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Old 07-15-2005, 06:05 AM   #1
vharishankar
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Thumbs down How to be careful while selecting a web hosting provider


Today out of curiosity I searched the web and was just browsing some hosting providers pages and it amused me to see how so many paid hosting providers say they provide 1000 MB or 500 MB for as low as $5 per month and then when you read the fine print in their "package" you get this info (in small 6pt verdana font):
Quote:
MySQL databases allowed: 1
Total MySQL database size: 5/10 MB
I mean, come on. How many people do these hosting providers rip off like this? 1000 MB sounds like a lot, but you won't be using so much space unless you use a dynamically database driven site or you upload oodles of photos.

It's a bit like gmail does, except that gmail is free. You don't need 1000 MB for your e-mail but they are willing to give you even more in their "generosity".

The moment you get serious and ask for database space for hosting the prices go up steeply and the Gigabytes drastically falls off into the tens of Megabytes.

I was very careful when I picked a hosting provider. I made sure that I got the total space of my hosting package for MySQL databases and I also got unlimited MySQL databases.

I am 100% satisfied with him. An excellent deal! Lest it be constituted as advertising I will refrain from posting the URL here.

Just a small note of warning to all those who ask "Help me find web hosting". Just be careful of hosting plans you see on so many sites on the web.

Many sites *do not* display their full list of features available and it's a shame that people who don't know better can get ripped off by choosing one that actually places such restrictions on them like limiting database size to a ridiculous 1% of the total hosting space.

I would be interesting in knowing how some of our members choose shared or dedicated hosting providers (when they cannot host on their own, of course. Not everybody has the resources to run their own webserver 24*7 and not so many of us have the bandwidth either).
 
Old 07-15-2005, 06:32 AM   #2
fouldsy
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I've found amusement along the same lines when browsing hosting providers. Good one's I find are things like unlimited diskpace that then says "at our discretion" and those that provide 250Mb bandwidth a month but give you 1Gb diskspace! Some hosts have been shocking and clearly look like some kid that bought a reseller account and hasn't got a clue.

But the database issues are ones I look closely at. How many + what size, and also backups, both of the databases and the files themselves. Bandwidth isn't so much of a problem, as usually I won't hammer out large graphics. Most of the diskspace for me will be databases, so as long as I have enough space, the server takes the load, and only needs to server a small amount of data.

Have hosted multiple sites with with my current provider over the last 5 years and never had problems. Took a while to find a decent one though after wading through all the fine print some hosts hide away from you!
 
Old 07-15-2005, 06:43 AM   #3
vharishankar
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I wrote a little article on my blog about this. I have quite strong feelings about this issue.

Please do comment! (check my signature for the link).
 
Old 07-15-2005, 07:20 AM   #4
phil.d.g
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I run my webserver off of my desktop, I only use it for webmail really so bandwidth and speed available are plenty. However back in the day when I wanted to have a real wesbite I went with a company that offered free hosting and it was fantastic, no-ads plenty of everything and the only limit on database space was the total limit on your account. They don't do free hosting anymore, but they still have the same good quality hosting for very little a month, starting off at 3 quid/$5/whatever , I've recommended them to a few friends and they are extremely happy with the service, If ever I deem my own server inadequate I will be buying off them, I'll not mention who they are because it may be considered advertising, but if you want to know send me an email.
 
Old 07-15-2005, 08:21 AM   #5
vharishankar
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Hi, phil.d.g,

I would like to do the same. If anybody wants to know which hosting I am using, please do email me.

I am not sure of the moderators' stance on this, but having done the hard work (research) and finding out a good hosting provider, I would feel happier recommending them and sharing the result.

Thanks.
 
Old 07-15-2005, 08:59 AM   #6
aysiu
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I don't think mentioning your hosting company is any different from recommending a Linux distro. As long as you don't join in, post one post that says, "Guys, this hosting service is amazing! Go here!" and then leave... I think it should be fine.
 
Old 07-17-2005, 09:09 AM   #7
vharishankar
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You know, today I came across another web host who offered 2000 MB for about $17-$18 per month and looking at his site, you would think it was the greatest hosting package ever.

There's once catch: MySQL space was 100 MB and his SQL Server space was 50 MB.

100 MB / 2000 MB = 0.05 = 5 % of total hosting space!

What on earth are you going to do with 1900 MB if it cannot be used to drive dynamic content? Host your photos? I know... but there is a limit to photos you can upload, eh?

And to think for a low price I am able to use my full hosting account space for the database.
 
Old 07-17-2005, 09:21 AM   #8
darkleaf
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I'd only use hosts that get recommended by others you know/trust. Especially if you're going to pay for it.

Also you should also be careful with free hosts cause I once had one that loaded trojans when my page was opened.

Generally if an offer looks too good to be true it's probably bad. For example that host with the trojan I had offered exactly what lycos did except without the ads (it opened like 3 ads per page for me so I wanted to change)
 
Old 07-27-2005, 12:30 PM   #9
deoren
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Quote:
Not everybody has the resources to run their own webserver 24*7 and not so many of us have the bandwidth either).
It depends on how busy your site is and whether you are already paying for xDSL or cable service. If you are and can afford the extra power that a computer running 24x7 uses then it's not bad at all.

Usually your bandwidth is limited to 40 or 60 KB/s (perhaps 80 KB/s if you're lucky) upload. If your site is like most (hobby), then that should be plenty.

The only thing about hosting your own site is you become the system admin. That's great for techs, but not so good for those who haven't spent the time learning the ropes. Your system could end up as a spam relay or a warez site pretty quick.
 
Old 07-28-2005, 02:22 PM   #10
ctkroeker
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I came across a site, canaca, and it looks ok, but I'm not sure. 10GB for $4 a month.
 
Old 07-28-2005, 09:29 PM   #11
69_rs_ss
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Well, that site is real basic. No mysql support, no ssh access amongst many other things that you don't get.
 
Old 10-20-2005, 03:58 AM   #12
itsjustme
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I'm resurrecting this old thread. I've been considering signing up with a web host. I've been doing some research and discovered, as mentioned, it all looks great and cheap, but then there's always the fine print. And if you read the reviews, there are just as many people that hate the hosting company with a passion as there are people who think it's the best thing ever presented to a consumer.

At first, I was just thinking about the 'oodles' of photos I want to to upload to share with friends and family. But, I guess having some sql support would make categorizing them and 'databasing' them easier, and possibly some of the photo management systems need sql on the server to operate (haven't researched that far yet.)

What do you use sql for in your websites, hosted at a hosting company? Is it required for whatever app you use to manage your data, or do you use, what is it... MySQL, and write your own queries and provide some sort of front end for visitors to your website to use. Of course, I'm just thinking from a personal point of view here, not a business point of view.

Also, the reason I'm looking into this is that I've moved and need to cancel my earthlink DSL account (which my family in the states is still using, but can't afford.) That account only allows me 10MB of web space per email account. That fills up rather quickly with jpg's and isn't nearly enough room to upload some short avi's. I can't do my own hosting, or anything like that, since I'm quite ignorant about the process, not to mention I'm now on dial-up through a military installation and don't have any web space or email available to use here.

Some of the hosting companies I've looked at, rather briefly so far, are IX Webhosting, Lunarpages, Vertigo Hosting, and a couple of others.

Thanks for any additional info.
 
Old 10-20-2005, 04:53 AM   #13
deoren
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Quote:
and possibly some of the photo management systems need sql on the server to operate
Some do. Gallery2 does, but Gallery 1 does not. There are other photo management packages out there but I've yet to try them.
 
Old 10-20-2005, 05:29 PM   #14
Tuvok
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I came across a site, hostforwebsite, it offers unlimited MySQL, 250MB space with 4GB bandwidth, for $0.75 (there's also 500MB/8GB bandwidth for $1.50). It looks ok, but I'm not sure. I was wondering if someone has noticed any hidden fine prints.

Last edited by Tuvok; 10-20-2005 at 05:36 PM.
 
Old 10-20-2005, 05:47 PM   #15
ctkroeker
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http://www.webhostingjury.com/
Is a great place for reviews.
 
  


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