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Various Pre-purchase questions from newbie


Greg T
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Hi, I have six questions.

 

HTML vs ASP and your operating system? I will be using Expression Web as my web authoring tool. EW can easily handly HTML & ASP. If I'm understanding my research correctly you are using litespeed which is some flavor of unix or unix-based or well basically, it ain't windows. If I go with MDD, can I use ASP / ASP.NET pages? I just want to know because if I can't use ASP-anything it's better to know before I develop my website and I'll stick to other languages.

 

Personal vs. Business? Most web hosting companies I've looked at make a distinction between business class users and personal users. I don't see that here. Is the assumption simply that most of your client base is one or the other? Or is it really a case where it just doesn't matter?

 

e-mail / spam? Other hosting companies list specific anti-spam technologies that they employ like SpamAssasin, Boxtrapper, etc. I don't see specific reference to that. What protections do you offer to keep the *%$^*@! spammers at bay? Or is it a common expectation that the customer implement their own e-mail spam filtering?

 

Bandwidth? Other hosts claim "unlimited" - BUT they say that if "CPU/Memory usage" gets out of line then they'll raise a fuss. MDD appears to focus on the bandwidth, though I do see a reference to CPU/Memory usage in your TOS document. How do I know if I'm sneaking up on my bandwidth ceiling or that my site has turned into a CPU or Memory pig? [i told you I was a newbie, maybe this is part of a standard reporting package???]

 

e-Commerce? As I understand e-Commerce and/or "secure certificates" (whatever that means) require a static IP address. Given that all of your packages indicate that they are e-Commerce-ready, if this is true, then may I assume that all packages include a fixed IP address?

 

Upgrade paths available? Your (?) popup on bandwidth gives a rough estimate of 1 GB of bandwith equal to roughly 100K hits, i.e. more or less 10 KB per hit i.e. the low package should cover roughly 833K hits per day. Even if the 10 KB per hit is off by an order of magnitude, then we'd be inside the fences even for +80K pages per day. So I'm assuming the 250 GB bandwidth should cover me for while. Starting out I may have fairly light traffic. But if I do this right I could drive up to 5K and maybe, in a year or two 10-20K pages views per day. But let's say that my success exceeds all expectations, or the CPU/memory thing ends up being an issue, how hard is upgrading from one account type to another?

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HTML vs ASP and your operating system? I will be using Expression Web as my web authoring tool. EW can easily handly HTML & ASP. If I'm understanding my research correctly you are using litespeed which is some flavor of unix or unix-based or well basically, it ain't windows. If I go with MDD, can I use ASP / ASP.NET pages? I just want to know because if I can't use ASP-anything it's better to know before I develop my website and I'll stick to other languages.
We do not offer any Windows-based services at this time, including ASP or ASP.net.

 

Personal vs. Business? Most web hosting companies I've looked at make a distinction between business class users and personal users. I don't see that here. Is the assumption simply that most of your client base is one or the other? Or is it really a case where it just doesn't matter?
We are on more of the higher-end of shared hosting. We host individuals, small businesses, as well as some fairly large businesses. So long as you feel our services will meet your needs, you're welcome to sign up and we do not have any specific plans that cater one way or the other.

 

e-mail / spam? Other hosting companies list specific anti-spam technologies that they employ like SpamAssasin, Boxtrapper, etc. I don't see specific reference to that. What protections do you offer to keep the *%$^*@! spammers at bay? Or is it a common expectation that the customer implement their own e-mail spam filtering?
We offer SpamAssassin, and are investigating some other anti-spam systems, but for now it's just SpamAssassin.

 

Bandwidth? Other hosts claim "unlimited" - BUT they say that if "CPU/Memory usage" gets out of line then they'll raise a fuss. MDD appears to focus on the bandwidth, though I do see a reference to CPU/Memory usage in your TOS document. How do I know if I'm sneaking up on my bandwidth ceiling or that my site has turned into a CPU or Memory pig? [i told you I was a newbie, maybe this is part of a standard reporting package???]
The CPU/Memory limitations are listed primarily so that you know what they are, and there isn't some invisible line you're afraid you may unknowingly cross. Generally we'll let you know when you need to do something before suspending you or taking action unless you're affecting others on the service (which is rare). As far as bandwidth, the system emails the primary address listed in the cPanel account when you near your limit. You can purchase additional bandwidth as a one-off solution or you can upgrade to a higher plan if you feel the usage will be consistent. If you don't contact us, and you do cross your limit - the system will temporarily suspend your account until you get in touch.

 

We used to not do this, and simply billed overages - but I couldn't count on two hands how many times we've been left with a very expensive [unpaid] bandwidth bill that we were responsible for and were unable to recover from the individual or business that actually used the bandwidth.

 

e-Commerce? As I understand e-Commerce and/or "secure certificates" (whatever that means) require a static IP address. Given that all of your packages indicate that they are e-Commerce-ready, if this is true, then may I assume that all packages include a fixed IP address?
They do not, IP addresses are only applied when we are provided with a valid SSL certificate signed by a trusted certificate authority. This is the only justification we accept. IP addresses are $24/year.

 

Upgrade paths available? Your (?) popup on bandwidth gives a rough estimate of 1 GB of bandwith equal to roughly 100K hits, i.e. more or less 10 KB per hit i.e. the low package should cover roughly 833K hits per day. Even if the 10 KB per hit is off by an order of magnitude, then we'd be inside the fences even for +80K pages per day. So I'm assuming the 250 GB bandwidth should cover me for while. Starting out I may have fairly light traffic. But if I do this right I could drive up to 5K and maybe, in a year or two 10-20K pages views per day. But let's say that my success exceeds all expectations, or the CPU/memory thing ends up being an issue, how hard is upgrading from one account type to another?
It really depends on how much data your site sends per page load - some sites it's only a few KB and other sites it's severla megabytes. As with any generalization, it's exactly that. You would need to look at your page and determine how much data is actually transmitted to determine usage.

 

Honestly though - if I were to give my personal input - chances are you aren't going to use nearly as much bandwidth as you think you will, that is, unless you're hosting a media-rich site such as a desktop background download site or a streaming video site of some type.

 

Unless you already have an extremely busy site, I would shy away from trying to estimate how much traffic you will receive, and simply 'go with the flow.' Maybe your site will hit it big and grow exponentially, and maybe not, but I wouldn't pay for more than you need until you need it.

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Thank you, Mike. OK - just so I'm clear - "litespeed" is unix or linux or something (again - not windows) and ASP & ASP.NET are indeed Windows-based, so I need to avoid them. Correct?

 

Still fuzzy on how big of a deal it is to upgrade. Does the site then need to be ported to a different server and so it does involve some sort of action and work on your side? Or is it just a case of adjusting some parameters, i.e. no biggie?

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Oh, (just thought of this) can one purchase "overage insurance"? Example, let's say that traffic is approaching 70% of capacity but fluctuations have been substantial. Could one prepay some certain amount of overages just in case which would cover should I be out of town or otherwise "off the grid" and it take me a day or three to connect in to my e-mail? Or, alternatively, can one pre-authorize a service-level upgrade should it become apparent that this is the appropriate long-term solution? Example: site is approaching an overage situation for the nth month, but this time you can't reach me. Rather than suspend service, the account is automatically upgraded since I have let you know in advance that this is okay? [You're probably right and I'm probably overthinking this, but as you can see, I tend to do a lot of homework when selecting a vendor for a mission-critical business process.]
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Sorry - another question. Silverlght is an MS technology. But it's "client-side", yes? I.e. the litespeed OS has no impact on my ability to use Silverlight should I opt to do so?

 

Sorry for all the questions, but seriously, you're looking like the best hosting service I've come across after literally researching dozens and doing in-depth research on about half-a-dozen.

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Thank you, Mike. OK - just so I'm clear - "litespeed" is unix or linux or something (again - not windows) and ASP & ASP.NET are indeed Windows-based, so I need to avoid them. Correct?

 

Correct. We do NOT support ASP or ASP.net, nor any windows specific technologies.

 

Still fuzzy on how big of a deal it is to upgrade. Does the site then need to be ported to a different server and so it does involve some sort of action and work on your side? Or is it just a case of adjusting some parameters, i.e. no biggie?

 

Upgrading between the same type of plan (shared to shared, vps to vps) is typically a few button clicks in the backend for us and no server transfer or other things for you to deal with. Moving to/from semi-dedicated and/or VPS would require a transfer to the new server.

 

Oh, (just thought of this) can one purchase "overage insurance"? Example, let's say that traffic is approaching 70% of capacity but fluctuations have been substantial. Could one prepay some certain amount of overages just in case which would cover should I be out of town or otherwise "off the grid" and it take me a day or three to connect in to my e-mail? Or, alternatively, can one pre-authorize a service-level upgrade should it become apparent that this is the appropriate long-term solution? Example: site is approaching an overage situation for the nth month, but this time you can't reach me. Rather than suspend service, the account is automatically upgraded since I have let you know in advance that this is okay? [You're probably right and I'm probably overthinking this, but as you can see, I tend to do a lot of homework when selecting a vendor for a mission-critical business process.]

 

If you are concerned that you may go over the limit, I would suggest contacting us prior to that to purchase additional bandwidth or upgrade your plan to a higher level. The notification emails are 100% automated which means that we will not get notice that you are about to or have exceeded your limit, nor could we make any changes without you contacting us when you want the changes to be made.

 

Sorry - another question. Silverlght is an MS technology. But it's "client-side", yes? I.e. the litespeed OS has no impact on my ability to use Silverlight should I opt to do so?

 

I believe you would need to manually configure the correct mime types for the silverlight files, but it should work given that it is a client-side technology.

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