My trip around the houses of “value” hosting!

Over the last few days, this website has been bounced around the Internet as I searched for a replacement for Bluehost who have been having issues with uptime recently, three major outages in the last nine months. My contract is almost up and I refuse to accept the slow “shared” server and downtime for another two years. On my hosting journey I tried Dreamhost for $20/12mths and iPage for $12/12mths before eventually finding myself back where I started with 1and1 Internet.

I’ll start with my Dreamhost experience, which certainly wasn’t a dream experience! I got a ‘special’ deal through Lifehacker, $20 for one years hosting plus free domain name; for such a small amount of money I thought it was worth the risk. I added my website domain name to their control panel, changed the nameservers with my registrar but after five hours; no DNS zone had been created. The result of this inaction resulted in my website being down for three hours; so I switched the nameservers back to Bluehost to restore the website. Further to the aforementioned experience, connectivity to the server was poor; it took three attempts to upload my 460MB website via SFTP.

Moving onto iPage; their control panel is much better, it created the requisite DNS records and started working within a few hours with no downtime. Uploading 460MB of files and importing the mySQL database went without a hitch and the website appeared to work; until about 18 hours later when I attempted to log into my WordPress admin system and it threw a 500 Internal Server Error. Nothing had changed, the files were the same, the database was the same, the domain name is the same but for some inexplicable reason it didn’t work the same. I had only paid $12 for 12 months so wasn’t even going to mess with finding a workaround for a problem that didn’t exist on Bluehost!

I wasn’t going to extend my stay with Bluehost for the aforementioned uptime issue and I wasn’t going to go to another sub $10/month host so elected to give 1and1 Internet another try, buying their “Performance” package at $15 per month. I could have gotten it for $10.99 if I committed to 12 months hosting but given my previous bad experiences with 1and1 Internet USA, I didn’t want to take the risk of losing $132; I don’t trust money back guarantees, again from previous experiences with hosts. Depending on my experiences this time around, I might move my work server to 1and1.

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