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Old 11-29-2008, 11:21 PM   #1
marlene
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Default Host hunting again

I've just been notified that the company that hosts one of my domains is getting out of the hosting business. So I need to find a new host and transfer the account by the end of December.

Although I set up an account (for a different domain) with United Hosting a few months ago, I don't want to use them for this second domain -- I found their spam-handling feature to be completely unworkable and had to get them to turn it off entirely.

I want to find a host that uses a spam filter that can whitelist based on senders' addresses -- I need to be sure that e-mails from clients always get through to me. And it would be helpful if the spam filtering features/whitelist/etc. are simple enough that I can handle them, instead of having to ask tech support to make the changes. Not sure how feasible that is, though.

And it would be nice to have a reasonable size allowance for incoming e-mail attachments.

It doesn't need to be the cheapest hosting service on the planet. I'm more concerned with good service and tech support (plus the spam/whitelist thing).

Suggestions?

TIA,

mxh
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:01 AM   #2
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Last time we moved DTP Forum, Ann and I had to sort out hosts (with help from Marjolein and Kelvyn and other serious mavens here). Here are some possibly useful snippets.

Set down a list of requirements, from the most basic (disk space, minimum bandwidth) to the techie stuff. Go Linux. Try to find out how much over-selling a host does (or allows); as Marjolein said once: “Over-selling is one thing, over-loading another!” ASO was overloaded, which is why this forum had so much unscheduled downtime.

Do some research on hosts, trying to avoid the outfits that are not actually reviewing hosts but shilling for them. Although designed for reseller accounts, Reseller Hosting Guide has at least two generally useful articles: “Why You Should Avoid Top 10 Hosting Lists!” and “How to Background Check a Hosting Company.” Worth browsing through the rest of them.

Nerdybrain blog post “Six way search for Hosting Happiness” has good advice and names of several hosting review sites and forums he considers reliable. Good article.

Follow up any likely looking prospects in e-mail, asking specific questions. Find out more about what is being offered and about how quickly and intelligently they respond (bearing in mind that you are talking to the sales — probably not the support — staff.

Some possible hosts chosen for their probable reliability and general decency:

CartikaHosting: I use them for one site, have for about a year. No down time. Good response time to requests for help. Good-humored. Reliable, timely e-mail.

Idologic: Reseller only (but you could explore that). It was our second choice for DTP. Never queried them about e-mail, but you could/should.

Laughing Squid: Highly recommended by JC, and generally liked. Did not think DTP would be a good fit, and by the time I thought about them, I had decided on a reseller site. But you will appreciate their general style, and might want to find out about their e-mail propensities.

Sonic.Net: Used for Tapcis, and highly regarded to several of the techie regulars over there. They switched from GoDaddy, and Sonic.net is definitely a step up in both speed and reliability, though it does seem to have periods of slowness (noted as a user). Small outfit, with the pluses and minuses. Hosting does not seem to be its primary business.

FWIW.

   
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:38 PM   #3
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I liked myhosting.com and they do have self-configureable spam filters. They are less expensive if you go on the Linux side and I would guess that the spam filtering works on that side but I was on the Windows side when I had them as a host.

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Old 12-01-2008, 09:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie View Post
I liked myhosting.com and they do have self-configureable spam filters. They are less expensive if you go on the Linux side and I would guess that the spam filtering works on that side but I was on the Windows side when I had them as a host.

Terrie
Second that, though I don't use myhosting.com for my email so don't recall what features are available. I can check, if you have specific questions, Marlene.

And fwiw, just recently there was some kind of billing screwup that prevented them from putting through an 8.45 charge; left unfixed it would have resulted in one of my domains not being renewed. They sent me a couple courtesy emails about it in plenty of time to fix the problem but for some reason the web page that took the updates to the credit card info didn't work. But you can call and talk to a human w/o unreasonable wait and have him fix it in minutes. Not bad.

   
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
They are less expensive if you go on the Linux side
Not sure what you mean. I don't have a Linux side. All of my sides are Windows.

Can their spam filters do whitelisting?

mxh
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Not sure what you mean. I don't have a Linux side. All of my sides are Windows.
Not your side, their side. Your side can be anything that connects to the Internet.

   
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:22 AM   #7
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Myhosting offers very inexpensive Linux-only hosting (that is, everything at their end runs on Linux; you can do what you like in the privacy of your own computer; it's the internet; nobody can hear you scream)

   
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:11 PM   #8
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That (Linux thang) sounds suspiciously like something I am not smart enough to do.

I'd rather pay more for something I have a fightin' chance at comprehending.

I think at this point the spam issue is paramount. The domain I need to rehome is the one that gets massive amounts of spam. Right now, my domain host has my e-mail going through Google mail. Not 'zackly sure how it's done, but it handles the spam ordeal very well.

It catches almost every spam, and has very few false positives. Of course, I do have to go through hundreds of spams in the spam folder every few days, but it's fairly easy to just Evelyn Wood right through them and delete them.

I'm told that DreamHost can do the Google Mail thing, but DreamHost charges a $50 setup fee unless I pay for a year in advance. I don't think any of my other hosting services charged that hefty a setup fee, if any.

Anyway, I gather I need to ask prospective hosts about the Google Mail thing -- I guess they don't all offer the option.

FvH
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:47 AM   #9
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You don't need to know anything about Linux or even touch it. UH is Linux.

   
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:46 AM   #10
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Linux is the OS for the host’s server. You don’t have to deal with it any more than you deal with the OS on a Windows server.

United Hosting is Linux-based.

As for your spam problems, if may be that the specific addresses you use are tainted. Once they hit the spammer lists, they are goners. But you should be able to set up new addresses — instead of marlene@widget try marlenex@widget or some other name altogether. Then never show the new address in plain text — obfuscate it. At the very least, use marlenex-at-widget so that people will be able to figure it out but bots, probably, will not (or will be too lazy or scripted to bother with it).

DreamHost is not on my list of good hosts. Before you jump into a DreamHost situation, read this forum thread “Considering Dreamhost? Maybe you should think again” from September. And check out this UpStart Blogging blog as well.

I think you should consider Cartika Hosting — at least write to them to discuss your e-mail requirements. They are very steady and reliable (IMHO).

   
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