Good webhost?
May 22, 2006 8:20 AM   Subscribe

What is a good price to pay for webhosting, database and a secure shopping cart?

Hello Smarties,
I'm looking into switching a web catalog and direct sales to a new host. I would need something that was fairly robust and reasonably slick in terms of a basic (no flash or la-tee-dah) presentation of a book catalog, with direct secure sales. It would need a database backend (speaking of which any recomendations, including among yourselves for someone who could hook me up? email: divinewino@gmail.com). I would love a gateway interface with my cc processor as well. How much should I be looking to pay for reasonable bandwidth, email and the server(s)? Any reccomendations for trustworthy people? I'd happily pay a little premium for a smaller shop that paid attention to me.

Thanks.
posted by Divine_Wino to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
PS. I know I can just google for this, so I am really looking for the knowledge of what is a good ballpark price, so I am not alone in the wilderness, naked and cold, when I go looking for a host. Direct reccomendations would be awesome.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:35 AM on May 22, 2006


I've had a really good experience with pair.com as a webhost. Their support staff is very knowledgeable, speaks "American", and is friendly.
posted by Wild_Eep at 8:40 AM on May 22, 2006


I'll second the Pair.com recommendation. Their basic e-commerce package starts at $49.95/month.

My cumulative downtime in the past eight years they've hosted my site is probably only a few hours.
posted by justkevin at 9:00 AM on May 22, 2006


pair.com is good.

You can go with someone cheap like site5.com (where I have my websites until my contract ends...) but their support blows donkey chode. Support is probably your biggest single concern. Almost anyone can competently run a web server... if nothing goes wrong. When something goes wrong, if they're a bunch of idiots, they won't be able to fix it quickly. Paying a premium for pair.com will get you back online much faster.
posted by SpecialK at 9:24 AM on May 22, 2006


Assuming a *nix host works for you, I can't say enough nice things about Dreamhost. They're cheap; support is good; the offer one-click installs of a lot of major OSS apps (including a storefront), and they just seem like cool, friendly folks.
posted by j-dawg at 9:52 AM on May 22, 2006


Oh, you actually asked about price, didn't you? You can get in the door at Dreamhost for $8-10/mo, but your security certificate will cost a little more. That basic account includes 1TB of bandwidth, 20GB of storage, 3000 e-mail accounts, 75 shell/FTP users, and a bunch of other goodies. They also increase your storage space and bandwidth every month.

They have packages with more bandwidth/disk space, etc. for more (up to about $80), but even their basic package is pretty comprehensive.

(Of course, dealing with the merchant account is a whole other thing, but I get the sense you already know about that.)
posted by j-dawg at 10:00 AM on May 22, 2006


Thanks y'all.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:10 AM on May 22, 2006


I would stay away from dreamhost. Their service has seriously eroded in the past few years, especially after half of their customer base abandoned them when their entire server farm went out for days during the LA blackouts a year and a half or so ago.
posted by SpecialK at 10:35 AM on May 22, 2006


On the other hand, SpecialK, I have had nothing but positive results from their support teams. The power issues they experienced weren't their problem (the entire building was screwed up) and the price is excellent for the amount of options you get.
posted by yellowbkpk at 10:44 AM on May 22, 2006


Depends on how much bandwidth you want, and how much storage you need, how many databases you want, what type of support you'd like.

THE place to go for this type of question is web hosting talk, where you can search tons of reviews of hosts.

Another site i like is Web Hosting Reviews which lists "honest" web hosts. You'll see the list of the honest web hosts on the left column near the bottom. For each host he'll include a list of posts that were on the web hosting talk forum about that host. You'll notice pair is on this list.

As far as personal experience goes, i'm currently using A Small Orange (ASO) which is a "smaller" hosting company than pair or dreamhost. I've been really happy with their service - but i've only been with them for 6 months. I haven't noticed any outages in my website. The trouble tickets that i've entered have been responded to quickly (within 2 hours), even though i only used the priority "medium".

I also setup a website for my fiance's business. They've got SSL (no commerce, though) setup and all that. She's using Host Nexus and she's had good luck with them. They haven't been as responsive as ASO as far as trouble ticket response goes, but overall i'm still happy with their service.

As far as cost goes, once again, it depends on what storage/bandwidth/features you want. Most hosts will have the features you want, so you're limiting factor will be bandwith/storage/support. Stay away from the "unlimited bandwidth" places in general as they tend to oversell their servers and they tend to run poorly. If you look at plans from A Small Orange, for example, the Medium package gets you 1G of storage, 25G of bandwith for $10/month. Pretty cheap if you ask me.
posted by escher at 10:45 AM on May 22, 2006


With the attention given to Web Hosting Reviews, I had to pass along this recent entry from the Dreamhost blog about how most such "unbiased" sites work.
posted by j-dawg at 9:57 AM on May 23, 2006


iPowerWeb
posted by madderhatter at 4:37 PM on May 23, 2006


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