Locating good hosting providers

I have been trying to locate a high quality hosting provider now for 3-months, and my first two attempts have failed miserably. Dreamhost had cool features and great support, but their infrastructure was not very realiable. 1and1 also had some useful features, but their support was horrible (I was getting 500 internal server error messages for 1/2 a day, and when they finally answered my ticket 24-hours later, they closed it saying my site was working fine.), and their infrastructure was less reliable than Dreamhost. Since I wanted my site to be up and operational 99% of the time, I decided I needed to do some research to find a reliable and trustworthy hosting provider.

My reserach took me to two web sites. The first site was hostsearch, which allows you to view reliability ratings and peoples feedback for numerous hosting providers. Their site is located here:

http://www.hostsearch.com/

The second site I used was hostingtalk. Hostingtalk is a large online forum for people to discuss hosting providers, and their searching capabilities are great for viewing the problems people had with a given provider. There site is located here:

http://www.hostingtalk.com/

After reading numerous reviews and talking to people about the providers I was thinking about using, I finally decided on Pair Networks. Here are the reasons I chose to go with them:

1. Reliability is the the most important thing at Pair Networks, and hopefully this will show over time (I can’t vouch for this yet, but will update this post once I know more).

2. Pair Networks provides problem and maintenance notifications by email.

3. The Pair Networks support staff seem to be extremely competent, and have been able to answer all of my questions so far.

4. The server prefetch.net is hosted on runs FreeBSD, which has a long track record for being extremely efficient and stable.

5. I have ssh access to the server my site is hosted on, so I can login and adjust content on the fly.

My “Advanced” hosting plan does have a few drawbacks. The plan costs $8 more per month than the other two providers, and provides considerably less bandwidth and disk storage. Luckily I don’t need 80GB of transfer or more than 1.5GB of disk space, so this isn’t an issue for me. Hopefully (fingers crossed) this provider pans out!

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