Choosing a Web host

The contract with our hosting company is about to expire, and I’m not sure I want to renew. Is there a reliable, relatively objective Website out there that will help in the choice – ratings, uptime, explanations of services, etc?

Our current host (Network Solutions) has good service, but there are a couple issues. Ours is a small site with relatively little traffic, but is still occasionally slow in serving pages. This is a concern because we use often it as a tool for clients (e.g., managing researcher/author collaborations, surveying readership), and a slowdown/timeout reflects poorly on both us and the client, and can lead to loss of data (i.e., people leaving the site prematurely).

Our FTP address is also a bit fakakta. Not, but a (hex?) prefix, then a domain number. Something like, with an even more ridiculous login name. Yech… not the easiest thing to remember, and somewhat unprofessional to give to clients.

The reason I’ve been given for the above two irritations is that we’re on a “shared hosting package,” and that they don’t offer anything else. I don’t have a lot of experience making host-decisions, so any insight would be appreciated, and the gist of the OP is finding a resource that can help with the renewal.



Check out this forum:

There’s a lot of hosts out there. You might even want to start a thread there telling people what you need and asking for opinions.

ETA: No matter what you do, make sure you retain control over your domain name. It’d be in your best interest to never let your Web host also be your registrar (or rather, have your name registered over their company). If you have control of your own domain name you can easily switch hosts whenever you want or need to with little hassle. The biggest hassle I have run in to as a Web host myself is getting people’s domain names from their old hosts.

Wow that’s a lot of forums! Thanks for the direction.

This might end up in IMHO. The domain registrar I’ve seen most praised is I’m currently on for hosting, they’re reasonably quick to respond to questions and they haven’t given me any trouble at all.

I’ll second this.

I wrangle 50 or domains for my own company and two or three customers. Recently one of the customers wanted to start a new website, and the employee in charge of the project “did me a favor” and registered the domain through their personal web site host. Then they asked me to set up the website on the corporate server (which is at a CoLo). It took me two weeks to get the needed information from the employee, and then get his web host and the registrar I use to get together and transfer the domain so I could make changes to it as needed. What a pain!

So make it easy on yourself and register all your domain’s through one site, and not through whoever you’re using to host your site. I use Network Solutions, not the cheapest place, but good service. Lots of folks like GoDaddy.

For hosting, frankly I’ve found that nothing beats owning or leasing a server at a good CoLocation. Lots of bandwidth, lots of security, and complete control over the box.

Combine that with keeping control over your DNS registration, and you can do anything. Setting up your FTP site as is a snap.

However buying or leasing a good server can run into money, so I realize it’s not the best option for everyone. But I was surprised how much better our sites performed after spending $2500 on a server, and putting in at a CoLo for $100 per month. And we actually made up the cost of the server in about a year because of the extra bandwidth charges we were getting from the old web host.

Moved to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

I’ll third this.

My webhost (now ex webhost) recently did a server migration, and nuked everything. (backups nuked too, wtf?). Transferring over my domains was an exercise in futility. After a few death threats (not really) I was given all the registrar info, but man was it frustrating as hell.