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1 & 1 Web Hosting?  Who else?

Posted on 2013-01-22
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
I'm looking for a web hosting company.
How do I evaluate them?  I have a small business web site I need hosted.  (Real Estate brokerage). 10 people on staff. I will upload videos, pictures and need email accounts.
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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by:webtechgal
ID: 38807967
That is tough, because you can spend a great deal of time looking at options. Most companies offer shared, semi-private and private hosting space. The difference being that you will have other websites on the same server on shared, fewer on semi-private, you by yourself on private. Pricing is higher for private.  

I can tell you my experience with a couple.
I have used GoDaddy. I do not use them any more, as they seem to nickel and dime you to death. For example, on the subject of email addresses, they now give you a set amount of space and you divide ALL of your email accounts into that space. It was 100Mb. So 10 accounts was 10Mb each (which is ridiculous). Then you had to pay for each additional email you wish to add. My other issue with them is I do not care for swimming through the maze of their dashboards to get where you would like to go.
But you can call them on the phone if you need help.

I switched to SiteGround as they are friendly to the Joomla content management system websites that I develop. You can have as many email addresses as you like. The size of the email box is 500mb each. They use a cPanel backend which makes life very easy for your webmaster to configure email or forwarders or get stats or manage files... it is just easier.
There is no limit to uploads or file space. Traffic is unlimited.
They do not have a phone number to call. You sign in to the tech support helpdesk and create a ticket and they email you. I generally have a answer or fix within 5 minutes. You can check out their choices for hosting here  http://www.siteground.com/index.htm

I have dealt with 1and1 and Network solutions, too. Still like Siteground better.
I'm sure other people have their favorites.

Hope this helps. :)
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 300 total points
ID: 38808012
I don't like 1and1, they do some things just plain wrong.  Godaddy is better than them.  My top 7 that I have dealt with:

Hurricane Electric Internet Services Web Hosting - engineers answer the phone. But it's DIY with shell access.
Network Solutions Domain Registration and Web Hosting - Good support and applications
Dotster Domain Registration and Web Hosting - Good support and applications
Godaddy Domain Registration and Web Hosting - Decent support and applications but limited on email unless you sign up for extra.
Hostek Web Hosting - pretty good
Hostmonster Domain Registration and Web Hosting - pretty good
BlueHost Domain Registration and Web Hosting - pretty good

There are many more that I haven't worked with of course.
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 200 total points
ID: 38808036
Most major shared hosting companies are similar in their offerings.  You can ask 10 people and get 10 opinions.  1and1, godaddy, bluehost, rackspace, hostgator, dreamhost...  

Anybody here that answers will have good and bad experiences with any of these.  How you evaluate hosting  is hard and you can factor in:

Price
Product offerings that make up price (disk space, bandwidth, email)
Customer service
tech help
3rd party apps
Are they better with windows vs nix

Hosting comes in:
A) multiple levels of shared hosting where 1000's of sites share the same server and cost between $2 and $30 per month.  Don't get hung up on if it is $5 or $15 - it's peanuts.  

B) VPS or semi private or "Cloud" running $50 to $100 per month.

C) Small dedicated hosting starting at $200 to $500 per month.

More then likely option A is what you need.  Make some phone calls, explain what you do and what you want and listen to their response.  Then call back and ask for tech support and tell them what you want and ask for their opinion.  Note how helpful tech support is vs the sales peson taking your cash.  

When it comes to email, they all will offer.  However, spend some money here and don't use the free email that comes with your hosting service.  You will get a lot of spam.  Use google apps for business and spend the $50 per year per person.  Especially being in realesate when receiving and delivery of email  is critical.  Even with the best anti spam tools these shared hosts offer, you will have one or two people that sign up for stuff and then are in spam hell no matter what you do.  Gmail has been very good.   Using google apps for business means you can have you@yourdomain.com but  it runs through gmail.   Ask your potential provider if they help set this up.  It is a little tricky the first time.
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by:tailoreddigital
ID: 38808046
I second WebTechGal on Godaddy, that has been my experience too.   I still manage multiple Godaddy accounts.   The one positive thing about Godaddy is that they are up 98% of the time (9 years with them) and the tech support is usually very helpful.

I also use 1 & 1.      I do like that the fact they they don't seem to nickel and dime you.   My favorite feature is the Plesk backend.   Plus they have software to install on your system to make backend management easier to access and manage.    I only have just under a year experience with 1&1,  so hopefully someone else can help with their experience with them.
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by:webtechgal
ID: 38808636
I will politely disagree with Padas about the free email accounts, especially at Siteground. You have the ability with the cPanel cpanel makes changes easy to enable SpamAssassin, which is an free email filter, configurable to your requirements. You can blacklist and whitelist accounts. spamassassin page 1spam assassin ability to blacklist and whitelist
If you don't already use it in a business context, I would recommend using Outlook and taking advantage of the filters and junk removal available within it, to complement the SpamAssassin filtering. SpamAssassin does not remove all the spam, (I haven't run into anything that does), but it reduces it enormously.

Another advantage of Siteground is the ability to activate CloudFlare (free or paid versions) to optimize the speed of your site.
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 38808676
yes I have spam assassin too have used it in conjection with the likes of comtouch and barracuda.  Personally, I don't have issues with email.  But I am carful.   If it was just me on my own dedicated server, I would be more inclined to use my email server which I have mail enable smarter mail and some other one I never used.  It's not about easily making email accounts or or using cpanel or plesk.  Don't be cheap.  I have real estate brokers for clients.  They used to even try and run their own in house mail server.  Email is too important and more complex then it is on the surface especially when on shared mail server with 1000 other people that are most likely mucking with your mail IP's reputation.  It's as much about getting into the email box as it is about receiving.   95% of the time and maybe more there probably will not be a problem.  But I sure would't want to trust my by broker's million dollars in commissions when deciding to pay $600 per year for hosting and great email vs $100 per year for hosting and not as good email.

Anyway, like I said, a question like this will not get a hard consensus on anything other then using one of the major hosting companies will at one time or another be good for one and not for the other.
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by:webtechgal
ID: 38808780
Indeed, there are many email options out there with as many pricing options. Keying on the phrase "small business website" in the original post made it seem that they would not necessarily be wanting to run their own email server.

Since we are providing options, I would offer as an equal alternative to Google Apps email - Outlook in the cloud email, called Exchange Online, with two different plans. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/exchange-online.aspx
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by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 38811317
I prefer to host away from the mainstream where the servers are not oversold.  My current recommendation is http://asmallorange.com/

The servers are not oversold.  The email has multiple client interfaces.  They use a good version of cpanel.  The most important thing is support.  My experience has been they respond to a ticket in less than ten minutes, and they resolve things quickly.  Up time is 98% for me and they have all the bells and whistles of much bigger hosting services.  They are not the cheapest, but you do not get hit with all kinds of extras.

BTW any host that claims to offer unlimited storage or bandwidth is lying.  I would not consider them as an honest and reliable source of hosting.

Cd&
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by:stu215
ID: 38811850
@COBOLdinosaur - its nice to have cheaper rates with the non-mainstream hosting companies but I had a bad experience where the company went out of buisness / owner died or something and I had to go through a bunch of legal stuff to reclaim my files and domain name...  

Do you ever run into issues like that with the non mainstream companies or have issues with their support?  ( not necessarily the particular one you just listed )

-- Id definitely agree that good support is worth a ton!


As for web hosting in general:

My vote would be for GoDaddy which i find to be overall ok ... I've had good experiences with their customer support and when I've had issues and them seem to be fairly responsive/knowledgeable/easy to understand on the phone.
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 300 total points
ID: 38811904
@stu215, I keep the master copies of my web files on my computer so I never lose them.  It also allows me to upload 'good' copies should something bad happen on the server.  And I do not normally use the same company for both domain registration and hosting.
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by:stu215
ID: 38811914
Nice - a lesson i learned the hard way.  :-\
( I do the same now  )

Was about 7 years ago, cant remember the co name though.

I had copies of the files but not the data in the databases which was backed up on other servers of theirs... and getting my domain name back was the biggest hassle.
( never got the data back - just my hosting name )
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by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 38811938
Non-Mainstream just means a different business model, not mom and pop with a server in the garage.  A big host can go bankrupt just as a small does.  Checking out the viability and stability of any host you are considering is important.  

I want servers to be located in a stable democracy with a valid legal system.  I don't want to pay for the host to run huge ad campaigns to attract a lot of novice developers so they can oversell the servers and degrade my response time. I won't deal with a host that has ip addresses in black list.  You have to look at the features offered; but more important is you have to check out the company behind the marketing pages.  If a host has a forum you can tell a lot about a sight.  If there is nothing negative in the forum, then it is a sham.  If admins from the host actually post in the forum, then it is a plus because it shows some commitment to customer service.

I am not impressed by phone support.  If there is a ticketing system that produces fast responses then it is actually preferable to having to go through "customer support" voices reading scripts to get to an actual tech.

Cd&
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 38812000
Is there a secretary on the floor who can take all this great info and make an article on EE. This is not the first Q like this and always comes with good banter.
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by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 38812039
take all this great info and make an article on EE

Kool! padas has volunteered to do an article on this topic for EE.  Maybe I have to get my review guy to do one for my site.

Cd&
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 38812824
I knew that would happen
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by:brothertruffle880
ID: 38813590
DaveBaldwin and others:
- What does 1 & 1 do wrong?  What do they do right?
- I'm hosting a windows web site.  Small business (less than 50 people)
- I'm turned off by GODADDY's nickel and diming (as per posts above).
- I'd like to have great tech support but this feature can, and has, disappeared in MANY tech companies.  (Once upon a time DELL had incredibly great tech support.  Then seemingly overnight, headcounts were slashed and now DELL support is pretty mediocre.
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Dave Baldwin earned 300 total points
ID: 38815924
- 1and1 puts up error messages that advertise other people's web sites.

- Windows hosting must be looked at in detail to make sure they are supporting the features that you want to use.  I've seen several questions here where people have written code using the newest .NET framework and had trouble finding any hosting company that would support it.

- You may not like Godaddy's methods but you really won't like it if you sign up with a host that comes back and says, well, we really didn't mean that much email or hosting.  Like Cd& says, 'unlimited' anything is just a lie, a sales pitch to get you to sign up.

- You get great tech support when you know what to tell them to do.  Tech support people are bombarded by clueless people asking for miracles.  Reducing the head count just makes it worse.
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by:tailoreddigital
ID: 38815931
Well here's my 2 cents,

I don't have a lot of experience with 1&1 but,

I really like the way the the server side is laid out.   It just isn't crammed with crap they are trying to constantly sell you (i.e. GoDaddy).    It feels a bit more pro.   I like the access to the backend right from a desktop application.  

I haven't called them but once, but they were helpful that one time, but this isn't enough to judge how well the support is.

In the almost a year that i've used their servers, they have been stable.
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 200 total points
ID: 38816050
"I'd like to have great tech support but this feature can, and has, disappeared in MANY tech companies."  

Keeping things in perspective, when you are paying $2 to $20 per month for hosting, there is only so much you should expect.   You are sharing with 1,000 others.

"I'm turned off by GODADDY's nickel and diming "
I'm turned off by it too, but I still use them for domain names because network solutions and others charge $30+ bucks for what godaddy charges $12-$14.  However, for hosting, there are other things that would turn me off to not use their hosting service.

"I'm hosting a windows web site.  Small business (less than 50 people)"
It does not matter how many people are in your business.  It matters how many people are on your site.  With any of these cheap hosting sites, your not going to even come close to any of the their limits.  And if you do or want to, then it's time to get live pro help with your site and let that person make this decision for you.

More than likely within the first year, you will probably have 1,000 to 5,000 visitors to your site each month depending on your geography (LA/NY vs Small town 100 miles away from next "big" city) and that is probably a stretch.  That is super low traffic as far as hosting goes but about average for a suburban small business.  

" I have a small business web site I need hosted"  Is your site ready or is somebody working on it?  lean on that person for an answer.  They may have a good opinion an since you are working with them take their advice.  Except control the access to the site yourself.

"I will upload videos, pictures "  This sounds like you are wanting to do this on your own.   consider wordpress.com where you can create your own site and hosting in the same place.
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