Web Hosting

I’m looking for a new host. My current web host for this site is not providing for my needs, so I really need to find a host that is cost-effective and has all the features I require. My current host is very limiting for the following reasons:

  • Disk Space: 30MB is not enough disk space. I have almost run out with just the Firefox Flyers and the Firefox 5 Minute Challenge taking up over 15MB already, and there’s more to come.
  • MySQL is not supported, and therefore, I cannot run my own CMS for my blog, such as MovableType or WordPress.
  • Old Apache and PHP. There are some nice features in the newer versions of Apache and PHP that I would like to utilise, but can’t because they’re still running the old versions.
  • Log Files: They do not, and will not provide any access to website logs, so I have no idea about any visitor statistics, which I would like to know. eg. Browser statistics and referral logs. I want to know if anyone actually visits my site with IE (I hope not, my target audience should know better) and who is linking to me, to know how my visitors are finding me. I know statistics can’t really be trusted, all I want is a general idea, not to perform any complicated statistical analysis.

I had a quick look around yesterday, and looked at about 20-30 hosting companies and found that the services offered varied significantly. Some were extremely overpriced, yet offered less than what I have now, and others moderately priced, yet only offered a little more than I have. By far, the best offer I found is that currently being offered by XulPlanet.

The basic plan we have been offering people is $10 a month for 400 MB disk space and 10 GB bandwidth… including php, mysql, and cpanel…

That seems quite cheap – it is only a little more than I’m paying now, which is to be expected for better services. It offers significantly more disk space, MySQL and PHP which will allow me to run my own CMS, and cPanel which will offer all the logs I wanted, plus many more features. The HTTP Headers show they’re also running Apache 1.3.29 and PHP 4.3.3 – the same as my current host – but I can live with that, the benefits offered by the newer versions aren’t all that significant for me anyway, and there’s always a chance they’ll upgrade their server one day, so it’s not a problem.

I’m not switching just yet, but will be in the near future, and that looks to be the best option. If anyone knows of any better hosts available, or has any other advice for me, let me know.

6 thoughts on “Web Hosting

  1. Apache 2.x with PHP is somewhat uncommon because the PHP Apache2 module was until somewhat recently (and may still be) unstable. As for PHP5, that’s probably just a matter of time.

  2. You can of course get free website statistics from Statcounter.com, like I’m doing now with my weblog, but it’s far from ideal, because obviously you want something running on your own server.

    And btw, I envy you for not using (or not going to use) Blogger! Semantic markup for comments, etc…

  3. I’ll recommend asmallorange.com – which is where my site (www.tjameswhite.com) is currently located.

    They offer the same package you mentioned at half the price (400mb/10 gb xfer, $5/mo). I don’t know exactly what versions they have, but their support forums will answer any question you can through at them.

    Just tell them I sent ya : )

  4. Thanks Tim, A Small Orange certainly looks like an excellent hosting company. They’re at the top of my list of potential host.

  5. I’ll inject http://www.lunarpages.com/ as a potential host. I use them for my site (which is far to sad to link to)

    For ~8 bucks a month you get (from their website)
    # 1000 Megabytes Storage
    # 40 Gigabytes Data Transfer

    And taken strait from my cpanel login:

    Operating system Linux
    Kernel version 2.4.21-15.0.2.ELsmp
    Machine Type i686
    Apache version 1.3.31 (Unix)
    PERL version 5.8.4
    PHP version 4.3.8
    MySQL version 4.0.20-standard
    cPanel Build 9.9.6-RELEASE 10

    now I feel like a marketing drone…
    to be clear: I don’t work for this (or any) hosting company; I just use them.

  6. I’ve been using and recommending http://www.bluevirtual.com and I know the owners pretty well. They started the company after leaving CommuniTech.net after it was bought out by Interland and sent into nowhereland (putting it nicely). They have excellent, active, and helpful support forums (staff aand clients visit regularly, running joke is the staff are robots they answer so fast). Good, inexpensive plans. Custom-built but very useful and updated control panel. Provides, MySQL, stats…tons of features. I’m not affiliated with them other than being a very satisfied customer, but I can’t recommend them more highly, and they have many clients that feel the same way (especially the web developer and designer types, several of which are very active and helpful on the forums). Robert Accettura (robert.accettura.com) hosts his site with them, is an active (if not the most active) forum member, and he’s a contributer to Thunderbird (I’ve actually run across his name on the Mozilla sites when not looking for it!) and has been promoting Firefox/Tbird on the BlueVirtual forums pretty heavily (of course many of us don’t need to be evangelized 🙂

    Anyway, don’t want to waste space, I just really like your site and I hope you give BV a chance to show you their hosting quality because I’ve done so much searching for a good host and finally found such an awesome one!

    Of course if you don’t want them, I might be pursuaded to give away some space on my dedicated server (did I mention I maintain a BV account even though I have a dedicated server, because they’re that good and I couldn’t leave their forums?) that does nothing but email and a couple of small sites…but I’d need to discuss that more one-on-one. BV’s better monitored though, and so inexpensive…

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