Don’t pick any host, pick the RIGHT host

If you’ve checked out the looooong long list of web hosting providers across the planet, you may have noticed there’s nothing much that differs between their offerings; massively competitive pricing models, easily accessible control panels, unlimited space and bandwidth (on some offerings), 24/7 support, 99.99% uptime, super fast servers and many many more…

However, much like any service provider it soon becomes apparent who offers the best customer service, who views you as a small fish in a big pond and those few who view each of their fish as equal sized fish.. Offering unparalleled support and advice no matter how much money you spend with them.

Some of the biggestglobal firms truly offer dreadful customer service support. I won’t start naming them here as without the full context it would be unfair.

At the opposite end of that scale, are those few who go the extra mile.. Those with the correct vision, morels and goals.. The ones who treat each customer in just the same way, regardless of your hosting package or your site’s traffic.

One that has truly stood out the crowd for me, and has stepped up on many occasion over the last 7 years of my blog posting and ‘web development’ career, is one who I make sure I recommend to anyone who asks when they are just starting out or when their hosts are consistently disappointing them.

This company proved to me that my business means a lot to them, and nothing is ever too much to ask. During which time my site has gone from strength to strength and my hosting package has rapidly worked its way up to where it is now.

6 years hosting with them would make you think I must have paid an absolute fortune for such service. Well you couldn’t be further from the truth. Although I am enjoying the benefits of a pro package today, I once was a very small fish in a somewhat large pond. Back in the day when I’d post every few weeks, and the only visitors where my friends and family. At that time I was more than happily using their free hosting offering. Giving me all the power I needed to really get my teeth into web development, allowing me to dabble with many a CMS, forum, e-commerce solution, development language and more.

For all the time I was a small fish in a big pond I never once felt that way, the cPanel made me feel like I had control over every aspect of my personal space.. Sometimes too much control! To which the helpful team came to my rescue to rectify my mistakes. With never a derogatory comment passed!

From there my site has gone from strength to strength and today has 60+ unique hits in a month, from all corners of the globe. Serving up downloads, blog posts, media content and more… Non of which have ever been an issue on my super fast web host.

Since then I have migrated several of my friends sites over to the host, and can often be found plugging them during mind map stages of young entrepreneurs.

Now to put you all out of your misery…. The host who has looked after me since day one, and will continue to do so until something better than the internet comes up, is FreeVirtualServers

I chose FreeVirtualServers on the back of a recommendation from another one of their customers. All I can say is, I am so pleased I did. They’re pricing model is extremely competitive, and where most in the market scrimp and save on the customer friendly side of the business FreeVirtualServers really beat expectations.. Not many hosts would aid getting your site back online over the christmas period, one year FreeVirtualServers did that, just for me… Just for a blog that received few visitors and had little content. All that from their UK-based support centre!

I seriously can’t recommend them enough, and urge you to check them out. Even if you just want to dabble, you’ve nothing to lose with their completely free hosting packages, and for those of you who are more serious about your online presence…. I’d highly recommend you check our their Pro hosting packages.

I see my relationship with FreeVirtualServers and who knows, maybe one day I will be on their reseller package! If you do decide to sign up with them, be sure to mention my name Mike Hudson, and the URL of my blog!

Why put up with the rest, sign up with the best…..

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How @R1Soft and @fvswebhost saved my bacon (backup)

So.. Last night started the same as many others.. Home from work, and decided to catch up on some of my web development. Working closely in the innards’ of  WordPress and testing my changes on the fly, the WordPress plugin SuperCache was starting to cause me a headache.

So I figured I’d go disable it.. I logged onto the admin page, headed over to the plugin’s and started to disable that and a few others I no longer used. Now here came the strange part.. My Safari browser crashed out completely, and threw me out of the admin panel..

So I opened it back up and headed back over to my site.. To my complete horror the site was no longer available, all I got was directory listings! My heart sank almost immediately, and that went from bad to worse when I realised other sites on the same hosting account had also gone down!

Panic stricken I booted up my FTP client to check out my latest backup.. Luckily I had done one a few nights before, however this was a full backup and not just a site level one. Thus meaning it was a gigantic 5GB+ in size.. Now on an 8MBps ADSL connection downloading the 5GB file to extract and re-upload the files needed would have been a complete nightmare!

Which is when the lightbulb came on above my head, I remember this time last year I had switched to one of FreeVirtualServers top packages, which came complete with a subscription to R1Soft’s Continuous Data Protection server. Although I knew it was there, I’d never needed it in the past.

I gingerly logged on to my control panel, and headed over to the bright R1Soft logo, glowing as if knowing it was there to save the day! Sure enough, though I’d never done anything with it, it had been merely sat there backing up my site and add-on domains as well! Not only that but had several earlier backups to choose from.

FANTASTIC I thought – my data isn’t gone for ever after all! Now.. As I have a large file system on the server I knew this was going to take sometime.. So I selected the files and folders I needed restoring and hit the ‘start’ button, and that was it.. Off it went, restoring files almost instantaneously. Finally I could rest easy in the knowledge not only had I invested in quality hosting and support but I’d also invested in quality backup software to boot!

Within minutes my sites started coming back online.. What’s better is… I set this off, and then went to bed! Left it to its own devices and come the morning my whole world had been restored!

My advice to you is….. If your current hosting provider doesn’t offer R1Soft’s backup solution, then move providers and consider FreeVirtualServers, and if they do – then what are you waiting for?? Sign up!!

For now my SuperCache is still disabled – and will remain so until I have ironed out the bugs.

Thanks for reading, hope this helps save your day too..

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