This will need to handle more than just moodle, so flexability is good.
-need at least 1 TB bandwidth
-need mysql 4 , php 4 , apache, a full unix shell
-need to handle our email / pop / mail exchange record
-need to survive heavy load, and easy upgrade if more space / bandwidth needed.
-need to have colocation / dedicated server option when our site expands.
-dedicated IP not totally necessary.
-easily handle peak load (such as a slashdotting).
-fast customer service
-base plan somewhere in the 8-15 dollar per month range. No more than $20 (upgrades obviously will cost more)
Looked up bluehost, and didn't get a sense they had decent service.
looked up MediaTemple, didn't have mysql 4
looked up dreamhost, and they were down at the time
This is not going to happen.... *(but you can buy an account like this)
* A couple things about hosting company ethics in advertising... They are terrible due to the competition, anyone that tells you different is lying...
Facts: Bandwidth (throughput costs) The absolute cheapest is around $69 per 1.5 TB and if you are co-locating it is 3 to 8 times higher. This is for budget leased server at a major data-center. You will not get 1TB for $20 a month.
Will a host sell you this account: yes, in a heartbeat, how? they will cut you off due to cpu cycles. You are going to use more than their 3-4% cpu allotment, they will then cancel your account (typically no refund either, read the TOS/AUP policy) at the very least your site will be unavailable
Co-location costs more than a leased dedicated server for throughput and at 1TB you are going to spend some bucks
Dedicated IP, you can not have a server without a dedicated IP
At the moment I don't mind being on a shared server, and thus not have a dedicated ip.
Look at their TOS. They will cancel your account long before you use up all your "allowed" bandwidth.
Low-budget cheap hosts don't make money if you actually come close to "using" what they promise in their advertisements. Thus, they will suspend your account if you are using too much resources. (cpu utilization, is what they call it.)
But ya, they are not close to the bandwidth requirement you want. I imagine they could provide a quote, since they do offer managed VPS and dedicated servers, too.
(And yes, I use them for my own sites. I would never dream of going elsewhere, even though they are obviously a bit more expensive. You get what you pay for!)
Sounds like to took the bait once yourself
Looking at their site (and they are a competitor) they are priced at a reasonable level for what they are giving.
It is just a sad commentary that there are so many hosting outfits (most are 1 guy working out of his bedroom btw) that promise these outrageous levels of service at almost no cost. Your recourse is nil after getting burned by one as well. I have written a number of articles about this very issue and the problem is people that continue to believe that they can get something for nothing... Nigerian mail scam anyone ?
And yes they (dreamhost) advertise this level of service but as posted above, you will never get to use it. Also you can have a dedicated IP on a shared server, however due to ICANN restrictions, you will have to justify it, (SSL Certificate)
Yes, I "fell" for these cheap budget hosts a few years ago. I figured I was "saving" money by getting cheap accounts with 1and1, dreamhosts and registerfly.
Was I ever wrong. Each time I had a problem, my helpdesk ticket would sit in their queue waiting for an answer for at least a day or longer. That's not good when the problem is urgent and I need a fix asap.
Then I ran into the "TOS Violation" issue I wrote about in my post above. My moodle site was using "excessive system resources" and my account was suspended *without notice*. I didn't find out until our students contacted me and said the site isn't working any more.
So I switched to ET Web Hosting, after talking with a web designer friend to find out what he used. That was over a year ago, and I haven't ever reconsidered my decision. Even 2 days ago when our most recent moodle installation went crazy and started using up all the disk space (stats problem).. they answered my helpdesk ticket in about 45 seconds after I submitted it. They worked with me for *hours* trying to figure out the cause of the problem, and get things working properly again. (Running out of disk space on my account caused the database to be corrupted, which they fixed.)
Most hosts would never bother spending time to fix software problems. They'd tell you it is your problem and they can't help you. But these guys at etwebhosting have never said that. They are always willing to help fix my problems, even when I caused them myself by doing something stupid. I've probably submitted about 2 dozen support tickets since I moved my sites to them, and they probably average about a 10 minute response time. That's pretty good, considering the price is barely higher then the cheapo hosts I was with.. who provided just about zero service.
Anyway.. I'm rambling now. Just really happy with these guys, and hope I can point other people to them, too. When I like something, I'm glad to promote it as much as possible.
I am also looking at expresshosting.net which someone also just recommended to me.
Best thing you can do is drop a support ticket into each of their support systems and then wait for a response. Ask some complicated question, or request help with some software, or whatever.
Then compare response times and quality of their response.
Do this a few times at odd hours of the day, and eventually you'll probably find a winner.
Well am glad you can parade the issue for others to learn from.
I got into the hosting business exactly like this about 6 years ago, I was unable to obtain satisfactory hosting for my needs and so bought my first server... Man was I in for some surprises.
Anyway over the years I have dealt with dozens of customers like yourself and it is never good. "You get what you pay for" is never more true than in a business like this. The fixed costs are the same for virtually everyone, it is how you distribute the services that determines the cost per client. A server must generate XX dollars to be viable, you can do it with 10 clients or 600, but the amount of resources stays exactly the same.
$4.99 for 1Gig of space and 500G of transfer will forever crack me up I guess...