Got my eyes wide open and I see the signs...

Problems saving webpages in Internet Explorer 6.0

2003-03-18Faaark... BargainHost went down. Again.

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That's twice in as many months, and not server reboots but downtime of a day or more.

I don't expect too much for the fees I pay BargainHost. I'm fully aware that they keep overheads such as staffing to a minimum and that server loads may be quite high, etc. What I do expect is enough redundancy and/or technical supervision that, in the event of a server malfunction, it doesn't await discovery and repair/replacement for days.

This site I'm not really concerned about; it's something to play around with in what spare time I find. However, any server problem prevents me from fetching received e-mails and runs the risk that others will bounce undelivered (or worse, simply be eaten without me ever knowing that they were sent.) Now, I cannot function without e-mail. It is my primary mode of communication with a great many people, is necessary for on-line purchases and generally leaves me high and dry in its absence. Therefore, the best case scenario is that any and all e-mails sent to me are stored somewhere safe, albeit temporarily inaccessible. After all, it isn't as if I don't have other accounts, redirs and contingencies. It's uncertainty about the safety of incoming mails which troubles me, and I shall be attempting to clarify this matter with renewed vigour in the very near future.

In many respects, BargainHost do seem to be getting their act together. They've implemented on-line status updates (which is little use when their site happens to die alongside mine, but the gesture is appreciated.) Their feature set is very impressive. They're cracking down on customers who drain shared resources with bulletin boards and other complex processor-hungry applications. All of which is to be welcomed.

I'm currently using BargainHost's "Budget Pro" package. £22.99 + VAT per year with a minimum two year contract and an included .co.uk domain name—there was a similar "Budget" option for just £12.99 + VAT. Neither of those packages are now offered; now, the equivalent package is Plan 1 (Business or Home), for £49/year (not sure if VAT is in that)—quite an increase. On the one hand, BargainHost has realised that its profit margins were too tight; on the other, that's quite steep: I'd pay about £35/year (inc. VAT) for 50Mb space, 1Gb/month bandwidth, PHP/CGI access and mail forwarders. What rates will be like in June 2004 when my lease expires, I don't know—barring any further excessive downtime, I may stick with BargainHost. I'm disinclined to move now and lose the investment (provided e-mail isn't haemorrhaging into the void), but I'm certainly restless. Let me know if you have any strong recommendations.

Other perspectives on BargainHost can be found at www.webhostingtalk.com.


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