Recently I had the problem of wanting to get a web server from which I could send mass mails to my customers using the php:mail function. My original server only allowed me to send 200 mails a day, and since my customer database is in the order of 400 this just wasnt adequate for sending newsletters out.
Amazon EC2 Cloud - not so elastic as it seems
I then heard about the Amazon Cloud which i started to investigate. As a side project i have also been developing a social networking application, and Amazon offers the chance to rapidly expand your presence if your website suddenly becomes popular overnight, so it seemed like a good thing to learn about. Amazon allows you to configure a complete server from bottom up, i.e. where you are responsible for all aspects of the servers function. The advantage of this is that you have reponsibility of all the programming aspects of the server, especially when it comes to running programming languages like php. On many hosted webservers, certain functionalities are deactivated, and restrictions are placed on how you can use certain functions. This applies particularly to the php mail function which is often abused by spammers.
So anyway, I set up all my websites on amazon, and decided to start testing my automatic mail forms. Lo and behold, after just 20 attempts I got an email from Amazon to say that they had deactivated my mail function.
"What?" I thought. I thought amazon was free of these kind of restrictions, but apparently this is not so.
Off to GoDaddy
So next I went on the search for a commercial webhoster who offers bettter mail functionality so i could send out newsletters without having to fear interruptions in my mail functions. GoDaddy interested me, because they claim to be able to offer the capacity I needed on their shared server option.
So I moved all my sites to GoDaddy, thinking it was a good deal what theyz offered.
I then found that when I wanted to edit or access my websites I periodically got time out errors. I reported the issue to support, and they claimed that there were no issues. GoDaddy promise 99.7% server uptime after all, so I thought I had a legitimate cause for complaing since I was not always enjoying access. I can not say i got any effective help at all. This was an important issue, since I run Adword campaigns directing to those servers, and as everyone knows, downtime could waste me money, but not only that, get my ads and campaigns barred.
Still being suspicious, I opened an account with monitor.us, a service which periodically (hourly) checks your webserver and website accessibility and reports to you whenever you have critical problems.
I have two websites hosted on the same webserver at GoDaddy, pharmacad-services.eu and dr-jules.com. For control purposes I monitored a website which I have with another webhoster based in Germany, namely www.big-white-spot.de .
Take a look at the results:
These are typical results I get, I am periodically bombarded with emails stating that my GoDaddy sites have critical errors, while none come regarding my site at www.flatbooster.net
My uptime for my GoDaddy sites is between 80 and 86%, pretty pathetic considering their 99.7% promise. I mailed them about the problem weeks ago, but they never answered. However, the problem still persists....every so often my website goes down.
I can only imagine that the reason for this is that GoDaddy hosts just too many sites on its shared servers. the server doesnt go down when it gets too busy, but individual sites do. Whats more, when they know there is a problem, they do absolutely nothing to alleviate it. They are not even interested in doing anything about it. The bottom line is, to enjoy connectivity you receive with other webhosters you have to take out a DEDICATED server plan with them. They do not make this clear, and would rather spend millions on a Superbowl advertisement than spend it on maintaining good service for their customers.
This is very poor, and when I have the time, which I certainly will, I shall be on the move again.