Hosting

Recommendations for Internet-delivered Services.  Not just Web Hosting but also:

  • Automate – things you choose not to do yourself;
  • Outsource – things you choose not to run on your own hardware.

Detailed Reviews

Listed by Provider.

Hosting Web Sites

Like most things, the best choice of Hosting company depends on what you are looking for. These recommendations all provide hosting for less than $10/month (U.S. Dollars) from Data Centres located in Canada or the U.S. And that is Regular Price after any introductory promotional pricing has ended.

ICDSoft deserves first consideration for shared Linux web hosting and Development, thanks to their excellent Support and Reliability. It is one account per web site and sensible limits of disk storage and traffic, with rapidly increasing quantity discounts for multiple accounts. They have been my Vendor of Choice since 2013, thanks to the recommendation of a friend with 11 years prior experience. Detailed Review

OVH offers very low cost VPS with very high levels of reliability. Their Web Control Panel lets you: create a new VPS; add Storage to an existing VPS; (re-)install an operating system; or, most important to all, provides a console view for reboot and a Rescue Mode for failed reboots. All within a couple of minutes. Detailed Review

VPS Mart uses Hyper-V to deliver decent performance at affordable prices.  The only affordable Windows Server 2016 (with its Windows 10 look and feel) alternatives failed to run ManageEngine software because internal and external IP addresses did not match, e.g. – Elastic IP on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Detailed Review

Domain Name Registration

NamesPro started out as a Canadian company specializing in .ca domain name registrations. Today they offers all currently available TLDs, adding new ones soon after they are available for registration.

Although they have always offered everyday affordable pricing, it is their Support that keeps their customer base. Beyond being responsive to customer questions, their web site continues to provide better documentation and functionality for a very wide range of domain name registration situations.

Privacy is a feature that protects your identity in the publicly available (WHOIS) contact information required to register a Domain Name. Rather than charge for each domain name each year, NamePro charges a single small life-time fee (less than $10) for all your domain names.

Managing DNS Records and Hosting Name Servers

Domain Name System (DNS) Records direct URLs and e-mail to the right server, among other things.  There are three ways to create DNS Records, in order of complexity:

  1. cPanel or other hosting control panel – where the Name Servers are hosted
  2. DNS Editor on a hosting control panel or on domain name registrars that host Name Servers
  3. Name Server software running on a VPS

Most Domain Name Registrars, including NamesPro, now provide their own Name Server for any Domain Name that you have registered with them. And an Editor for creating DNS Records. If you are running a VPS with a hosting company that does not provide Web-based Name Server access for the VPS, using your Domain Name Registrar’s Name Server is much easier and much more secure than building your own Name Servers on the VPS.

For Shared Hosting, it usually makes sense to use the Name Servers of the Hosting Company. In most situations, you will never need to think about DNS records.

If a Domain Name has Subdomains that point to multiple Hosting Companies, or even multiple Accounts on the same Hosting Company, using the Domain Name Registrar’s Name Server should definitely be considered.

Hosting e-mail

There are many good reasons to have e-mail addresses for your Domain Names. Simply forwarding each of them to your personal e-mail address at your Internet provider (ISP) poses some real problems with the Spam Filtering at your Host and/or ISP as the forwarded mail moves from Host to ISP.

A single Mail Server on a multi-domain Shared Hosting Account or a stand-alone Exchange service for all (or most) Domain Names is a good solution, in that all e-mail can be forwarded internally without the spam filtering that occurs for Internet mail traffic. MochaHost and Krystal allow forwarding to a System mail account, which does not have an e-mail address of its own. OVH provides Exchange Server services where one Account can have a large number of Domain Names and e-mail addresses at each of the Domain Names as Aliases.

In all cases, MochaHost, Krystal and OVH, your e-mail client would access just one mail server account to receive all of your e-mail.

Developing Software

All of the Recommendations in the Hosting Web Sites section apply equally to Developing Software intended to run in an Internet environment. In fact, all of them were chosen with Development in mind.

Obviously, though, Root access, and its equivalent in Windows, is not available in a Shared Hosting environment.

Archival and Backup

For Windows client computers, BackBlaze charges $60 USD per year per computer to automatically backup across the Internet to their U.S. Data Centre, with no limits on number or size of files. No attempt is made to backup operating system and other software files that would get created as part of an re-install.

For inexpensive raw storage that can accessed from the Internet, there are less costly solutions than Amazon, Google and Microsoft offer:

  1. BackBlaze through its B2 service
  2. OVH Public Cloud Storage
  3. SecureDragon through its Storage VPS and Backup accounts
  4. Time4VPS through its Storage VPS line