Once upon a time, many a year ago, the internet was born. And with that came the need for web hosting companies (web-hosts). Soon the land was filled with hosts, some dedicated and others just resellers of the more expensive services.
On a nice Winter day in 2001, I purchased my very first domain name for ten years! Not being familiar with how the domain names and hosting worked, it took me about a week to figure out that I needed to pay for hosting in addition to buying the domain name. This is where my web hosting adventure begins.
While I can’t remember the name of my first webhost, I do recall they were limited to static HTML pages with no included database technologies and cost me about $5/month. At the time, that was a lot of money to me. That web host worked out very well for me, considering my site was statically generated using Microsoft Frontpage 2000. Unfortunately, that web-host went out of business and decided to transfer all their customers to their "parent". I use the term parent loosely because they were really just the wholesale distributor of hosting service. It was this experience that opened my eyes to some of the real workings web-hosting online. Any Joe Schmo can buy hosting in bulk from a larger company and resell it in smaller packs. Not a bad idea on paper, but obviously not the best for the customer either. This was the end of my experience with my first hosting company.
As I went back to the tubes to try and find another host company, I found it hard to gauge wether or not a web-host had their own servers or was just reselling for another company. Since the prices for dedicated hosting were astronomical compared to that of shared/resold hosting, I decided to narrow my search down to something within my price range. After doing a bit of research, I decided on a company called based Reyox, out of Seattle, Washington. At $9.95/month I thought it was a pretty fair deal. At the time, I selected Windows hosting (not really knowing anything different) and I continued to use Frontpage to build static sites. It wasn’t until I started to build more dynamic sites that I became frustrated with Reyox. At one point all of the Reyox sites got hacked my some hackers in Hungary. My entire site was destroyed along with some of my friend’s sites that I had recommended to Reyox. During my time with Reyox, I always thought it was interesting that when I contacted the support people, I would always be dealing with the same person, Asher Saeed. It wasn’t until after I left Reyox that I realized he owned Reyox and was the only person running the show.
My next stop in the web-hosting world was a company called MediaTemple. I was referred to them by a friend who had raved about their exceptional service, customer service and automated tools. At $20 a month, MediaTemple was more expensive compared to Reyox, but I needed a reliable host with no BS. During my first year of service with MediaTemple, I was relatively happy with their service. They offer all the services you would expect from any Linux provider: PHP, Apache, MySQL, ssh acces, etc. It wasn’t until after my first year that I really started to experience problems. The problems started with the MySQL and PHP simply flaking out at any time up for up to 10 minutes at a time. When I first contacted the support team at (mt), they told me it was because there was a heavy load on my sites. At first I just accepted their explanation, but when it started to happen on a daily basis, and especially when I was working on web projects for my classes I couldn’t stand it anymore. As you can see from the MediaTemple , the issues were originally documented by (mt) at the end of February and continued all the way through May 14, 2008. If you ask me, that is unacceptable for any host. I was giving a presentation for one of my academic projects and the web app completely crapped out. It was right then that I decided Media Temple had to go.
I’m now on a new host. One that is owned called Mosso. They pride themselves on offering both Apache/IIS 7 and everything you would expect from both of those. At $100 a month, it is the most expensive host I have ever used, but it definitely has paid off. I have been on them for 3 months now and from a service standpoint, I have been really happy with the performance of the sites, databases and server side scripting processing. In my opinions, the only thing missing in Mosso is SSH shell access, but I hear it’s on the way. Mosso also has one of the best Reseller interfaces available from any host I’ve used, especially for web developers who handle everything for their customers.
Overall, I’ve been very happy with Mosso and I would recommend their service to anyone looking for excellent web hosting. I know the price is a bit steep, so if anyone is interested just post a comment and we can work something out with the reseller interface.