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-   -   Stablehost sounds good, but seems tiny - Does that matter? (http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/web-hosting/4578-stablehost-sounds-good.html)

via Email or PM 09-21-2012 01:46 PM

Stablehost sounds good, but seems tiny - Does that matter?
 
Hi kp,

I enjoy your posts and I'm learning a lot fast.

I'm checking out the hosts on your list. Stablehost sounds good, but seems tiny, hosting 23k sites.

Does that matter?

Thanks,
Robert


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kpmedia 09-21-2012 02:08 PM

Well, I'd start off by asking where the number "23,000" came from. Ascertaining the number of sites/accounts held by a company can be difficult to verify. There are three ways that this can go down:

(1) Online Calculators: An online site/tool claims to know the number of sites held by a host. For example, the reports available from webhosting.info. However, this number is extremely unreliable, as it purely counts DNS entries. Yet not everybody uses the DNS available from a host. And then plenty of people point DNS records at sites that don't exist -- often domains bought on a whim, but the project is never completed. This has largely happened because of DNS services, DNS features at registrars, or front-end CDN services like CloudFlare. In fact, if you look up CloudFlare at webhosting.info, it currently shows 120,000+ domains -- but CloudFlare isn't even a host! So the numbers are ridiculous nonsense.

(2) The Host. Figures given out by hosts are only as reliable as as their trustworthiness. Using Stableohst as an example, to date they've proven themselves to be an honest host. So if this 23,000 figure was given out by Stablehost themselves, then it could be considered a reliable figure.

(3) The Host Lies. Again, figures are only as reliable as their trustworthiness. At WHT just this week, a one-man "host" claimed to have thousands of customers -- yet not one year ago, he was asking asinine questions on how to setup servers. A bumbling moron doesn't go from an IQ of "duh" to thousands of customers in one year. Just to acquire 1,000 customers, that would be a rate of 3 sign-ups per day, which is unlikely given the splintered over-abundant nature of the industry. Combined with a lack of knowledge, zero advertising, and the timeframe specified, I have no problem calling BS on that person.


... but it's not like the number of domains matters anyway. :2cents:

From a technical stances, there's really nothing "tiny" about hosting 23,000 sites. Sure, it may not be to the megahost size of an EIG brand, Godaddy and 1&1, but Stablehost also isn't blowing huge wads of cash on international TV/magazine advertising, NASCAR sponsorships, or Super Bowl commercials. They've put in a modest amount of advertising, and have received a respectable reputation -- and a respectable number of clients. Even if 23,000 is accurate, that's not too shabby of an income at $5/monthly. They surely have liquidity to stay as stable as their name suggests, able to afford quality hardware/network and personnel.

In fact, I'll float this thread by the owner of Stablehost, in case he wishes to add anything (or even confirm some numbers for you!)

Stablehost is an outstanding company to work with for important projects. You'll be hard-pressed to find better people. :salute:

(I'd say the same about EuroVPS, LiquidWeb and Futurehosting.)

RobBanks 09-21-2012 07:00 PM

Thank you for the thorough response. I've got potential hosts narrowed down to Stablehost and JaguarPC.

By the way, I came by the stablehost numbers honestly. Their website says 20,000+ websites hosted, and when I called and asked (among many other things) I was told 23,000.

kpmedia 09-22-2012 03:58 PM

I'd say that JaguarPC and Stablehost are for two different audiences.

On one hand, you have the promise of unlimited everything -- which JaguarPC does actually keep, unlike the other slimy "unlimited" hosts out there (most of which are the megahosts: EIG brands, Godaddy, 1&1, Dreamhost, few others). You're not going to be hit by some hidden gotcha at JaguarPC, and you'd likely hit CPU and RAM/MySQL limits about the same time as any other reputable shared host (i.e., Stablehost, Hawkhost, others). It nice if you have a lot of photo galleries or audio podcasts, yet only have a small/modest amount of traffic.

But support is slower -- not bad, just slower. That's frustrating for newbies that need hand-holding type support.

Stablehost, by contrast, has stellar very-fast support, and is far more newbie-friendly. If you're a seasoned site owner/dev, then that may not be as important to you. One of my close friends uses Stablehost (on my advice), and he's been known to ask asinine questions, because tech tends to confuse him easily. At the same time, he insists on DIY for everything, both to cut costs ... and just because he's stubborn that way. I can't even get him to post tech questions here in this forum -- he'd rather ask me over dinner.

MDDHosting is also good about helping newbies.

If Stablehost says 23,000, then that's probably what it is. They don't lie up or down, which is a unique trait in this industry.

If you do sign up with either of them, consider using one of our links: Stablehost.com vs JaguarPC.com (and be sure to flush cookies in your browser first)

If you have any more questions, or need any other advice, post it and we'll answer it. :)

I keep all of my important personal sites -- resume, portfolio, personal vanity email domains, etc -- at Stablehost. I also have a development VPS there, which is used for testing scripts, panels, and monitoring apps. And I've been a customer of theirs for about 3+ years now.

RobBanks 09-23-2012 11:11 AM

Thank you again! Keeping your personal sites on Stablehost is high praise indeed.

The funny part about doing this research (especially from a pre-screened list like yours) is that I like each host I talk to and each time I chat with sales from any one of them I think to myself, "this is a great outfit. This is where I'll migrate my forum".

I'm keeping a spreadsheet and there are differences, to be sure. MDD offers less disk space and a higher price, JaguarPC doesn't have CloudLinux or Litespeed, but they promise that won't matter.

Ultimately, for a small forum like mine, it will come down to customer service.

kpmedia 09-23-2012 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobBanks (Post 23039)
Thank you again! Keeping your personal sites on Stablehost is high praise indeed.

Though I keep important business sites on EuroVPS servers, I wanted something with a USA IP for the personal sites. That includes "personal professional" sites, like portfolios and resumes (CVs). EuroVPS really set the standard for quality, so it had to be a company that was similar in many years -- and Stablehost was it. It's one of those decisions that I've not regretted even in the slightest. Stablehost has been quite reliable -- something important when I needed to ensure my site was up when somebody was going to review site portfolios/resumes. Because downtime, even if not my fault, would reflective negatively on me if a potential employer (contract customer) got an error message in their browser.

Quote:

The funny part about doing this research (especially from a pre-screened list like yours) is that I like each host I talk to and each time I chat with sales from any one of them I think to myself, "this is a great outfit. This is where I'll migrate my forum".
That how hosting should be, too! But sadly, it's not. Most hosts are terrible. Most "top 10" lists are just fake junk that suggest the high-paying commission lousy hosts. It's one reason I've put so much of my time into developing proper review procedures this year -- for use on proper, thorough, professional-quality reviews that will start to be published in coming months. It should be in full stride in Q1 2013. Until then, I've simply assembled a list of the best overall 10-15 hosts to help folks like yourself that need quality suggestions.

Quote:

I'm keeping a spreadsheet and there are differences, to be sure. MDD offers less disk space and a higher price,
I want to share my philosophy on price:

(1) Ignore their numbers.
(2) Decide the value of your needs:
  • If this is for a business, start off by comparing against your current phone bill or broadband cable bill, as both of those are telecomm utilities/services like hosting. My phone bill is about $80/month. My cable internet bill is $65/month. So anything below those numbers is a savings. Compared to $65, even $20/monthly is a bargain.
  • If this is for a hobby, ascertain your fun budget. Better yet, see if you can monetize the hobby just enough to cover or offset expenses -- but without making it a second job (because then it's not a hobby, and it also loses its fun). If this is a user group of some kind -- like a forum -- solicit some $5 donations from a dozen or two members. Money problem = solved. Above all else, realize hobbies cost funds, too.
By defining your value, as opposed to scrutinizing a meager difference of $2/monthly, you remove time wasted on analyzing a largely-unimportant factor. At best, it's a secondary factor compared to uptime, server/network quality, and support quality.

Quote:

JaguarPC doesn't have CloudLinux or Litespeed, but they promise that won't matter.
Survey says ... XXX! Wrong answer. :cool:

It matters. This is why users with dynamic-content sites (WordPress, vBulletin, Joomla, MyBB, etc) are better served by non-unlimited hosts, which have stringent resource tools in place. In this case, CloudLinux and LiteSpeed protects you from external CPU/RAM abuse, and also alerts you to coding/traffic issues of your own (by running the site slower).

JaguarPC doesn't have a lot of issues with server speed...

...but the big crappy hosts like Dreamhost, Godaddy, Bluehost, etc, are all plagued by it. Sites that should load in 1-2 seconds take anywhere from 4-8 seconds on average. It's pitiful. Quite often, this is done simply to save money by the host, because LiteSpeed and CloudLinux both carry monthly licensing fees, unlike the freebie Apache. When you offer the unrealistic (unlimited everything), and at rock-bottom prices, you have to cut corners. Not paying for licenses is a popular way to do that -- as is the use of desktop-grade hardware, instead of server-grade hardware. I'd rather pay more, and be promised less, as opposed to using crap.

Quote:

Ultimately, for a small forum like mine, it will come down to customer service.
For me, the most important criteria is to know what forum software is going to be used. What are you using? I can help you better if I know that factoid. This forum is (obviously) running vBulletin, though heavily customized. But I've run all of these, too: MyBB, phpBB, IPB, Snitz, SMF, CommunityServer, XenForo, bbPress, Webwiz, Active, and some others that slip my mind. Their resource use is all over the map, so it's often best to let me know exactly which one you'll be using, in order to find the best fit of a host.

Also let me know how you define "small". Sometimes small is actually large, if you're not observing the right numbers.

RobBanks 09-23-2012 08:37 PM

Thanks again and again for the response.

I'm using vB 4.2. It is a private forum with less than 30 members, 2,300 visits per month using 5 gigs of bandwidth.

kpmedia 09-23-2012 09:54 PM

What plugins, products, or mods are in use, if any?

Is it "private" as in
(1) Publicly accessible, but needs passwords from users to login
(2) Whole site is password protected, no public access without credentials. And then members log in again by username.

Bots cause a lot resource damage to vB forums. I can give some vB tweak tips at a later date, if you need them. If a forum has public access of any kind, then the bots attack it. And I'm referring to search engine bots, too, not outright junk/malicious traffic. I've seen MSN (now Bing) swarm a vBulletin site like flies on fresh cow pies. And the bots can make the site crawl, hitting CPU, RAM and I/O hard in the process.

Assuming no resource-hungry mods/plugins, and assuming some degree anti-bot tweaking/control, it should be fine at a good shared host. Even if you have to one day upgrade from basic shared hosting, both Stablehost and MDDHosting offer the enterprise/semi-dedicated shared hosting, which is a premium higher-resource shared plan for about $20-25/monthly, instead of just $5-10/monthly. So those are both great hosts, in terms of having upgrade paths. Beyond semi-dedi is managed VPS, which both also offer.

I think a Stablehost plan will be fine for you. :)

RobBanks 09-23-2012 11:37 PM

OK, thank you.

No plugins/mods.

The forum is publicly accessible but users need a password. It is true that there are always 1 to 4 "guests", (bots) looking for a way in, or whatever they're doing.

I'll research tweaks to combat bots.


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