March 4, 2005

Let Us Now Praise Famous Hosters


THIS IS GOING TO BE OF INTEREST mainly to those who blog or those who would blog, but bear with me since "attention must be paid."

Even with the smaller blogs such as mine the key to daily peace of mind is your hosting service. There are lots of these and I've been with a few. One service was, it turned out, a nest of vipers and spammers so devious they took a turn inserting a snippet of html into every page they hosted that pointed back to one of their own businesses -- a kind of auto-spam that their customers paid for. When caught they claimed that a consultant made them do it, but they were cheesy and sleazy and were soon on to other odious practices.

I have a dozen other stories but those of us who practice this curious calling know most of them. That's why when you actually find a hosting service that not only exceeds your expectations but anticipates them your joy is unconfined.

That's what's been happening over my last four months of business with Hosting Matters. To say this company is impressive in every regard is understatement. Every single problem I've ever had has been resolved quickly, cleanly and with a maximum of information and communication with me by an unfailing competent technical staff. I've been dunking about the Internet for nearly 20 years. I've been an admin on Compuserve for the first Fortune Magazine foray online. I've taken the VAX tours. I've been down to AOL Kool-Aid brunches, I've run web farms with millions of dollars in annual revenue, 24 staff members, and its own customer service department. I've negotiated contracts with very big hosts and overseen their work on my sites. All this and more, but I have never, but never, seen customer service as good as that at Hosting Matters.

The company doesn't only handle my small page but Instapundit and Little Green Footballs and a plethora of other even larger sites. I can only assume that if my tiny issues are being addressed this well, they're doing even better for the bigger clients. Then again, that may well be wrong. It may well be that the Hosting Matters philosophy is that every customer, big or small, gets the same "superior service." That's certainly what it feels like to me.

Case in point: For the last few weeks, this page has been -- from time to time -- plagued by intermittent outages, very slow load times, and moments when it is unreachable. No big deal to the world at large, but a nagging item to me. Each time I noticed this and sent in a trouble ticket, the issue was unfailingly resolved within 15 minutes. Still, I began to worry that something on the server my page shares with untold others was not quite right. Then again maybe the coding on my page wasn't quite right. It really is all a question of wrong tag, open tag, padding, illiterate CSS, screwy CSS syntax and a host of other details that are sometimes impossible to spot. The short form is, "Something's wrong and I don't know what, help!"

So I had thought, very briefly, that maybe, just maybe if I could move to a new server things might, just might, get better. But, for a number of reasons, I didn't ask, but I was going to. Possibly today.

Except I didn't have to ask. In my email stack this AM was a short note from "We are moving your account to Gauguin, which is a beefier server, as soon as Cassatt comes back up. "

That may look like telepathy, but what it really is is great business.

And besides, even though I've always admired Mary Cassatt few would argue that Gauguin isn't an upgrade.

The takeaway is that if you run a page or a thousand pages and have issues with your host, you need to look seriously at a move to Hosting Matters.

Posted by Vanderleun at March 4, 2005 10:22 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Some time ago, on your recommendation Gerard, I moved my site to Hosting Matters. They are every bit as good as you give them credit for.

Their control panel is a thing of beauty, too -- a user friendly interface for setting up SQL, file management, stats, etc. Easier than any I've ever used.

I found them to be inexpensive, also -- I use their $11 plan and it works fine.

I have subsequently moved two other sites I run over to them, also.

Posted by: The Colossus at March 4, 2005 1:16 PM

I have two small sites, and they are just as responsive to me.

Another impressive thing about HM: They are on our side. Big anti-idiotarian blogs like LGF that attract jihadi and extreme lefty hackers are constantly under cyberattack, often very cleverly. A company that didn't want to deal with this would tell someone like Charles, "Thanks, but you're too much trouble for us, we don't need your business." But HM enjoys outwitting the hackers and supporting that kind of blog.

Posted by: Yehudit at March 4, 2005 2:40 PM