Servers behaving badly

I’ve been with my current web host for about three years now and have generally been satisfied. But there seem to have been a lot of outages recently – including this evening – which is the kind of annoyance that gets you wondering if it might be time to move…

Sorry for any inconvenience, dear readers.

(Also annoying: the host has recently removed SpamAssassin from the email facilities, without any warning. Its absence has rather exposed the limitations of Thunderbird’s junk filters when you get several hundred junk emails a week.)

Anyone got any recommendations for hosting services? I need plenty of SQL databases (some cheap hosting services are distinctly stingy on that one), but apart from that my wants are really quite simple: reliable and not too expensive. Not that I fancy the hassle of moving unless I have to.

Now let’s see if the server’s still up and I can post this, eh? [Answer: yes… but veeeeery slooooowly…. Oh dear.]

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9 Responses to Servers behaving badly

  1. Ancarett says:

    How many databases, what amount of memory and bandwidth, if either is at all significant? I might have a recommendation or two but a couple of the hosts I know are stingy on one or the other (good on # of databases, but you have to pay a fair chunk more for sufficient space for all your stuff, say).

  2. Phillip says:

    Slow servers, no spam control, what’s life coming to… First thing I’d suggest is contact support at your current hosts. This may all be a temporary setback, and the time and effort to migrate everything may be totally unnecessary. If you already have, then ignore this comment.

    As for spam, I’ve used Cactus spam for a while and found it pretty effective once it’s been trained – told what’s good and what’s spam.

  3. Sharon says:

    Ancarett: currently there are 5 databases on the site (out of 99 allowed! – I don’t think I’ll ever use that up, somehow, but I’d probably want capacity for at least 10, since there are various static bits of the site that could get the treatment in the future). Memory comes in slightly under 150MB, bandwidth is currently at about 5GB a month. I should add a nice user-friendly control panel to my wants, I suppose – really need to have phpMyAdmin or some such to manage the databases.

    Phillip, thanks, I’ll look into that. I sent off a support ticket (and eventually, after it was working properly again, got back a message saying that… it was working properly. But there was a status message on their site about a problem with some of their sites which they were working on, so I’m guessing I got caught in that one. I *really* don’t want to migrate unless things get very bad, but this is about the third time in the last week or so that I’ve found the site has been down. The first two were very short outages, but if it carries on like this that’s just not acceptable. I’ll just have to see how it goes…

  4. Gavin says:

    I’m using Fuzioned and I’ve been really pleased with them so far. I’m on the solver package for £50 a year, which I think allows unlimited databases.

  5. Gavin says:

    *silver not solver

  6. I use Bluehost. I’ve found their help desk excellent and the servers are extremely reliable. I’ve got five add-on domains which are the maximum, but for everything else I use far fewer resources than allowed.

  7. Brett says:

    I can second the recommendation for Bluehost. Ridiculous amounts of resources which I’ll never use and the uptime is pretty good (I notice brief interruptions — minutes or so — perhaps monthly, longer ones every 3 months, maybe?)

  8. wil says:

    Hello, I recently stumbled across your site via Serendipities.

    FWIW, I highly recommend my long-time web host: Pair.com. They’re not the cheapest, but they’ve been great. For ~$200/year you get quality spam filtering (SpamAssassin, greylisting), 800 mailboxes, 10 MySQL db’s, etc.

  9. Sharon says:

    thanks for all your suggestions so far – I’ll keep them in mind!

    all seems to be good since the weekend (fingers crossed). obviously I need to wave a stick at it from time to time…

    [spoke too soon: another outage Thurs evening – don’t know how long it lasted]

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