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Author Topic: Hosting recommendations (again)  (Read 12186 times)

sevenlayermuddle

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Hosting recommendations (again)
« on: January 15, 2013, 10:53:28 AM »

I'm sure this has been discussed before (even by me) but we are now establishing a new company identity, and need to set up hosting.

My budget is very tight and I can host the website elsewhere.  So initially, I just want a cheap but reliable email host, don't even need much storage.    As time goes by, I may however want to upgrade the package to include web hosting which may mean higher traffic rates, and maybe also more email.  I don't mind paying more if/when it happens, though it'd be nice to be able to stay with same hosts.

I think vidahost has been mentioned with enthusiasm before.  I've also homed in on tsohost who seem to get good reviews, and who's packages seem very similar to vidahost, and I think are owned by the same parent group. The two of them offer similar starter packages at 17.99 and 14.99 p/a respectively.

toshost seem to emphasis 'cloud' hosting.  I'm not sure what that really means, probably irrelevant for the service I want?

https://www.tsohost.com/
https://www.vidahost.com/

Anybody care to influence me, or to broaden my horizons to other hosting companies?

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kitz

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 11:38:13 AM »

I cant recall vidahosts pricing offhand as Im on a bespoke package...  and since Im sure youve looked into that anyhow I wont comment on that area.  Im also not sure if they do email only, but they do do cheap starter packages.

Vidahost have been great with me and the support has been 2nd to none.  They've pulled the stops out a few times to go above and beyond what most hosting companies would do. 

Re cloud hosting - btw vidahost also offer this. 
In some respects Im not keen on it as it uses a propriety user panel rather than CPanel for user control. 
Yet in other areas its very good and should work well if redundancy is a concern.  They use true cloud which means that their mail servers, web servers, database servers etc are all held on separate machines.   'Normal' hosting means that everything is on the one server... or in the case of some hosts -  like 123 for etc -  on a cluster of servers.

The supposed benefit of cloud hosting is that if for some reason say maintenance needs to be done on mail or http, then your other services are unaffected. If everything is on the one server and something goes down or needs upgrading/maintenance, then the whole lot goes off too.


 
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 05:15:51 PM by kitz »
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 01:50:14 PM »

Thanks for the comments, Kitz.

Comments now noted, feel free to modify  :)

Interesting to hear of your recent experiences.   Both organisations seem to have excellent reputations for support, but a first hand account of a real event is especially valuable.  I'd been thinking the only 'support' I needed was somebody to yell at when their servers went down, but clearly there's more to it than that.

In my naivety, I wasn't actually aware of 'CPanel' though a quick google tells me about it, I'll be looking into that. I just assumed everybody would use something proprietary.   We've led a sheltered life wrt web hosting in the past, as our current site is hosted under very favourable terms indeed as a favour through other half's past work 'connections'.  But we have no access to anything more exotic than plain old web pages (no scripting),  and it is configured by old-fashioned FTP'ing files and emailing their admins, hoping they're not too busy with 'proper' customers!

I wouldn't have thought it was a problem to host email without www, but I'll make sure of that before signing on the dotted line.  My domain registrars are elsewhere (freeparking.co.uk) so it ought to be just a case of going to freeparking's CP and pointing email traffic at vidahost, and web traffic at wherever else.  I find freeparking OK as registrars, but their support is wholly unconvincing via email and I prefer to keep them at arms length.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 01:54:54 PM »

Incidentally I meant to add, my original intent for email was to use the Google Apps free edition, which I've been using for other email for a while now, and it has proven to be utterly fantastic and the bargain of the century. 

Sadly, they are no longer accepting new users to the 'free' service, and the paid equivalent is anything but cheap  :(
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roseway

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 02:49:36 PM »

Another option you might look at is 1and1. I've recently started using them to host my rs-ux site, and it's been a very comfortable experience for me. Their starter package would seem to offer everything you need.
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  Eric

sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 03:56:07 PM »

Thanks Eric, I'd not considered that one, but will check it out.

First thing catches my eye is the entry-level price is above the others, but it seems to have 6 months free and provides a more generous 2GB email allowance, vs the 500MB of the others - plus 'unlimited' traffic volumes...  For email, traffic volume won't be an issue, but that might provide some degree of 'futureproofing' for website traffic.

Can't make up my mind whether to worry about the 'paltry' 500MB allowances for email or not (I've confirmed, the advertised 'hosting space' comprises email and web).  It's so much less than Google Apps' incredible 10GB (per user!) allowance, but that's no longer an option... and do I really have any excuse for having anywhere near 500MB of email lying around on the servers?   ???

Decisions, decisions... :-\
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kitz

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 05:54:42 PM »

>> I wasn't actually aware of 'CPanel'

I was possibly getting ahead of myself and its probably not that important.  I suppose its one of those features that you dont  miss until youve used it, because it adds so many features and gives you much control.  With previous hosts Ive used proprietary software and got along fine.  TBH if youre ony hosting a starter type site then you wont be needint to use many of the features anyhow.  I only mentioned it because it is something Ive been spoilt with and miss when its not there.


>> I wouldn't have thought it was a problem to host email without www.

Sorry perhaps I didnt explain well when I said email only.  :-[ There are some hosts (such as Easily) which do email only packages without any http at a reduced rate because youre not hosting a site.
   
The basic/starter packages mentioned for the other hosts include both in the price... and there shouldnt be any problem if you use one but dont take advantage of the other.
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broadstairs

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2013, 11:23:29 PM »

I use Ariotek, see http://ariotek.co.uk/. I've been with them for a few years now (using both hosting and email) and while not necessarily the cheapest they are good and have great support. I was recommended to them by someone who also had been using them for a while and I must say they have been excellent. They do have quite a range of packages.

Stuart
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 12:40:55 PM »

Thanks Broadstairs, another one for me to look into.  I'm sure there are a few bad apples out there, but I'm finding it quite refreshing to see just how good a reputation many of these hosting companies enjoy.   Contrasts a little with the related industry of ISPs, where it is fair to say that far from all ISPs are universally praised by their customers.   :D

Another thought has arisen... I'll be using POP/IMAP for email access most of the time, but occasionally I might want to use the host's webmail.  I'm not expecting miracles for the (entry-level) prices I'm going to pay, but I assume all those listed so far will have webmail that's not too tortuous?

I just wish I could stop kicking myself for missing the boat with google apps 'free', but I'm unwilling to pay their $50 per user per year just for email.  >:(
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kitz

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 01:37:54 PM »


Another thought has arisen... I'll be using POP/IMAP for email access most of the time, but occasionally I might want to use the host's webmail.  I'm not expecting miracles for the (entry-level) prices I'm going to pay, but I assume all those listed so far will have webmail that's not too tortuous?



Can confirm re Vidahost. 
Ive used their Squirrelmail in the past, which is straightforward, but theres a few more options such roundcube or horde if you prefer those webmail services. 
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broadstairs

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 02:33:37 PM »

Ariotek does have webmail which is quite easy, I do use it occasionally.

Stuart
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roseway

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 03:17:38 PM »

1and1 has webmail that's easy enough to use.
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  Eric

sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2013, 03:37:55 PM »

All good & reassuring answers.  :)

Thanks.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 12:35:45 AM »

Hmm, more complications.   

I've discovered, to my surprise, that whilst it's no longer possible to open a new free Google Apps account for my new domain, and I don't regard the paid equivalent as being good value, my existing google apps (free) account might allow me to add another domain to my account. Or at least what they call a 'subdomain' to my existing primary domain.  I'd eat into my user allowance (ten users), but that doesn't worry me as so far I only have three.   :graduate:

Arguably, even if I can make it work, this could be a mistake... 'all my eggs in one basket' if google decide to change the T&C in some unpleasant way in future.  But it may buy me some breathing space until the need arises for website hosting.   And I must admit - the mailbox size limits (of the entry-level packages) does worry me wrt to the hosts discussed so far.   Eric's was probably the best in that respect, but also not the cheapest - and my budget is definitely shoestring.   In comparison I'll probably never use Google's 10GB so mail from the dawn of time can just stay on the servers, and if you trust google, big 'IF' I know, everything is nice and safe and disaster-proof.

Another downside is Google don't seem to document bandwidth download limits, or penalties for exceeding them, for the free edition.  But, from searching forums, there do seem to be some.   This is a worry, but perhaps not a major one with my 3Mbps home download speed  :D

I'll be looking into this further tomorrow.  :)
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Hosting recommendations (again)
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2013, 05:33:40 PM »

To round this off, I seem to have suceeded in persuading a pre-existing google apps account to host email for my new company identity.  My ten user allowance gives me total 100GB of email storage   :graduate:

I now feel a little ungrateful for all the advice I was given, having cast it all aside in favour of my old 'flame' google apps. :-[

But assured I have taken it on board.   In a few weeks' time I will want website hosting as well, and will almost certainly choose from one of the recommendations that have been given. Many thanks, folks. :)


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