Thursday, June 10, 2010

HostGator Tech Support Encounters

Patrick Pelanne at HostGator recently shared strange tech support encounters, including a customer chat message that simply said "dress shirts" (this was cryptic enough to inspire jokes and pranks within the tech department) and a customer claiming to be from the future, with advice about preventing a disaster.

HostGator, based in Texas with offices in Houston and Austin, is among the top ten hosting companies in size, with more than 2.5 million domains hosted on its servers and 24/7 support services.

Get your first month of hosting for one penny at HostGator by clicking through this link and using the coupon code: WORDPRESS during your order.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The bad news about unlimited bandwidth

Wouldn't it be great to have unlimited bandwidth and storage? Think of all the things you could do with a web hosting account that had no limit on transfer. You could give YouTube a run for its money, start up a search engine bigger than Google and Yahoo combined, back up the web just in case the Internet Archive missed anything, host the world's busiest bulletin board, run a million businesses, and still have plenty of room left over for personal projects.

Does that sound a little too good to be true? Well, there's only one tiny problem with unlimited hosting: it doesn't exist.

Unlimited bandwidth and storage don't exist either; at least, not in the way people usually imagine. If you see a plan for "unlimited transfer" you probably imagine being able to use as much bandwidth as you wish; in other words, infinite capacity for data flow, however much you throw at it. (And of course, common sense should tell you that providing infinite amounts of anything would pose a logistical headache.)

The hosting company sees it like this: they are not imposing any arbitrary limits on traffic or disk space per se; they are not entering any automatic cutoff numbers in their hosting management system, so their plans are "not limited." However, server resources such as CPU usage are indeed limited and the overall healthy and responsive functioning of the server must be maintained.

That means if you make the server too busy or overloaded for any reason (such as sending too much traffic or using too much disk space, for example) your site will have to be disabled. And if you look in the fine print of any hosting Terms of Service, you'll see a statement (however vague or specific) to that effect.

So now that you're sadder but wiser as to the nature of unlimited bandwidth, where do you go from here?

Well, if you're looking for web hosting, here are some companies that advertise more accurate and realistic amounts of traffic and storage, so that you know what you're really getting:

Cartika Hosting

LiquidWeb

MDDHosting

Pair Networks

On the other hand, if you're still looking for a real unlimited deal, I have a car to sell you with unlimited gas mileage. (Fine print: that means the car won't automatically shut down the motor if you exceed an arbitrary number. However, ....)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Save on MDDHosting, this week only

MDDHosting is offering a big special for the next few days: a year of hosting for $30. (The regular price is $7.50 per month or about $77 per year.)

MDDHosting has been generating very positive feedback from customers, and its hosting plan numbers are fairly reasonable and do not extend into the realm of terabytes or "unlimited" bandwidth. (That's a good thing.)

So, if you're looking for a well-reviewed host right now, the coupon code for this deal is special30 and it applies to the Basic Shared plan. The offer is valid until 06/17/09, for new customers only.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kissing downtime goodbye with high-uptime web hosts

Downtime is never helpful to a website. When someone finds your home page for the first time, or tries to come back and visit it again, it's crucial that your site be available at that moment. Imagine how it is when you are trying to find a resource online yourself--if it's down, you usually try to go and find something else, right? Well, it's the same story with your visitors.

So, if you find yourself frequently staring at an error message instead of your index page, and wondering how much downtime is "okay" for web hosting, it may be time to find a new host. Here are three web hosting recommendations to help you banish downtime and give your visitors a better experience.

HostGator: As a customer, I can personally vouch for their extremely high uptime. Hostgator is one of the major budget hosts, but they have built a good reputation on reliability and service.

Pair Networks: First-rate and professional service. I've been with Pair for many years and trust them completely. They do not oversell, so if you pay for something, it's yours to use and you can depend on it. (Waiting for any significant downtime at Pair is like waiting for a century plant to bloom.)

Cartika Hosting: This company offers a wide range of clustered hosting setups to take uptime beyond traditional limits, and they place their business priorities on uptime and quality. No overselling. A great bet for critical hosting needs.