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  #1  
05-17-2012, 09:41 PM
faustine faustine is offline
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Hi everyone,

This is my "virgin" post.

Shortlisted :
MDDHosting
StableHost
Hawkhost -- they did not reply my Sales ticket sent yesterday.
DowntownHost

Some of the webhost above, -- MDDhosting & Stablehost does not have Livechat.

While Downtownhost, have Livechat.

However, was wondering if Livechat is a necessity? Though I do love to have the option to speak to a live person to help in assisting easy issues offhand....

I agree that having support tickets answered within an hour is better... I'm torned between the choices.

His webhost requirements would be for a retail store -- OpenCart with thousands of products. And 30 email accounts from 10mb to 150mb space reserved.
And he needs high bandwidth and at least 10GB space.

Will be glad if you guys can provide your experience with any of the webhosts.

I have been with Downtownhost a year ago before, and they were great except that the Server my files are in, had slightly frequent downtimes, one downtime in particular was over a day -- think it was Server 53.

As this hosting for my friend is for a business, I doubt we can afford downtimes as long as 1 day.

Thank you.
Regards
Faustine

Psstttt: DTH's owner seems on a "power trip" in WHT.... So I'm not sure if I should trust ....

We're looking for Shared hosting.....
Do you have any other alternatives that I can look into?
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  #2  
05-18-2012, 04:22 AM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Hi there, welcome to the site.

Let me break down some of these topics for you...


Support via Chat:

It's primarily budget-end customers that like to use LiveChat, but not because it's actually a useful support model. These users tend to be impatient, self-important, and generally more aggressive in their interactions with the host. These low-paying customers want instant gratification, as if hosting was cooking a dinner in the microwave. When it comes to highly technical services, which hosting is, issues often take time to research and resolve.

Hosts also tend to have two or three levels of support (L1, L2, L3), with front-line techs handling new tickets, in order to resolve easy issues. L2-L3 techs are generally well-trained and can command higher salaries, so it's unwise to waste their time. L1 tech spend most of their time helping clients who fail to understand how the hosting panels work, etc -- and most of that could have been avoided if the client were to read the host's knowledgebase (help documents).

LiveChat techs are often staffed by L1 techs -- or even what could be called L0 support, or people with even less server permissions than L1 techs. The L0 support is primarily there to assist in pre-sales questions or in handling low-level questions. Most technical questions are them simply reading you the answer from their own help docs that are found on their website. But anything outside the scope of basic knowledge has to be "escalated", meaning either your or they will submit a support ticket, and the LiveChat session is over.

While-you-wait support is simply not plausible in the hosting industry. All it tends to do is frustrate customers because of its ineffectiveness, and then it costs the host more to staff it. Those costs are passed on to you, either as outright higher hosting prices, or by means of cutting corners elsewhere in the operation -- the last of which creates a vicious circle, because problems are more likely, thus causing more support chats/tickets!

If you really need tech support -- use the host's ticket system!


Commerce Sites vs Shared Hosting:

I would not run any serious e-commerce endeavor on a shared hosting account, unless it was one of the premium type shared accounts. Those are generally referred to as "semi-dedicated", "business", or "enterprise" hosting. You'll get higher bandwidth and higher disk space. But more importantly, you'll get higher allow concurrent MySQL connections, RAM and CPU time. Those last three are far more important than disk/bandwidth.

-- Stablehost has enterprise hosting, and I highly suggest them.
-- MDDHosting has semi-dedicated hosting, and I suggest them as well.

In terms of your connectivity to Singapore or Asia, Stablehost is on the west coast of North America, in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. (Yeah, it's technically not "the coast", but it's close enough to be considered a west coast host. The only better location would be Los Angeles or Seattle, but small network speed increases can be easily undone at a lesser host. Plus latency/ping speeds are not the same as site loading speeds.)


Sales ticket not replied to quickly ?

Some companies give preferential treatment to new customers. New customers get the best deals, quick answers to pre-sales questions, etc. Tread carefully. Sometimes that means they're more interested in new customers, as opposed to caring for their existing ones. Cable companies, satellite TV providers, and mobile/cell phone providers are near-universally despised for this behavior.

Hawkhost is an excellent host, known for their customer service. So if they've not yet answered a sales ticket, it means they were spending time helping existing customers. As a customer, I very much prefer that!


Downtownhost (or subsidiary Ninjalion) good?

We used to recommend DTH and NL, having had good experiences ourselves. Ninjalion always had slow support, which was fine considering the $2/monthly cost and the fact that uptime was near 100%. But hosts are tested when there are issues, and while DTH/NL had done well in past years, their recent non-communication with customers is inexcusable. I can understand downtime -- even days of downtime -- but not being ignored. Some of their servers were down for up to an entire week, with no answers to support tickets.

At this time, I'd say to avoid them.

They've dug themselves a huge hole, and it will probably take a couple of years to recover their reputation, if at all. Even daily mass emails to customers would have sufficed.


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  #3  
05-18-2012, 04:44 AM
faustine faustine is offline
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wow!! you are indeed knowledgeable!!

OK.. noted about the points...
I guess I'll drop my idea of shared hosting for my friend's serious eshop.
actually, I don't mind L0 or L1 live chat support cos sometimes I really need that kind of basic support... which is crucial at times.
but I do agree what matters most is the support tickets response time... if live chat can't solve it.. that is.

would you mind hopping over to my VPS thread then?
Trying to decide between LiquidWeb or JAGUARPC.

He's on a budget now... before able to find someone to share the USD 60 LW Investment...

thanks!
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  #4  
05-18-2012, 07:09 AM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Well, again -- you can use shared plans, but only the premium enterprise/business/semi-dedicated plans.
For example: Instead of pay $5/monthly for a basic Stablehost plan, you'd pay $20/monthly for their enterprise hosting plan. That's cheaper than a VPS!

In terms of support, Stablehost and MDD are hard to beat for support response quality, both in speed and depth of their knowledge. In 2-3 years now, I've only gotten one or two stupid answered from Stablehost L1 techs. That's way, way, way above average. And generally they realized themselves that it was a silly answer, and the situation was resolved in follow-up replies within the same ticket. If Anthony responds, you're in good hands. (Or Mike at MDDHosting.)

I sometimes think their lack of wasting time in chat is what helps them do better in tickets.

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  #5  
05-18-2012, 09:01 PM
CodyR CodyR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faustine View Post
Hawkhost -- they did not reply my Sales ticket sent yesterday.
It looks like you submitted the ticket at 9:15PM EST and was replied to at 12:50AM (3.5 hour elapsed). Our sales department has official hours of 6AM EST - 5PM EST M-F.
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  #6  
05-19-2012, 04:29 AM
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That's an excellent point!

Any time you're seeking a response from a host, be aware of their hours, as well as their native timezone. For example, Hawkhost is (according to their contact details) based in Ontario, Canada, meaning they're in the EST/EDT timezone. While Hawkhost does not have their hours posted (that I could see, at least), it's generally safe to assume all hosts do pre-sales and billing M-F 9-5 only -- but only in their time zone, not necessarily yours.

The same thing can often be said about tickets that need to be escalated. The 24/7 support is generally for small issues, or critical downtimes, and not complex issues resolution. So make a mental note to yourself! If you're ever going to try some new, risky or major, do it on a Monday or Tuesday. You don't want to try something Friday night, and be at the mercy of weekend helpdesks with most hosts. The odds are that you'll have to limp along until Monday comes, and the engineers and high-skilled techs come in for their regular weekday hours.

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  #7  
08-05-2014, 08:29 AM
ShaneLabs ShaneLabs is offline
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Hey Faustine - Just curious who you ended up going with, if you decided on a shared host. I had your same concerns about a couple of those hosts, so I tested them with benchmarks. MDDHosting scored pretty solidly on all categories, especially page speed (first place). StableHost too, excelling in 100% uptime.

More details:
MDDHosting Benchmark, StableHost Benchmark
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  #8  
08-05-2014, 09:35 PM
faustine faustine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneLabs View Post
Hey Faustine - Just curious who you ended up going with, if you decided on a shared host. I had your same concerns about a couple of those hosts, so I tested them with benchmarks. MDDHosting scored pretty solidly on all categories, especially page speed (first place). StableHost too, excelling in 100% uptime.

More details:
MDDHosting Benchmark, StableHost Benchmark

Hi Shane,

Go with whatever you are comfortable with...

We went to Hawkhost earlier as they offered Singapore hosting but the Singapore servers are either not up to par or its a problem between their servers and our Singtel Fibre (so it didn't work out proper).

We are going to shift to Site5 -- this September.....

Cross fingers....
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  #9  
08-05-2014, 09:42 PM
ShaneLabs ShaneLabs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faustine View Post
Hi Shane,
We are going to shift to Site5 -- this September.....
Awesome! You shouldn't have to cross your fingers too much. Here's our Site 5 review, you can see their stats are pretty solid too. Thanks and good luck!
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  #10  
08-05-2014, 09:46 PM
faustine faustine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneLabs View Post
Awesome! You shouldn't have to cross your fingers too much. Here's our Site 5 review, you can see their stats are pretty solid too. Thanks and good luck!
Thanks...

The problem with Hawkhost is their slower response to our tickets though recently improved, however their US servers sometimes also gave us problem.....

There is the fact that Dynamic IPs in Singapore --- make it more troublesome when some IPs are blacklisted.. then caused us not to be able to log in nor access anything! -- this is on a quite regular basis.... pain in the axx.

As a matter of afact I'm sharing the webhost plan with my friend so we used VPS.....

Upcoming Site5, we should be just using Reseller ...
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