[DMT] Shared Server Hosting Comparison

Originally from http://kiri.dmt-uts.net

This was first posted here at my DMT UTS blog, on Mar 11, 2013 @ 5:07pm.

Given the amount of options available on the internet, choosing a webhost can be a difficult process - choosing a good webhost that has good customer service, frequent up-time and meets your needs even more so. However, please remember that each user has their own requirements and this should be taken into account when choosing a webhost. There is no one-size-fits-all solution - or maybe there is, I just haven't come across it yet.

Below are several webhosts that were recommended to me by friends who either work or study in the IT profession and/or have, maintain and/or design for their own websites hosted on shared or dedicated servers. And a couple that appeared in my web browser for some reason or another, I'm not sure where they came from.

As I'm not overly worried about the cost (it's all a part of learning and I would rather find a quality service... this is rich coming from someone who is unemployed, right?), the requirements for this web hosting service is the provision of (S)FTP, SSH, SQL and PHP services.


Rack Servers

Type: Shared Linux Cost: $7.85/month (Economy, cheapest - pay by the month), $6.44/month cheapest (over 24 months). (S)FTP: Yes (FTP) SSH: Unknown SQL: MySQL 5 or MSSQL Server PHP: PHP 5.3.x (5.2.x also available) Comments: Current special offer for 50% off web hosting packages for first invoice (as of 11 March 2013). cPanel 11.x available for Linux, Plesk 11.x for Windows (additional $5.50/month). Australian owned.


Lithium Hosting

Type: Shared Cost: $5.95/month (Overload, second cheapest) (S)FTP: Unlimited SSH: Optional, appears to be for an additional $10/yr (jailed SSH - no root access, requires signed agreement and copy of government issued photo) SQL: MySQL 5.1.65 and PostgreSQL 8, unlimited PHP: PHP 5.3.18 Comments: Includes free domain and unlimited addon domains. Compatible with Wordpress, Drupal and other CMSs. 99.7% uptime guarantee. Provides cPanel Latest, apparently good customer support. 1 month free trial.



Type: Shared Linux Cost: $8.95/month (S)FTP: Unlimited SSH: Unlimited SQL: MySQL 5, unlimited PHP: PHP5 Comments: Compatible with Wordpress. 100% uptime guarantee, DreamHost Control Panel, 24/7 Los Angeles-based technical support, free domain registration with WHOIS privacy, runs on Debian Linux. 97-day trial/money back guarantee. Promotional price (linked by Viveka)

Mammoth Networks

Mammoth Networks

Type: Shared Linux Cost: $5.95/month for Starter, $9.95/month for Economy (S)FTP: Apparently (No concrete info) SSH: Unknown SQL: MySQL 5.1 PHP: PHP 5.3 Comments: Hosted in Sydney, Australia. Utilises cPanel, compatible with Wordpress. Uses CentOS 6.

Web Catchers

Web Catchers

Type: Shared Cost: $5/month (Rare, cheapest) (S)FTP: Unknown SSH: Unknown SQL: MySQL PHP: Yes Comments: Provides cPanel, hosts a unlimited domains. Hosted in Sydney, Australia.

Net Logistics

Type: Shared Linux Cost: $19.95/month (Velocity one, cheapest) (S)FTP: Virtual FTP, unlimited SSH: Available SQL: MySQL version 5, unlimited PHP: PHP 5 Comments: Low latency, cPanel, compatible with CMSs, Wikis, etc. Hosts 2 domains, can park 4 domains, unlimited subdomains. Based in Sydney, Australia.

I suppose this exercise in itself is an example of how one person's requirements are not necessarily another's. From the above, it would seem that for the lowest cost, DreamHost would be the one that meets all of my needs, or at least are the most open about their provided services. Yet from customer reviews and comments, their frequent 'outages', problems in communication and otherwise are all criticisms that have been brought up and rarely addressed, so I would be hesitant to go with them. Given that this hosting is only required for a university assignment on a site that may not be checked often though, it may in fact not be significant.

I've had a look at VPSs offered by these sites as well, which are obviously more expensive and which I personally believe require more technical skill, however would provide all the requirements necessary (as long as you install it yourself). I am unable to draw a conclusion at this point (have you noticed I write pointlessly?). My current web presence is however hosted by my friend, and it is possible I may be able to rely on this friend for a time before I come to a decision.

For domain registration, I have been recommended Namecheap and Hover in the past by various friends studying in IT or employed in webdesign, however I find that Hover as a whole provide a cleaner and more intuitive interface and the majority of my existing domains are hosted with them. If possible, I would keep my domains together with Hover. A more attractive option for me, however, would be to create a subdomain off my personal website.

By the way: if you've noticed my theme is pretty bad... yes, I've noticed it too. It looks bad, and I feel bad. But I digress.