Web Hosting Services

T   
hinking about getting your own web domain address? Well, you can do it but don't be fooled by the come-ons given out by hosting services.

First off

There is no tech support to speak of. Maybe if you're spending thousands of dollars they'd listen to you ... I don't know. For my size ... forget about it. Best you can do is an email auto-responder.

Tech support costs money and this business is a "cut & run" business. By this, I mean that you must make a lot of money quickly because the entire web hosting industry can be destroyed by AOL or ATT or any other big ISP with the stroke of a pen.

All they have to do is let people have storage room on their servers. What? They all ready do that? Right ... but ... you can't use your own domain name like http://ebtx.com. You must use their's like http://members.aol.com/ebtex. If you want the former, you must pay extra. But it wouldn't cost AOL another red cent to let you have your own domain name ... they simply don't want you to NOT advertise their name.

If they did, I would not pay $24.95 per month to Hiway for hosting in addition to $21.95 per month to AOL for web access. I would just pay AOL ... period and have it my way.

Second

Competent people are in short supply for these fly by night operations. When I signed on with 9NetAve a year ago they sent to InterNic my name mispelled and my apartment number wrong ... and ... they assigned my domain name to some other yahoo selling natural foods (ebtx - which I paid for - to InterNic, $70 for two years). And this dumbster actually started putting his stuff on my site and used MY EBTX! ARRRRRGH!!! And he knew it because he 'hrefed' ebtx on his site. I complained bitterly about this to any and all email and phone options but nothing happened. I even emailed the dumbster but got no reply.

Finally, I had to figure out everything that went wrong by accumulating the various clues (like finding what the dumbster's real domain name was supposed to be) ... and ... figuring out exactly what steps to take to remedy the situation ... then ... when I was able to get through to their tech monkey ...

I EXPLAINED THE SITUATION
AND TOLD HIM WHAT TO DO

... then and only then was the thing fixed. It took about three weeks from the time they took my money via credit card till I was actually up and running. I finally got some phone calls from the "call back immediately" feature offerred then ... about two weeks after I had fixed the problem myself.

Oh yeah, they know how to charge your credit card real good ... but that's all they've got mastered.

Thirdly

I finally quit 9NetAve because they had promised me 6 months free web hosting if I signed up for one year ... but ... I never received an email verification of that (no contract). So, given their poor record of never once in 11 months emailing an answer to any inquiry about anything, I thought I'd better find out so's they wouldn't charge my card for another year without my consent ... yada yada yada.

About one day later ... my site went blank ... "Cannot access server..."
What? After three days down and realizing I had no way to contact them, I signed on with Hiway.

9NetAve, one of the big web hosting services, had shafted me out of 7 months web hosting. I sent them a "nice" email detailing just what I thought of various parts of their anatomy and their mother's as well and quit the contract (though I have gotten no formal acknowledgement of severing the afforementioned contract).

They just don't have any tech support for small timers (maybe ... maybe ... for big time spenders).

Four

So I'm with Hiway now.

My site was up and running in about hmmmm ... maybe in minutes ... I don't know cause I went to bed and it was available the next day at 209.238.68.66 which allowed me to put up my files while waiting for my ebtx.com to point to the new IP address on Hiway. Unfortunately, once again things did not go smoothly and after much emailing and hassle with auto-responders, I finally re-submitted in my form from Network Solutions all the changes that Hiway had sent in on their Host form.

Note: NetWork Solutions has a ticket number system for checking the progress of your domain name change or application. This is as pure bullcrap as I've ever seen. They just send you an auto-responder ... it doesn't check anything ... You get no new info about your request.
In a few hours my site was accessible via http://ebtx.com.

So, once again, I had to "do it myself" to get the job completed. This is very frustrating. I really don't have time to master every aspect of everything and do everybody else's job for them.

This is my job I guess:

  • Figure out the universe
  • Learn how to write acceptably well enough
  • Learn Html code
  • Pay for publishing it (to ISP and Web Host)
  • Figure out how to ftp files to server
  • Figure out how the whole Host thing works
  • Figure out what they (or I) have done wrong
  • Figure out how to tell them what's wrong
  • Figure out how to fix it without being able
    to communicate with them
  • Fix the thing
  • Then ... then ... then ...
  • People can email me and tell me I don't know
    a damn thing about anything

My Advice

If you are planning to get a domain name of your own ... It can be done. But don't think it will be easy ... It might be ... but be prepared to immerse yourself in technical aspects for 1 to 3 weeks. And try not to lose your cool. Remember, there is no tech support to speak of ... so ...

It's just you
and the machines



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