The hunt

Time to sum up the findings from the past few days’ research for an alternative web host, and possibly a new blog to store my thoughts. Hopefully this will serve as a starting point to anyone who happened to come this way.

First, the resources.

I made full use of the numerous comments on WebHostingTalk, but of course it is important to also check out the features offered by the hosts with favourable views. By the way, when browsing the forums, it is important not to come to any rash conclusions. It becomes apparent quickly that there are often those who are 1) out to pick fights, 2) make irresponsible and baseless comments. Find My Hosting can be of but limited use, because price alone is no guarantee for “goodness”.

Next point I want to make is that there is no single “best” host or “best” blog. You need to consider the purpose for the site. For example, for an ecommerce site, reliability, speed and support are things you should gladly pay a premium for; for a personal site, cost constraints mean that you have to accept the that you do “get what you pay for”. Similar ideas apply to the weblog, but more of that later.

Finally, some conclusions.

For a web host, it came down to three possibilities, and I am leaning towards EnhancedHost mainly because of the costs. I have listed the most basic package for each of the hosts (correct as now).

  • EnhancedHost. $27.50/yr, 100MB, 3GB transfer, 5 MySql databases.
  • ICDSoft. $60/yr, 333MB, 5GB transfer, $5 domain name registration, 5 free sub-domains.
  • Myacen. $107.40/yr, 100MB, 3GB transfer, 5 MySql databases, unlimited sub-domains.

The reasons for these choices: positive comments from users, support (which I had first hand experience for EnhancedHost) and price/feature combination. So, guess it’s time to shift from LinkSky!?

For the weblogs, it was down to two choices:

  • pMachine: has a free and a pro-version.
  • phpWebsite: an open-source project headed by a team at Appalachian State University. As someone has commented, having detailed roadmap demonstrates good project management.

Both are PHP-based. So far, have only tried out pMachine since phpWebsite requires a newer version of PHP than what LinkSky has right now.

pMachine pros: good page breaking mechanism, active “hacking” community (just as with :mt:, I might add) so lots of add-ons to look forward to, active forum, seems easier to modify the underlying components (only a few PHP scripts, compared to hard-to-read PERL files…); cons: no multiple blogs, not as many options for archiving. All comparisons are with :mt:.

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