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Mike the Boilerman

Can anyone recommend a web host please?

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Ok a technical question, but not related to CWF. 

 

I've been using TSOhost for a number of years to host my numerous websites but since they've been bought out by Paragon the standard of technical support has fallen through the floor. They no longer answer the phone, the 'chat' technical support takes 20 mins for an 'agent' to answer and support tickets result on facile questions suggesting they don't understand my complaint I can no longer establish an FTP connection to upload new files to my web server since they migrated my files to a new server.

 

So I think I need to change hosts. Can anyone suggest a host with good technical support, like TSO used to have (and who supports LetsEncrypt)? My server needs are trivial, a dozen or so sites each containing a few dozen text-only pages of information, and the odd small image. That's it really!

 

Many thanks if you can...

 

 

 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman
Edit to add a bit...

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5 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

Ok a technical question, but not related to CWF. 

 

I've been using TSOhost for a number of years to host my numerous websites but since they've been bought out by Paragon the standard of technical support has fallen through the floor. They no longer answer the phone, the 'chat' technical support takes 20 mins for an 'agent' to answer and support tickets result on facile questions suggesting they don't understand my complaint I can no longer establish an FTP connection to upload new files to my web server since they migrated my files to a new server.

 

So I think I need to change hosts. Can anyone suggest a host with good technical support, like TSO used to have (and who supports LetsEncrypt)? My server needs are trivial, a dozen or so sites each containing a few dozen text-only pages of information, and the odd small image. That's it really!

 

Many thanks if you can...

 

 

 

The Braidbar Owners Group is hosted on 1&1 because the webmaster already had three other sites there. He reports good support and we've had next to no downtime over several years. https://www.1and1.co.uk/launch-a-website

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I have used freevirtualservers.com for years. The free hosting package is, as you would expect, limited, but they also do a range of other paid plans. Has always worked well for me. I have never needed any technical support but when I contacted them about a billing query I got a very quick and friendly response, and the matter was sorted.

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I use Penguin Internet (https://www.penguin-uk.com/) and have done for many years.  I have always found their service to be reliable and on the couple of occasions I have contacted their customer support helpful.  There are various hosting options and I feel very reasonably priced.

Also, they keep their platform updated with versions of PHP, MySQL and Control Panel.

 

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I use names.co.uk and have been impressed / happy. They recently bought out ukservers.net who provided my domain name registration , email & web hosting.  Transfer was pretty smooth. 

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4 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

I use names.co.uk and have been impressed / happy. They recently bought out ukservers.net who provided my domain name registration , email & web hosting.  Transfer was pretty smooth. 

I used ukservers/virtualnames for many years and they were excellent. As you say, they were recently purchased by names.co.uk, which is a part of a European conglomorate.

 

Names.co.uk may be good when compared to their corporate peers, I do not know. What I do know is that, when I had a problem with mail on the transfer, the response was distinctly poor when compared to that which I would have received from Virtualnames. I intend to move and will follow this thread with interest.

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Thanks for answers everyone.

 

I'm changing because on the rare occasion I need technical support, I want good prompt support. 

 

The need for SSL too is going to turn the hosting industry upside down shortly but very few people seem aware, or even understand the issue yet, as evidenced by no-one mentioning it here in their answers despite me mentioning LetsEncrypt as a requirement!

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Penguin provide a free SSL certificate for verifying the domain name enabling the use of https without any additional fees.

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1 minute ago, Chris G said:

I've used https://www.123-reg.co.uk/ for over ten years to host two sites, http://www.suffolkbells.org.uk and http://kirbyevoices.org.uk/ .  On the very rare occasions I have needed technical support, it has been fine.

 

Aha another ringer!!

 

But I notice your two sites have no SSL stiffycate which means they will shortly be labelled "insecure" by Chrome and probably all other browsers. Swerving this imminent problem is the whole point of me changing service providers.

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DigitalOcean is who I use for my own projects. However, rather than paying for shared web/ftp server space, you're essentially renting an unmanaged virtual server which you can configure yourself, giving you almost complete control. It does require a basic understanding of Linux or at least a willingness to learn. However, this coupled with the self-managed aspect -  Perhaps it's not so good if you want ease of use and support you can call on to bail you out if you get stuck. - The more traditional shared hosting is good for that though personally I still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. 

Edited by RichM

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I agree with the above, a Virtual Machine on some kind of cloud infrastructure is technically better BUT its a step-change in technical knowledge to set up. Of course, this is normally a once-only process. You don't need Linux knowledge to do it but you'd be a bit daft trying to do everything with Microsoft infrastructure, unless you had an overriding reason to do so (like, a legacy of T-SQL stored procedures with business logic in them, which is a bad but used to be an efficient way to develop web apps).

 

It depends, really. If your website needs are minimal (ie a website with a handful of pages, unlikely to get tons of visitors, and doesn't have CPU intensive coding) then a "normal" host is going to be more cost effective - the starting point for a VM is about $10/month once the free trial period is up. In fact you might ask why you need a web server at all - look into "Serverless computing" - ie leaving the whole running of the webserver to someone else, you just buy some space and bandwidth on it - which is kinda the opposite to a VM style approach.

 

 

Edited by Paul C

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Yes of course. SSL is pretty much provided by default with typical providers now, and is a non-issue.

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Ok I can't really help you because I would (and already do) use a cloud based VM, which basically gives 100% control over the web server (or indeed, it could do anything else on the internet, not just host web pages...) but VMs basically come with no support. I see you're after a firm with decent technical support and probably less technical requirements (just static web pages, at a guess?) so its kinda the polar opposite to what I'd use and am most familiar with.

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On 01/06/2018 at 00:37, Mike the Boilerman said:

Ok a technical question, but not related to CWF. 

 

I've been using TSOhost for a number of years to host my numerous websites but since they've been bought out by Paragon the standard of technical support has fallen through the floor. They no longer answer the phone, the 'chat' technical support takes 20 mins for an 'agent' to answer and support tickets result on facile questions suggesting they don't understand my complaint I can no longer establish an FTP connection to upload new files to my web server since they migrated my files to a new server.

 

So I think I need to change hosts. Can anyone suggest a host with good technical support, like TSO used to have (and who supports LetsEncrypt)? My server needs are trivial, a dozen or so sites each containing a few dozen text-only pages of information, and the odd small image. That's it really!

 

Many thanks if you can...

 

 

 

If your sites are simple then I would just host on Wordpress.com.  Let someone else do the donkey server work.

Edited by Robbo

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My site was with 1and1 but I moved (to 123-reg) as 1and1 were relatively expensive. I had good technical support from both.

 

The site for my step-son he built on another provider (can't remember the name now). They were fine until they were bought out. The new owners were hopeless; even (in the end) neither acknowledging nor acting on his request to release the domain. In the end i had to get Nominet involved to forcibly redirect to 123-reg, a course of action which 123-reg talked me through.

 

None of my sites are SSL but they all will be this week!

 

Good support today is no guarantee of bad support tomorrow following a buyout!

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2 hours ago, 1st ade said:

Good support today is no guarantee of bad support tomorrow following a buyout!

 

Quite so. This was my exact experience with TSOhost. Superb service for years on end then Paragon bought them.

 

Technical support tickets used to be helpfully answered in five or ten minutes. Now it takes five hours (or 25 hours) to get an response that doesn't address the problem.

  • Greenie 1

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5 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Quite so. This was my exact experience with TSOhost. Superb service for years on end then Paragon bought them.

 

Technical support tickets used to be helpfully answered in five or ten minutes. Now it takes five hours (or 25 hours) to get an response that doesn't address the problem.

I have no experience with TSOhost though I have not heard great things about them. 24 hours for a ticket response though isn't necessarily bad unless you're completely down. Whether or not they can fix the issue first time is largely dependant on the information you provide to them. Sometimes a quick call to follow up on your ticket can be useful as it gives you the opportunity to elaborate on anything that may not otherwise be clear in the ticket and also prevents what I like to call ping-pong style ticket replies.

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6 minutes ago, RichM said:

Sometimes a quick call to follow up on your ticket can be useful as it gives you the opportunity to elaborate on anything that may not otherwise be clear in the ticket and also prevents what I like to call ping-pong style ticket replies.

 

As I said in my first post, they don't answer the phone any longer. And I give perfectly clear explanations of the problem, they respond with irrelavant questions.

 

E.G 

 

Q: I can't log in to the FTP account associated with mydomain.com

 

A: What is the domain name having the problem?

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