• Howdy! Welcome to our community of more than 130.000 members devoted to web hosting. This is a great place to get special offers from web hosts and post your own requests or ads. To start posting sign up here. Cheers! /Peo, FreeWebSpace.net

What Do You Want In A Web Host?

azoundria

New Member
This was how I started just 5 years ago, with this same question.

Back then, of course, there was still Geocities, and many of the things we take for granted today like cPanel and PHP were just a whole lot less common. (Though PHP was still fairly widespread, not as much in free hosting.)

My service in a nutshell, is really about taking all the fuss out of web hosting. The usual system is:
- Select from hundreds of advertisers and play around with ads.
- Select from thousands of hosts and play around with various failures.
- And then, manage post counts, finance, or whatever else you need to, paying fees to various middlemen and having virtually no negotiating power as a single consumer.

With our service, we already know the best advertising systems (though we do discover more every day) and how to optimize on each, the best places to get hosting, there aren't any middlemen, and we can get really good deals because of the vast number of clients here.

Effectively, once the ads are placed, you are left just with managing your site. You could also choose post to host, or top up the account with funds you can use for anything later.

Last time I posted this question, the requests were pretty simple. cPanel, FTP, PHP, MySQL, - the standard things pretty much every host nowadays offers.

I'm not playing into this 'unlimited' or 'cloud' game that I really feel isn't honest, so please don't ask me for anything unlimited. Our system is upgrade-based. As your website grows, you get upgrades to the next level.

What other things are important to people? I have in mind things like backups, instant server transfers, website reviews... I thought I'd though of everything, but that's never the case.

What else is it that you really like in a web host, which either isn't common or is a must have? Just let me know so I can make sure we include it. Thanks.
 
Last edited:

dmmcintyre3

New Member
  • reliability, I don't want someone who comes here, posts an ad and a few weeks later shuts it down and comes back a few months later doing the same thing
  • decent speed. I don't mean they mush have high end servers, I'm fine with low end dedicated servers or mid to high end VPSs from a good provider if they don't put too many accounts on the server
  • high uptime. I don't mind occasional outages, it's when the server is down at the same time every day for a few hours that I have issues with.
  • secure, but not so secure it breaks common scripts. One host here had too many functions disabled in their PHP that a MyBB forum could not run (well, it could but every ' and " in posts would be replaced with \" and \' unless you used your own php.ini. (I bet the owner had no idea that you could even do that))
  • cron jobs with enough commands working to backup mysql databases and rsync the files to another server
  • no over restrictive firewalls where 10 404 errors and your IP is banned. (Yes, a host that failed was doing that.)
  • no extremely low mysql query limit. (I see one host saying you can't do more than 1500 a hour. just one of my sites is doing 2 per second which is 7200 a hour.)
 

azoundria

New Member
Aside from Cron Jobs, which is a by-request feature, I have all that. For backups, I'm setting up a system soon for those.

I guess I was hoping more for things that aren't statements of the obvious. Like tools to manage multiple websites, backup tools, etc... The kinds of things that really make your job as a webmaster a lot easier.

Though the basics are nice too, I guess they haven't changed much in 5 years.
 

azoundria

New Member
Sorry for the 'shutdown' if you considered it such. I do figure things haven't changed, and there are still the hundreds of one night stands.

Guess this is as good a place as any for venting.
 

TaoPhoenix

Well-Known Member
NLC
Sorry for the 'shutdown' if you considered it such. I do figure things haven't changed, and there are still the hundreds of one night stands.

Guess this is as good a place as any for venting.
Actually, let's have hosts vent a little! Venting is mostly equal to info on bad luck events. It's the over-Saccharin effect of Ads-Only that feels so hollow. Tell us stuff!
 

theraptor

Active Member
I 100% agree with you TaoPhoenix.

Azoundria, I wouldn't call IMW perfect - I don't think anyone could be perfect with a free host, and there is always room to improve- but IMW definitely is one of the big leaders in free hosting, and I think that it is awesome that you've managed to keep it that way for 5 years now, despite the hardships that have happened.
 

fcolor

Active Member
I think that for most small-business owners is important to receive tools which allow them to create and manage websites easy and at low cost. This changes web hosting a little bit and requires web hosting providers to offer some preinstalled application on accounts. Like templates which is easy to work it and to customize.
 

azoundria

New Member
Right now I've got about 3 notable clients switched to Weebly, which is hugely unfortunate because I've tried Weebly. I don't even think you can do PHP. Ultimately clients end up with a Web 1.0 simple website, only widgets for interaction, little understanding how anything works behind the scenes, and completely dependent on Weebly to 'do it for them'. Weebly is entirely funded by the paid hosting signups, and has very few features for transfering, so again I question what will happen to these clients in a couple years.

Yet I don't want to lose this market of inexperienced webmasters. Is RV Site Builder comparable? Is there any other software which is browser-based and offers the same functionality? I could probably build something like Weebly in a month, but I don't have a month. What are the important parts? Will a tutorial do? My ultimate goal is these people learn to code their sites. It's a tremendously useful skill.
 

TaoPhoenix

Well-Known Member
NLC
Heh "inexperienced webmasters" - eek! Guilty as charged! I'd like to reiterate that the basics indeed haven't changed - the industry still sees so much noise. But for advanced features, let's see ... Can you give us the FTP-webfolder transfer instructions for ISM? That was a nice trick I learned recently.

At one point I was investigating Dropbox, whereupon if I put new material into the master dropbox folder, all the chained webhosts would automatically see it, though last I looked there were a few tricks involved with that.

Okay, if you really are looking for a shoot-for-the-moon challenge, try this one. The solution to Overselling is a space and/or bandwidth dynamic reallocation bank. I use zilch for both space and bandwidth, so I'd like to "rent it out" for credits as an alternative to post-to-host and ads. Going all old-school and chewing grass like a farmer, I just want to post stuff and have it stick. So I'd rent out my bandwidth for credits. If I rented my bandwidth to a coder, I'd love to trade bandwidth for really simple apps. The other day I went to a hire-a-coder site to get one that flips windows from showing / not showing file names. (Do you know how much headache that saves? show file names to get txt/html file pairs, then turn it off to blast through file names without Windows yelling "what's this file".) So with a resource bank, you don't get "upset" I'm not using my "full allotment", and I get "credit" for being nice and not pummeling your bandwidth (or space, in other cases.)

I forgot that this also solves "dead accounts" where zero content was uploaded because they get dynamically assigned say 1% resources. Then they just collect all in a pile and one day when you're bored you can delete 100 of them.
 
Last edited:

azoundria

New Member
I'm going to try again a bit later to understand your idea.

If it's anything more complex than a public marketplace, let me know. The challenge with public marketplaces is not building but running them. I do have plans at least to let certain clients who I know have a legitimate product or service open a shop for that, but it would be case by case.
 

theraptor

Active Member
Azoundria, RV Sitebuilder is not quite Weebly/Webs, but it is a very good, easy to use software and it is worth looking into.
 

azoundria

New Member
Hi Eric,

So to you it's really important that the host be knowledgeable about all the systems?

What would be your preference for finding an answer?

1) Not having the problem in the first place.

2) A quick forum thread, with a friendly community.

3) A really knowledgeable response, though it might be a few hours.
 

AboutWeb

New Member
Uptime and stability, reliability. A host that won't dissapear after 1 month. No over-resellers. Many hosts are gone because they tried to sell more space than they had available. This is because their first priority is money, which is a wrong point.
 

TSO

freezoka.ws
NLC
Uptime and stability, reliability. A host that won't dissapear after 1 month. No over-resellers. Many hosts are gone because they tried to sell more space than they had available. This is because their first priority is money, which is a wrong point.
Every host oversells. Doesn't have to be 'unlimited' to be overselling. Keep that in mind.
 

deeplist

Entrepreneur
NLC
Every host oversells. Doesn't have to be 'unlimited' to be overselling. Keep that in mind.
That is completely untrue. We, for one, do NOT oversell our servers in any way shape or form. Once the hard drive has been 80% allocated, we consider the server to be maxed out. For instance, say a server has 1 TB of hard drive space. Once 80% of that (or roughly 800GB) has been ALLOCATED to the clients, the server is done, and we commission a new one. Keep in mind, the difference between "allocated" and "used."

This provides a safety net so that if for some reason, some freak accident happens and each user decides to max out their accounts, the hard disk would still only be 80% full. We all know that some clients push their accounts to 95% or more. That's fine. We also know that some people will only use maybe 5%, but that's not an opportunity for us to "oversell" this unused space to somebody else. After all, the first client is paying for it, they should be able to use 100% of it if they wish to do so, right?

In reality once a server reaches 80% allocation, the hard drive space is actually only about 20% used because very few people actually use their full account. This is fine for us, the extra space can sit idle and we'll move on to another machine. It's not only an ethical issue, but also a performance issue as well.
 

TSO

freezoka.ws
NLC
That is completely untrue. We, for one, do NOT oversell our servers in any way shape or form. Once the hard drive has been 80% allocated, we consider the server to be maxed out. For instance, say a server has 1 TB of hard drive space. Once 80% of that (or roughly 800GB) has been ALLOCATED to the clients, the server is done, and we commission a new one. Keep in mind, the difference between "allocated" and "used."

This provides a safety net so that if for some reason, some freak accident happens and each user decides to max out their accounts, the hard disk would still only be 80% full. We all know that some clients push their accounts to 95% or more. That's fine. We also know that some people will only use maybe 5%, but that's not an opportunity for us to "oversell" this unused space to somebody else. After all, the first client is paying for it, they should be able to use 100% of it if they wish to do so, right?

In reality once a server reaches 80% allocation, the hard drive space is actually only about 20% used because very few people actually use their full account. This is fine for us, the extra space can sit idle and we'll move on to another machine. It's not only an ethical issue, but also a performance issue as well.
Then you're certainly a rarity.
 
Top