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Webhosting Blues

Much to my regret, I’m shopping for a new webhost, and I could use a little advice.

We’ve had rox.com at midPhase for many years, and they’ve been pretty good to us. But about 15 months ago we were forced to upgrade from a shared setup to a virtual private server (VPS) because this blog was being overwhelmed by spambot attacks.

(Since this is a noncommercial website that generates no income, we couldn’t afford a VPS, but one of the founders of midPhase, Dan Ushman, was feeling generous and comped the account for a while. Later, after the spambot attack had subsided, I tried to downgrade back to a shared plan, but midPhase wouldn’t allow it.)

Thing is, our VPS has never worked quite right. We’ve had continual problems, and the support staff has worked with me diligently trying all manner of solutions. But nothing has worked. The site continues to experience outages (mainly httpd fails), and has not been stable all this time.

The staff at midPhase keeps coming back to the same ultimate solution: upgrade to a dedicated server. But a dedicated machine costs $200/month, and as I mentioned we generate no income.

I’m skeptical that we really need a dedicated server. For one thing, every suggestion that the support staff has made has proven to be bogus so far. For another thing, they say our VPS can’t handle the traffic. With all our sites, we get a total of bout 10,000 page views per day.

So my question: Is 10K pageviews really too much for a VPS? Is my webhost blowing smoke up my ass?

And: Is 10K pageviews too much for a shared server? Is there a host out there that could handle a site such as ours with a simple shared plan?

Published inGeeky

16 Comments

  1. I use Artery Planet at arteryplanet.com. I got the host package for 20 bucks a month. It’s good because I have unlimited domains I can set up to link up to the account. So, if I were quick enough, I could have bought and set-up “NaginsChocolateCity.com” or “NaginsColdCockList.com” and have it running in 24 hours. Pretty fun stuff. Anyway, I’m not sure if they will meet all your requirements but check it out.

    Varg

  2. Bluehost.com. No other hoster compares. 15,000GB of site transfer. 1,500GB of space.

    Midphase is down the street from where I work.

  3. mike mike

    last time i reviewed this stuff (November) it was dreamhost by a mile based on personal recommendations and value for services as described:

    https://dreamhost.com/hosting.html

    Note that I am not a current user; I was doing the research for another outfit. They opted to stay with a local provider rather than going with DH.

  4. I had a terrible experience with bluehost. I have the KnockingShitDownCo site at good ol’ register.com and find it a great interface, easy maintenance, and (most importantly) that I can easily control the very effective search engine optimization process (for about $20/mo). For bargain hosting, I’ve heard others sing the praises of godaddy (especially if one needs a shopping cart) although, after my fiasco into bluehost (which advertised SEO but it wasn’t really) I’ve gone to all register.com all the time. Of course, I’m not much of a techie, so maybe register.com’s for tech dummies like me. :/

  5. mike mike

    More stuff:

    http://www.clickfire.com/bluehost-review/

    Upfront positive review, LOTS of negative user comments below, most from December ’07 forward.

    http://mattheaton.com/?p=115

    Bluehost founder’s blog entry discussing growth-related service problems.

    http://blog.forret.com/2006/04/bluehost-vs-dreamhost/

    OLD comparison. Note DNS requirements for Bluehost, might be a good idea to make sure that they don’t require a domain transfer for hosted domains.

    http://www.dreamhoststatus.com/

    Dreamhost status updates

    http://www.upstartblogger.com/why-dreamhost-sucks

    A bad experience with DH from ’05

    http://jennifermadden.com/dh.html

    A positive experience, but VERY unspecific, looks sorta like searchyspam. Parent site is a comprehensive javascript tutorial.

    http://blog.dreamhost.com/2006/08/01/anatomy-of-an-ongoing-disaster/

    Dreamhost blog about growth problems from 2006 (following from the issues in ’05 cited above).

    http://www.dreamhoststatus.com/2008/01/15/billing-issues/
    http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/01/15/dreamhost-overbills-customers-75-million-uses-homer-simpson-to-deliver-apology/

    DH overbills a bunch of customers and refunds the overage, Jan ’07

    Now all you have to do is pick! 😉

  6. My experience with Bluehost has been nothing but fantastic. Great support, tons of choices, shell access, easy control panel, and came to me with a high recommendation. I’ve been on Bluehost for 2 years without a glitch. I pulled all my domain names off Godaddy and they’re hosted by bluehost as well. I got tired of having domain names with one company and hoster with another. I have several client sites on Bluehost too, and everyone is pretty happy. I’ve also used Lunarpages.com, which is very nice, but bluehost still is better.

    What probs did you have Sophmom?

  7. Martha Martha

    I can’t help at all with that, but I would love to see more pics of the bambino.

    Martha

  8. I suggest dreamhost. i have settled upon them after many a not-so-good hosting experience elsewhere. they have a one click wordpress installer and one-click upgrades. they wrote their own web-based-admin which at first i thought would be a negative, having been experienced already using cpanel and plesk, but i now see it as a positive. I’d ask them first if they think 10,000 page views/day is too much for their shared server. if yes, they have a vps offering too. i created a promo code recently that gives away all the $97 promo money in the form of free stuff (two static i.p.’s, etc): INYUFREE

    my brother likes bluehost. they use cpanel. I’m not sure how they distinguish themselves since so many others use cpanel. maybe they try to have good service.

    a good place to compare horror stories and reviews is the forum at webhostingtalk.com.

  9. I’ve used pair.com for rumored.com for ten years now. They are slightly more expensive, but rock solid. I’ve never had a second of downtime in the last decade (except for stupid config mistakes I’ve made.)

    I just got a dreamhost account in December to use for Ruby on Rails projects. No problems yet, and I like the general feel of it. I’m still testing and have not launched anything drawing any sort of traffic, but I know they have a one-click installer for WordPress, and I installed a test blog there in about 15 seconds with no problems.

  10. Traffic numbers (in megabytes/gigabytes) would be useful in shopping around too, if you have them. If you’ve got halfway decent apache logs you can run something like analog and get an estimate of your usage. Many hosting plans have limits.

    For what it’s worth, for my “I need lots of space for backups and very little traffic” I use Verio, but they aren’t so much of a blog-type place. I have a bunch of friends happy with dreamhost. (My blog is on a friend’s colo until I get finished moving it to join the mailserver on my business T1, so I have no real help to offer…)

  11. Lee Lee

    I’ve mentioned this before to ya, infosaic.com. That’s who I host lmlvideoservices.com through, and their a great bunch of folks. Their out of Ohio and very personal.

    I have their cheapest hosting package, which is very generous, it’s just $5 a month!

  12. Dave Cash Dave Cash

    I’m very happy with dreamhost.com as well. I can’t imagine 10,000 page views per day would faze them.

  13. I know that Doug McLennan just moved Artjournal to Dreamhost, after a long effort to find a new host. Artsjournal has a LOT more traffic than we have. He might have some great insight, and he’s a very approachable guy; email him at his last name @artsjournal.com. Tell him I sent you. Or I can do it, if you want. I’m not as technically knowledgeable as you but I know him (he hosts Flyover, of course).

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