Saturday, March 18, 2006


Shopping for Web Hosting

For the past few years, my and domains have been hosted by providers that have disappointed me. They've disappointed me, but not so much that I had the urge to do the work needed to move to another provider until now.

What's changed is that my old credit card expired, so they can no longer automatically charge me every month unless I renew the info. I've noticed that I haven't done anything with my web sites for a couple of years, so I won't lose much if I make a fresh start.

So, I'd appreciate it if regular readers of my blog could make some suggestions. No spam, please. No web hosting salespeople, please. I just want to hear from "regular people" who are happy with their providers. (I'll quickly delete any comments that break these rules, and post nasty comments about the perpetrators.)

Here's what I'm looking for:

I'm not planning to run any high-volume or commercial sites; this is just for my own personal tinkering.

TextDrive looked like a good choice at first, but they prohibit "testing, development, tinkering, or sandboxing in any form." Without those activities, just what are computers good for, anyway?

[UPDATE: As of now, the main contenders are A2 Hosting, Bluehost, DreamHost, and RailsPlayground.]

[UPDATE #2: I've set up an account with A2 Hosting. You can never tell how good a provider is until you actually try them out. If A2 isn't to my liking, DreamHost will be my next choice.]

I have been using Dreamhost for 7 years now, and have been very, very pleased.

They consistantly add features, and have never raised prices. Their downtime has been minimal, and they have always been totally honest about every issue. I tinker like crazy on my account, and their tech support has been good even when I am being clueless.

They are not the cheapest out there, but it has been worth every penny.
Whatever you do, avoid Netfirms.

Sadly, I wish someone else had given me this advice myself before I signed up myself in good faith.

Worst...experience...ever. (So far..)
I'm with BlueHost atm, it's wonderful. No complaints so far.
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