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Web Hosting Infomation

Copyright 2009 by Stephen Vermeulen
Last updated: 2009 Oct 23
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This site is currently hosted by LunarPages.com. From about 2000 to late 2005 it was hosted by FastWebServer.com, who did a good job but did not remain competitive on pricing/features.

See my Web Servers page for more information about web hosting and related topics.

Web Hosting

My recommendation (Fall 2007) for inexpensive web hosting is Lunarpages.com Web Hosting (see notes below). They have competitive rates, good service and accounts with plenty of storage and bandwidth.

If you are in need of a solution where you have more control (such as being able to install your own server software) then you should look at Virtual Private Servers (VPS) or even a dedicated private server. To get a feel for what this approach can provide, take a look at Linode.com who provide a variety of VPS solutions at reasonable prices. In Eating My Own Dogfood Christopher Lenz talks about running custom blogging software written in Python on a Linode.

  • 2009-Oct-23: 7 free web hosting services. [8656]
  • 2009-Sep-08: An overview of the state of cloud computing in mid-2009. At the low end RackSpace's offerings are price competitive with the Linode service (reviewed here by Dr. Dobb's, who also take a bit of a look at the Linode management API. [8488]
  • 2009-Sep-05: In summer'09 unlimited data transfer web hosting plans started to appear. [8477]
  • 2009-Sep-01: Domain tasting is now officially dead. Yeay! [8439]
  • 2009-Jun-09: VAserv may have lost 100,000 web sites due to a security flaw in HyperVM. Make sure you have off-site backups! [8109]
  • 2009-Mar-24: A roundup of Thirty Free Image Resources on the Web. [7781]
  • 2009-Mar-23: Six ways to find out how much traffic your (or some other) web site gets. [7767]
  • 2008-Nov-13: In Oct'08 Microsoft entered the cloud server market with its Azure Services Platform. Naturally developing for this platform will put you are risk of lock-in. It looks like Microsoft will be keeping this open to non-Microsoft languages like Python. [7106] [1]
  • 2008-Nov-04: Theora has been released (see Slashdot), this is an open source video codec that has light CPU requirements. It is expected that new versions of Firefox and Opera will support playback of videos in this format using the HTML5 "video" element. [7149]
  • 2008-Oct-24: It appears to be possible to run a Windows server as an Amazon EC2 instance. I wonder what happens when Windows wants to update itself? [7088] [1]
  • 2008-Oct-06: A guide to setting up a django server on a slicehost machine. [6990]
  • 2008-Oct-03: One user's update on his experience with Amazon's EC2 service. At a minimum cost of $72/month (the web server needs to run the full month, so at $0.10/hour that's about $72 - other disk storage and bandwidth fees might increase this) the Amazon approach is a lot more than a VPS solution where a $20/month server might be enough for a lot of sites. [6977] [1]
  • 2008-Sep-25: The State of Kentucky managed to seize control of 141 domain names, may of which were hosted off-shore. [6924]
  • 2008-Sep-25: Slashdot discusses DNS services with an API access system. [6918]
  • 2008-Sep-23: Slashdot discusses email-only providers, a lot of the suggestions are to use Google Apps. [6903]
  • 2008-Jul-28: Is there a reasonable expectation of privacy if you are using shared (or for that matter co-located or virtual) web hosting? [6597]
  • 2008-Jul-08: Starting small but needing to scale up fast can be very difficult. [6491]
  • 2008-Jul-01: Another reason to stay away from GoDaddy, one of their Vice Presidents has been caught bidding against their customers in their own domain name auctions. [6462]
  • 2008-Jun-25: Facebook now stores about 6.5 billion photos, consuming about 540TB and at peak loads serving 475000 images per second, discussed here on Slashdot. [6434]
  • 2008-Jun-24: Some interesting statistics on how busy the WikiPedia site is. [6424]
  • 2008-May-27: A look at the past, present and a guess at the future of web hosting from the perspective of what a startup company needs to spend on infrastructure just to get going. This is worth a read as it does a good job of pointing out that while the cost of the basic infrastructure (servers and software) has dramatically dropped in the last decade (for the entry-level portion of the market) it is still not easy to get the show on the road and while some progress is being made in addressing the scalability issues with things like Amazon's EC2 and Google's AppServer there is still much to be done.

    Currently I think a virtual private server (VPS) solution is the best bet for those who need to start small, and while EC2 has some advantages its pricing is currently a lot higher. Going the VPS route has some scalability, some vendors (such as linode.com) offer about a 10:1 scaling ratio in features across their offered services.

    Once you have maxed out a typical VPS vendor's offerings you are in the price range of a single dedicated server so the migration path could be continued by switching to a dedicated server or by getting your own hardware and perhaps co-locating it. Doing this could add about a factor of 5 to the scaling curve, so in total, the virtual and dedicated private server approaches should allow you to scale your application about 50 times without having to rework the architecture or selected technology. Once you have grown to encounter those limits you are probably leaving the domain of the startup, so its probably time for a rethink anyway. [6241] [1]

  • 2008-May-24: Slashdot discusses how to start a small web hosting service. The general consensus is "don't", though there are a few who say if you can offer something really unique then it might be worth pursuing. [6220]
  • 2008-May-07: One cautionary tale about getting hit by first the Digg effect and then later being Slashdotted, and why not to use TotalChoice Hosting. Ned introduces a new meaning for DDOS: Distributed Desirability of Stuff. [6067]
  • 2008-Apr-30: The ICANN board is proceeding to put a stop to domain tasting, this might free up a lot of domain names that are being squatted. [6006]
  • 2008-Apr-11: Network Solutions is playing nasty tricks too, they are putting up advertisements on your not-in-use subdomains. [5766]
  • 2008-Apr-08: GoDaddy has been playing some nasty tricks with domain "lockdowns". [5742]
  • 2008-Mar-27: Slashdot discusses the Amazon EC2 service which has recently added static IP addresses so that it can be used as a publicly accessible web hosting platform. It is still rather expensive though - typically it seems to be more expensive than a similar VPS solution. [5338] [1]
  • 2008-Mar-27: Mosso, the hosting could is another approach to the virtual server problem. [5339] [1]
  • 2008-Feb-08: Yahoo is breaking from the heard and offering an all-you-can-eat storage and bandwidth hosting package for $12/month. Discussed here on Slashdot. With Microsoft's recent offer to buy them I guess it doesn't matter how much this actually costs to provide, there will still be money left over. There us some fine print, they reserve the right to limit the amount of content you can add per month and state that you cannot use this as a off-site data warehouse. [5068]
  • 2008-Jan-11: dot-ca-registry is another Canadian domain registrar and hosting provider, their servers are located in Calgary in DataHive's facility. [4653]
  • 2008-Jan-10: Internic.ca is one of the original registrars for Canadian domains. [4638]
  • 2008-Jan-09: BareMetal.com is a Canadian web host and domain registrar. [4626]
  • 2008-Jan-08: NSI registers every domain that is searched for using their whois interface - this means if you search for a domain on their site and then try to purchase it from a different registrar you will find it has been taken. [4616]
  • 2007-Dec-06: WebFaction are a Python friendly hosting company, they support things like Django and WordPress. They provide SSH shell access and you can install your own applications. [4396]
  • 2007-Nov-14: Sustainable Websites is a web hosting service that uses 100% green sourced power. [4148]
  • 2007-Oct-30: NearlyFreeSpeech.NET provide web site hosting with a rather different pricing model - rather than provide a few big feature bundles at set prices they charge by what your site actually uses. They do this on the data transferred and the disk space used, so for a typical non-commercial, amateur or hobby site with less than 100MB of files and bandwidth usage in the 1-2GB/month this may well be less than even a $5/month hosting plan. [3765]
  • 2007-Oct-13: The success of a Canadian CO-OP ISP called Wireless Nomad, a lesson in competition for the Americans. [3436] [1]
  • Aug 2004: ValueWeb is offering a dedicated server (80GB disk) with 1000GB of transfer per month for US$59/month [2576]
  • Aug 2004: Domain Website Hosting [2577]
  • C I Host has some multi-gigabyte hosting packages for a reasonable price [2578]
  • LiquidWeb is offering a 750MB web hosting plan [2579]
  • Canaca.ca is offering some multi-gigabyte web hosting packages [2580]
  • Web Hosting Ratings has reviews and comments on a large number of web hosting services [2581]
  • The Innovator package from WizSystems offers 2GB of web storage, and they have a larger plan too (22-Dec-02) [2582]
  • EasyDNS is a domain name service provider (parking, registration, transfer...) [2583]
  • DNS2Go provides a DNS service that allows you to run servers on machines with dynamic IP addresses, there are some other alternatives to this as well, including DynamicDNS [2584]
  • ipcheck.py is a python script for keeping your DynamicDNS IP address up to date [2585]
  • In Eastern Canada (Dec'04) Rogers has partnered with Yahoo to provide high speed cable modem service with 2GB email and supposedly unlimited photo storage [2586]
  • bluehost.com, as of Aug'05 has accounts with up to 4Gig of storage space for $7/month which can be used to host up to 6 domains [2587]
  • 10-cheapwebhosting.com, has reviews of some of the inexpensive hosting providers and a "top-10" list [2588]
  • WebHostingRatings.com, has a database of information about web hosting services, including user-supplied ratings [2589]
  • WebHostingTalk.com, has an active discussion board about web hosting services [2590]
  • HostingSpeeds.com, tracks the speeds of various web hosts [2591]
  • Nov'05, possible inexpensive hosting providers: BlueHost.com, LunarPages.com, HostGator.com, LiquidWeb.com, after reviewing these and a number of other providers I switched to LunarPages. Some of the things I considered or looked at were:
    • various reviews were positive, there were some negative comments, but most of these seemed to be about a year old
    • they have a good set of support pages, including open forums which you can review before hand
    • the feature set offered (for the price) was more "believable" than some
    • download and connection speeds seemed good
    • they allow you to use one account to host multiple web sites, on their basic plan you can host two domains without additional charges and they even include the annual DNS registration fees for the first domain.
    • their support is pretty responsive, and even responded to questions and setup the account on the US Thanksgiving weekend.
    [2592]
  • HostOnFire announces new web hosting packages with better Python support [2593]
  • WebFaction supports a number of Python based web hosting services (such as Django, Zope and TurboGears), they appear to allow one to install and run custom applications. A note on installing lxml for Python on WebFaction. [2594]
  • The Wikia people are going to be giving away free web hosting [2595]
  • NetFirms has a number of plans, some of which include Python [2596]



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