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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard wheeler's Avatar
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    Thumbs down In a bad and rapidly declining hosting situation

    I am a web developer and have had a server management role forced upon me through lack of resources with one of clients. They were having a bad time with their original host, so I researched hosting companies and ended up going with a big company in the US.

    Things went really well for a while, they were helpful and the server was highly reliable. Our web application has been in slow decline for a long time, and i'm on the verge of finishing a totally new php/mysql script that will function alot better than the original.

    The problem is that I think the host has had a change of management/ownership or something... there website has a new look (which is pretty crap IMO). I will just rant a little about the issues I have with them:

    - there ticketing system is able to receive new tickets, but the ticket history works <1&#37; of the time so its virtually impossible to backtrack previous issues

    - there advertising that had me convinced to use them was along the lines of "focus on your business while we handle backend issues"

    - there staff are getting increasingly cheeky and now barely skim over tickets instead of answering questions properly

    - they made a huge blunder when we requested and paid for a dedicated backup system. they installed a second hard drive but didn't config the backup script to write to it, so all the backup files reside on our primary hd and its now completely out of disk space. mysql has failed along with other things as a result, and my client is presently losing money every minute for the last 8 hours

    - the server runs HSPc which (at least the version we have) is total absolute rubbish. Probably 80% of problems relate to HSPc breaking things. The php and mysql versions are so damn old (and probably the OS as well), and we can't even upgrade them because HSPc doesn't support them.

    The idea was that when we get a "managed dedicated server", the server guys will make sure that our websites are functional (as in mysql, mail works), but this ideal has been slowing slipping away, and now I often get left in a situation where I know there are problems and no1 is prepared to fix them.

    In hindsight what we really need is a server technician who will actually look after our server, install software, make sure its running smoothly. I know about php/mysql performance, but I don't know about anything much of what a server tech would know.

    I really like cPanel/WHM but I am aware that it is not ideal due to some security concerns, scalability problems and more. But the point is, its easy to use, I can do all the things I like to do, like easily manage email accounts, cron jobs, error logs etc.

    I would appreciate any help anyone can offer on the following:

    - where does one find a good server technician who can work on-call, and actually does things properly and has a genuine vested interest in the outcome?

    - where o where can I find a decent dedicated hosting company where we get a decent level of freedom, coupled with people who actually want to help and modern technologies

    We are in a real pickle because we have alot of files to move around, and very little idea about where to go with them.
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy ldcdc's Avatar
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    IMO you probably just need a managed hosting solution that actually works as it should.

    If you need server management, I heard good things about platinumservermanagement.com
    HostPeek.com - budget hosts, compared
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  3. #3
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    As I read through your post, it seemed a whole lot like a asking-for-webhost-recommendation thread, so I apologise if this is not the case.

    Is cPanel et cetera required, or is the only requirement in that regard that the control panel is easy to use? Also, can you specify in a list what your requirements are?

    Since the end of 2003 I have been very much impressed by Server101, which operates out of an office in Brisbane. Since then, I have recommended a number of clients to them (with the intention of helping people, not as a commission thing), and I plan on using their hosting with my next website (which is currently under development).

    In the years that I have had myself and my clients working on their servers, I have not had any complaints or downtime (that I am aware of), and I receive help from their technical team within hours. In addition, because they (and I) are located in Brisbane, I can simply call their office should I need assistance.

    I know this sounds like a sales pitch, but I find them to be that good. Take a look, as I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about them.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard wheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldcdc View Post
    IMO you probably just need a managed hosting solution that actually works as it should.
    I couldn't agree more! Initially thats what I thought we had, just like I thought HSPc (or at least our implementation of it) was actually good.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnarchist View Post
    Is cPanel et cetera required, or is the only requirement in that regard that the control panel is easy to use? Also, can you specify in a list what your requirements are?
    some of the requirements are:
    - php & mysql (the more recent the versions the better)
    - access to php.ini and other configuration files
    - easy to create new database and in particular create mysql users with varying permission levels (as per cpanel)

    I don't require cpanel as such, its just the only web control panel i've had positive experiences with. I also feel it's much easier having seperate control panels per site, and then a higher permission level panel to admin the server. (rather than what HSPc offers)

    Thanks for the recommendations, yes I am definitely looking for some good quality hosting. I would have no hesitation in recommending the Brisbane based company, hostingshop.com.au. It is fast, its virtually never down... the only criticism is sometimes they skimp on ticket replies, although i'm sure they would be more responsive if I got on the phone to them. I have a WHM reseller account with them and its ironic comparing that experience to my clients more expensive, supposedly more capable setup.

    In terms of the kind of server admin the client needs, it would be handy if they were local Gold Coast/Brisbane Australia, they knew what they were doing, and they were ok with the basis that sometimes we might need urgent help, and that with a bit of luck we will hardly ever need to hassle them. I'm just not sure what approach to take in finding this kind of person, as the server admin world is kindof seperated (socially) from my type of crowd.
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy linkin99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldcdc View Post
    If you need server management, I heard good things about platinumservermanagement.com
    They are good. I don't even want to think where we'd be if we weren't with these guys (PSM). The only knock about using a 3rd party though is that they aren't at the physical location, so I am still dependent on the chuckle-heads that actually host our servers to respond to reboot issues when needed. Today, it took over an hour for our host to respond to a reboot request. PSM saw that it was down within 5 minutes, and sent the reboot request, but that is really all they can really do until the server is back up and running.

    So, it's better when you can actually find a host that also does management too. It just gets all that much more expensive though.


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