Guide to buying shared hosting

evnixevnix OG
edited January 6 in General

We all know when you look at a shared host, you do look at the provider reputation, the kind of panel they provide and the specs they give with respect to I/O, disk and memory usage.

But I find the following to be very important and is always a hit or a miss:

  1. SSH Access: This is probably the most important feature, what amazes me is some providers leave it out. You can't run any PHP composer or Drupal commands nor do any DB migrations nor git based deployment if you don't have this, yeah you can upload/access it via FTP which is insanely slow for uploading or browsing through the file system. (There are some providers who enable this on request and is annoying at best when you have reseller accounts and you have to send a ticket each time.) I stay clear of any plans/hosts that don't provide this and you should too.

  2. OffSite/OffNode Backups: This should be there available by default and it doesn't need an explanation.

  3. Mail Delivery: You do need accounts that are capable of sending mails, be it Wordpress or Laravel. So Any Host that offers high deliverability would be better(like the ones that offer MailChannels).

Anything over this is a plus, like BitNinja offered by MyW.pt and dedicated IP by Buyshared.net

What are the other things that you look for, would be nice to know in the replies :smile:

Update: Seems like cPanel has something called a terminal which is just a bandaid for proper SSH Access, so you still can't use tools like ansible or pretty much the PHP standard: deployer.

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Comments

  • Remote Database access. I have a badly coded script that need to be pushed into my hosting's database.

    Also uptime i guess. if i get two downtime in a month i'd leave right away. so far smallweb and Ramnode serve me the best. i used zoho or yandex for email as i send junk for most of time (debug reports .etc) and i don't want to burden my host for it.

    I am so TEMPTED using MyW or Tom's (not_oles?) vps. I will probably bite the bullet around march when i able to move most of my shit into sqlite (so we can depend on FTP transfer only, no remote sql needed). but yeah I'll lurk more

    i don't want to get HostDoc'ed ever again. my little client will shit fury

    my name is mobile, a certified retard. learning new stuff everyday and always keeps 3 backups.

  • @evnix said: BitNinja offered by MyW.pt

    where when how?

  • @tridinebandim said:

    @evnix said: BitNinja offered by MyW.pt

    where when how?

    Ditto. Explain yourself! =)

  • @evnix said:
    We all know when you look at a shared host, you do look at the provider reputation, the kind of panel they provide and the specs they give with respect to I/O, disk and memory usage.

    But I find the following to be very important and is always a hit or a miss:

    1. SSH Access: This is probably the most important feature, what amazes me is some providers leave it out. You can't run any PHP composer or Drupal commands nor do any DB migrations nor git based deployment if you don't have this, yeah you can upload/access it via FTP which is insanely slow for browsing through the file system. (There are some providers who enable this on request and is annoying at best when you have reseller accounts and you have to send a ticket each time.) I stay clear of any plans/hosts that don't provide this and you should too.

    In the past I've used "terminal" from cPanel. Some providers offer that. I'ts not SSH, but it works wonderfully for DB migrations.
    Likewise, control panels have their own file managers, so any file copy/move on the server is done lightning fast - unlike when using FTP, as you mentioned.

    I would say that SSH is a plus, but not a must (for most users?).

    1. OffSite/OffNode Backups: This should be there available by default and it doesn't need an explanation.

    2. Mail Delivery: You do need accounts that are capable of sending mails, be it Wordpress or Laravel. So Any Host that offers high deliverability would be better(like the ones that offer MailChannels).

    Over the years, I've found this to be a "me too" offer. Most hosts offer it, because, well, "everyone offers it nowadays."
    However, compared to MXroute (to name one), it's usually far off in terms of reliability (and even speed). Goes for high-end "highly reputable" shared hosting providers as well.

    So, as far as I'm concerned, if emails really matter - then go for a "separate" email solution.
    If they don't - well, then it doesn't really matter all that much.

    Anything over this is a plus, like BitNinja offered by MyW.pt and dedicated IP by Buyshared.net

    What are the other things that you look for, would be nice to know in the replies :smile:

    • Reputation / reliability are important. Uptime falls under this, of course.
    • Price is in the go/no-go region as far as I'm concerned. As in: don't really care all that much, up to a point when no matter how good the provider is, it's just not acceptable ("too expensive").
    • Speed - it's a plus, but as long as it's not noticeably slow (or gives errors when more than one user is browsing the site), it's OK.

    Mostly harmless ™
    I/O Gremlin

  • @casadebamburojo said: Ditto. Explain yourself!

    here is the offer and is mentioned there: https://talk.lowendspirit.com/discussion/2159/blackfriday-lifetime-offers

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  • evnixevnix OG
    edited January 2

    @bikegremlin said: In the past I've used "terminal" from cPanel. Some providers offer that. I'ts not SSH, but it works wonderfully for DB migrations.
    Likewise, control panels have their own file managers, so any file copy/move on the server is done lightning fast - unlike when using FTP, as you mentioned.

    Unless the file manager is from DirectAdmin, you cannot edit anything other than standard extensions. Also, DirectAdmin doesn't have this terminal functionality or atleast I haven't seen this enabled.

    Having used standard tools like https://deployer.org/ for PHP deployment, SSH access becomes compulsary.

    So, as far as I'm concerned, if emails really matter - then go for a "separate" email solution.

    I'd agree but what if you bought a reseller shared hosting, you can't ask your end customers to look for another email solution.

    @bikegremlin said: Reputation / reliability are important. Uptime falls under this, of course.
    Price is in the go/no-go region as far as I'm concerned. As in: don't really care all that much, up to a point when no matter how good the provider is, it's just not acceptable ("too expensive").
    Speed - it's a plus, but as long as it's not noticeably slow (or gives errors when more than one user is browsing the site), it's OK.

    Agree and makes sense!

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  • @evnix said:

    So, as far as I'm concerned, if emails really matter - then go for a "separate" email solution.

    I'd agree but what if you bought a reseller shared hosting, you can't ask your end customers to look for another email solution.

    Makes sense - I see how it might be tricky if you offered no email whatsoever. Haven't used (found) a shared host that doesn't offer emails, but if there was such - suppose it might make things more complicated.

    Having said that - I (would) do exactly that: explain the pros and cons of using a hosted email service, and people often opt for that.

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    Mostly harmless ™
    I/O Gremlin

  • evnixevnix OG
    edited January 3

    @bikegremlin said: Makes sense - I see how it might be tricky if you offered no email whatsoever. Haven't used (found) a shared host that doesn't offer emails, but if there was such - suppose it might make things more complicated.

    I should have explained it better, I meant SMTP/Email delivery, so if you have reseller hosting, the customers will start complaining why their Wordpress/Laravel registration/notification emails aren't getting delivered and would blame the provider as email was part of the deal. (Providing no email is an option but that would mean they will have to spend more money on another service and nothing easier than being able to use PHPs mail() function.) MailChannels solves this and removes a whole lot of tickets between the provider and the customer.

    PS: I am not a provider, but I look for hosts with MailChannels as it makes my life a lot easier.

    I read a lot of other articles along with link you sent, really good work there👍

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  • MewMew
    edited January 3

    The criteria for buying shared hosting for business and personal use are different, especially regarding mail delivery.
    I do agree with the first 2 criteria for personal use, even though I use SFTP over SSH most of the times.

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  • ive shared hosting with almost all the provider mentioned in @Ympker excel sheet

    almost all of them fucked up once in a while but what you should look for is great open communication + community review

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  • Intelpentium0Intelpentium0 Hosting Provider

    Have you used the reseller hosting from @wscallum ? It's having great uptime.

    The only issue is regarding system email. No email will be delivered on account creation, suspension or whatever. You have to monitor every client sites daily. Yesterday I found a site showing warning upon failed Letsencrypt ssl. If system emails were sent before it's expiry, I would have checked and ran Letsencrypt manually. By the way, I don't know why it wasn't auto renewed. I ask clients to use SMTP for wp sites. It's okay to block phpmail() but very difficult when mail to reseller is not sent from cpanel.
    Waiting for mxroute relay service to arrive and save.

    ✓✓Only shared hosting-both DA and cPanel Still in 2006

  • Having used standard tools like https://deployer.org/ for PHP deployment, SSH access becomes compulsary.

    Thanks for this, I didn't know about this tool. Do you know of others?

    I am on MyW right now and I don't know if they offer SSH. But it seems like for sure there should be a similar tool that can kind of mirror what that is doing with FTP and local scripts? A friend of mine is transitioning to myw from always handling his own VPSes and just manually dumping the db and ftping the files is taking a while.

  • @lowendmeow said: I am on MyW right now and I don't know if they offer SSH

    Just contact @MikePT and he might enable it for you.

    there should be a similar tool that can kind of mirror what that is doing with FTP and local scripts

    I use a combination of Drone CI for building the JS assets using NPM and pushing the tar.gz build to a remote FTP location (so basically one gz file per commit, this allows you to rollback if something went wrong), and then use ansible to copy the tar.gz, extract and run the relevant artisan commands.

    There is one here for pure FTP https://github.com/dg/ftp-deployment though Problem with FTP is you wouldn't know if you missed a file or sent a corrupted file (Have been through this several times and it bites you when you least expect it)

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  • @lowendmeow I have written a blogpost about the above if you are interested, http://returnzero.win/2021/01/08/php-deployment-probably-done-right/

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