Time for a change

I’ve been looking for a new hosting vendor. My account at GoDaddy.com is up for renewal and I think I can do  better.

Also, there are rumors that GoDaddy is on the block and I’m concerned about long term changes in service and pricing should ownership change.

I’ve been using BlueHost.com for about six months to host blogs for several clients and have been very happy with their services, functionality, and superb tech support, but I’ve had ongoing problems with slow load time, page loading stalls, and using a site monitoring service find that site downtime was running between 4 and 6 hours/month for several accounts on different servers.

It doesn’t matter how inexpensive the plan is or how many features the vendor offers — if the site is down, it’s just not worth it.
It doesn’t matter how inexpensive it is or how many features the vendor offers, if the site doesn’t load, and I’m talking at all hours of the day, not just early morning times for scheduled maintenance, it’s not worth it.

Too good to be true

After reading the rave reviews at Web Hosting Geeks I decided to try Web Hosting Hub The price looked good at $4.95/month for hosting unlimited domains, bandwidth, storage space, email, etc. Plus for each new account they offer a lifetime renewal for a single domain.

So I went for it. Got my account, cPanel and ftp access and started transferring files from my GoDaddy server to WebHostingHub. So far so good.

Then I initiated the domain name transfer. I unlock the domain at GoDaddy, get the EPP authorization code emailed to me, and send that on to WebHostingHub to make the transfer. In the mean time I change the nameservers at GoDaddy to point to the WebHostingHub nameservers.

I think I should also get started transferring my email accounts too. I primarily use Gmail for managing and reading all my email and therefore have my hartsook.com addresses forwarded on to Gmail. I have several email accounts at hartsook.com, each getting forwarded on to its own Gmail account, one for my daughter, one for my mom, a couple for some business accounts. But here’s the problem. I also use hartsook.com for ad hoc email addresses when I want to test web forms, account setups for clients, etc. I get the confirmation emails, make sure everything looks good, then update the email address to go to the client’s address.

The devil is in the detail

The problem is that while GoDaddy, Bluehost, and other vendors offer “catchall” mailboxes (an inbox that gets all email to a domain that doesn’t match a specific email account), WebHostingHub has decided that they will not offer this functionality. They will do a global forward of all email from a domain to a single address, but it’s either everything OR specified addresses – no catchall for those ad hoc emails that I create all the time.

There was no work around – it was a deal breaker. I’ve initiated a stop order on the domain transfer and will cancel my 2-year hosting contract.

Take Away

What initially may seem to be a minor technical detail can grow to be a major problem. Often there are work-arounds, either using a different technology, or modifying your business process to accomodate the technical reality. But in some cases you just have to back up and start again with a new plan. You haven’t failed — you’ve learned something about technology, the market, and your own business practices that will inform better choices in the future.


Comments

Problems with WebHostingHub.com – the devil is in the details — 7 Comments

  1. No offense, but this is one of the most ridiculous reviews that I’ve ever read. You have an odd email requirement, you didn’t confirm that the host handles that requirement, and then you slam them and reviewed practically nothing about the real reasons someone chooses a host. It pisses me off that this review achieved a high Google rank.

    Too make matters worse, you handle email and your odd requirements in an absurd way. Move your email (MX records) to be hosted by Gmail (actually Google Apps) for free, then in addition to the full fledged email addresses, you can create an unlimited number of aliases in the control panel and you can also create an unlimited number of on the fly aliases by adding characters after the plus sign. For example, if your address is name@yourdomain.com, you can use name+alias@yourdomain.com. You can do that with any Gmail account.

    • Steve, no offense, but the point of the post was not to dis WebHostingHub, but to illuminate that some users may have specific technical requirements that many hosts can accomodate, but some may not. I used this particular event as an example of how that could play out.

      WebHostingHub has good and valid reasons for their catchall email policy, but only because of that policy they were not a fit for my business and the way I work. Otherwise they seemed to be a good hosting solution.

      I don’t have to move my MX records to Google, bluehost works just fine for creating multiple email addresses for my domain, and if I want to take advantage of the gmail alias flexibility I also have a gmail account I can use for the account+alias@gmail.com trick. And by the way you can also divide up your account name in gmail with a “.” For example account@gmail.com could be entered as acc.ount@gmail.com. It still comes to account@gmail.com, but most servers will see account and acc.ount as two different email addresses.

      Thanks for taking the time to read this 2-year-old post.

    • I agree with the publisher, I have the same email need and this information is great to know. When I purchase a domain, I don’t want to use gmail or hotmail or any other internet email, for my needs, I want to be able to download and I need to create emails on the fly. Thanks for the info

  2. Webhostinghub is by far the worst company in the hosting business. This is what they will do to you. they arbitrarily suspend your website saying that you are using more cpu resources then allowed, but what they don’t tell you how much you are allowed. If this happens for the third time, they will suspend your site and package your information and tell you to move somewhere else. They will not give you an option to fix the problem or time to back up the site. Additionally, if you have a WordPress site with them, they technical support sucks, they don’t don’t know wordpress but yet to sell you their service, they make you believe that are wordpress experts. Refunds, if you pay them for a complete year, which they will gladly charge you, but if they suspend you, they will not refund for the months you have not used. Be careful with this webhosting company, they are not working in your best interest. Remember is webhostinghub.com, don’t use them.

  3. I had WebhostingHub for one day. The sales people tell you everything you want to hear but after you join the the support lady I talked to knew very little and kept putting me on hold and never solved the problem and asking for a level two support person was denied. I also found out that the are telling you after you sign up that you might have to upgrade your account for using too much CPU power. So the $3.99 a month for a 3 year contrack might end up costing from $13.99 up to !9.99 per month. So buyer BEWARE! Nothing on their site tells you about this at all. OH but you have 100% unlimited bandwidth.

  4. Hey Hartsook & Your Readers,

    First, I do have to agree that a lot of web hosting review sites are just complete crap. Meaning they don’t provide much value. Basically, just affiliates trying to get commissions. A lot of them will tell you pretty much anything to get you to sign up. I do run a hosting review site, but please don’t put me in the same category as all those other sites though. I do so much research and try to provide accurate information.

    With GoDaddy they did change management and it was actually for the best. I mean over the years they have integrated cPanel into their hosting, but I still don’t recommend them.

    BlueHost is a pretty decent hosting company. I do have to agree with you that at times BlueHost does have some performance issues. Honestly, I am expecting this with pretty much every EIG owned company.

    WebHostingHub is actually one of my favorite host. But, they only support sites that don’t get a ton of traffic. Meaning that if you get more than 300 unique views per day they probably won’t work for you. They do have a sub brand; InMotion. They are much better and can support so much more. I have been using them for 6+ years.

    For email accounts I usually just use gMail or change my MX records to push through their servers. I am really not a huge fan of email through any hosting company. There seems to be a lot of bugs and they can really use a ton of your resources.

    All the best,
    Garen Arnold

  5. WebHostingHub is the absolute worst.

    I chose them as my first host because I read that they have great customer service and as someone new to blogging, I thought that the support would come in handy. However, I have found that this is entirely lip service. I have had numerous issues with my sites over the last 6 months and when I ask questions or attempt to resolve issues, I have been met with ineptness and sometimes even rudeness. They claim that they don’t know the issue, can’t comment on the issue or deal with the issue, and then they become rude and almost hostile to the paying customer.

    The final straw was when they were supposed to email me a form to sign, but did not attach it. When I pointed this out and asked that it be re-sent, I received a reply stating that I had already been provided with the material and it was not their problem. I have never experienced such a thing, but you can be sure that I will be taking my websites and going somewhere else, even if I lose money on the year of hosting I purchased.

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