Sorry to all those folks who signed up with Gearhost on my recommendation. Having been with them for 4 months now, I've come to the conclusion that they have intolerable uptime and unacceptable customer service.

My site goes down on average once a day. When it does go down I have to open a support ticket to get some one to fix it. To date I have not received a single credit for any of this down time. As I write this my server has been up for 1 hour (and earlier today it was only up for .8 hours). This means that it’s constantly going down then kick-started till it dies again.

Once they completely horked my data (server went down for about 36 hours) and I lost all my posts (I had a backup). Their Windows 2003 migration was planned for 2 weeks ago and they just didn't do it and they didn't offer any explanation as to why. I've completely come to wits end with them. They claim that this migration is going to solve all these problems, but I don’t buy it any more and it sure won’t help their lack of customer service.

Another nit of mine is that each time I’ve complained they have done nothing but Band-Aid the problem only to have the server die again. I have passively been thinking of moving to some one else, but I’ve never found a host that is as competitive with pricing and features as Gearhost. However, Jason Alexander just switched from webhost4life to EAServe so I took a look at them and they looked perfect.

So, lets compare what I have now vs. the competition.

Gearhost

EAServe

  • 250 MB webspace
  • 20 GB/Mo. Bandwidth
  • 25 Email Accounts
  • 5 Domains Supported
  • Unlimited DSN connections
  • 15 Unique FTP Accounts
  • Instant Account Activation
  • iControl site control panel
  • Support via ticket based system
  • $16.95 a month
  • 200 MB webspace
  • 5 GB/Mo. Bandwidth
  • 5 Email Accounts
  • 1 Domain Supported
  • SQL Server Database
  • Unlimited Access Databases
  • Shared Secure 128 Bit SSL
  • 2 Unique FTP Accounts
  • Instant Account Activation
  • Support via IM, phone, e-mail
  • $14.95 a month


So, I'm basically giving up 50 MB of storage and 15 GB of bandwidth. However, my site peaked at 2.2 GB of bandwidth in October and since then has been under 2 GB. So, I'm not giving anything up there. For everything else I lose a little, but I think I gain a heck of a lot more (SSL cert for free, SQL database). Setup is free, so I created an account today after having all my pre-sales questions answered via e-mail. I had a million questions and Eric Pratt answered 6 or so of my e-mails with less than 30 min turnarounds (some times in under 5 minutes).

So I proceeded to test out hosting dasBlog over there. I copied the bits over and ran into a problem. None of the log files were getting written to the logs folder. I tried in vein to debug this myself but failed. I decided to IM them via MSN Messenger. Eric, who I ended up chatting with, dove right in and started to trouble shoot. He went so far as to ask me for the dasBlog source code so that he could reproduce the problem. I had to run out the door for an errand and when I returned the problem was fixed. When I asked him how he fixed it he told me that he was able to audit the server logs and determine that NETWORK SERVICE was attempting to write the log files while the IIS user account was writing all the other files (posts, comments etc). I’ll have to ask around to find out why there is a discrepancy here (Eric says that ASP.NET apps should always use the IIS User account to write files to disk).

Anyway, EAServe uses impersonation to give the machine the ability to write files rather than having to give ASPNET worker process explicit write permissions to dasBlog. This works fine, as I mentioned, except for the logs problem.

Anyway, as I told Eric, my experience getting up and running with EAServe couldn’t have been better. They really blow Gearhost out of the water when it comes to customer satisfaction. Eric has really gone out of his way to make my transition as trouble free as possible. Truly excellent customer service!!!

So, if you need an ASP.NET host, EAServe is your company. For $14.95 a month it’s a deal (currently no setup fees either). I’ll be migrating my web content over there in the next couple of days.