My web host has hit the final straw. Im outta there as soon as I decide which host is the better deal. Im looking at three different hosts right now, Ill post it when I decide.
Ive put up with excessive downtime. Ive put up with obsessive and controlling behaviour on the part of the “owner/operator”. Ive put up with database issues and non-standard protocols. Ive put up with the total loss of any control whatsoever over my own fucking web sites. All these people are supposed to do is provide me with space and keep the servers functional. They are nickel and diming us to death with so called “security measures” and its getting to the point where I feel like Im PAYING to host my site with Geoshitties.
This last month there was a small glitch with the bank. They hit some button somewhere and disabled the credit card function on my account. I didnt notice at first because I mostly use the ATM, but then my payment was refused by the web host. I figured it was some kind of mistake, but I went to put the payment in again, and the card was rejected again. I double checked the amount, and all was well in that regard. It was Friday night, the bank was closed. Its a credit union so they dont have fancy shmancy 24 hour service or anything, so I knew I couldnt get this fixed until that coming monday. I sent my webhost an email stating my problem and asking for guidance.
Now this is a webhost that *guarantees* 99% uptime. This guarantee was well and truly broken for the month of October, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I didnt ask for a refund. So the next morning I go to my email to see if my host had sent an email back, saying SOMETHING. Either, “Oh, a problem with the bank, well we can work with you on this” or ” Im really sorry, our hands are tied”. SOMETHING! But I got nothing. My account was suspended, no email, no website, no ftp. Gone.
Well of course, I was a bit grouchy. This credit card thing was something that was causing problems other than this one by this point. I was tired, and not in my best form. I went to the help desk and registered a complaint. I said that I wanted my refund from october, since they couldnt be understanding of my problems, I sure as hell wasnt going to be understanding of theirs anymore. I asked that the refund be applied to the current month until I could get the credit card thing straightened out.
The response was along the lines of “We dont like your attitude and we ask that you find somewhere else to host”
?!?!?! The hell???
After a couple of help desk entries back and forth, he finally did refund my fee for October and apply it to November. Fine. Even then, I thought.. ok.. Ill get the CC thing taken care of, I really did start that one with a bad attitude, they havent been having server problems *as much* lately, Ill just leave things be. Ive learned to live with most of the issues anyway, worked around them, even ignored them in some cases. Quite frankly, moving the sites is going to be a bigger hassle than I wanted to deal with. This though, I can NOT ignore.
Ive been using Gallery for my images since this website was started. I have spent hours learning how it works so I could customise it to my needs. I tweak and install and rearrange and fix and fuss. I *LOVE* Gallery. It does what I want it to do. I know it inside and out, and I refuse to use another application. God knows I dont want to WRITE one! Im not here to reinvent the freakin WHEEL! So in their latest bid for the ultimate security, my hosts decided to cripple PHP. Among other things, they disabled the exec() function. Gallery uses this with the Netpbm graphics tools to upload files, resize images, convert file types, rotate images, etcetc. Without this function, Gallery is totally worthless. I sent an email to the help desk, this time with a very quiet, polite tone. I asked about the error at first. Then I found the post in the forums stating that this was a security measure. I added to my help desk request asking, nicely, quietly, was this absolutely necessary. Was there anything to be done? My answer was, “Nope, sorry, we cant help you”
I have a security measure for them.. why dont they just unplug the servers from the internet?? We can continue to pay them to keep our files on the servers. When we want to update our sites we can mail them floppy disks and they can upload the files for us! When we want people to see the sites, we can have the host print hard copies and fax them! Its brilliant, I swear! We would never have to worry about security risks again!!
So, for the record, I do NOT recommend AlwaysWebHosting. I am looking at Ion, Jatol, and ServerSonic. So far Im liking what Ion has to offer. I have a few days left on my month, so Ill be trying to get things setup and moved over as quickly as I can. Im sure the sites will all be down for a few days anyway, as things propogate and settle and whatever.
There are other things going on, and I *will* talk about them, but today was a rant.
That is all..