Web Hosting Round-up

September 4th, 2007

I have several domains hosted out of my apt, meaning the computer that controls samo.org (among others) sits in my apartment. Now that i’m moving, i decided to look into hosting these domains somewhere else a bit more reliable (although it was fun to walk fritz and shayna thru a reboot from Thailand).

Here’s what i’m looking for

  • cheap monthly (less than $10/month)
  • virtual hosting (2+ domains)
  • linux/BSD/Unix
  • PHP access
  • ssh access (csh, cron, .htaccess, php.ini, etc)
  • web stats (access to apache log files)
  • decent disk space and bandwidth (?)

I’m happy to see that shared hosting (one machine serving many domains and many customers) is pretty cheap ($5-$10/month). This is in comparison to dedicated hosting, where a customer gets their own machine – for high bandwidth and/or highly customizable stuff. I used to think i needed that, but now i don’t. First I tried to find current reviews of web hosting, starting with GoDaddy, since that’s where i have some domains registered. Basically they are one of the cheapest around, but there are many on the net that complain about their customer support. After a bit of digging, i found some decent review sites and decided to do it right.

Webhostingsitesreviews does a good job evaluating the company and their offerings – their top linux sites were BlueHost 95%, StartLogic 95%, IX Web Hosting 92%, HostMonster 92%, HostGator 87%, Yahoo 87%, and last place GoDaddy 83%. I also liked Hosting Review’s top 10 table with links to their verbose reviews. YourWebHosting also lists a top 10 with BlueHost at the top, followed by IX, GoDaddy, Dot5, StartLogic. Top 5 Hosts picked Hostmonster, Lunarpages, Bluehost, Startlogic, and Hostgator. Ahh, those names sound familiar – I think i see some patterns. Good.

I also found a few sites that seem… off. Perhaps paid placements? Hostsearch allows people to review sites, which is nice to get user issues, but they are not as thorough as webhostingsitereviews. Hostsearch’s top picks are (in order) Webstrike (402 reviews), WebHostingBuzz (258 reviews), eBoundHost (43 reviews), Galaxyvisions (22 reviews), HostForWeb (259 reviews). Web Hosting picked these as their tops: Globat, Poweb, HostRocket, GoDaddy .. and none of them seemed like a good deal.

Anyway, on with the Round-Up – My Summary below. Most of the top ones were about the same, altho I noticed a few things i wanted that not everyone has, like SSH access and access to log files (i like to ssh and tail logs while troubleshooting).

Site Month Disk Domains Notes
BlueHost $7-8 300 GB unlimited ssh, many scripts, .htaccess, 350k domains, blog
HostMonster $6 300 GB unlimited ssh, scripts, log files .. merged with bluehost
StartLogic $5 300 GB unlimited ssh, many scripts, .htaccess, 80k domains
HostGator Baby $10 100 GB unlimited ssh, many scripts, log files, 400k domains
Dreamhost $8-10 146 GB unlimited ssh, many scripts,
IX Business $7 500 GB 8 no ssh, many scripts, log files?,
Dot5hosting $5-6 300 GB 6 no ssh, log files
lunarpages $7 350 GB 10 no ssh, many scripts,

And the winner is … Hostmonster, everything i need for $6/month.

Notes – doteasy.com only had 1GB storage and 20GB/month xfer for $7/month plan. Yahoo was equally lame.