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If anyone is looking for a great web hosting company take a look at Web-mania.com they charge only £20+vat per year for hosting 500mb of space and 6gig bandwidth,(they also register domains for you at reasonable cost)I have in the recent past payed £30 per month for less than this with a Canadian hosting co,needless to say I have signed up with Web Mania,(no I do not work for them just giving a recomendation!)
Seeing the subject of hosting is cropping up in various other threads I think its about time to make a few comments on this subject. Having experienced hosting with about a dozen different hosts.
Web hosting today is certainly a buyers market, everyday new companies appear offering you amazing deals. Its not surprising, seeing that anyone can set up their own web hosting site for as little outlay which can be only £20 a month , by purchasing a reseller account.
Certainly there is nothing wrong with buying hosting from a reseller, however you have to be sure that the company you are buying from appears what it is, look at the contacts and support. If you do not see a telephone number or a business address then chances are its someone who is running it out of their bedroom, in which case you should proceed with caution, as you could find yourself without a host within a few months at least.
Personally I look for companies that have been around for more than a year and which others have heard about. If you identify it as a reseller, don’t be afraid to ask them who they bought the hosting off so you can see who the main company is and that they are not about to go broke!
Now you know what criteria to look for, how about what they offer you for your money.
Make a list of everything you are going to want from your hosting, do they support things like Microsoft Frontpage, MYSQL databases, PHP, email facilities and so on.
Do not be fooled by the amazing high figures that companies give you for certain options. Certainly a company offering you high bandwidth and web space seem very good, but is it really that good?
Do you honestly need 2+Gb per month of bandwidth and 500mb of space?
These high figures being thrown around is just pure marketing and advertising, to target the gullible and miss-informed into thinking they really are getting a good deal. But is it really a good deal?
Unless you are wanting someone to host a site on par with Microsoft or Amazon, then your are definitely not going to use it all . Most individuals personal sites are lucky to use up 3mb of space and even large business sites are often no more than 10mb. Certainly all that web space can come in handy if you want to use it to backup files though .
Overselling bandwidth and diskspace is not new, as most companies know full well that hardly anyone will get near their limits. What if 5000 people sign up for their 6gb bandwidth and they all use it, pretty soon the company will be in trouble as bandwidth still costs money, and is not that easy for companies to come by. They fully know well that out of those 5000 sign ups, the vast majority will be only using a few KB per day if not, a month in bandwidth, a small percent maybe will top the 1gb of bandwidth, and only one or two will get anywhere near the 6gb. Most of these accounts which get as high as 6gb will very quickly be contacted by the hosting company, asking why they are using so much an encouraged to upgrade or even worse have account pulled because they are violating some hidden clause such as exceeding a daily maximum limit or they are an illegal music or software download site
So look beyond the impressive figures of bandwidth and space, and check what else they provide you with, Are you going to get your full use of Frontpage extensions, will you have unrestricted FTP, how many mysql databases will you get for future use? Do they support PHP ? Do you get a decent and easy to use control panel to administer everything about your web space and above all how good is their support?
Picking a hosting company should be something you should take time over. Spend a day or more searching for a number of sites and comparing them. Speak to other people and even post in this forum for opionion on a hosting site.
Do not be taken in the numbers, biggest is not always best, as neither is cheapest is best. Like anything else in life, if you want quality you have to pay for it. But on the other hand do not get overcharged!
Now as for web-mania , I used them once not that long ago. Although they were not the worst they certainly were not the best. I think it’s a bit harsh to say you have been ripped off, as they are reliable and you get a stable hosting
However when I was with them I found access to web space and mysql databases was poor, I believe they have now enabled telnet which is something I never had. But their in house designed control panel still is poor compared to the likes of Cpanel. Also I didn’t like the way they set up your space, most companies say give you a physical drive root folder address path say /home/yoursite/ within in this root directory you have a public_html folder which is website root folder, ie an index.html file placed in here will be your main website homepage.
Some scripts write information above the public_html directory so that no one can access it from the web. web mania do not do this, and it was a pain in backside to say the least. You can also see the benefits of having out of web space server folder, as you can backup all your private information and files, such as emails, passwords, account numbers, software keys and so on without anyone being able to access them.
I also got rather frustrated with support at times and had ended up sorting out my problem and reporting it back to them.
If you are happy with web-mania, thats fine, but i can not share your enthusiasm for them
In answer to both,I have been designing websites almost since the internet took off,I was involved in video/audio streaming tests long before cnn and the rest,I understand where TM is coming from (I did check that Web Mania was not a reseller)(I did NOT say I was ripped off!)I happen to think that for £20 per year WEB Mania is a good deal.
As for Horiz5 your'e damn rude!! but that's the thing with the internet/forums people can masqurade as anything they want and say things that they have not got the guts to say to people's faces!!
I think you'll find that horiz5 was posting on your comment "I have in the recent past payed £30 per month for less than this..." in which case I agree wholeheartedly with him, but I'd imagine that offending you was not on his (or my) list of intentions when posting.
£30 per month is either a typo, or your site requirements were unbelievably high or yes, you were indeed ripped off, but only by comparison to other hosts.
I'm sure that nothing was meant other than that fact; other web hosts offer far more for far less and based on that it's a reasonable statement and not necessarily intended as a reflection on your skills or experience as a web designer, no matter how long you say you've been at it.
On the subject of resellers it's nice to see that (and other) points raised. One reseller I know of charges a minimum of £150 per year plus a one off setup fee of £100. He has a small monopoly going in a fairly rural area of the UK that is blessed with a roaring tourist trade and so he gets most of the sites for all the hotels and many of the smaller guesthouses and B7B properties. I only know of this because a close friend bought ahotel in that area two years ago and got heavily stung by this individual.
I recently redesigned their site for them and moved them to another hosting package with the same features, site space, yearly bandwidth and so on for a little over a third of their previous yearly costs.
Oh, and the reseller also tried to charge £100 'admin costs' to detag the domain so that I could move it for my friend. I intervened in person at that point and visited them and the domain was detagged for a slightly more reasonable £25, which is still, I think, a bit of an insult taking into account that Nominet will do it for £15 for a .co.uk address.
Personally I never charge people who want to move their site to another host since detagging takes what, about 2 minutes flat. The reseller was, in this case, just trying to make life so difficult to move hosts that there would be little choice but to stay. This is where a lot of people can come unstuck, and in the above example before I visited the company in question I checked their contract details for the reseller package. Their clause was open ended about moving hosts, meaning they could, in effect, levy any charge they wanted to detag a domain.
Just one of many potential pitfalls of a reseller package and also another reason why it is often simpler and more reliable to go with one of the bigger, more well knows hosts.
Like most web designers I now keep the majority of my client sites on my own managed server.
I have about a dozen or so sites currently scattered over a few different hosts on standalone individual hosting packages, but most of the sites I look after and almost all of the projects I'll be working on in the future are run on my own managed server with one particular host.
In the past I have run my own server, still held with a dedicated host, but these days I find it far simpler (being a naturally lazy hack) to use a managed server and just get on with designing, uploading and keeping up to date.
My days of network and web server management taught me one thing above all others: if you can get someone else to manage yours servers and offer guaranteed support, backup and levels of uptime, let them do it and be glad of it.
Most designers who work on at any serious level move to one or more managed servers at some stage or other and for very good reason. Sooner or later the choice to do so is more or less made for you.
When looking for a host for our site we had to check the small print very carefully because we consider our site as suitable only for adults and nearly every host has a blanket ban on adult sites. I found it quite frustrating because our site is neither pornographic nor illegal.
I don't know how the company that we eventually found, Cyberjack, click here compare pricewise to other companies (we never got near checking the deal from any of the big companies because of the adult-site ban) but we consider them very well worth the £12/month we pay. We've had wonderful service from Cyberjack - all the team are friendly, helpful and approachable, we've had hardly any down time, response to support queries is extremely quick and they've given us help with other aspects of the site that are above and beyond their "duty" as a host.
PS For those regulars who are now hopelessly confused - I work part-time in a university library and part-time on the small business that Kev and I run making leathergoods.
That was a delicate way of describing things.
I'm glad the site is back up and running because I'd like re-tract my original statement and apologise for having mis-read the original post as £20/pm . in which case you didnt get ripped off. H.
my intention was never to be rude, but if we were talking in person I would have said the same thing with no fear, I have more to lose here in the virtual world than I do in the real world.
I'll only make a short posting.... I also use web-mania.com and have found them excellent, it isnt always about money....
All my clients hosting is done there as well.
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