My lifetime ran out, so I guess I need zombie hosting
August 20, 2012 2:50 PM   Subscribe

What would be the best hosting option for good control over email and basic web capabilities?

Joyent (née TextDrive) just announced the termination of their lifetime hosting plans. So, I'm looking for a place to move my personal domain. The main thing I'm looking for is IMAP email hosting with the option for web-based access and the flexibility to continue the approach to spam avoidance that's served me very well these last 6 years:

If the domain is, and my main address is, I only give out that address to people I know. If I need to give my address to a business, I give them This way, I can receive all the email I care about, without getting random dictionary attack emails, and if I start getting spam from a certain address, I block only that specific one, and know what business was responsible for leaking the address.

I accomplished this at TextDrive with the use of procmail, though I'm sure it could be done other ways. I'm also familiar with the use of address tags (e.g., to create throwaway addresses, but that's not a good solution for me since many email forms won't accept the "+" character.

I'd also like a simple way to migrate the IMAP folder structure I have at TextDrive to the new host, but since it's a one-time thing, I can handle some hassle there.

Strangely, web hosting is the thing I've used least, but it would be nice to have as well. I've enjoyed playing around with Ruby on Rails in the past, but this is a distant requirement relative to the email.

Any suggestions? I know Amazon and Google have some free level options, but It's not clear whether they have the configurability I'm looking for. I don't mind paying a little bit for convenience, but most of all I want to have a setup that I won't have to touch very often.
posted by Cogito to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've been very happy with Dreamhost.
posted by colin_l at 3:21 PM on August 20, 2012

2nding DreamHost
posted by milqman at 3:30 PM on August 20, 2012

I too am a happy Dreamhost customer. I don't use their mail, but farm it out to Google Apps for your Domain.
posted by kathrynm at 4:44 PM on August 20, 2012

Separately from hosting your site, consider moving your mail to Google's Apps for Business, which offers the full gmail experience, which includes POP and IMAP access to your email, with their spam filtering and webmail interface, all for free. The free level also includes Calendar and Docs.
posted by fatbird at 4:45 PM on August 20, 2012

I'm wondering if your definition of "good control" and "configurability" is the same as mine. Amazon web services (ec2) is as configurable and gives you as much control as you can possibly need. It's effectively a plain Linux (or one of the other available OSes) host, with which you can do anything at all that you want. But that comes at a tradeoff of convenience (in my mind, at least), and not needing to touch it. There aren't nifty web control panels and one-click installers like you'll get on Dreamhost, for example.

That said, I used to host my stuff on Dreamhost, and a couple of years ago transitioned to Amazon (though I do still have my Dreamhost account). I've been very happy with the move, and it doesn't require a lot of ongoing fiddling. However, I have a ton of experience configuring that stuff, so I was able to get it set up to be stable pretty easily. If it's new to you, it will be more work.

I run my mail on Google Apps, and it works ok.
posted by primethyme at 5:05 PM on August 20, 2012

Move your mail to Google Apps for Business. Their built in spam filtering is great, and they support + addressing. No particular reccommendation for the webhosting, i run a linode VPS, but there are cheaper/easier options.
posted by Good Brain at 11:27 AM on August 21, 2012

I should also add that Google apps lets you create email aliases for your mailbox as well. And, when i signed up for the free offering, you could actually create a number of completely separte accounts for free.

They also give you some basic web hosting with their website builder if you need to throw up a page, or some files. If/when want to play with hosting a rails app, you could go with any of a number of hosting options. The free tier of Heroku would probably seve you just fne.
posted by Good Brain at 11:35 AM on August 21, 2012

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