Currently I'm using TCH but have been planning to switch to Surpasshosting, which others have recommended. Any issues with the latter hosting Moodle for a couple of courses? Approximately 150 students with light usage (mostly for posting course schedules, with some links and uploaded resources; not many activities). I would love to use Moodle.com, but my school will not pay for this.
We use TotalChoiceHosting for everything and have not had a problem. Our main school site is a combo PostNuke/Moodle site with lots of traffic and no problemo so far.
I would like to put together a small consortium and rent a dedicated server. What is too expensive for any one of us... $300.00 a month, becomes tolerable with 10 or so...
I have seen dual xeon 2.4 with 1gb ram and 80 gb hard drives for 300 or so.
Now, time to migrate Moodle.
Surpass appears to be a division of parent Hostdime (www.hostdime.com). I host with Hasweb, another division of Hostdime. All three companies have moved or are in the process of moving their accounts to their own data center in Orlando, Florida. Each of the three (Hostdime, Surpass, Hasweb) have their own hosting plans with various configurations and prices. None offer telephone support, but they have a web-based helpdesk where you can submit trouble tickets as well as community forums. My support experience with Hasweb has been great. Any support tickets were quickly answered and the two "liaisons" in the forums have been extremely helpful.
My account with Hasweb gives me 5GB of space and 100GB of data transfer a month for $100 a year. I hosted my Moodle site there during spring semester 2004 with 5 classes and about 100 students. I have been very pleased with the uptime and the support.
For Moodlers, these prices are outstanding, but there are things to watch out for:
1. If you need to use the full space on your account, can you actually do so? I know some hosts advertise that you get X amount of disk space yet pack so many accounts on a server that the math makes it impossible for all of them to use their full disk area at once. I would ask in the forum what happens if you will be pushing the limit of you disk area.
2. The same goes for data transfer a month - what happens if you actually try to use what they advertise? I used only a fraction of my disk area and data transfer, so there was never a problem.
3. Shared hosting is a little like living in an apartment complex - you are always at the mercy of what some idiot might pull. In an apartment it could be a fire from someone smoking; on a shared server it could be someone running a script that brings down the entire server. The only problems I have encountered on Hasweb have been of this nature - to Hasweb's credit they acted quickly to suspend the accounts of the offenders.
The best way to go, of course, is to host with Martin or one of his partners. Another route is to purchase your own dedicated server. Both Surpass and Hostdime offer these starting at about $100 a month. For those of us really straped for cash, shared hosting is what we have to live with
In a related area, I often used www.alertra.com to check on the status of my site. You can just type in your domain in the box on the top right and it will show you how long it took to contact your site from various places around the world.
Hope this helps!