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  1. #1
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,

    Last time I was on these forums, I was asking if anyone could provide hosting. I got in touch with a couple of people, but got busy for over a month and could not focus on getting my project on line. And as it turns out, one of those people offering hosting was actually banned from the forums.

    I have this Wordpress project that I need hosted. I'm currently with Fatcow, who has unlimited hosting, but their DB query time is really, really poor, so I'm leaning toward Wordpress' recommended host: Bluehost. And it's cheap too: only $3.95/month.

    -R

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I can't do that, since I've never used them...but I will make a recommendation of my own. Sectorlink. They're not as "cheap" as Bluehost, but there's a reason...they actually know their stuff. How well? They answer nearly all of my questions in a way that gets me to where I need to go, even when I ask them about stuff way out in left field.

    Now, think about this for a second...I answer quite a few questions on here, so I have quite a bit of knowledge. So when I ask a question (as I've done a few times on here), the question becomes a tool for me. It allows me to weed out those who know, and those who don't.

    The one thing that always scares me about a hosting company is when they offer an affiliate program, as Bluehost does. Not that affiliate programs are bad in and of themselves...the right ones are actually pretty cool, and I use them. The problem with hosting affiliate programs is that they tend to be latched on to by web marketing wannabes and forum shill posters who fill boards up with "Hi, I'm new to this board and I think it's a great resource. So to show my appreciation, I'd like to recommend HostXYZ.com?affid=forum_spamming_idiot to all of you. They have great uptime, they never go down, everything always works the way it's supposed to, and they have top-notch support for when things go wrong which never happens because everything works the way it's supposed to."

    They also claim to pay $65.00 per referral on their affiliate program, which doesn't add up when their hosting plan is $4.95 a month. The $4.95 a month isn't going to be pure profit to the host (people are going to ask questions and have issues), but even it were, the host needs to retain the customer for 13 months just to break even on the affiliate deal. Doesn't add up. Mind you, it might also be why they're WordPress' recommended host (they're getting a cut, too). Wouldn't blame WP if that were the case, but it makes the recommendation that much more questionable.

    I'm not saying don't use them. They might actually be good. But proceed with caution, do your site backups, and have a plan B ready to go at any given time if you do.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  4. #3
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    DISCLOSURE (since I probably should add one): I'm not an employee of Sectorlink. I'm not paid to recommend them. I've just been a customer of theirs in some capacity for 10.5 years (had my dedicated server with them for 9 years as of this Thursday).

    I do get certain non-monetary perks (i.e. I get a certain level of service even beyond that which I've described to you) because I've referred so much business to them over the years. However, I don't get anything physical or tangible or that has any cash value whatsoever (simply better service), and I would make the recommendation regardless.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  5. #4
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Yes, it's good to be skeptical of anyone who gets monetary compensation. At the same time though, regular webhosts face serious competition from more visible companies, such as GoDaddy (cause of semi-pornographic Super Bowl commercials) and Yahoo (because they see ads when they use Yahoo's services). Both the above are less than stellar, yet most clients I know use one of the two. So paid referrals doesn't sound like a bad idea for them to advertise their product.

    Secondly, webhosting is very inelastic. It's a big pain in the butt to move sites (especially those that use databases) and people would prefer not to switch, even if they know their webhost is not the best. I know that my webhost, Fatcow, is not the best with loading, but I'd stick with them if not for the ridiculous DB query time.With that said, I'm sure Bluehost did some statistical analysis that showed the referral amount was optimal to profit over time, as they expect clients to stay with them for a long time, maybe even a lifetime.

    Lastly, I've set my eyes on Bluehost because it's 1 of 2 names that keep popping up whenever I look for reviews for best webhosts (Host Gator is the other one).

    -R

  6. #5
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Hosting and who's good, who's not... Is one of those subjects that can be and will be debated on forums regardless I they are stellar or crap.

    I've heard the name blue host, heard some good, heard some bad...

    But I can say that about pretty much all of them. And if ou dig deep enough, you're gonna find that about all of them? Why ? Because, the review sites that are out there are either ad based that skew the posted comments based on their advertisers, or there are so many shill post from peoe tryin to promote their own, and its darn difficult to determine which is which.

    So where does that leave you ? I spent a lot of money and time over the years trying and testing out hosting providers as well as working with a lot of them for clients... I've moved many clients from ones to others but those were a lot of the time because the client was fed up with a particular host, not because of bad "service" , but more for bad "perceived service"....

    So many reviews are slanted because the person posting the review has little or no understanding of issues and or probe lens that they may have created themeselves. I had a client screaming about GD hosting and how terrible they were, that their site was constantly down ( over a 2 month timeframe ), they complained to me how when they visited their site it was hit or miss as to if it would load. Come to find out, it was actually their ISP had a router issue because some bobo in thier firewall dept.

    I had another client screaming about how bad powweb was because their site was down the bulk of the time... Come to find out my clients "network guy"' had put a bad entry into their local DNS server.

    That's just 2 instances of where the hosting company was being blamed because of something outside their control.

    I personally have 2 servers I use for clients that want absolutely nothing to so with any part of their site, besides the occasional update. For thier that require or want some level of control "they can log in and make changes to something", I use a GD reseller account, and over the past 7 years I've not had any major problems, and the minor ones were resolved within minutes of calling.

    As for moving from one host to another... It's really not that difficult once you know the new host setup ( probably why I have no issues with moving people from wherever to GD ), because I've done it numerous times and I know how their systems work. I suspect the issue with your host and its slow DB query is just the fact that they probably have their DB servers overloaded ( I've seen that so many times its not even funny ), MySQL is pretty resilient in general, and responsive ... But depending on hardware ... It is limited, but I've seen host cram 10,000 or more users on the same DB SERVER, because on average 99% of their users sites make such little request that its normally ok... But it they don't monitor it constantly, if you get more than 5-10% of the users with busy sites... The DB server has to handle the request in order of being recieved... Giving the perception of being slow.

    My only suggestion would be to try a host, throw everything at it that you can, if you like it, stay with them, if you don't, move... That's why I am where I am... If ll
    My clients wanted or needed some level of control of their site, I would not have my own servers, but since I do, It just made sense going the route I did. I also have a friend that has a rack in a colo datacenter, that offered me space, so my overhead on this setup is minimal so it was really a no brained for me. I'd still be making money if I were paying the going rate for this space, but since my cost is minimal, just makes the situation that much better.

  7. #6
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDesignista, post: 245381
    I'm sure Bluehost did some statistical analysis that showed the referral amount was optimal to profit over time, as they expect clients to stay with them for a long time, maybe even a lifetime.

    Lastly, I've set my eyes on Bluehost because it's 1 of 2 names that keep popping up whenever I look for reviews for best webhosts (Host Gator is the other one).

    -R
    Not necessarily. You'd be surprised how many companies don't analyze the cost of referral programs and doing business this way...or hire an analyst from outside of the business who doesn't understand the nature of host shilling and what a problem it is. I'm not saying they didn't do their homework...they may well have. The point is that there really isn't a way one way or the other to make that kind of statement.

    The reason you're seeing HostGator as one of the "top web hosts"...pretty much the same thing. They have a huge affiliate program and were known for quite a while back in the day for their forum shills (IIRC, they were the ones that started the whole hosting affiliate thing).

    Now, since you brought them up, I can actually offer you some advice based on my experiences...they suck. S-u-c-k, suck. You want absolutely no part of those idiots. I have a client who has one of their VPSes, and it's constantly attacked by rogue bots. There was a point about 2-3 weeks back where the sites would go down every day, either because resource usage would knock them out or because HostGator would invoke their all-encompassing policy which states something to the effect that anyone on a shared or VPS account found to be 'abusing resources' would have their site suspended or hosting account cancelled. So they'd suspend the script...and I'd dig through the logs...and I'd block the painfully obvious bot that was making 1000 requests per second...and I'd contact them...and they'd escalate the problem to engineers...and the engineers would agree...lather, rinse, repeat.

    This kept going on and on until last week I had to solve the problem myself by creating a pair of bot traps. Every time the bots hit one of those traps, I added a deny rule to .htaccess for that bot. Problem more or less solved from my end, but the other customers who have the same sorts of bot issues are paying for bandwidth and other hosting resources when they really don't have to and may not have the same level of knowledge. If a host can't handle bot issues, then it's not worth considering.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  8. #7
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    I'll always listen to whatever you two guys have to say. Makes sense. With that said, I guess my webhost knowledge is back to square one.There really are a lot of facets to consider (like handling of autobot attacks), but I'd like to simplify things for myself and go with what's mainstream and decent.

    You're mostly right about host rank inflation: there are a boat-load of paid reviews out there. But I'm still set on Bluehost and I'm still set on being a cheap bastard and not paying more than $5/month (for now).

    And yes, Fatcow does cram a lot. $3.15 for unlimited domains, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, shared unlimited databases, unlimited breadsticks... it comes at a price. I remember I was making a store for a client and I tested it in a sub-folder. I was constantly editing the CSS and re-uploading. Problem was I was running into 40-second load times oo:. Never again.

    -R

  9. #8
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    I was strictly an ASP guy for years, so I only dealt with windows servers, which would generally not be loaded down like a Linux server could be...

    Part of my testing was to do some reverse lookups of servers, get the actual number of host on a server before deciding to use their service or not.

    Kinda tricky, but many are now running forums that you can sign up for before actually purchasing an account... Do a little digging, do some reverse DNS lookups to see how many sites a particular server has on it... Their offerings, etc... Might be suprised...

    I saw several names on a list here a while back, didn't mention them, but they actually had been labled as a "bad host", because of their affiliation... Problem was, they actually weren't associated. And in doing some digging, found they were actually bein hosted on a GD subnet, but unless you dig, you'd never know that.

    Not going to go into details here about how to determine that, but between reverse DNS and registry access, you can find out a lot about a host.

    Yeah, anyone offering unlimited everything for that low of a price... You can expect less than stellar performance.

  10. #9
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    What WZ said.

    To give you an idea of how poorly HostGator handles bots, I wrote a simple PHP bot trap for a client's site that added entries to .htaccess based on IP addresses of the rogue bots that crawled a certain page that humans would normally never find.

    Here are the entries that were created 24 hours after I implemented the bot:
    deny from 38.100.21.65
    deny from 38.100.21.64
    deny from 38.100.21.63
    deny from 38.100.21.62
    deny from 38.100.21.67
    deny from 66.228.40.185
    deny from 129.121.178.225
    deny from 199.48.147.40
    deny from 77.247.181.163
    deny from 108.174.195.211
    deny from 64.34.190.106
    deny from 212.126.123.17
    deny from 118.98.97.98
    deny from 213.141.157.47
    deny from 110.164.62.191
    deny from 103.246.36.213
    deny from 200.124.141.149
    deny from 38.100.21.66
    deny from 120.199.57.179
    deny from 77.122.164.30
    Keep in mind that I had already blocked access to 50 different rogue bots at the time I had put this bot trap in. Now, some of those IP addresses are pretty similar (IPs in the 38.100.21 range), but there are still several different bots.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  11. #10
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    I ended up prepaying 3 years at Bluehost at $3.95/month. Their website/interface is boring as hell compared to Fatcow... but my website speed is doing great. Even with all the external social media crap loading on my new site, I'm consistently seeing 2-3 second load times .

    I'm also glad you guys mentioned this technical stuff about hosting. I came across an article about Wordpress security and talked about how you can block access to an IP merely by adding a line to htaccess. I did not realize that it's so easy. That coupled with a super anti-spam plugin I have makes me very confident about my site security going forward.

    Thanks guys.

    -R


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