Tag Archives: Hosting

Linux and Mac Servers Have Less Downtime

A recent study conducted by Pingdom shows that Linux and Mac servers have a lot less downtime than those running a Microsoft OS.

The data is based off the uptime of the individual companies’ websites. Apple, Microsoft, Red Hat, Slackware, and the others listed all use their own operating systems to run their servers, and you would expect them to put a bit of resources into making sure their sites are as reliable as possible, correct? After all, would you use a server OS from an organization whose website goes down frequently? Normally a product’s website speaks well for the product’s reliability, or so many people assume anyway.

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Slicehost and Linode: Affordable and Reliable VPS Hosting

I know I’m going to outgrow my current shared hosting plan someday, so I figured I might as well be prepared for that eventuality. While I don’t want to go and pay 4-5 times the monthly rate I’m currently paying before I absolutely have to, it makes sense to have already done your research.

I came across the two hosts by chance, by reading an up and coming design blog (Usability Post). Noting the fast load times, I decided to see who the host was. There was a little Slicehost logo in the footer, so I clicked through.

The Slicehost homepag loaded quickly, and the clean theme greated me. The page advertised affordable VPS plans, ranging from $20/mo to $280/mo, along with a list things included in every plan. Slicehost promises

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Choosing a Webhost

Obviously you won’t get very far as a blogger if you don’t have a webhost. Without a host, you don’t have a website. If you’re reading this, I assume you’re looking for a good place to host your web site, without having to pay more than you have to for it.

This is not a list of hosts, but a guide to help you find the right one for your site. Aside from naming your website, choosing a web host is one on the most important decisions to make when starting a website.

Whether you are a newbie creating your first website, or an experienced blogger who outgrew another host, this guide is for you.

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What Can You Do to Make the Most of Shared Hosting?

In response to Keep track of your shared hosting performance at the Royal Pingdom blog.

Many blogs and small website are hosted on shared servers. Unfortunately, those bargain hosting plans have their share of problems. Most of the problem come from overselling, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to improve your site’s performance. This guide will briefly detail some of your options.


PHP scripts can eat-up system resources sometimes. Simple scripts, like the use of the include() or require() functions to include bits of XHTML temlate throughout your site, don’t take much processing time, but more complex scripts (like Content Management Systems) can be really taxing under heavy traffic.

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A Small Orange

Are you tired of paying for mediocre hosting? It’s common knowledge that big hosting companies like Dreamhost and BlueHost oversell their services, claiming to offer “300GB of storage” and “3000GB of bandwidth” for a low cost of $6 a month (or similar). When you’re site is just starting out, with only a few hits, you don’t notice any foul play. But when your site starts getting bigger, they cut-off your service well before the advertised limits for “excessive use of resources,” all thanks to a little clause in the Terms of Service.

What are your options? Well, you could use a VPS or dedicated server (pricey, but powerful) or you can escape from dishonest hosting providers.

A Small Orange, a hosting provider since 2003, goes for the “quality not quantity” approach. They offer friendly tech support, and they appear to not be overselling. They’re prices are reasonable as well. What do they offer? Well, they’ve got Shared Hosting and VPS plans for various budgets. All plans included PHP, MySQL, and Ruby on Rails.

The “Tiny” plan offers 75MB of space, 3GB of bandwidth for $2.08/month. The more useful “Small” plan has 400MB of storage, 10GB of bandwidth for $5/month. They proceed to offer various other plans for $10, $20, all the way up to the “Super” $30/mo plan with 4500MB of space and 100GB of bandwidth. Extra bandwidth will cost you $0.50 per gigabyte.

Don’t leave now! Sure, it seems that the huge hosting companies offer more for your money, but don’t forget that they oversell. You only think that you’re getting 300GB of bandwidth (30000MB). There’s no way any host can offer that much (unless they have cluster hosting, which is highly unlikely). A Small Orange has quite a following of satisfied customers.

I’m not a customer of ASO, but I can tell they’re pretty good by doing some online research. I’ve yet to see anything truly bad about them. If they find a problem with their service, they’ve got it fixed in a couple days. A Small Orange has an amazing track record for a host.

Want to read a review by a blogger who uses ASO? Look no further than Nutshell Journal.

Switchpod Podcast Hosting

Are you a beginning podcaster on a budget? If you need a place to host your large audio files, give Switchpod a try. What do they have to offer? They have a free plan with 450MB of storage, a $5/month plan with 500MB, a $10/month plan with 1GB, and a $30/month plan with 2GB of storage. For more experienced podcasters, LibSyn is probably a better deal, but for beginners, you can’t beat Switchpod.

Though they offer to create a website for your podcast, I prefer to do that myself with good-old WordPress.


I use ServerPlace.net to host one of my various websites (The Site of Requirement), and it’s a pretty good deal. They offer shared hosting, reseller hosting, and even dedicated servers at competitive prices. You can’t beat their “SP Special” shared hosting plan, which offers the following for only $1.95/month:

  • 1GB storage
  • 25GB bandwidth (rolls over to next month)
  • 5 MySQL Databases
  • Host 5 domains
  • Park 5 domains
  • 5 Email Addresses (or you could just use Google Apps)
  • cPanel

I haven’t had any serious reliability problems to date, though the server I’m on has problems with PHP SendMail.

Smoky Hosts

Smoky Hosts offers numerous plans powered by forum posting, participating in contests, etc. Some require that you do monthly posting. I will NOT cover these. If you want to look at those plans, visit their site. I WILL, however, show the features of the “Beginner’s Package”, which requires 25 posts once, but no monthly posts. They offer more than hosting. If you feel up to it, you can get a free domain name by posting a certain amount each month. That’s too much work though, isn’t it?

  • 100MB storage
  • 1GB bandwidth
  • 1 domain allowed
  • subdomain included
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited MySQL
  • Unlimited FTP accounts
  • cPanel
  • More on their site…

CyberToad Networks

CyberToad Networks is a free host that seems to be pretty good. They’re targeting their service at innovative people who are starting out-of-the-ordinary sites. They’ve been around for an amazing 10 years (as of June 2, 2007). Here are their current stats:

  • Up to 5 GB Space
  • 65 GB Bandwidth
  • cPanel
  • PHP Version 5.2.2
  • MySQL v5.0.27
  • phpMyAdmin
  • FTP and Web File Uploads
  • No Filesize Limits
  • Daily Backups
  • Traffic Reports
  • Custom Error Pages
  • 24/7 Tech Support


BePlaced is yet another free webhost. This one’s a little…different from other out there. I haven’t experimented with them much, though.


  • FTP and Online file manager
  • 100MB of storage
  • Subdomain
  • Free unlimited hits — as many as your site can get! [NOTE: Site not clear if it’s unlimited bandwidth or not.]
  • Online File Editor
  • Site Statistics
  • Instant activation