Web host recommendations?
January 24, 2005 5:06 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking webhosting with these features: (1) will let me host and manage dns mappings for an unlimited number of domains (2) will let me create and manage an unlimited number of MySQL number of domains (3) ssh access (4) PHP/Perl/Python and maybe even Ruby and (5) Reliability.

#3-5 aren't hard to find. #1 and #2 are. I've used csoft.net for the last five years because they had #1 and #2, even though their reliability has been on occasion somewhat dodgy. They've never lost data, it's just that every few weeks there's an outage of a few hours (occassionally longer), sometimes with no explanation. Up until now, I've ignored the reliability issues because of their good points (I mean, seriously, until 2-3 years ago, where else could you host unlimited domain names for $15/month?) and the fact their admins have been pretty helpful to me with several problems, but I'm starting to wonder if there's something better out there.

I have considered some of the VPS systems out there. I could do this -- I do know the basics on how to setup, compile from source, and administer moost of what I need. I'd prefer not to if possible, however -- it's nice to have experienced full-time competent admins doing that for you if possible. And aside from that, my experience with two VPS providers has been that their setup hasn't been much more stable than csoft's (hardware failure, mysterious reboots, and in some cases, the unforgivable lost data). Additionally, I have not seen VPS system with do-it-yourself-full-control-over-DNS setup.

So basically: I want a hosting package csoft's features, with Hurrican Electric reliability (I think I've caught HE down twice since 1998, and never for more than a half-hour). Any hope for me? (Will do VPS if I must)
posted by weston to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's expensive (especially with the poor value of the dollar), but dsvr will give you everything you need with the possible exception of python and ruby. Reliability is excellent, but they've recently been bought out by the poorly reviewed business serve. You'll need a VS300, and it costs (get ready to gasp) $60.00 a month (ish) for 300MB storage.
posted by seanyboy at 5:19 PM on January 24, 2005

The ServInt VPS is good. I use it. www.servint.com
posted by vraxoin at 5:39 PM on January 24, 2005

I've been with Cornerhost for several years, and only have good things to say. Michal, the guy who runs the company, is exceedingly nice, and the service and reliability has been first rate.

$5/month gets unlimited domains, $10/m includes PHP/CGI, and at $20/m you'll also get a secure shell. The only outstanding issue is MySQL, as only 2 are included with the $20/m plan. However, additional db's are $3 a pop, so you'd still be looking at fifteen before you match dsvr's price, and I suspect if you email Michal, he'd be willing to work out a flat rate for all the SQL you might need (within the constraints of disk space and bandwidth, of course) for less.
posted by thomascrown at 6:07 PM on January 24, 2005

By unlimited DNS do you mean unlimited actual domains hosted, subdomains, or DNS with forwarding? I don't know too many ISPs that give you unlimited hosted domains. Most of the ones I've seen give you a very large number of subdomains and unlimited DNS forwarding.

I'm part of a group blog and we've been using Dreamhost for the last six months or so. We put up a flash animation right before the election that built a good head of steam through word of mouth (some 400,000 viewings in a two-week period). Dreamhost was getting slammed pretty hard there, but held up pretty well. I believe they cover your #2, #3, all your #4 languages. #5 hasn't been that bad either -- it's gone down once and only for a half-hour or so in the last six months. YMMV. You can check their plans and see if your #1 is covered as well.
posted by fubar at 1:34 AM on January 25, 2005

In doing research of hosting companies, I've found http://www.webhosting.info/webhosts/ to be invaluable. For example, look up dreamhost and you'll see they've been steadily increasing and now host approx. 96,000 domains. You can see where domains were transferred from and where domains were transferred to upon leaving Dreamhost.

May not be too helpful in your quest, but sometimes you can spot trends in a host (steadily losing customers) that will steer you in the right direction.
posted by shawnmk at 1:47 AM on January 25, 2005

I also found this (voxtreme) whilst tootling round theregister. Seems to fit your required profile, but I don't know how reliable it is.
posted by seanyboy at 5:22 AM on January 25, 2005

I like TekTonic.
posted by spilon at 10:22 AM on January 25, 2005

TextDrive is a developer-friendly ISP run by developers, run by the developers, including the authors of Wordpress, Photostack and Ruby on Rails, respectively.

They have tons of developer goodies available -- SSH, MySQL, PostGreSQL, SQLite, Berkeley DB, Subversion, WebDAV, IMAP, etc. and more. Check out the specs.

They're pretty bleeding edge, too. They provide PostgreSQL 8.0, PHP 5 and Apache 2.0 (the last of which isn't exactly the edge, but still relatively rare, unfortunately).

The only feature I'm not completely sure of is DNS. They support flexible DNS mapping, including wildcard mapping, and it looks like they have a control panel to configure it.

"We have no photographs of our CEO strutting past server racks, or of women in telephone headsets ready to take your call, but we hope you’ll consider joining us all the same."
posted by gentle at 1:05 PM on January 26, 2005

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