The Calico Cat
A weblog about business, economics, law, politics, and current events - nothing about cats
Web Hosting Info
This is the tale of my web hosting experiences. Hopefully you will find it helpful.
Fly by night Canadian web hosting
Calicocat.com was the very first domain name I ever purchased. Back 1998, I had this idea that I would develop a computer adaptive test, and I would call the company Calico Assessment Technologies. The name of the test would be The Calico CAT, so I purchased the domain name calicocat.com. I had to pay some guy in Canada $400 for the domain name (but that was back when just registering an unclaimed domain name was $70).
My first web host was the very guy I purchased the domain name from. He charged me $25/month. I suppose thatís what it cost back in 1998. After a few months I realized my new business wasnít going anywhere and I didnít want to pay $25/month in perpetuity. And thatís when I discovered free web hosting at Netfirms.
Netfirms web hosting
For five years, calicocat.com was hosted for free at Netfirms, and today itís still hosted there, but with the $5/month plan. This is how Netfirms makes its money. Eventually, you wind up buying the paid hosting because youíre too lazy to move the site somewhere else.
For free, Netfirms is probably the biggest bargain on the internet. They give you 1GB of bandwidth/month, a free Email address you can access with Microsoft Outlook, and unlimited Email aliases. The catch is that they put a banner ad at the top of every page, but it could be a lot worse. There are no pop ups, and the banner ad is always the same, itís an ad for Netfirmsí free web hosting services. There are many banner ads that are a lot uglier. Even though the service is free, Iíve never had any problems with the site being down. You seem to get the same reliability that you get with the paid hosting.
If you are thinking of getting into blogging, and you arenít ready to pay for real hosting, then by all means, register a domain name at GoDaddy.com (for as little as $5) and host it for free at Netfirms. This is far better than hosting your blog at *blogspot. This was the big mistake I made with my Gold and Silver Blog. I started it with free *blogspot hosting, and now itís stuck there, because all the links are pointing to auag.blogspot.com, and it would be a major hassle to get all the other webmasters to change their links. I would probably never be able to get them all changed. So *blogspot now has my blog hostage.
If youíre youíre going to start a blog, donít make the same mistake I did! Get a real domain name and host it for free at Netfirms.
Now how is Netfirmsí paid hosting? Well Iím paying only $5/month to host this blog, and thatís hardly an outrageous fee. If you just want to host a single domain name, you wonít find web hosting for much less than $5/month. The plan only includes 2GB of bandwidth per month (and I calculate that 2GB can handle up to a thousand visitors a day), but you can upgrade to 10GB of bandwidth for $10/month and 20GB of bandwidth for $15/month. These prices arenít the cheapest, but they are still pretty reasonable. The service has been quite reliable. Netfirms is a fine place to host a blog.
My next adventures in web hosting came when I wanted to host my online dating site MatchStation.com. Being experienced with programming in ASP.NET and SQL Server, obviously those are the tools I wanted to use for the dating website. Unfortunately, ASP.NET and SQL Server hosting is quite expensive. Iím paying $25/month to host MatchStation.com at ASPwebhosting.com. That only includes 5GB of bandwidth (not that I need any more). MatchStation.com is a big money hole.
My next website was eDateReview.com, and thatís also an ASP.NET/SQL Server site, so the natural place to host it was also with ASPwebhosting.com. Another $25/month.
I donít have any complaints with the quality of the service. Only once did I have a problem with the SQL Server being down (it was down for about an hour). They answer my support questions relatively quickly. And thatís one of the reasons why ASP.NET hosting costs more; I only once had to ask Netfirms a technical question (and they responded relatively quickly and gave me the correct answer). Also, it should be noted that $25/month is a pretty good price for SQL Server hosting. I donít think youíll find a much better deal anywhere else on the web.
Hostony web hosting
With the bandwidth at ASPwebhosting.com being pretty expensive, I decided it would be a good idea to host the graphic link to eDateReview.com at a different host. I registered the domain name edatereview.us (for only $5 at GoDaddy) and set it up at a place called Hostony. And what a big mistake that was! $10/month for 10GB is not the cheapest on the web, but the service sure is cheap. It goes down all the time. Their web hosting control panel is pathetic. Hostony is one web hosting company to stay away from.
Lunarpages web hosting
Looking for web hosting that was both better and more affordable than Netfirms and Hostony, I discovered Lunarpages.
For only $7.95/month you get a whopping 20GB of bandwidth, and there's no setup fee either. Furthermore you can add additional domains for $2.50 each, up to four. So that means you can host 4 domains for only $15.45/month, and if you need more bandwidth then Lunarpages also has other plans you can upgrade to that are equally good bargains. Lunarpages is a really good deal even if you are only going to host one site there, and if you want to host multiple sites, or think you might want to in the future, then itís a super bargain. I just moved my Battlestar Galactica Blog over to Lunarpages. And I am going to move my edatereview.us domain over to Lunarpages also so I can stop being ripped off by Hostony.
posted November 22, 2003