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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict revlimiter's Avatar
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    Good VPS Host with Customer Support & Email

    Hi everyone,
    We are looking at switching hosts from HostGator to something else. We are currently using VPS Level 3 with cPanel to give a feel for what we're using at this present time (and we'd be willing to switch over to Plesk if need be but it's not a requirement to what we're looking for). Basically we're just looking for something with good Customer Service with knowledgeable staff either through phone support or email. Also, we will be hosting our emails with our new hosting provider so it's pretty imperative that the email works smoothly as our business depends heavily upon it on a daily basis. Presently at this time, Hostgator's email server IP address is blocked on the Barricuda spam protection network so not everyone is receiving our emails. I am not sure why this is the case and if we would need to upgrade to a dedicated server in order to resolve the IP address issue. Perhaps it is the entire HostGator network that is being blocked due to excessive email spam being hosted on there? Anyways, if a dedicated server with our new hosting provider is going to be required in order to get emails working 100% we can look into that too.

    Also, I am sorry that we don't have much good to say about HostGator - from what we have gathered over the years with being with them is that they will treat you like another number and seem to care less about you as a customer. Their support staff will tell you one thing over chat, email, or the phone and than go around and tell you something completely different the next hour in regards to the exact same questions which leads us to believe that they have very little training in the field of web hosting and troubleshooting these problems. It's unfortunate to see and they are probably getting so much business that they don't really care anyways... I will say that their price point is at a good place but if their hosting and service doesn't match than it doesn't really matter. At this point we will be willing to pay pretty much anything just to have a reliable host that we can truly depend on.

    So with that being said, any help and guidance with these 2 requests is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!
    "To make an apple pie from scratch,
    you must first create the universe.
    -Carl Sagan

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy ldcdc's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    I've had a pretty good experience with LiquidWeb, though I don't qualify as a heavy user. I used a VPS from them to host a small site and to monitor uptime of several shared hosting accounts (using Cacti). Apache would sometimes run out of memory and got automatically restarted, but the downtime was inconsequential. Staff was pretty knowledgeable, and responsive. Before you purchase from them you should look around for a coupon, as you might get a free upgrade/discount. You might find some in the advertising section at webhostingtalk.com, as they used to advertise there, and likely still do.

    I am not sure why this is the case and if we would need to upgrade to a dedicated server in order to resolve the IP address issue.
    I'm not sure how they setup emails for VPSes. Changing the IP will probably help, but I don't think you should buy a dedicated server just to get a different IP for your email server. If you are a heavy email sender, have newsletters etc., you will, sooner or later run into IP blacklisting again. It's probably wise to use a specialized newsletter hosting service, if that's the type of email usage you have.
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  3. #3
    Certified Ethical Hacker silver trophybronze trophy dklynn's Avatar
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    rev,

    I thought HostGator was okay - nice to have an update on the service they're providing!

    I've gotten upset at hosts over time and have used this process to find a new host:

    1. Establish your requirements, i.e., Linux, Apache 2.4+, PHP 5.2+, MySQL 5+ and storage and bandwidth requirements. Remember to allocate for log files, databases, e-mail (attachments) and growth.

    1a. (added) If you're looking for a VPS or dedicated server, remember to ask what the host's managed services provide. Remember, a non-managed host must be monitored by you 24/7/365!

    2. Know what control panels you are willing to use, i.e., WHM/cPanel. cPanel is the standard bearer for Linux systems and Plesk for Windows systems.

    3. Know how much CPU time/RAM you need. If you need a lot of processing power (like Zoomla and other CMS's), this will be a major factor. These, however, are usually specified only for VPS/dedicated accounts and automatically throttled for shared/reseller accounts.

    4. Know your target (the Internet is fast but some latency could hurt so the closer your server to your target audience the better) location and try to host as close to your target as possible.

    5. SEARCH (using the above parameters) recording each feasible host as well how well it satisfies your requirements and budget. Spreadsheets are good for this as you can assign weighting to the different requirements and how well they were met to generate numerical scores.

    6. Create a shortlist based on the database you've created in step 5 then SEARCH for comments about the host (avoiding obvious shills and websites which advertise for that host).

    7. The last step (other than selection) is to contact each shortlisted host with a question (I've used .htaccess and mod_rewrite availability, which services are managed by the host, the availability of IP addresses - you will require one for each SSL you use - or ask to test proprietary control panels - they may make life too difficult for you) and record the response time and your level of satisfaction with the response.

    8. Finally, you'll have enough information to make an intelligent selection.

    Been there, done that (all too frequently in the past).

    When you get a new host (I use WebHostingBuzz and WebHostingZoom [but they're getting very slow responding to problem tickets]), I'd recommend:

    1. Transfer the accounts via cPanel/WHM. That should transfer EVERYTHING and eliminate many of the configuration tasks of opening a new hosting account.

    2. Get help (if you need it) to configure your EXIM to send SPF and require senders be associated with individual domains. The IP address problem will go away and should not return with careful configuration. VPSs get their own IP Address so don't let it be abused (hackers as well as your own accounts - keep your sites safe by using good coding practices and VERY strong passwords.

    Regards,

    DK
    David K. Lynn - Data Koncepts is a long-time WebHostingBuzz (US/UK)
    Client and (unpaid) WHB Ambassador
    mod_rewrite Tutorial Article (setup, config, test & write
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Member
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    I'd stay away from TSOhosts as I have and some others have been deceived by their sales blah blah. Go with them if you never make a mistake and need to recover a website. Unfortunately some of us make mistakes and their back-up is on best endevours but in sales brochure its once a day. Reality was just less than once a fortnight. Very disappointing

  5. #5
    Non-Member MyDomAinZ.us's Avatar
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    We are using 247-host
    Better than others.
    Good support.
    Fast servers.

    Good luck.


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