Verve Hosting Web-host problems

Written by Adrian Holovaty on October 10, 2003

My Web hosting provider, Verve Hosting, mistakenly pointed holovaty.com this morning and early afternoon to the personal site of a random woman who, well, gives off a lonely vibe.

Screenshot (PNG, 120KB)

Evidently something went wrong with Verve Hosting's hard drives, and a mistake was made associating domain names and user accounts. Two of my friends, also Verve Hosting customers, experienced the same problem, although the sites they pointed to were much less embarassing.

During the mixup, which lasted about three hours, I checked the site via a number of servers across the world. Some displayed it correctly, some displayed the wrong site. (I have no idea why this is the case; DNS issues scare me.) So please accept my apology if you tried holovaty.com earlier today and got the wrong site. There was nothing I could do about it. Verve Hosting dropped the ball.

This is the kind of thing nobody should have any tolerance for, so I'm in the market for a new Web host. Recommendations welcome. I'll need Apache, Python 2.2+, PHP 4.2+, MySQL (preferably 4), mod_rewrite and SSH access. Preferably on Linux.

Comments

Posted by Jay Small on October 10, 2003, at 9:51 a.m.:

LOL! Doesn't look like you at all, Adrian!

Up until about two weeks ago, I would have recommended my own site host, OLM.net out of Connecticut. Inexpensive, has everything you need except Python in the stock package, and could add Python for a very modest monthly upgrade fee.

But I went through 10 days of wrangling with admins there to revive a server that, turns out, had not gracefully restarted and had PHP misconfigured. Hosed my site up royally.

Things are back to normal now, and if I can get a consistent few months of operation out of OLM.net, I will go back to recommending it. For now, let's just say, like your alter-ego Layla, my relationship with the host is in lonely limbo.

Posted by Abe on October 10, 2003, at 10:54 a.m.:

I highly recommend http://www.qwk.net/ . They are a bit more expensive than some hosts, but have outstanding customer service. Their servers are well-managed, follow proper security procedures, and have been very reliable for me.

Posted by Chris Heisel on October 10, 2003, at 1:02 p.m.:

I'd recommend http://www.dreamhost.com/ I've been with them for several years and I really like the level of service that you get plus it seems like they're always improving their service...

Posted by Rich Danielson on October 10, 2003, at 2:15 p.m.:

I host my own site on a computer on my home network. I use a DNS update client (Direct Update) to update my DSL connection IP address to my DNS service (http://www.dyndns.org/). It's really easy and I haven't had any problems for close to a year.

Posted by Anthony on October 10, 2003, at 2:29 p.m.:

I use PHPWebhosting, which has been great for CityCynic.com and has all of your requirements and unmetered transfer, email, and more. Its also fairly cheap, considering what it offers. I've been with them for a year without any problems.

Maybe I should start charging them for the free publicity I'm giving... Anyway, check them out. Oh, and they update PHP and MySql (and other things) as soon as a new stable release comes out. That's a cool feature.

Posted by Chester on October 10, 2003, at 3:06 p.m.:

I second the mention for PHPWebHosting.Com. I have guided clients to them before and will do so again. They have been very reliable for my needs.

Posted by Michael B. on October 10, 2003, at 4:20 p.m.:

HostingMatters: www.hostingmatters.com

Hurricane Electric: www.he.net

Posted by Michael B. on October 10, 2003, at 4:23 p.m.:

Oh, and with all due respect to Dreamhost customers, ask JD Lascia how much he likes Dreamhost these days. I hear enough bad things about them to make me leery. Not to mention that they're pretty strict about killing CGI scripts if they suck too much CPU time.

Posted by Adrian on October 11, 2003, at 2:21 a.m.:

Anyone heard anything good/bad about Media Temple?

Posted by Ryan on October 11, 2003, at 10:48 a.m.:

Does having experience with almost every host mentioned mean I've switched too much :)

host it yourself - I do my own DNS through zoneedit.com so my home machine is always accessible, and run all my development stuff there. I just don't trust myself or my connection enough to guarantee it'll be up all the time, especially for email.

phpwebhosting.com - good experience, cheap ($9.99/month), unlimited mysql databases, very recent php with lots of compiled options (they're the only place I've found with XSL support). My 2 complaints were no IMAP email and only 1 domain per plan - they say it's so cheap that you can just buy another (subdomains ok)

mediatemple.net - good all around but not for me; very nice control panel. 1 mysql database, php version was pretty old. kind of expensive (I think I paid $32/month to get all the goodies I needed)

dreamhost.com - My current host. I signed with their "it's our birthday" deal and got their $80/month plan for $10/month. I'm not sure how the price/features are in the normal priced plans, I think it was kind of expensive to get decent options. php is recent, but lacks a lot of options (notably GD) but they say you can compile it yourself and run it as a cgi if you want. Unlimited mysql databases but setup is a little strange.

phpwebhosting and dreamhost both have shell access, cron, cvs and python (not sure what version). Both have lame stats programs, but I installed awstats and dailystats pretty easily

hope that helps. I've heard great/terrible experiences with all of them but I never had any major problems. Support was always quick, helpful and friendly

Posted by kpaul on October 11, 2003, at 6 p.m.:

i have to give a plug to my current host Spinweb. they have great service. started their company in a dorm room many years ago and now have a store-front office in the village of Ball State University.

Posted by Devon on October 11, 2003, at 11:15 p.m.:

Here's a few I'm looking at (planning to get a dot com for the first time since 2000)...

csoft.net, onyxservers.com (used them before and they're not bad but they're not what I'm looking for this time), pureng.com, aletia.com, FeaturePrice.com.

That's in no particular order.

Posted by Mike Kelley on October 12, 2003, at 12:42 a.m.:

I had problems with Dreamhost, and I'm in the process of moving from Blogomania to Bloghosts.com, and they seem good so far.

Posted by Ryan on October 12, 2003, at 3:18 p.m.:

I'll echo the suggestion of Hosting Matters. Down time has been *extremely* rare, and customer service prompt the one time I needed it. We do the B1000 plan, which seems to offer quite a bit for $11 per month.

Posted by Ryan on October 12, 2003, at 9:42 p.m.:

Heh. Make that the *two* times I've needed it. :)

Posted by Richard Rutter on October 14, 2003, at 10:13 a.m.:

I use digitalspace.net for my hosting. They ahve all you're asking for and I've found them to be extremely reliable and very responsive to enquiries - installing PHP addins within hours of asking for them. And they are really cheap. (Actually they don't list Python but I bet they'd make it available on request.)

Posted by chris willis on October 16, 2003, at 4:45 p.m.:

adrian,

we use mediatemple at hypergene. super-responsive customer service. we love'em.

we tried dreamhost early on and had a terrible experience.

Posted by Nathan Wright on October 18, 2003, at 8:50 p.m.:

I hate to mention it (I like to keep such things to myself), but Modwest is a great host. They offer everything you need right down to MySQL 4. Have been using them for over a year without a single glitch. Excellent customer response time (usually less than 15 minutes when contacted via email). That, and they're really nice guys. Who could ask for more?

Posted by anonymous on August 15, 2006, at 9:20 p.m.:

Just don't ever pick Jaguar PC. They advertise a support team but trust me there isn't one. Most people solve their own problems through the forum or looking it up on their own. Just read their forum to get an idea. Totally not worth the annoyance you get for $9.95 a month.

Comments have been turned off for this page.