If you tried to visit ThemeMeme earlier today you know that my server was down. I’ve hosted with DreamHost (a nightmare) and Media Temple (overrated), so I moved ThemeMeme back to AN Hosting a few months ago. After a day like today, I would normally be looking for another host. But I’m not. Here’s why:

When DreamHost screws up (like when they overbill customers $7.5 million), they try to be clever (Um, Whoops.). Media Temple doesn’t go down very often. Instead, when your $20 a month Grid-Service site grinds to a halt because your MySQL server is overwhelmed, they try to sell you a MySQL Container (another $20 to $150 a month).

AN Hosting, on the other hand, just steps up to the plate. Here’s the post on their status blog:

For all those affected by today’s ans19 outage:

First off, we can’t thank you enough for your patience and understanding while our top minds are working to correct this problem. There was an unusual string of events that caused this server to be down for most of the day today. I want to personally assure you that we’re working diligently to get this server back to normal operation as soon as possible. We completely understand the inconveniences this has caused and wish to offer each affected user a free month credit on us.

If you’d like the free month (who wouldn’t!), please send in a ticket to our billing department…and they’ll get you all fixed up.

Again, please accept my apologies for the trouble today. Each time an event such as this occurs, we sit down and discuss how to prevent this from happening in the future. Our technicians will continue to update the official post as more information becomes available.

Take care,

Marc Bollinger
General Manager

I won’t stay with any host that consistently screws up, but stuff happens. I’m glad to be with a host that’s transparent and proactive when things go wrong.

Published by Charlie Livingston

I'm Charlie, I run aThemes as well as a couple of other web properties. I'm currently living in SE Asia but originally from the UK.

13 Comments

  1. Agreed! Began with IXWebHosting, gave (mt) a try, and I’m now quite content with AN Hosting.
    They aren’t perfect, but they are honest and respond like real people, without fabricated excuses.

    Reply
  2. I haven’t found the perfect host, but AN Hosting comes close.

    Nice themes, BTW!

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  3. Thanks Robert. I haven’t released a free one in quite some time, although I’ve one or two old ones lying around which I could release. Custom work is where I’m looking to go though.

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  4. @Robert – I’ve really enjoyed reading your articles on hosting/blogging. I just found your work at Upstart Blogger and followed you here. I’m moving toward setting up some sort of website and am deciding what route to take.

    I have been using 1&1 for about 4 years now. I started off with their promotional 3yrs free in about 2003. I started paying last year. Did you have bad experiences with them?

    Also, one of the things I have been thinking about recently is using a webhost as online storage for media (photos/video). Do you have any experience with that? Do hosts frown upon uploading 100GB+ of data that is really only there as an archive/backup in addition to the backups I have in my possession? I guess the storage is mine and I can do what I want with it.

    Do you know if AN Hosting’s bandwidth allowance is also referring to FTP transfer or is there a separate limit for that. I haven’t really dug into their small print, but I thought you might have an answer.

    Thanks for the nice work.

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  5. Thanks for your comment, Luke. Glad you found me!

    I was with 1&1 a few years ago and I do remember having some problems with them. It’s been awhile and I can’t remember all the details, but I didn’t stay with them very long. Service wasn’t very responsive and I found their back end awkward to use. But if you’ve been with them 3 years and haven’t had any problems, you know more than I do. My experience with hosts has been that a lot of it is luck, getting on a good server.

    I don’t think AN Hosting would have a problem with you hosting 100GB+ of data, but I can’t say for sure. The issues that concern most hosts are are bandwidth and CPU and MySQL, the things that strain their systems. I’m not sure about FTP transfers.

    Hope that helps!

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  6. Wonderful post buddy,
    I went to anhosting site a few days back. Wanted to talk to a live talk agent there. I kept waiting, but had no response. I got a bad impression and left the site. Else I would have tried them out.

    I went there in the first place because I was on a nightmare host called dreamhost. I am still there, because I am within their 97days money back guaranty period.

    Recently I found Hostgator. They are offering a trial month for just $0.01. All I had to do was

    1. Go to Hostgator

    2. Opt for the baby plan
    3. Use the coupon code “freemonth”.

    As of now their service looks good. I would like to hear if anyone had any previous good/bad experience with them.

    Reply
  7. Perfect host has to be SliceHost. Who else would give you a VPS with full functionality to get your hands dirty and do anything you want with your space for $20 a month. I guess you should definitely check it out.

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  8. Looks interesting, Dilip. A little skimpy on the resources, but an intriguing idea.

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  9. Robert, why why why why why, do we all only find you AFTER the dreamhost experience. It just happened to me on Tuesday. They changed my IP (even though I’d contracted for my own) – so be it, tech problems happen. Like you, it was the support.

    Robert, I have reviewed much of your writing the last few days. I realize you must be pretty sick of these stories, but it is our only outlet, however I just registered darunaround.com and might revitalize my rippedoff.com,

    I can’t help it, I’d like to share a few non-sequential paragraphs (about 5%) of the email argument I had with them after the decided to finally write back. I never got a call back. If this is too much post for this page, please advise a better place to post it.

    THEM: Thank you for providing confirmation of there not being a callback request submitted using the support form as I mentioned in my last email. To ensure that you receive a callback, you must select the callback option when submitting a ticket. You will be asked for your phone number and a good time to call you back. This was not done which is why you didn’t receive a call.

    ME: Mike, I did it- I selected the callback option. I entered my phone number, It was absolutely confirmed- I saw it on the page all day, I did not think to take a screen grab of it at the time. I have two witnesses who also were logged into the panel all day trying to troubleshoot it. We were pulling our freaking hair out all day long trying everything we could do to get a hold of you and your trying to tell me I forgot to click a button and enter my phone number? Come ON Mike!
    ———
    THEM: I did not say that you are not entitled to support and I apologize for your misunderstanding. We are not responsible for notifying customers of changes or anything like that if they choose to do something non-standard and host DNS elsewhere. Kind of like how if you choose to have your email hosted elsewhere, we’re not responsible for issues that arise because of that.

    ME: You didnt get much out of my email, or just decided to respond as blandly as possible. And yes, you are still responsible to support customers who host their DNS elsewhere. You are still responsible to support me, right? Am I not entitled to support at all because my DNS is hosted elsewhere? Support is to return my phone call or email if I request it. You didn’t. Mike, your are adeptly leading the conversation away from taking responsibility for your systems’ shortcomings and with every reply, you shift the blame away from yourselves and onto the customer. That won’t work on me.

    What do I want from you? All I want is, well, a refund when I move. And also for you to stop ceaselessly defending a system that did not work and pointing the finger at me, your customer, as if I did something wrong to cause the lack of support.
    ——-
    THEM: First, I must apologize for the delay in getting back to you about this issue. It appears that your message was moved to a specific queue for domain downtime, but no one was able to get to it before now.

    ME: Patrick, how could my messages tagged with your most urgent tag AND specific for downtime be queued? Also, a colleague of mine sent in a message too about it and she got a response. Further, she asked that rep to contact me and they didn’t.

    THEM: Also your writing in at 5am which is before the bulk of out support team comes into the office, we have an overnight team but not as many techs work this shift so response time will be slower.

    ME: I wrote to you all day long. I also requested a phone call which NEVER came, 24 hours or otherwise. If I got the reuqest in at 5AM, why didn’t you call me when you got in? That would have been fine. Are you telling me that if I waited until 9AM to submit it, you would have gotten back to me sooner??

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  10. would anyone reading this still recommend an hosting today? i noticed these posts are older.
    i have mediatemple and after last nights 14 hour (and counting) downtime, i’ve had enough! i have a small online business thats growing and get the occassional burst of heavy traffic due to big media mentions, so im curious how anhosting would handle it. currenlty i have mt gs. mt goes down all the time…especially at lunch time when its crucial for an online shop to up. for $200/year its unacceptable. thanks for any advice in advance.

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  11. Yes, I still recommend AN Hosting. ThemeMeme is still hosted by AN Hosting and I haven’t had any problems.

    Reply
  12. What about now?

    Reply

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