Web Hosting Reviews: BlueHost, Hostnine - Under The Hood, Ruby On Rails And Multiple Domain Management
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I really liked the way BlueHost packaged their log on section. However, most of them require extra payments, so it seems kind of weird seeing promotional material on the cpanel page. Cpanel is normally quite cluttered (with tons of useful stuff), but BlueHost tweaked their cpanel in a couple of ways by providing additional services, such as an integrated billing profile manager, a direct link to the support center, a website creation tool, an additional webmail client, and a domain manager. Some other really neat features include Ruby on Rails support and the ability to support multiple accounts within one account. All of this makes life really convenient for any website administrator.
However, multiple domain name management opens a whole new kettle of fish, with problems arising if the name server is not on BlueHost. You have to switch name servers if you want to use it. This can lead to some down time on the site that is being transferred.Support
Support is quick, and according to all users surveyed, you will get same day response on emails, including weekends. As a former user of enom and registerfly, that is a blessing. On registerfly, if I had a problem over the weekend, I had to wait through the weekend (bummer). There is toll-free telephone support from 8:00 AM to midnight eastern time and there is a forum for all BlueHost users.
However, support replying to your requests does not mean they will solve your problems. BlueHost has a reputation for being unreliable; see this post here for some user experiences. Most of the users complain that BlueHost refuses to take responsibility when things go wrong and only replies to emails if there are no serious problems. An associate of mine that runs on BlueHost has not had severe problems and swears by their helpful support staff. Nonetheless they do not have many fans. Here are some statistics that show BlueHost's uptime (97%), new clients daily, and amount of customers they generate.
Terms Of Service
BlueHost has clearly stuck this little codicil into its terms of service: "All activities may be monitored, recorded, and examined by any authorized person, including law enforcement." This comes with this semi-shady comment: "Any violation found or fraudulent activity that system personnel deem inappropriate may have your account immediately terminated without notice and any recorded evidence reported to authorized persons." Add this to the fact that for more advanced features, you have to show photo identification (yes, photo identification) and you begin to wonder if Big Brother is always watching. More advanced features include taking advantage of the Ruby on Rails support.
An isolated case does not necessarily mean that a web host is bad -- as long as it's isolated.
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