Hostmonster Sucks – Hostmonster Review and Warning

11

Category : Reviews, Security, web, web hosting

After 4 years of suffering and apologising to my clients about hostmonster’s downtime, I am moving my sites out of there, and I am leaving  Hostmonster for good. In this article I will explain why that is, and why you should stay away from Hostmonster.

This it a professional site, so I apologise for the language in the header, but most people look for ‘hosting-company-name sucks’ when they are looking for a review for a hosting company.

I have been using Hostmonster to host about 6-8 sites I own for the last 4 years (never for this site – spacebug has a dedicated account somewhere else)

Here are the reasons you should not consider Hostmonster as a hoster:

Low availability

Since day one my sites had more downtime in hostmonster then other hosting compenies I have worked with. There are some good weeks, but on average you get very low availability. You see it in downtime in the site, bounced incoming email, and flaky FTP connections.

Horrible performance

Sites run slowly on Hostmonster. This problem becomes worst with time (my guess is they overload the servers). This happens on plain HTML sites as well as PHP and MySQL driven sites.

Poor and unfriendly support

Contacting Hostmonster support is a waiting game, it takes forever for them to get back to you. what is worst is that when they do come back to you, they are never helpful.

Major security issues

This is not a joke – Hostmonster servers have been compromised several time. These have been a server-level attacks which affected multiple accounts. Personally speaking, it is a terrible feeling to have your site hacked into. The company required all accounts to change their passwords to strong password and two weeks later the attack happened again. If you do not want your site to be a place for virus distribution – stay away from hostmonster!

No communication of issues

They have never communicated any security/downtime/other (planed or otherwise) issues. They never admit it is something that they do wrong. When you tell then your server is down for the last 8 hours, they will say “it was done to improve future performance” or something like that.

Conclusion

I do not want to make any recommendation about other hosters, these things change from time to time. I have yet to find the perfect hosting company. But all the other companies I have worked with were, by far, much better.

Recommend Hostmonster only to your arch-enemy.

Cloud Services and Application Performance Monitoring

Category : SAAS, Software development, web hosting

In his interesting article, Cloud Automation: problem & solution, Dor Juravski talks about Performance and SLA as key challenges to cloud based applications and services. Dor also suggests Application Performance Monitoring (APM) as a mitigation to this challenge.

When we move from in-house application to cloud-based application, we shift some of  the responsibilities around SLA, DR and performance to the cloud service provider. Having said that, we still own the business risk of our application not been there for our clients/internal workers.

What will happen, it time, is that cloud services will be utilised like water and electricity today – we will use cloud services and not even think about performance or disaster recovery. Till that day will come, we will still need to be mindful and understand our  cloud-provider’s SLA, performance policies and their alignment with our business KPIs. If needed we should consider APM tools to help us manage these KPIs.

Cloud services are the way of the future, we need to address the key challenges and be aware of the business and technical implications of the new order.

Save Money on Your Web Host with HostMate

Category : fun, Tips, web hosting

The cost of common shared hosting starts at 3$-10$ per month. While this is a cost many can afford, there are many out there that find it hard to spend 120$/year. Well, in the past 4 years I have used the idea of hostMates very successfully, saving money and learning from my mates.

Please note: HostMate is an idea, best practice if you want. It is not a product or a service, although someone might want to provide this service.

The simple idea of HostMate

Share the same host account with other people (preferably friends) in the same manner we use to have a roommate in the university.
Most hosting accounts support multiple domain names, MySQLs, email addresses and FTP accounts.
Why not share the cost and enjoy this multitenancy with a few ‘virtual roommates’?

A very similar set of rules should apply both for roommates and for hostMates:

  1. Respect the other mates privacy
  2. Keep the file system/ living room clean
  3. Don’t do anything that will bring the police
  4. Do not abuse common resources
  5. If you bring a date back to the room hang a ‘do not disturb sign’ on the door knob – I guess this is more relevant for roommates than for hostMates

At some stage, very similar to roommates, you will outgrow your hostMate arrangement and move out of this deal into a new, posh hosting all by yourself.

Good luck.
1

How much should a web site really cost?

1

Category : Open source, Opinion, Reviews, Software development, web hosting

Lately I have been asked by many people how much should they pay for a personal or small business website. It seems that these are good times to get some extra cash from a web initiative.

The problem is that, for most people, building and hosting a website is somewhat of a mystery. And when people treat something as a mystery they tend to over complicate it and over pay for it. Some people I talked to spent 20-100$ on simple basic hosting alone! That is, in most cases, more than what they need to pay.
Continue Reading

Shared Hosting or Dedicated Hosting? Now it is easier to choose.

Category : Reviews, web, web hosting

When you want to host your website with a hosting proivder, one of the first choices you’ll need to make is whether to go with a dedicated server or shared hosting.

This is the key decision that this choozza helped me make. Choozza takes a different approach to this question; I defined my priorities and got the decision which was fine tuned for me.

You will make the decision based on these criteria:

1) Big Websites Fit – Does this hosting option fit a big website, with a large volume of traffic?

2) Control – How much control do you have over the server?

3) Cost – How expensive is each of the options?

4) IP Address Issues – Will your website have its own IP address?

5) Performance Implications – What type of performance can you expect to get from the hosting? What can affect this performance?

6) Security – What are the security implications of going this way or the other?

7) Small Websites Fit – Does this hosting option fit a small, low-to-average traffic website with no special needs (e.g. a blog).

I filled this choozza for one of my small web sites and the answer was Shared Hosting. The details provided really justified my decision.

How to: Adding wildcard pages to robots.txt

Category : Software development, Tips, web, web hosting

Sometimes we want to exclude a page from search engines. For example, repetitive pages that might lead to page rank penalties.

If you want to exclude pages with a specific name from several locations in your site – for example you might have a comments.php or a help.php in multiple parts of your site, and you want to hide it from search engines, you need to modify robots.txt.

Here is how you do it:
1) Create or edit robots.txt in the root of your site
Continue Reading