Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hosting your website? Know the Darkside of Big Brands

Please note, Below mentioned hosting providers are reputed organizations with well established infrastructure. This post is for your information and only intended to keep you informed about their 'policies' that turn evil when you have cut throat challenges.


Hostgator

We heard a lot about Hostgator and we registered one of our customers website with them without giving a second thought. Few months later, during our support phase on our customer's website, we encountered Hostgator feature and support challenges which I think not many experience unless they do some hardcore technical activities with their website.
  1. Many said hostgator has good support track. For us it was always waiting for 20 or more minutes to connect Hostgator support executive for online chat. This can be excused if it is ones in a while, but that was not the case for us.
    • If you are running an e-commerce kind of website or offering online services every minute, then 20 minutes wait time feels like 20 hours.
  2. To connect the database (be it a MS SQL Server or MY SQL) from our machine through database management tools, we first need to white-list our machine IP address on hostgator web admin console, only then you are allowed to connect to database for debugging purpose. It wouldn't have been a problem if white-listing process is quick and instant. Sadly, that's not how it is. The white-listing process takes minimum of an hour!!
    • If you are working on a quick fix and need to run database queries directly, be patient, you need to wait for 1 hour and get blamed from your customer for delayed response.
    • We lately observed, IP address white-listing takes few minutes only if you haven't done it for considerably long time. Your subsequent request make you wait an hour for sure.
  3. Hostgator don't support sending bulk emails over SMTP server through a registered 3rd party provider's server like sendgrid!! You can't connect to 3rd party SMTP server through php or dotnet program to send your promotional or service notification email updates!!
    • You are saved only if your 3rd party bulk email service provider offers REST APIs.
  4. When your database grow bigger (I am not talking about 1TB+, it begins with 250MB), problem of exporting data back and forth to your backup drive also grows exponentially with Hostgator.
    • When we were restoring our database after several database updates/changes from our backup server to hostgator using SQL Server Management studio, Hostgator servers forcefully terminated the connection more than often. You need to try hard with Hostgator database import/export utility only, which is not feasible all the time for a database administrator.
This is it for now, I will update if we encounter new challenges. In case if you have facebook account [ sorry, if I sounded like an age old person:) ], you can check my discussion on this matter here.

As I said, if you are just hosting static website or WordPress site for simple usage, you may not encounter problems mentioned here.

GoDaddy

Another "requires no introduction" hosting service provider and as well popular for their amazing discount coupon offers. GoDaddy amazes you with its last minute intelligent calculation while applying discount coupons to your bill. That is sometimes hard to notice. Here is my experience.

One of my .com domains renewal charge proposed by GoDaddy was Rs.710 rupees and magically godaddy already applied 27% discount to it. Now, if I apply 30% offer coupon on top of it, Their billing system considers only 3% discount on it (the magical 27% + 3% from coupon = 30% offer!) That's how calculation works at GoDaddy!! However, when I checked same thing with other service providers they were charging Rs.592 without any coupons which is a competative offer to GoDaddy's discounted price.


You can check discussion thread posted on Facebook group here
I was greatly under the impression that Godaddy coupons can get rid of high cost, but that's not really true most of the time. So be sure to validate before you enroll and pay!

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