Friday, April 4, 2008

Web Host Review: ixwebhosting

My anger at crappy, cheapo web hosts is by now well-documented. After five years of using those $9.95 a year, unlimited web space and bandwidth hosting services you can buy on eBay, I've come to realize that they're worth even less than the rock bottom price they go for, at least if you seriously depend on the uptime of your site. In my case, my main email address is connected to my domain, so if the host is down, I don't get email.

Finally, I buckled down and decided to go with a monthly paid, true customer service web host. I looked them up online, and tried to read as many reviews as possible, and weighed their various services, capacities, and bandwidths they offer.

At one point in late 2007, I actually went with ixwebhosting, which was a cheap host at 3.95 a month for unlimited capacity and bandwidth. I went with them mainly because they apparently had excellent customer support (they claim 24/7 phone support via an 800 number).

In fact, when I was setting my site up, it was during a long holiday weekend, and I needed to ask a question to get my email working. I called the number, and after a short holding period, I was put in touch with a well-spoken, genial customer service rep that answered my question easily. I was very impressed.

Unfortunately, IXwebhosting did not use CPanel, the web-based site management app that I and many other webmasters have come to rely upon to set up site services and track visitors. Ixwebhosting offered their own control panel, but it just didn't cut the mustard to my satisfaction. Likewise, IXwebhosting did not offer a MySQL database, which I needed to run my forum. These two things led me to eventually dump my service with them, for which I was able to get a full refund since I did it in the 30 day trial period. Even though it was my own stupid lack of making sure they offered everything I needed, they were still corteous and prompt at their response.

I've since checked out the site and it seems that while the price per month of ixwebhosting has gone up an extra dollar per hour at 4.95 a month, they have added MySQL support, and they seem to have updated their control panel to be more user-friendly.

I think what ixwebhosting offers now is a great deal for the price, mainly because of their stellar customer support service. However, if you feel you need the use of CPanel, don't be surprised to pay extra for it.

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