In the last seven or eight years, I’ve used about a half a dozen different web hosts. I started out on Geocities (!) back in ’98 but quickly moved to a paid host. Since then I’ve moved host about every 12-18 months — sometimes for financial reasons (I don’t want to pay any more than I have to), but in truth mostly because I have no patience for hosting providers that skimp on customer support. And I’ve found that when it comes to web hosts, you don’t always get what you pay for: by which I mean, the cheap ones aren’t always, necessarily, the worst.
In the past I’ve joined hosts that start out with great intentions but who soon lose their way as their customer base expands. It’s easy and cheap to get new hardware, but it’s time-consuming and expensive to hire the people who are going to maintain it and provide customer support. Now I rarely need help from my host (I don’t do anything very complicated) but I think it’s reasonable to expect that when I need it, it’s there.
Where is this post going? An advertisement, that’s where. I currently host with the bizarrely-named A Small Orange (ASO), which I was initially attracted to by the astonishingly low prices (right now I have about half a dozen domains running on the Tiny plan, which costs just $30 per year). And I can’t say enough good things about ASO. In terms of functionality, it’s all there — scripting (PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python), unlimited domains, unlimited databases, unlimited email addresses, cpanel, SSH and so on. And the people who run the company seem to have the right idea: instead of overselling their hardware to the point where it grinds to a halt, they have a sensible rollout plan for new hardware that includes halting signups before performance is adversely affected.
So that’s it really — this is my way of saying thank you to my excellent host. If you’re in the market, I can definitely recommend you give ASO a look.
Any now, we return you to our regularly-scheduled programmes…