Completely Off-Topic: or how I selected the hosting service for this blog…

 

OK, now that the site looks sort-of decent (I always welcome feedback and comments about those things, so do not be afraid to tell me what you like and what you don’t about my themes/designs/add-ons, especially now that I have a site that I can tweak at will) I can go back on telling you about my Japanese adventures.

However, before I do so, I’m going to tell you a little bit about my host shopping as it could be instructive and helpful for some of you who are thinking of making that same jump I just did.

Thanks to Levia Carmina for giving me the idea. 🙂

So, in the end, I chose Hostgator as a host. It is one of the first one that I had been recommended, but I wanted to know about several of them before deciding.

And it took me literally hours (I’d say 4 to 6) rummaging the web to try to figure out which one to take and find decent information about them.

First, be aware that almost no “review website” is legit! It’s insane (and very sad indeed), but it seems that all of them are made by people who are being paid by hosting companies to write them. There are literally dozens of those sites, some of them even supposedly criticizing those types of site, while being one of them themselves (remember, there are liars and crooks on the web, as much as in the outside world). It feels that no technique or tactic is too low for them to drag you into their nets!

After figuring that out (and it’s not that hard to figure, just read several of those sites, some have even similar texts – I assume it’s the advertisers themselves that write them) I decided to turn to forums instead, but you know forums (especially geeky forums), only people who have complaints write on them…

So basically, I had the choice between lying websites that say that every hosting company is great (or at least every hosting company that paid them good money) and forums where everyone says that every hosting company sucks.

In the end, I decided to go with Ipage because it was cheap and seemed cool. I started the sign up process and suddenly a bunch of yearly fees appeared and $4.5 a month became $110 a year out of nowhere!!!
Sure those paid services are optional, but as they’re supposedly about making your website faster and more secure, you feel like you have to take them (of course, they don’t say exactly what they do) or you have another option: ditch the sign up process and go shop elsewhere.
I did just that. Within minutes, I got not one but two (automated?) e-mails by two representatives (robots?) of the company saying that they’re worried something went wrong when I tried to sign up, and they’re offering me my first three months of hosting.
Too late dude, you shouldn’t have been sneaky and tricky in the first place.

Then, I tried Fatcow which seemed alright too, and things got worse, from around $6 a month, the total bill was more than $200 a year!!!!

So, finally, I went with Hostgator. The price was a bit more expensive, about $10 a month, although I didn’t take the cheapest plan. The cheapest plan doesn’t allow you to host several websites, this one does. I took it because I know myself, I can’t help but create new blogs every year or so. There were no hidden fees, you pay exactly the amount that they advertised, plus a domain name registration if you don’t already have one, but that’s normal, and you don’t have to get it through them anyway. Also I’ve heard great things (even on the complaining forums) about their customer service, and most important, you can pay by the month. Very few “big” hosting companies offer that and I think it’s important, especially when you don’t know much about hosting as you can stop being with them at anytime if you’re unhappy.

Finally, one last paragraph more directly addressed to Levia Carmina (and other people having sites in other languages): as your site is in French, I would advise a French host though. I can’t tell for sure if that is a fact, but I’ve heard that it’s better to have a host located as close as possible to where most of your traffic comes from. I guess it doesn’t make a huge difference most of the time, but once in a while it can. About French hosts, we’re a bit luckier as those scam review websites don’t seem as widespread in French (I found a few though), so which one to pick. I have a friend that raves about Infomaniak and while I only heard good things about them, I find them a bit expensive (€90 a year the first year, but then €120). I was advised 1and1 too, but as I had a bad experience with them when I tried to register my domain (they took 4 days to tell me that my domain couldn’t be activated yet because they needed my ID – a thing that nobody else asks- and only because I had contacted them to ask why it was not working, it felt like the French administration, so I ditched them automatically). I’ve been told to stay away from OVH, but I was not really given any reason why. I’ve also heard about Mavenhost and Hostpapa (and I’m sure there are others) but I don’t know what they’re worth.

I hope that helps.

Ok, now onto something completely different: back to Japan! No more posts about computer stuff. 🙂

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