Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Welcome to my new digs!

I finally got to a point where I needed more than my hosting provider could offer, so I up and moved.

I’m kind of sad to go, because they’ve been very good to me over the years, but it was time. I’ve always said they’re not the cheapest in town, but they were the best.

Really, several factors came into play:

  • To put my photos on-line, I’d need a bunch more disk space. Even with a one-time setup fee of $2/MB, it would have added up fast.
  • No database offerings that met my needs. I asked at one point and was told Access (Ummmm. No.), or MS-SQL. Either way I’d have to move off the virtual server.
  • To expand a couple areas of my site the way I wanted, it would require a couple Perl modules and supporting libraries that they weren’t willing to install on their shared Web box.

Honestly, I can’t fault them for the Perl module thing. It’s a shared Web server and they have to look out for all their customers. But that, coupled with the disk space costs, the datbase, and the monthly rate, I felt it was time to change.

I was paying almost $60/mo (part of that was a $200/yr fee for an IP based Web virtual server) for email (Web/POP3/IMAP), spam filtering, Web space, shell access, and it all shared 40M of disk space. Also, I think that included Internet acceess—ISDN in my case, but dial-up and DSL were options. I can’t get DSL because I’m too far from the CO, so when I wanted higher speed I switched to broadband (cable-modem) a couple years ago.

I was tempted to host it myself at home, but again the costs adding up fast. The only broadband package would have been $150/mo and the terms only allowed for a Web server. What about email? I know I could run a server on their connection, but my IP address would still come from a cable-provider’s netblock. That would mean non-stop hassles getting outbound email to go through. Just a bunch of crap I didn’t really want to deal with.

Since I didn’t really need the ISP services from the old provider, I just needed to find a hosting provider that offered what I want and need.

After some poking around, and some suggestions from a couple friends, I ended up with Dreamhost. They had a sale going that includes 15 fully hosted domains (unlimited mirrors/redirects/subdomains), 7G of disk space with a free increase every week, every Perl module I could think of, unlimited MySQL databases, discussions lists, announcement lists, and a host of other things. All that for a $45 setup fee and $19/mo.

Getting ready to switch things over, and testing everything 17 times, plus a couple outside projects, working on my writing, and prepping a new section for the site have kept things hopping.

At least I have this part done. All that’s left is to clean up any remaining email the old ISP and notify friends in case any are still using an @provider.com address rather than @etherdust.com.

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