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Archive for the ‘Web Hosting’ Category

Markets are conversations…

On Monday, I began my search for a hosting service to build my family photo site. I currently have a hosting service that I’ve used for the last 5 years but their rates and service are no longer competitive. I need several GB of disk space and their plans top out around 2 GBs. I had recently been reading Business 2.0 and remembered the huge ad that 1&1 hosting always runs in the magazine. I checked out their site and found very reasonable rates for huge amounts of disk space and bandwidth. I decided to email them to make sure the rate plan I had chosen would work with the Gallery2 photo software I wanted to run. I quickly sent 2 emails to their customer support and proceeded to read the Gallery2 forums to see if anyone had problems with 1&1 and Gallery2. It looked like everything was going to work but the process wasn’t very straight forward. To set everying up, 1&1 might need to assist me with some of the installation process. This had me worried but I pressed on since I wasn’t making a decision until I heard from 1&1 customer service.

It’s now Tuesday and I haven’t heard back from 1&1, so I decide to look around at some other hosting services. One problem with searching for a web hosting service is that there are thousands of them and it’s tough trying to separate the fluff from the real deal. In further searching I ended up at a web site called WebHostingTalk.com. This is an excellent forum for discussing all thing web hosting. Based on the feedback on this forum along with customer feedback on some web hosting review sites, it became very clear that 1&1 wasn’t the solution for me. It turns out that their customer service isn’t very good which I was starting to notice by their lack of response to my emails.

It’s now Tuesday afternoon and I’m becoming frustrated by the whole process. Some hosting services appear to be reasonable but turn out to be scams because the prices are based on 24 month contracts…which they don’t tell you upfront…sorry I’m not paying for 24 months of service until I know you can deliver!! Other people complained about slow customer service and slow web page load times…things that can’t be determined until its too late.

Finally, I came across a posting in the “Web Hosting Offers” forum at WebHostingTalk.com. One of the postings was by a company called Cirtex Hosting. I had never heard of them but their offer for 50% off for a year, in addition to reasonable service plans, peeked my interest. I decided to continue reading. What I found was an honest conversation by one individual at Cirtex with several forum members explaining the Cirtex plans and service. Even more important, when people had problems with the service, the Cirtex employee offered honest answers and fix these issues in a reasonable amount of time. Here’s a few examples:

Full Thread

Forum Member: “What’s the file size limit on the basic and standard plans?”

Second Forum Member: “file size limit=0 because you can’t reach their site :)”

Cirtex Employee: “Our main website’s core server Power Supply just got replaced and rebooted thus few minutes downtime, sorry for trouble. Theres no limit on files.”

What no cover up?

And then this exchange on a topic called “bad review on CIRTEXHOSTING.com”:

Full Thread

Forum Member: “I have useing CIRTEXHOSTING.com for a few of my sites, (small site, not much of a traffic) and their up-time is very poor.
It’s toke me time to come and post the message on webhostingtalk.com since I give them a chance, however after one month the up-time is still poor.”

Cirtex Employee: “The server you’re on had experienced some issues this month especially last night past midnight but things are running fine now…”

No hosting services is going to be perfect. For me, it’s how they handle the bad times that’s important. I setup my account with Cirtex on Tuesday and my account was up and running in a few minutes. They even had a one button click which instantly setup Gallery2, perfect. I’m going to give them a few weeks to see how the service is but for now I’m thrilled. Hopefully if all goes well I’ll be converting all my other sites over and saving myself quite a bit of money.

As for the emails I sent to 1&1? I received a response 3 days later. Sorry 1&1 but you’re too late to the conversation…

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