Web Host Smackdown: 6 Hosting Plans Reviewed

Notice: This is a discussion thread for comments about the SitePoint article, Web Host Smackdown: 6 Hosting Plans Reviewed.


I had a Dreamhost account a while ago, but I didn’t like the control panel it had, and it seemed rather slower compared to people I had been with before. I got my own VPS at that point and did all the setup myself, and got rid of the dreamhost account.

Akash,

Nice overall narrative explanation of what’s going on with these hosts. However, where’s the quick comparison table of features and bang-for-buck?
An article like this should provide this sort of at-a-glance comparison: not necessarily a rating of each but what is and isn’t available and waht i costs would be a useful addition to the article overall.

BC

Great review! I’d love to see this as a series, with reviews on other hosts like eleven2.com, thiswebhost.com, etc.

Would you do a comparison of ASP.NET/Windows Hosting Plans?

Including their support for CMSs (Ektron, Sitefinity, umbraco, etc.) in your comparison would be great, if at all possible.

There’s tens of thousand of hosting companies, most of them are resellers, so its obviously not possible to include all of them in the roundup.

This site is pretty good though: http://www.webhostingjury.com/ . It includes customer-written reviews on 6000 webhosting companies…

Joyent is a great option if you’re willing to go command line and manage the server yourself.

$200 for a year’s use of a very powerful Joyent Accelerator

It includes customer-written reviews on 6000 webhosting companies…
Trouble is, some may not be as truthful/fair as they should, as it can happen to any reviews collecting site.

One example of how the system can be tricked: http://jackntracie.com/life/2008/01/dreamhost-and-lunarpages/

I’ve used Webfaction for hosting Django applications, and they are very good. Great performance, plently of guides in the support section. Definitely recommended for Django devs.

Hi, I would consider this review as a vague review and does not touch upon certain basic necessities of web hosting.
Basically while reviewing hosts in todays time of cut throat competition and cutting corners to reduce prices users would love to see a comparison based on -

  1. hosting provided - windows / linux
  2. database size - mssql / mysql and is the size upgradeable or not
  3. number of connections
  4. is the hosting plan upgradeable - this is necessary because all begin small but want to increase their plan based on users
  5. one click installers - it saves a lot of time! and in todays time its a necessity.
  6. preview site before its live - again this helps check dns is correct or not before transferring domains from one host to another.
  7. customer support
  8. for hosting / domains gives complete customer control.

…these are some of the points you should have discussed. We would like to see a good comparison between the best Linux and Windows based hosting providers…

Dreamhost is great, can’t beat having a shell for that money on a shared host.

However, if you want a truly developer friendly host, try slicehost or linode.

Almost a year with slicehost with zero downtime, excellent performance system configured by me to fit the needs of me and those of my clients.

Now owned by RackSpace, slicehost is not your average run-from-the-basement host. You can actually boast to those who care that you have a VPN at RackSpace for $20/month :slight_smile:

Regards

Why wasn’t SliceHost considered??? Because it gives you a full-blown virtual server at $20/mo, you can put anything you want on it.

May be because he does not have any experience with them.

I can vouch Media Temple is the best in terms of the grid. I have switched to other grid hosting providers and switched back. They know their stuff.

The (gs) Grid Service offering from Media Temple was a standout in this study, and in more than just the price tag—although at $240 per year, it isn’t exactly ideal for a spare test bed.

I really wish article writers would do their research, it is not $240 a year, while the package as a pay monthly service is $20 a month, if you pay yearly the price comes down to $200 a year, that $40 reduced price is enough to make the article writers post seem rather poorly researched. And yes I am a mediaTemple GS user :stuck_out_tongue:

I did look at media temple quite a while ago and nearly went with them, but then decided a VPS was the best way to go anyway. I don’t like custom control panels in hosting companies, they rarely offer me enough freedom to do what I want with the setup. Turned out to be cheaper as well… although doesnt benefit from the advantages of a grid service obviously.

In all fairness, mediaTemple’s control panel is by far the best customized one I have ever come across :slight_smile:

I thought it worthwhile to mention Slicehost. It really doesn’t get more “developer-friendly” than them. You get a slice on one of their servers, with your choice of OS installed, shell access and have at it!

A bunch of geeks that run servers for geeks.

Starts at $20/month for a 256mb slice.

(No, I don’t work for them, just a very, very satisfied customer.)

As a developer, I prefer their control panel over any others.

what about this deal at Yahoo! Small Business India site offering unlimited download for 1999/- per year? Makes it $ 3.6 per month.

I tried both MediaTemple and DreamHost from this list, but I ended up using DreamHost after testing them for a couple of months.

MediaTemple specifications on paper are great and the interface is clean simple and easy to use, but I had one really big problem, reliability problems. During the 2 months I have been with them, I had a total of 7 complete days where the SQL servers were extremely slow, it was taking at least a minute to load pages from my CMS (ExpressionEngine) and it was even worst on some web applications we use that were installed on their servers. The first time it happened, someone from their customer service told me that it must be because someone have been Slashdotted or something like that and that it sometimes takes a while to separate those websites from the others so that they do not steal everyone else’s bandwidth. I thought that their systems were protected against those unexpected higher bandwidth demands by some websites, they told me that it sometimes take a while to do so. When I contacted the customer service again later that week for the same SQL problems, they just told me that they did not really know what was wrong with their SQL servers but that they are working on it, but that in the meantime I could upgrade to their dedicated SQL servers on a Grid Container for an extra $20 per month… I do not know if they fixed those problems, but after getting a few calls from angry customers asking me what is wrong with their websites, I decided I would never use them again.

DreamHost servers have been great for me, the reliability have been close to perfect so far and their customer service have been excellent every time I needed them. Their interface is not as good looking as MediaTemple, but they offer many more features. I do not care about how the interface looks like, I just want something that works and that does everything I need a good server to do.

That is why I chose DreamHost over MediaTemple, it has been much more reliable for me, it has much more features, the customer service have been much better for me and it is much cheaper.