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IAP
11-09-2006, 05:54 PM
Hello,

I have been hunting around for a host for our Joomla site, that has expanded webspace and bandwidth, and we found one, called Hostmonster in the US that seemed to be offerning a really great feature set, with 50GB of webspace, MySQL and PHP, email, and a free domain and virtually unlimited bandwidth for $3.95 US a month.

http://www.hostmonster.com/hosting-features.htm

This seems a really great deal, all this for an affordable £25.40 per year. Yet, I am wondering if this is too good to be true - has anybody got experiences or reviews of this company?

Thanks for any advice.

Richard Willars
11-09-2006, 06:07 PM
The problem with most hosting companies which don't seem to have a clue on how to attract clients is that they all oversell on diskspace and bandwidth. Hardly anyone is going to use 50GB of diskspace and 999GB of bandwidth a year, and if they did, I can almost guarantee that the company will kick up a fuss and try and get rid of you because its costing them more, as more than likely they don't have those kind of resources to throw away for you.

My other advice is to go with a UK based company.. it would cost you a bomb to ring America, and your page loading times will be quicker when the server is based in the UK.

IAP
11-09-2006, 06:36 PM
Are there any resonably priced UK hosts that offer a resonable spec for < &#163;30 a year (that have PHP and MySQL)??

In my experience they tend to be quite steep in terms of price.

chrisp
11-09-2006, 06:38 PM
By how much have you outgrown your escouts account? How much disk space and bandwidth do you need?

IAP
11-09-2006, 06:45 PM
We are pushing the 100 MB limit - but it is really reliability that we despirately need.

Our district site is resonably low average bandwidth, but before major events we get loads of hits. So we need to be confidant that the server will be working at these busy times. The last time the Escouts MySQL stopped working was one of those times, and it caused huge problems, and before our camp the whole server died. So we had to get phoning the last-minute details.

It is really unfair to demand this sort of uptime from a volentary service like Escouts, it is people's own time and money that are being invested in a great cause. But, from a paid host, we, resonably, would expect high levels of uptime.

Bloory
11-09-2006, 06:53 PM
To be honest, I think we are probably close to a "full" server.

I've also been migrating MySQL and many other services so that we can simply run a script to update them, which will come but implementing that has meant some tiresome downtime and troubleshooting. It's easy enough to install and update MySQL, the skill comes in optimizing it.... :)

IAP
11-09-2006, 07:00 PM
Can you (Escouts) get some sort of one-off grant from the Scout Association to fund your hardware - after all, you do provide a great service to many Scout groups, and, indirectly, help 100s of thousands of Scouts.

I'm sure the community here would support you!

Bloory
11-09-2006, 07:07 PM
We're sort of onto it - we're working on becoming a fellowship... costs are falling, but it's time as ever - I'm GSL in a busy group with a hosting company of my own, family etc etc. It's hard to find the time to do everything as it is... but we're making some subtle changes which should mean that maintenance and upgrades are easier to perform, which reminds me, I'm almost there on fixing the process...

IAP
11-09-2006, 07:12 PM
Thanks for that, it's massively appreciated.

Bloory
11-09-2006, 07:18 PM
yeah, I've a backlog of problems from my UK servers being updated, issues as the network to them was down for hours yesterday AND now the US server is complaining (wrongly) that the disk is full)....

Bloory
11-09-2006, 07:22 PM
now the server loads are quite high aused by Apache...

Richard
11-09-2006, 07:41 PM
We're sort of onto it - we're working on becoming a fellowship... costs are falling, but it's time as ever - I'm GSL in a busy group with a hosting company of my own, family etc etc. It's hard to find the time to do everything as it is... but we're making some subtle changes which should mean that maintenance and upgrades are easier to perform, which reminds me, I'm almost there on fixing the process...

Yeah I promise to do more work on this after my small cub camp, with 500 Cubs from across Scotland ;)

The basic framework for the fellowship is agreed, and has been agreed by the host Area (Midlothian) so we are almost there

We have decided against a national fellowship, for a number of reasons

Chris Lambert
12-09-2006, 09:09 AM
My other advice is to go with a UK based company.. it would cost you a bomb to ring America, and your page loading times will be quicker when the server is based in the UK.

The page load time won't be affected that much by US hosting - probably less than 1/2 second even for west coast hosting. The support is potentially more of an issue but generally support by e-mail is just as easy anyway.

Richard Willars
12-09-2006, 09:13 AM
The page load time won't be affected that much by US hosting - probably less than 1/2 second even for west coast hosting. The support is potentially more of an issue but generally support by e-mail is just as easy anyway.

1/2 a second is actually quite a lot, and there's also the issue of more things can go wrong with the datalink, as there's more distance, technology and providers involved than a UK based setup.

Also, if anything goes wrong with payment or there's a legal issue, you'll have little control as they wont follow the UK laws.

I would have thought that being in another country will bring a whole load of new problems to the situation.