The horrible world of web hosting

In web hosting, service and product quality are sliced so thin that much of the business is built around $5 deals and the low standards that come with them. This pushes savvy but non-technical customers to expensive overkill such as managed hosting, or to complicated alternatives such as virtualization. Anyone who has ever gone through this whole rigmarole will understand what Marco Arment means when he writes that "Web hosting is a horrible business."

Web hosting customers are nomads. If your host hasn’t been ruined yet, just wait. Today, news broke that GoDaddy bought Media Temple. GoDaddy is a horrible company run by horrible people selling horrible products. ... If you’re a Media Temple customer wondering whether you should prepare for the worst, the short answer is: probably.

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  1. Anytime someone posts a question about HTML or issues they're having I have them check with their host for a few things and invariably, every time their host is always goddamned GoDaddy. These are smart, intelligent people who would be horrified where they are sending their money and they just did not know.

    Once I point this out to them they always tell me the same thing: I already spent the money, oh well. Their cut bottom rates always bring people in, the fact they pre-pay for it then keeps them there. I hate GoDaddy with a passion. Completely no technical support, horrible business owner, but nobody seems to care.

  2. Aetius says:

    This might be a newsflash to the author of the article, since he's never been a Media Temple customer, but Media Temple is not that great of a host. For a long time, the best Ubuntu they could offer was 11.04, because they were using Virtuozzo and it didn't support Linux 3.x kernels. Further, they recently hiked prices and tried to push their customers into managed solutions (with the awful Plesk installed, which was responsible for several of my machines being compromised).

    More to the point, though, I don't understand why people complain about what they get when they are cheap bastards. Web hosting is a very competitive market, with many offerings at many prices. Is it some kind of surprise that the rock-bottom, cheapest services aren't that good? In web hosting, like so many other markets, you get what you pay for. This, however, isn't news - or at least, it shouldn't be. It's just what a reasonably competitive market looks like, with lots of people trying lots of different things and many of those things not working out.

  3. akp says:

    They require a little bit of technical know how, but I've always thoroughly loved Nearly Free Speech when I needed hosting that didn't quite require virtual or dedicated servers. They work on a prepaid system, but everything is broken down individual (bandwidth, storage, whether the site is static or dynamic content, etc.), plus they allow access via SSH/SFTP.

    Long ago I tried my hand at offering web hosting based on a few dedicated severs I was using for other purposes but still had free resources. I could barely get anyone to pay $5 a month (even going so low as $2 a month at one point) because they didn't get 500GB of storage or whatever along with their plan. I got so tired of all the bitching and moaning about how GoDaddy or Dreamhost did this or that that I just gave up on it altogether.

  4. We're dropping our MediaTemple server this month following that particular news. I won't have my business feed any cash to GoDaddy - even if you're not appalled by their morals you should be by the quality of their product.

    We're likely to be moving to TSO hosts (UK based which is bonus to us) - who atualy look a little better than mt anyway.

  5. In the eight years I've been running my modest real estate blog, I've gone through Dreamhost, Hostgator, and Media Temple. All of them were indeed terrible. Frequent outages, lengthy waits for customer service, etc.

    I finally ended up asking the biggest local neighborhood blog what host they used. They happily recommended WiredTree. I switched to one of their VPS solutions and have been a happy customer for four years now.

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