Other Computing

HostMetro review, what they don’t tell you

I decided to sign up with HostMetro after contacting their support team to confirm that they allowed adult content. I liked that they had cPanel, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited addon domains, one click install and far better pricing than their competitors. It also caused me a good impression that HostMetro support team was straight forward about my first enquiry and very quick to answer, the 24/7 live chat, email and phone number for support became the icing on the cake.

Another thing I liked from HostMetro is that unlike some of the big hosts enticing you to sign up with them for a year with a discount voucher and charging you double when the promotion expires, HostMetro pledges to never increase renewal fees even if you signed up using a huge discount. This moved me to buy the 3 years hosting plan to lock in the bargain price permanently.

HostMetro control panel addons
HostMetro control panel addons

Sign up process was simple, account activation immediate and features all as promised. I moved six of my WordPress blogs from the old host that I had given up because of a price increase, and had Pingdom set up to monitor HostMetro uptime. Everything was too good and uptime was my main concern.

For the following two weeks performance seemed to be marvelous, for a site hosting adult content that consumed a fair amount of bandwidth I had no slow down or downtime at all, I could not be any happier, right until I decided that I should back up my account.

Anybody familiar with cPanel knows that there is a “Backup” button that you can use to create a full account back up, I was unable to see this button anywhere in HostMetro cPanel. I opened a ticket and HostMetro told me that they had removed the “Backup” button from the panel because some users were consuming too many resources with it, but I could have the button reinstated for a price, $1.95/month. It rattled me that HostMetro would give me such a lame excuse to charge extra for a feature that all hosts have by default. Back up is not an email or site monitoring addon, backup is an essential feature that you can’t live without, no serious webmaster would spend their time building a site and have no backup.

HostMetro support informed me that if I wanted to it is possible to backup the sites with FTP, and they are right, but FTP takes you much more time than cPanel backup as there is no file compression and MySQL databases have to be kept separately.

I was not happy about HostMetro gimmick to get more money out of me so I asked for a refund, support then replied to the ticket that they were willing to reinstate cPanel “Backup” button for free. Unfortunately I already felt uneasy about the company and I did not want to be tied with them for three years and risk who knows what down the line when there is no possibility of refund, I insisted on my refund and without any hassle within four days Hostmetro had send my money back to Paypal and the account was cancelled.

Overall, uptime for the two weeks I was with them was good, support was quick and reliable, prices are cheap, and they were quick to refund me without problems. It is a pity that HostMetro marketing was deceiving. I have a mixed feeling about this host because they treated me properly and the extra $1.95/month they asked for  being able to back up the account still makes the prices reasonable.

My advice is that you give them a go because maybe they have changed their cPanel back up policy by the time you read this and if you contact HostMetro support threatening with closing the account if you don’t have this feature they are very  likely to offer you this for free like they did with me.

Visit HostMetro homepage

Hostmetro 20% discount coupon with word: moneyoff

Other Computing

Review Arvixe shared hosting package

After extensive research I picked Arvixe to host my site over the other dozen of budget hosting companies due to the good online reviews, their quick reply to one of my presale questions, cheap prices, the size of the company guaranteeing that they will not evaporate overnight, the host allowing adult content and because they are not part of the Endurance International Group (EIG), a big hosting corporation worth hundreds of millions of dollars that owns HostGator, BlueHost, iPage, FatCow and other 50 different hosting brands marketed as if they were independent to hide that they belong to the same owner.

I was unhappy the way HostGator had been dealing with my hosting account since they were taken over by EIG and I wanted to make sure that when I switched host I would not be using the same EIG parent company under a different brand.

Feature wise, Arvixe provides a cPanel account with the same unlimited space and bandwidth that all of the other big hosts, with the pleasant extra of a free domain registered under your own name that you get to keep without having to pay for it for as long as you remain with Arvixe, and if you move host, you can transfer the domain name to the registrar of your choice. This alone is worth $10/year.

Arvixe hosting custom cPanel
Arvixe hosting custom cPanel

The signing up process is straight forward, with automatic approval if they payment isn’t flagged as fraud. I used Paypal and within minutes account credentials were received in my email inbox with standard information on how to configure DNS servers and SFTP.

Support is provided 24×7 by live chat, US based phone number, online forum and email. I opened five tickets in total and they were replied to in an average of two hours, I posted a couple of complaints in their online forums and they replied to me in five to six hours. I don’t live in the USA so it might have been night there when I posted.

Arvixe support was always helpful, the email address of their Quality Assurance team appears next to the tickets and you are invited to contact them if you are not happy with the support you receive, and if Quality Assurance does not solve your problem, you can escalate it to the Arvixe management team. Their contact email address is found in the signature of all Quality Assurance email communications, with a sentence encouraging you to write to the management if something is not addressed properly.

I have been with six different hosting companies in the last few years and Arvixe is outstanding when it comes to customer support. This is the only big hosting company I know of where you can directly contact the top bosses.

Now comes the dreadful part where I suffered multiple server downtime during my first days of hosting with Arvixe (langur server), sometimes as much as eight hours of downtime straight, other times just a few minutes, random and unexpected, making it impossible for me to update my blog, feeling unsure if the next mySQL error would allow me to save the data or go belly up and lose everything.

I posted a complaint in Arvixe public forums, thinking that since everybody can read them, they would take it more seriously than a private ticket. Arvixe response was to apology, stand by their 99.9% uptime guarantee and refund me one month hosting fees within hours of me bringing up the issue.

I decided to remain with them because Arvixe seemed to really care about the customer and no host is safe from possible server problems, but lo and behold, for the next three weeks my Pingdom account monitoring the website uptime sent me more downtime notifications. At the end of the month Pingdom indicated a total of 11 outages with a total server uptime of 96.68%, well below my expectations even for a budget shared host.

I believe they would have refunded me a second month hosting fees if I complained again but I decided that it was not worth the trouble. I lose five times refund fees in missing advertising revenue with just one day of downtime. It rattled me that in just seven days I had experienced the same downtime than for the last two years.

Pingdom server monitoring Arvixe hosting
Pingdom server monitoring Arvixe hosting

I decided to call it quits when I received an Arvixe notification informing all langur server users that we were going to be migrated to a new server because of hardware stability issues and during the next few hours of hosting we could notice sluggish performance visiting the site.

I took advantage of Arvixe 60 days money back guarantee, double the length of time that other hosts offer. After moving my sites to a more expensive semi-dedicated server with HawkHost, I asked Arvixe to cancel my account and refund me the two years I had paid in advance.

Arvixe Quality Assurance team offered me to promptly move my sites to a different server  but I was too rattled about the time I lost moving sites and I already had a new host so I turned down their offer. In less than 24 hours Arvixe refunded me every single penny, they did not charge me any Paypal fee or domain fee, which according to terms and conditions, were entitled to.

I had a bad experience with Arvixe but I was only with them for one month and they acknowledged the problem. I think that they deserve a second chance to make sure that the awful server downtime was only an unlucky coincidence that happened right after I signed up. Had it not been for the downtime the rest of the hosting package was perfect and perhaps in the future I could be back with them.

They also have a BusinessClass Hosting costing $20/month, with less users per server and better hardware. But with the meager advertisement income I make here, this was not an option for me.

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Other Computing

Best shared hosting companies allowing adult content

It is very easy to find shared hosting packages, some of the big hosts allow occasional adult content but if you need shared hosting to host a dedicated pornography website you will have to read the terms and conditions carefully or risk suspension.

I have been searching for cheap shared hosting that accepts porn for one of my clients. I decided to pick only big hosting companies because they own the hardware and are not reselling server space. After hours of research this is the list of the best shared hosting companies to host porn that I could come up with:

DreamHost ($50 discount clicking on link) :This company has a wide open free speech policy allowing any content that is legal in the United States, including pornography. Their custom hosting control panel is very easy to use and their shared hosting comes with unlimited bandwidth and space.

Arvixe (%20 off discount code: hosting20deal): A well established US hosting company providing shared and dedicated hosting to businesses and individuals. I researched online reviews for Arvixe in trusted forums like WebHostingTalk and nearly all of them were good,  I also asked Arvixe support team if they allow pornography in shared hosting and they confirmed it.

HawkHost: According to their support team replying to my inquire, HawkHost will accept any content that is legal in the United States, this includes pornography as long it is not copyrighted material and you have the right to use the images, their shared hosting allows you to choose server location in the US or the European Union.

Adult shared hosting Hawkhost
Adult shared hosting Hawkhost

Certified Hosting: A subsidiary of Naked Hosting, Certified Hosting has budget packages with unlimited addon domains, space and bandwidth appropriate to host a dozen adult blogs if you have the time to manage that many sites.

HostGator: Part of Endurance International Group, one of the largest hosting companies in the world, they own more than twenty different brands, like BlueHost FatCow, iPage, HostMonster. Adult content is only allowed in HostGator as far as I know. They share resources with their sister companies, if you are not happy with one of them, don’t move to the other brand as it will be the same.

GlowHost: Their shared hosting packages come with unlimited bandwidth and competitive prices similar to those of their peers, GlowHost live chat confirmed to me that they allow adult material, as long it conforms to US and State law, in their own words: “if it’s legal content, it’s fine“. They offer support via live chat, phone and email, the company has been around for many years and James from live chat was very eager to help me out, my first impression was that of outstanding support.

Cheap shared hosting Glowhost
Cheap shared hosting Glowhost

HostMantis: This US webhost offers two kind of shared hosting, “Standard” and “Premium”, adult is only allowed in their lower performance plan, this is due to the premium plan using LightSpeed, a hosting technology developed by a company that bans using it to host pornographic content. Having said that, I know of hosting companies that are using LightSpeed and are hosting porn, but I understand that the USA is the land of lawsuits and if you happen to be there, like HostMantis is, you have to take great care.

HostMetro: The company is only a couple of years old, I was unable to find trusted reviews for them. HostMetro convey the impression of being a big corporation, they have 24/7 support via email, online chat or US phone number. I asked in the live chat if they allow hosting of porn and they confirmed it to me.

Squidix: A webhost located in the US with good reputation, the first year of shared hosting comes heavily discounted, this is a good way for you to make sure that their services fulfil your expectations. There are two shared hosting packages, both with unlimited bandwidth, the only difference is available hard drive space. Support is provided via live chat, phone and email.

Amerinoc: This company has been providing adult hosting for many many years. They recently have updated their website designand they have good reviews in many adult webmaster forums and an affiliate program that I have seen promoted in the adult industry. Never used them myself, that is all I can say.