies; or has a strong recommendation they would like to share; or has an account at one of these and will get a referral fee please feel free to contact me.

Originally posted 2009-02-21 01:00:25.

Free Web Hosting

Below is a list of free web hosting sites; most of them don’t place any type of advertisements or links on your pages, some of them support scripting, and some of them have lenient policies as to content.

You’ll have to check each of these to see if they meet your needs.  I have very little personal experience with any of them, and none of them have my endorsement.

Please keep in mind what I generally say:

You rarely get what you pay for!

Originally posted 2009-02-22 01:00:14.

EMail from my domains…

As of 1 March 2010 all of my domains should have both SPF and DKIM support in order to help receiving servers verify that the email is not SPAM.

If you are having problem receiving my email, or my email is ending up in your junk folder, please contact your email provider and query them about this.

Originally posted 2010-03-30 02:00:58.

Time To Move On…

For the moment I’m going to hold off making any changes to my BLOG or web site… including moving to a new hosting server.

While I may think the customer service at 1and1 SUCKS, I don’t really need to interface with them very often, so I’m deciding to leave things as they are until after I get moved and settled.

I will be changing my BLOG time zone to Central Standard Time — that may effect some of you; but hopefully your RSS readers adjust the time properly for your time zone and you won’t see anything change (except the time of day my posts get published will now be 1:00 am CST rather than 1:00 am PST).

Originally posted 2009-03-02 01:00:04.

JustHost.com POP / IMAP / SMTP Settings

POP:
host: mail.<yourdomain>
host: <yourhost>.justhost.com
port: 110
port: 995, SSL

IMAP:
host: mail.<yourdomain>
host:<yourhost> .justhost.com
port: 143
port: 993, SSL

SMTP:
host: mail.<yourdomain> (requires authentication)
host: <yourhost>.justhost.com
port: 25
port: 2626
port: 465, SSL

WEB MAIL:
url: https://<yourdomain>:2096
url: https://<yourhost>.justhost.com:2096


NOTES:

  • SSL: you will need to accept the self signed certificate; some mail readers do not allow you to retain self signed certificates, so you will need to do that each and every time a connection (or initial connection) is made.
  • SMTP: requires authentication; also you ISP may block port 25 (which is why port 2626 is also supported).
  • <yourhost> would be something like cl111 so for example cl111.justhost.com
  • <yourdomain> would be something like mydomain.com so for example mail.mydomain.com

Originally posted 2010-03-05 02:00:49.

Let Me…

This post is somewhere between an informative post about what many small business owners really need to establish a presence on the web, and a blatant solicitation for business…

Over the past year I’ve stumbled onto a number of individuals here running a small business that have been taken to the cleaners by web-lingo-savvy people purporting to be “web developers”.

Let me start off by saying that most small business don’t need an incredibly complex or large web site; they essentially just need a presence on the web that serves to drive new customers to their brick-and-mortar store or helps prospective customers locate the services they need.

A small web site allows for a business to showcase what they can do for a customer, where they are, and how to get in touch with them… you don’t need a full listing of your products — just enough to indicate to a prospective customer that you might be who they’re looking for.

And a web site like that doesn’t cost much to put together, and certainly doesn’t cost much to operate.

You start small, and grow… that way you invest in areas that have a proven return.

Provided you have collateral materials (pictures, logos, copy, etc — things you would have used in a print ad in the past) it’s very likely that you can put together a standards based web site with the help of a professional (like me) for a very modest amount of money.  It of course varies a little based on exactly what it is you’re trying to achieve and how much work is involved in preparing the material or in implementing your specific wants… but you should realistically be able to have a web site, email, a custom domain, and search engine indexing without breaking the bank.

If you’re finding that people are trying to convince you to pay what you consider a great deal — make sure you’re getting substantially more from them — and make sure you need more.

Over the next few months I’m going to work on setting up a site that will cater to people who want an inexpensive solution for a web presence — and while it’s definitely easier to work with people who are located geographically near me, I’ll be happy to try and work with people anywhere.

Let me just list a few reasons why you will want to consider having a web site:

  • it allows your previous and existing customers to find and stay in touch with you (at virtually no cost to you — and it allows them to view information from you when they want to, rather than having it lost amongst all the other junk mail they receive);
  • it allows you to produce full color, high-impact advertisements featuring pictures and text that would be expensive to print and distribute for near nothing;
  • it allows you to promote you site by allowing interested parties to find you through internet searches;
  • it greatly reduces the need for print advertising since you’ll be able to list your web site URL on any print ad (and your business cards) and let people access far more information than you probably would have wanted to pay for space to print;
  • it allows non-invasive means for individuals to contact you, submit information, and get replies — you don’t have to invest in an answering service, or drop everything you’re doing to take a call — electronic messaging fits your schedule and the schedule of your customers; and
  • it helps you create a professional image; and assure your customers that you’re here to stay.

My web design business will be based at ddress.net; and my slogan will be

Your @ddress on the net!

I’ll try and make it simple for people to understand the costs involved and help them achieve a low cost, potentially high return means of non-invasive and sustainable advertising that may provide a means of growing their business.

So let me develop a web site for you; register a domain name for you; host a web site for you; setup email for you; and have the major search engines index your site… at a very affordable price, with no lengthy commitments — simply and honestly.

http://ddress.net/

Originally posted 2010-12-15 02:00:13.