Cheap web hosting?
April 10, 2005 9:51 PM   Subscribe

I need a new webhost for my domain. I'd like one that's cheap, but that allows me pretty much complete shell access. Bare bones, no frills, and no crap. Basically, I want "programmer's" or "unix admin's" hosting.

I post this separately from anastasiav's similar question, because I specifically want a host that basically gives me storage space and bandwidth, and lets me set up most of the rest myself. Basically, I want "programmer's" or "unix admin's" hosting.

Like anastasiav, I'm currently at, but also like her, I've found that their service has gone from exemplary to terrible since I upgraded my account six months ago.

I don't need "site builders" or any of that, and I don't want that crap getting in my way. Simple ftp uploads and access to server logs via ftp is much preferred.

I need email, with some auto responders and forwarding. If they have a flexible interface for that, all to the good, but I'm more than willing to configure sendmail myself if need be.

A web interface for mail, or even better, the ability to add my own, would be nice.

But basically, I just want a host that will be up most of the time and will allow me to set things up as I wish, for a reasonable price. I don't need "six nines" or any of that.

Access to postgresql and php is an added benefit, but not absolutely necessary.
posted by orthogonality to Computers & Internet (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite is one of the larger "with it" companies. $10/month gets you ftp, shell, hosting, and email with autoresponders/forwarding/webmail/logs. Their policy technically doesn't allow PHP on that plan, but I'm pretty sure you can use it anyway. No postgres, but mysql is available on the next plan up. Mostly happy customer since 1997.
posted by trevyn at 10:15 PM on April 10, 2005

Take a look at the Web Hosting Offers forum at once you find a few hosts with offers you like, search for them at WHT, and see what others have to say. I've had very good experiences finding hosts using this method. Also 521/23 :)
posted by riffola at 10:24 PM on April 10, 2005

llamacom fits this description pretty well. It's a very small outfit, but they have been around for quite a long time.
posted by majick at 10:24 PM on April 10, 2005

Dreamhost is currently in one of their discounted-signup phases; you can get two years of a pretty decent plan for $7.95/mo. Looks like they have everything you want, too.

Etiquette question: if you do end up signing on there, would it be terribly wrong of me to ask that you use my referral ID when you do? I'm not a shill for Dreamhost, I just do web stuff for a living and have referral IDs for several hosts that I regularly send my clients to.
posted by ubernostrum at 10:30 PM on April 10, 2005

ubernostrum, that's walking a really fine line and it's one I'd have to come down on the "that makes me uncomfy" side, if for no other reason than for the precedent it sets.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:36 PM on April 10, 2005

TextDrive is a developer-friendly ISP run by developers, run by 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).

I like their attitude: "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 10:40 PM on April 10, 2005

Regardless of what host you pick, and where you learn about them. I strongly recommend reading up on threads about them at WHT to get an idea of their history and what their peers think of them.

I currently host my sites at Gazzin, and pay $7/month for 3.5GB with 55GB data transfer reseller account, which is more than what I need, but the price was just right. Of course you get what you pay for, and in the past I did have some issues with my site's uptime, or SSL being down from time to time, but lately things have been working well.
posted by riffola at 10:49 PM on April 10, 2005

I have used DigitalSpace as my webhost for a couple of years. Goodies include ssh/ftp/mySQL/tomcat . I use the Advanced account ($9.95/mo) and have had consistently good service.
Caveat : My site does not have high traffic at all !
posted by zergot at 12:26 AM on April 11, 2005

posted by seanyboy at 1:38 AM on April 11, 2005

hostgator has awesome uptime and support. It does offer some of the unwanted stuff but you can always just ftp and ignore it although the webmail is awesome. They just upgraded to the latest Horde and it is very nice.
posted by geekyguy at 3:21 AM on April 11, 2005 - cheap, shell access, fun, reliable! Been around since god-knows-when... 1996 at least.
posted by dabitch at 3:23 AM on April 11, 2005

I'm currently on dreamhost (got in under one of their deals a couple of years ago) and have been very satisfied with their service. Prior to that, Vervehosting - small company but the customer service was outstanding and friendly.
posted by cajo at 4:12 AM on April 11, 2005

In the UK? - Datasnake whom I work/develop/support for
posted by ajbattrick at 4:37 AM on April 11, 2005

If you want *full* control then I've yet to see anything cheaper than Bytemark - they give you root access to your own user-mode linux system with plenty of bandwidth included in the £17 a month basic fee.
posted by gi_wrighty at 5:07 AM on April 11, 2005 does a nice job for me.
posted by damnitkage at 5:30 AM on April 11, 2005

Memset give you root access to a Linux virtual machine with genuinely unmetered bandwidth for $47 a month.
posted by cillit bang at 6:03 AM on April 11, 2005

I've been with Dreamhost for a little over a month now, and it is working fairly well. I have pretty high expectations, as I've been running my own colocated server for close to five years. I signed up for two of the midrange plans so I could move most of my customers over with me.
posted by bh at 6:15 AM on April 11, 2005

I second gi_wrighty's nomination of Bytemark. They're great.
posted by LukeyBoy at 6:58 AM on April 11, 2005

I've been with Dreamhost for over 3½ years, and can recommend them.
posted by mcwetboy at 7:05 AM on April 11, 2005

Another happy Textdrive user.

You can still talk directly to people who get their hands dirty. They know what they're doing.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:14 PM on April 11, 2005

Nice to see the support for TextDrive here (I'm a happy VCII), but I don't know that I'd call them 'cheap'... the $12/mo. plan always seemed a bit limited to me, compared to what other hosts give you for the same price.
posted by ubernostrum at 12:41 PM on April 11, 2005

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