August 24th, 2006, 11:45
hey you hosting guys... here is a personal customer experience
I know most of you care about your customers. I want to tall you my little story in hope that maybe when you are signing up customers you can see it clearly through their eyes and be a little more proactive is taking care of them. In the long run it is in everyone's best interest since we live in a symbiotic relationship.
Last Saturday my server died right before my eyes. It was a slow death too, took about 30 minutes from what I can tell. It was a dedicated box at aplus.net. I thought everything was being backed up but no, 99% of my user contributed data was lost. Yep... I'm screwed. Starting over.
A part of me figures I can make a clean fresh start the other part is incredibly pissed at myself and aplus.net for their lack of ability to truly serve customers and my own boneheadedness for not being more careful. So maybe at the very least someone will be able to learn from my experience and prevent this from happening to them. For all of you hosts... I hope this gives you a sight into how your customers think.
1. Don't believe what the hosting sales guy tells you. Promises made during the sales process are empty.
2. Don't get a dedicated box unless you are really comfortable with is. Get managed services.
3. Use websites like to find the right host.
4. Check prospective hosts by using the search feature on sites like this. See what people are saying about them.
5. Keep a watchful eye on your host over time; quality changes over time.
6. Backup your data to off-site systems. Making a weekly backup to your own computer is also a great option.
7. Don't believe the hosting review sites, the majority are affiliate sites in disguise.
8. Don't believe cnet anymore. I believed them and they led me to aplus.net.
9. Plan to switch from time to time. The host you are with today still has you on that old machine and software. When you switch you often get more for the same money.
10. Build your sites to be transplantable. A couple of my sites were super easy to move, db and all. A few of the older ones required a lot of tweaking because they had server paths (for example) hard coded.
p.s. oh... I'm back online (mostly) and busy rebuilding. Got a dedicated box with some managed serivces and offsite backups. It didn't cost much more either and I got a lot more computer.