Earthlink ( http://www.earthlink.net ): In the early days I was on earthlink.net, which is overpriced for what they provide in a starter site but simple for beginners and that worked during the starting out days. Earthlink will never host a vbulletin though because they do not support both mysql and php. They support only one and then only on one of their servers, the Atlanta server. In addition their online service is non-existent, however their phone service is pretty good. If you do not mind a couple days going back and forth with a problem till they find someone who can fix it. Not all of their techs know what they are doing.
Hostfinity ( http://hostfinity.com ): Outgrowing Earthlink I set up a test site with hostfinity.com. The basic package site is cheap, $14.95 per month for a basic package, and Hostfinity was the associated host site to 000.domains.com (my registrar). Hostfinity said they could do more than probably they could, i.e. unlimited bandwidth. But I thought I would wait and see.
It did not go real well. Hostfinity does things like decide to upgrade a page and then just leave links pointing to wrong pages till they come bacck the next day. This was a problem for me. Their tutorials are almost non-existent, support correspondence sometimes comes from someone real eloquent and other times from someone who can't spell or handle grammer too well. The first couple weeks went okay in spite of this, I can find tutorials other places and it was cheap and the site was functioning fine. Then my site went down one day and stayed down for six hours. The following day it went down and stayed down a bit over an hour. Which was enough to convince me to move.
I have not cancelled Hostfinity yet it will be interesting to see how that goes, they say 30 day money back guarantee and we'll see whether that's really going to happen. Also when my site first went down, Hostfinity reps' initial response was their servers were all online and running fine. That, to me, is not a good answer to "my site is offline." Then I was told the downtime was the result of a server hardware problem. And the next day I was told it was a hacker problem and also they did not understand my concern this could happen with any host. I was not reassured by any scenario there.
Pair Networks: ( http://www.pairnetworks.com ) I signed up with Pair Networks next because I figured if they were hosting the creators of php they knew what they were doing with php and mysql. I signed up for the webmaster package which right now is discounted if you sign on for it, although there is a domain set up fee of $15 for each domain that is not really clearly mentioned up fornt. Some of the advantages of Pair Networks are they have great tutorials, a good search engine for the tutorials, and you can host as many domains as you would like on one account. Albeit each will cost you a set up fee. Parking is cheap, $1 per month per parked site, which seems across the board. Hosting more than one domain on one account is a pretty great feature if you use low bandwidth or your clients use low bandwidth and you want to host several domains on one account. It is not so great if you need a lot of bandwidth and data base storage however because you will outgrow that one account fast their allocations are not very big.
Some of the disadvantages that showed up for me with Pair Networks were, command functions were difficult to find, navigate, and were confusing to me, (I so did not want to relearn a whole new navigation system, sigh), they did not have customizable error pages (okay it is a vanity thing but it matters to me), and the bandwidth alloted to accounts was low compared to other host sites. So. Even if you could host more than one domain on one account, if one of those domains used a lot of badwidth, you were going to get bounced up fast to reseller and then have to start adding and changing out plans and upgrading fast. (I do not want to move again for a very long time so I would rather be somplace that gave me extra room to grow into in advance.)
Pair Networks has been very professional, was fast with responses to questions both before I got an account with them and after I got an account, as well as when I was leaving. When I cancelled my account they were fast and courteous and immediately credited my card back. Which says a lot because you often learn more about a place when you are leaving than you ever do while you are with them and they were good.
Ventures Online (http://www.venturesonline.com ): I'm currently on Ventures Online with two domains using their plan 3 for both. I chose them because everyone in here had real good things to say about them, (I was thinking about Hostrocket but someone had a rough time with them so I passed on them) they give you a lot of bandwidth and five mysql databases with the plan I have both domains on, #3, and once you have one account you can set that up as a reseller account and host your other domains at half price -- which means with two domains on separate accounts it is costing me the same as it would have cost to have two domains hosted on one account with Pair. And I have more than double the room. In addition, Ventures Online does not charge a set up fee for domains and Pair did.
Ventures Online support has been fast, courteous, and effective, although I have not been with them long I have, um, used that support a lot. There was trouble with POP mail on one account and it took some sorting out and should probably not have been that hard to set up a couple POP mailboxes, (there was no trouble setting up POP mailboxes on the main account it was some sort of virtual alias thing with the resold account) but they were on it and are always nice even though I am probably a problem child. (The computer gods just sort of designated me a learn things the hard way girl I think oh well.)
Ventures Online tutorials are not as good as Pair's tutorials, or as comprehensive, searches I do of VO tutorials usually come up empty meaning whatever problem or question I have is just not ever in there. They make up for this with fast support and I have gotten support late at night so this is not just a "we'll be here for you from 9 to 5" scenario. They work late. Although they are a little fast to close out trouble tickets I think, it's not too hard to start a new one so that works out okay too.
That's it. Hope it helps. And with luck I will not have any more hosts to report on for a long while here.
Heres some recent reviews of mine
At first glance, after you look at what all they give you, they look like a dream company. Basically, they give you unlimited EVERYTHING...or so they claim. Well i recently signed up with them about 3 weeks ago. And they claim to have unlimited bandwidth, but yet when my site was getting alot of traffic, they email me saying that all of our traffic was slowing them down, and if i didnt delete my board, then they would delete it for me and shut my account down. Now I dunno about you, but that doesnt sound like "unlimited bandwidth" to me.
Also they sent me a kind of a offensive email. Basically the vibe i got from it is that i'm the "$16.95/month" guy and that i dont matter because its the people that pay hundreds of dollars of month that they really care about.
So i just thought I'd warn you all before more people get screwed over by this company, their "unlimited" everything, and their rude technical support.
I Definetly Recommend this server here are just a few pros
Awesome technical support (usually within an hour)
AMAZING control panel
50 MySQL databases
1000 FTP accounts
Over 20 premade CGI scripts
Stats for everything
Custom Error pages
Very fast and you dont have to worry about server load
4GB of space, more on request
100GB of transfer, more on request
Free Search Engine Position Report
Free Search Keyword Analyzer
Free Search Engine Submission
24/7 Network Monitoring
Now a few Cons
Sub-domains limited to 20
Add-on domains limited to 5
Parked Domains limited to 20
They Close your account without warning if they suspect fraud and its hard work trying to get your account re-activated
The 0.1% they are down is usually lenghy (1 hour at most, probably once every 8-12 months)
Forced to pay 12 or 24 month term, or you pay an extra $3 a month plus a $30 setup and $10 for the free domain
Credit card is the only payment option
If you get a domain from them, they keep it, even if you want to change webhosts
this host is by far the #1 free hoster out there, there is no free host that will top this one im happy with this host it offers 4 different plans so you can start off small then work your way up without having to pay more then $0 they also offer a free domain but the work to get it can be a bit tedios
4 Plans (ALL FREE)
Most of the techs seem to know what they are doing
you need 15 posts in the forum to apply for hosting and your not gaurentees acceptance
you need 35 posts for a free domain
you need to get 200 unique clicks on their banner to get a free domain
Sign up can be mis leading
f5hosting - http://www.f5hosting.com/ - platinum plan
1. Very fast. Great vB performance.
2. Friendly staff. Charlie (waxxman) is a little bit strange sometimes, hehe. Allen and the others really know their stuff though. They all have an overly-enthusiastic attitude about everything.
3. 100% uptime from what I can tell so far. Granted I haven't been with them for more than a couple weeks.
4. Unbeatable price for the features you get. They have specials going on until July 1 where you can get the platinum plan for $18.50 a month.
5. Support for GZIP. Good GZIP performance.
6. Excellent and very functional online control panel.
1. Slow vBPortal performance sometimes. Not really slow, but it takes a while to actually get the query through for a vBPortal page. It used to be really slow but it has gotten quite a bit faster recently. Note: vBPortal is also said to be a very intensive script that can still benefit a lot from some code optimization and stuff. That might be why it's slow.
See this thread also: http://www.f5hosting....s=&threadid=59
I'm using f5 as a "secondary" host that I might switch to soon. I'm also using it as a separate host to test vBPortal. I think f5 is great for smaller sites. Lots of f5 customers are running vB. And some are running vBPortal too. As with anything, I think the "you get what you pay for" saying still applies to f5. Don't expect to host a vB with like 30 simultaneous users and not have problems. Any shared server has its limits. Other than that I would say f5 looks to be a great host.
hostrocket - http://www.hostrocket.com/ - corporate plan
1. Very fast. Great vB performance.
2. Support for GZIP. Good GZIP performance.
3. Excellent and very functional online control panel.
4. Great price for the features you get.
1. Uptime isn't all that. Sometimes uptime and performance are awesome. Then sometimes you hit a period where your site goes to crap. The last couple days have been bad. They tell me they are working to fix it. You will find that different people have different things to say about hostrocket's uptime (whether good or bad). You would be wise to do some extra research.
2. Support tickets sometimes take a while to get a response.
Hostrocket is a great host but their uptime needs work (from my experience. other people might disagree). Great performance though. Very fast vBB performance with GZIP enabled.
hostpro - http://www.hostpro.com/ - freedom 200 plan
1. Excellent uptime.
2. Prompt responses to support tickets.
3. Excellent online users guide.
4. vBulletin "capacity" is excellent. The number of users I had on my forums never seemed to effect performance. In fact, when I signed up with them they said that it isn't mySQL capacity or server capacity that I should worry about. They said my monthly bandwidth allotment would be the limiting factor before their server capacity would.
1. On rare occassions I used to get "network latency" (as stated by their support techs). This caused generally slow performance sometimes. This was a temporary issue.
2. Online control panel is pretty bare, but functional for what it does do.
3. No support for GZIP.
4. Pricey. $$$
5. Their whole site layout, online users guide, support ticket system, etc... takes a little getting used to. But it works.
6. vB performance isn't as fast at times as some other hosts that are half as much.
As a server they are very stable with great uptime. Very consistant in general.
netmegs - http://www.netmegs.com/ - fully virtual standard
1. Excellent uptime.
2. Excellent support. Bini is awesome.
3. Awesome UBB 5.45c performance.
1. When I went from UBB to vB 1.1.5 back in the day it totally jacked their server. I got MySQL max connection errors, performance issues, etc, etc. They ended up moving me to an isolated server to better guage my usage. I ended up moving to a different host because I didn't want to deal with it. Though, Bini was very accomodating.
I think ill stop there, i just gave you a few options and my thoughts as well as a few of my friends imput here
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