Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grrr

Sometime yesterday afternoon my web hosting service crashed. Currently the DevilDog website is unavailable, as is the Alfa Romeo Owners Club GT Register site which I also built and maintain. Neither of these are a great loss to the world - they should be up and running again soon and it's not as if they get a lot of hits most days. I've got backups of both sites and all the data behind them, so nothing is lost.

But my email server seems to be buggered as well, and that's really annoying. I have an emergency email separate to my main account, but that's really just so that service providers can get in touch when things go wrong - like now. As is inevitable at times like these, I am waiting for an important email and I've no way of knowing whether it's come or not. Any emails attempting to get to me at the moment will almost certainly just disappear into the vast nothingness of teh intarwub - they probably won't even slink back home to their senders with their tails between their legs and a 'delivery refused' notice. I am left in ignorance more frustrating than blissful.

The hosting company I use are US based, so the bank holiday weekend shouldn't cause protracted problems. The fact that it's the weekend might, however. They do make much of their 24/7 support, but since a simple acknowledgement of my complaint at four o'clock yesterday afternoon I've heard nothing, and the system's still not working. I'd have thought they would have just transferred me to another server by now.

Ho hum. Time to look for another hosting company, I guess. Any recommendations?

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3 Comments:

Blogger John R said...

I've had no problems with Site5 (where the Horror's hosted) - good service, terribly geeky, not especially cheap. And very few problems with Dreamhost (where everything else I've ever had has been hosted and jr.com still is) - a couple of slowdowns back in the day, but only, what, eight bucks a month?

Ooh, or the un-promisingly named ZZhosting; the Circus was there, and their monthly fee was $3. No dropouts. (No frills either beyond cPanel, but shell access and FTP etc.)

August 29, 2009 6:07 pm  
Blogger bill said...

If you're looking for something in the UK, I can wholeheartedly recommend Rochen. They don't oversell their servers, so the space you buy is the space you get, and their customer service is amazing. They aren't the cheapest, but they are great.

In the US, our church has been hosting with Dreamhost for about 3 months. So far, so good. A couple of instances of downtime, but up again within minutes. Cheap pricing, too.

I've been looking at starting my next project at a host other than my current Bluehost. I haven't had any problems with them, but I've heard lots of horror stories. I've been looking at HostGator and DowntownHost. I've heard good things about them, but don't have experience. I'm leaning toward HostGator.

The weird thing is, according to my diagnostics, devildog is hosted by a UK company. That might be the reason for the communication lag, but that speaks toward the customer service anyway. Small comfort - it appears to be a server issue. All the sites that share your server are down with the same screen.

One option to consider when you get the sites back up is to sign up for GoogleApps for the domain, and use GMail for your email. That should provide a little stability.

Hope that helps. Good luck. If there's anything I can do let me know.

August 30, 2009 2:02 am  
Blogger JamesO said...

Thanks for the recommendations guys. Food for thought. John, I'm with ZZ hosting, and in the past they've been very good. But as of two o'clock today I'm still without a service - that's three days down, and all the tech guys can say is 'please be patient.' It doesn't help that their 'server status' page on their site says everything's just fine.

Oddly, the alfa-gt site was up and running again fairly quickly. But all the email comes through devildog. More fool me. I do have a gmail backup account, and another legacy email from back in the dim and distant infancy of the internet which I keep for eggs and baskets reasons. Most stuff - including comments on this place - comes through devildog, so I'm kind of in limbo right now.

Once the dust has settled I shall almost certainly be moving. I'll let you all know how I get on.

August 31, 2009 1:40 pm  

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