Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
I am the chief technical officer at InVision App, Inc - a prototyping and collaboration platform for designers, built by designers. I also rock out in JavaScript and ColdFusion 24x7.
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Ben Nadel at CFUNITED Express NYC (Apr. 2009) with: Nafisa Sabu

HostMySite.com Has The Best ColdFusion Hosting

By Ben Nadel on
Tags: ColdFusion

Over the weekend, someone asked me for advice on ColdFusion hosting, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to really get the word out there - HostMySite.com has the best ColdFusion hosting. I have been hosting ColdFusion sites with them on a Virtual Private Server (VPS) and have had nothing but an awesome experience. As always, their support team is outstanding - it is quite exemplary. I never have any issues that go unresolved for more than half an hour; and, between their email support and their phone support (which never rings more than once before someone picks up), I know that I can always get a hold of someone immediately who will make my problems go away. Of course, with their uptime and scheduled maintenance, my problems are few and far between.


 
 
 

 
HostMySite.com Logo - Best ColdFusion Hosting  
 
 
 

If you are interested in knowing more about HostMySite.com, get in touch with my man, Rob Matera, at (888) 660-4678 <rmatera [at] HostMySite.com>; he's a great guy and will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about their service.

Now, I haven't always hosted with HostMySite.com. As you might remember, when the ColdFusion 8 beta came out, HostMySite.com was offering FREE ColdFusion 8 beta hosting accounts to developers looking to practice their ColdFusion 8 skills. I, of course, jumped on that opportunity. This was my first experience with them; there were a few glitches here and there with some of the security setup, but what I found out from this was that their support was world class - I was on a FREE account with them and was still received top quality support. I was so pleased with it, in fact, that when they started offering full ColdFusion 8 hosting, I signed up for a single domain account to continue my research and development testing (cf8testing.com). After a while, I was so convinced that they simply had the best ColdFusion hosting around that I switched all of my hosting services over to them - and, I haven't looked back since.

But more than just offering great ColdFusion hosting services, HostMySite.com is a huge supporter of the ColdFusion community in general. The free ColdFusion 8 beta accounts were just the tip of the iceberg; right now, they are a Gold sponsor of CFUNITED, ColdFusion's largest conference. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of talking to Crystal at the HMS booth at cf.Objective() where HostMySite.com was a Bronze level sponsor. I know that they offer free ColdFusion hosting to ColdFusion user groups (including the NY CFUG) and other "community" sites. It seems that everywhere you look in the ColdFusion world, you're sure find HostMySite.com there as well, helping to make ColdFusion possible. I don't know about you, but to me, it just makes sense to get behind a company that is so enthusiastic about getting behind my technology.

So, in conclusion, HostMySite.com is the cat's pajamas. I highly recommend them for anyone looking for top notch ColdFusion hosting with unmatched support.




Reader Comments

+1, True

I too have been on both VPS and dedicated plans with HMS, and everything Ben says has been true for me as well. Great company.

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Now Ben, I think using "The Best" in your title is a bit strong and subjective. Obviously you've had a good relationship with HostMySite.com and there are a number of other "Best In Class" ColdFusion hosting sites out there.

I've used several different hosts (for ColdFusion and otherwise) and have settled into using CrystalTech.com (http://www.crystaltech.com) for both my personal as well as client hosting needs. They too have treated me with the utmost respect and have top-notch customer service even when I only had a $3 monthly account. They too offer ColdFusion hosting plans to accommodate most anyone's hosting needs.

Just thought I should at least throw another "Best In Class" ColdFusion site into the mix for consideration.

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Loved their customer support, too, absolutely top-notch, but they allowed their shared services to get pretty bogged down. After running several months with very spotty uptime on weekends and little effective remediation from HMS, I eventually moved to CrystalTech. Still on a shared host, but for the past 9 months everything just runs and I'm very happy with it, but the customer service is not nearly as snappy or efficient as HMS was.

Very glad to hear that their Virtual service is excellent, though, as I'm now dealing with the timing of that move for some of my work and I would be happy to be an HMS customer again if I had control of my own server space. I will certainly keep them in mind next time I'm looking, on both Ben's recommendation and Joe's (big M-G fan here!)

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@Steve,

Fair enough. It's always a subjective expression. If I tell my girlfriend, "you're the best", obviously, I haven't had to date every other girl in the world to say something like that :) So, yeah, really the sentence reads, with context, "HostMySite.com Has (in my experience) The Best ColdFusion Hosting."

But thank you for bringing other top quality solutions to people's attention. It's good to know that CystalTech is also very good.

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@Douglas,

I know there are no subdomains on the single account, but they will point a number of domain names to the given directory and you can use server-side scripting to parse the URL. I know not a great solution, but it is what I played around with.

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I've been using HostMySite for years now and I'm so glad I switched. If for no other reason their customer support has been impeccable. I've also found their price point per features is extremely competitive. While I don't have a VPS with them I do have several business sites using their shared hosting and I'm a very happy customer.

Aside from those 14 year boys dressed in 100% white suites they hired to hand out water at CFUnited 07 (they scared me), big thumbs up :)

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My HMS experience has been the same as jfish. Good customer service. Willing to try just about anything to solve my problems, but in the end, shared servers were VERY unstable and my uptime was not good at all. I constantly had customers sending me email notifying me of a site outage. I'd call HMS support and they'd have it running again in a few minutes, but really...should I have to call??

After trying for months to get things worked out (they moved me to a couple of different servers that supposedly had fewer apps running) but I finally had to find a more stable solution. I'm now happily running along w/ 99.9% uptime with a different hosting co (more expensive). The customer service isn't as good, but when the server just works, I don't really need much customer service.

Somebody please tell me they've fixed the shared server stability problems. I'd be willing to try again with a new customer if I had some reassurance.

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I will have to say I didn't have great luck on the VPS. It was a huge pain. My VPS was never setup correctly so I just dumped that idea. I spent a huge amount of time and it never really "worked". One of my friends uses the VPS though and hasn't had many problems.

We do have 3 Dedicated servers with them and they are pretty great. I am a control freak and I get worked up a lot, but overall their support staff have been great. The customer service people and the techs are always very nice; even the couple of times I had to call in the middle of the night. My site tracking we have shows we have been up 99% for the last 2 years so that can't be too bad. We moved all of our "in house" servers there a couple years ago. It's so much better to not have to worry as much :)

The only thing I would suggest if you go with them is make sure when you call or IM they know you are a dedicated server customer and have all the account information handy. They seem to take them awhile to find my account sometimes, or maybe I am impatient.

Overall though they are pretty great dedicated servers.

(We run REDHAT ES , MYSQL and Coldfusion)

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The Galactic Empire uses both HostMySite (HMS) and CrystalTech (CT).

We've found that HostMySite has a slight edge support wise, and their VPS offering is a bit better.

Pricing wise, they're relatively the same, one may offer more bandwidth in exchange for storage and vice versa... you need to figure out what you want more of.

Feature wise we find CT's Control Panel way more powerful. Very fine grain control of mySQL and SQL Server 2000 and 2005 Databases. You can control CF scheduled tasks, perform database restores and backups all completely from the Control Panel (vs Enterprise Manager).

E.g. HSM supports CF scheduled tasks, but you need to contact their support team to set that up for you.

The Sith believe in maximum control over their destiny; so in our case a more powerful Control Panel is favored over faster support.

CT's support is fairly strong though. When you email their support team, the automatic reply tells you the avg wait time for a response - last week we needed some help with an orphaned DB user. The automated response said 29minutes, but the actual support person got it done in 15mins.

So how fast do you really need a support person? For the Sith, as long as it's done within 2hrs we're fine.

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@Ben - Glad everything is going great for you. Unfortunately I experienced extremely poor stability on their shared plans (to be clear this was shared...NOT a VPS).

http://www.chapter31.com/2007/08/22/hostmysite-not-quite-as-stable-as-id-like/

The shared JRun instance seemed to be restarted an average of 4-6 times per day, and that was just what I noticed! The restart time (before error) was also quite short for those running site with long(er) startup times (using a framework etc).

Anyway, glad the VPS is running smoothly.

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I have to agree that Hostmysite really supports the CFM community and I have seen them at a variety of shows. On the down side a good friend of mine had major issues with his VPS server, eventually closed his account, and migrated. Not sure if it is their virtual server platform or configuration, but I have seen vmware's solution work very well under a pretty heavy load.

Sounds like CrystalTech is very good, has anyone had experience with Hostek?

http://hostek.com/plans-reseller-hosting.asp

have a great week everyone

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@chris
I've been with Hostek for a couple of months and so far they've been excellent. In my experience, their customer service has been super responsive. Another 3 things I like about them:
1) They're on CF8 (like HostMySite)
2) They give you space for directories above the web root
3) They have ISAPI Rewrite on their Windows servers, which (like mod_rewrite on Apache) enables you to have SES urls without the "index.cfm"

The caveat is that I haven't been with them for that long, but so far so good.

I've also had shared hosting w/HostMySite and had no complaints. The only reason I left is that it was too much space for my little sites and couldn't justify the cost. With Hostek you can opt for less disk space than HMS for under $10/month.

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I've had an incredible experience with Host My Site. In the past I've used various VPS systems with them and have now settled in with a few dedicated Windows 2008 servers. I've never used their shared hosting but with the exception of a few comments on this thread have heard unanimously good things about it.

When an adult compares hosts, three things are important.

1. Uptime

2. Support

3. How stupid their Web site looks.

CrystalTech is immediately disqualified from being a "best in class" host on the merits of #3 alone. Browsing through their site, it looks like CrystalTech doesn't offer IM support either. As a grown-up, IM support is IMPERATIVE. I don't have time to synchronously devote to communicating an issue verbally, nor the leisure to wait for the delayed and less-communicable interaction of email. Instant Messaging support (Host My Site's is incredible, if one of their reps doesn't know the solution to an issue he'll quickly collaborate with others that do) is far more effective and convenient than any other method of server support there is. I promise.

I switched the last of my clients to HMS over a year ago, and will probably never use another host again. Their "managed colocation" service at about $150 per U is probably the best deal on the hosting market today. Did I mention it includes the same level of support as all of their dedicated plans?

Lesser-known-facts about HMS.

1. They have an incredible support information center. http://www.hostmysite.com/support/

2. All of their female employees are hotties that wear really tight-fitting business apparel at most

3. Their support team is cumulatively 10x more knowledgeable and adept than all other hosting support teams in the world combined. That might sound subjective, but it's not. I did a study.

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I am thinking about going back with HMS. I though that they had wonderful support. I am currently hosting someplace else, and I am shopping for some host where I can host my flash remoting(CF backend) project.

I might contact the person who you say "Rob" to see about getting my site back up.

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@David

Are you sure about your #2 statement? Haven't you been to their office location and seen ALL of their female employees?

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I have been using Crystaltech for years and am truly satisifed with their services. Their support is great and their control panel and stats are super too.

I used to use a company called Dataride.com (now Implex) but their support was absolute rubbish.

I am slightly upset that HMS and Crystaltech DO NOT allow adult hosting but can fully understand their reasons for not allowing it. Hopefully though in the future the traffic from these sites will warrant the use of a dedicated server where content won't be a problem :)

PS... The hotties at HMS are welcome to send photos through to YourHottieOfTheWeek.com :P

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@Paolo,

From what I have been told by people at HMS, there is not adult policy. It came up in conversation once and I was told that as long as nothing illegal is happening, you can put any content on your site that you desire. That might not be "official", but it is what I was told by people on the inside.

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Hmmm... that's strange as I contacted them personally and they tried to sell me their dedicated plan which in the beginning stage of my application dev and testing is just way too expensive.

Their AUP states:
"
...We specifically reserve the right to refuse to provide the Service to customers or End Users engaged in the dissemination of material that may cause us to be subject to attacks on our network, or that while technically legal, run counter to our corporate principles. This type of content may include, but is not limited to, racist, pornographic, hateful material or those which create customer service or abuse issues for us.
"
So I'm guessing this means that if the content doesn't cause any disruptions of service it should be ok.

Like I said earlier - I understand where they are coming from given the nature of the adult websites out there. It's just frustrating for me because the application I'm building is actually a massive CMS - the content just happens to be adult content. So to find a host that will let me run it is a but tricky.

But I will try them again... :)

Cheers.

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I've been told the same thing as Ben. I've been running my adult site "LadiesLoveHotWhiteChocolate.com" (Hot White Chocolate is my rapping/stage name) for over a year now and most employees at HMS are subscribers. I've even heard that they have HWC night and the entire staff takes a 15 minute break together to check out my site.

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@Paolo,

Yeah, I think its probably just a clause they throw in just in case. Like when you walk into a store and there is a sign that says, "We reserve the right to refuse service." That doesn't mean they WILL refuse service - it only means that just in case, they can do something if they want.

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@David

Hahahahaha - Classic!!

@Ben

The reason for my apprehension is due to an episode I had with Crystaltech. They had something similar in their earlier AUP and I ran an adult site there successfully for over a year.

Then one day I noticed the site was showing up a page not found error and when I checked they had deleted all my files and database (basically terminating my whole account)!!

Sure I learnt a lesson in backing up that day - but the way they handled it was unprofessional and that burnt me a bit hence my fear of vague AUP's :)

Reply to this Comment

@Paolo,

OH MY GOD - that is extremely unprofessional! I don't think any company should do that without at least issuing a warning. That would be a HUGE deal breaker for me, just as a reflection of the professionalism.

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Hey,

Thanks for all of the positive notes! It's good to hear great feedback!

Just to confirm. We do not allow adult content on our shared servers, but we don't necessarily police the servers looking for it either. If it comes to our attention then yes we will contact you regarding the content, and maybe even take the content offline. The actions are on a case by case basis really. A VPS is still technically shared which is why we recommend dedicated, but you are 'less likely' to hear from us about it. A dedicated server would be best.

Keep posting the good stuff! We do read these :)

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Hi Ben

I resurrected this to find out if you are still happy. I have found that HMS support has really deteriorated in the last few months (since the takeover). In addition I am experiencing regular downtime periods in the order of 5-9 hours on my VPS whenever they apply any maintenence. And they do this in the middle of the week. I'm looking around for someone else now.

Richard

Reply to this Comment

@Richard,

I am sorry to hear about that. Things have been running quite smoothly for me. I actually haven't needed to contact support at all in the last few months.

You should harass them, maybe they'll upgrade you for free or something ;)

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Opposite experience for me, support has been excellent. Yesterday I wanted to transfer 6 domains to HMS from various places (Yahoo Small Business and Go Daddy) and they replied to my ticket and initiated the transfers in under 15 minutes.

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VPS today is down for 11 hours. I raised 4 support tickets. None were answered. I eventually got through to support on live chat. They said a server update had gone wrong.

Maybe it's because we're based in Europe....

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Yeah i have noticed that also. The tech guy deleted the partition on our production server the other week. We lost about a day of info and it upset our customers pretty badly.

We asked them to help tune our CF server and they set the JVM to 32 MEG lol. When we questioned it they got a more senior person to look at it and he asked who the heck set it to that? We emailed back that thye had :)

It has been a little spotty lately. We have to too many sites on the server to change hosting at this point but we might have too soon.

We ordered a VPS from them and they never actually got it working so we just decided against that idea.

Let me know who you decide to go with.

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@Jeff and all

I don't want to turn this into a "knock HMS" thread, I just wanted to know about other peoples experiences, but thanks for all the info, and thanks Ben!

I'm looking at SoZO at the moment as an alternative

Reply to this Comment

It almost certainly has to do with you being in Europe. I remember mentioning on a support call that I was passing through Paris and wouldn't be available by email and then hearing a score of muffled snickering in the background of the phone call. Host My Site definitely hates Europeans.

In fairness, a friend of mine had said that he had had a few issues with his HMS VPS (during the early Server 2008 phase) and that HMS's support had been lackluster, but really, he was a developer and not a server administrator and so they were doing most of the setup and configuration for him. For free I might add.

Personally, I don't really get why you'd go with a VPS instead of a colocated server. It's only 150-ish per U so you can get away cheaper than some VPS configurations with 80x the horsepower and freedom from worrying about parallel or host conflicts.

If I remember correctly, Hyper V standalone is pretty close to free if you have legitimate reasons to virtualize, and you can get copies of 2008 Web for under $400 a pop (Note: A single CF 8 license can be installed across all virtual machines on a single two-processor-or-less server).

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I wasn't trying to either that's why i went back and posted our up time like Ben did :).

Sometimes bad things happen. It's the nature of computers, but like I said they did get me back up and running.

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@dave - em isn't the reason you go with a managed VPS because you dont want to be bothered with System Admin?

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I have nad nothing but problems with hostmysite! Both PHP and Cold Fusion services are fine, but tech support is completely frustrating.

Here is an example of my latest dismal experience.
I called and wanted to migrate from CFMX 6.1 to CF8
The tech support person said that they would migrate the code (copy it) to a new server, and said ok, just let me know the new IP.

Then I get this letter.
Subject : (#T6360944) CF Migration
Hello,

Thank you for contacting HostMySite.com! This message is to inform you that a support ticket has been created for your account xxx.xxx
The ticket number for this issue is T6360944. We will continue working on your ticket until we have resolved the issue. If you need to contact us to inquire about the status of this issue or to supply us
with any additional information that you feel may help us to better assist you, please reference ticket number T6360944.
We will contact you soon.

Regards,
Technical Support
http://www.HostMySite.com

Then I get a second email 12 hrs latter:
Ref: xxx.xxx

Hello,

Thanks for contacting HostMySite support. Sorry for any confusion, however, your site is already on a ColdFusion 8 server. Are you experiencing any issues with your site?

We look forward to your response.

--This is quite odd, since the first support person could have also seen this. But it gets worse.

I get another letter:
Ref: xxx.xxx
Hello Daniel,
Your website has been moved over to the new server, and you can check that at the following IP address: http://76.12.205.48 Once you give us the okay, or in a few days, we will repoint the domain name to go to the new IP address. As soon as that has taken effect, we will disable the account on your old server. If you have any questions please let me know.

Thanks for using HostMySite.

Regards,
Jack Green
http://www.HostMySite.com

--Gee thanks Jack - This really makes my day.

I have to say that of the 5 or so domains I have setup at host my site - all of them require extensive communications with support, and most often these have gone about like this above.

I recommend AISO.NET for Cold Fusion or PHP, it is a smaller company but you can work with the same support person to get stuff working...

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It gets worse still:
Last email I get a few hrs later informs me that the site has indeed been migrated, but upon checking I can see that the old code was migrated from days earlier - here is the lame email:

Hello Daniel,

The issue with your captcha may still be version related. After I spoke with you, I checked a couple other things, and the old server you were on (the one that the domain resolves to now) is not running Coldfusion 8. It had been installed, which is what I was seeing, but it is actually running Coldfusion 6.1 still.

All of your content had been uploaded to the new Coldfusion 8 server that Jack had sent the information for, the reason you were not seeing the content is that the index.cfm page was not set to take precedence over the under construction page. I changed that in IIS and the site can now indeed be viewed at http://76.12.205.48 as Jack had stated.

You can FTP to the new server with that IP address and your existing credentials, so you may want to try uploading the registration page to the new server. It looks like the captcha is not on the current registration page, so I cannot test this myself by copying it over. If the site does work properly on the new server, you will just need to repoint the DNS with the current name servers and let us know when it is complete.

I apologize again for the confusion, please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.

Regards,
Zachary Hanson
===
Once again Host My Site fumbles support - Cannot tell what version of Cf is running on thier own servers.

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It gets worse still. Not only was older code some migrated, but the default page was not set, the 404 custom error messages I had set up on the CF 6.1 server were not migrated, I had to call in to have them fix these issues.

Upon further testing I see that the Verity search engine was not migrated at all from the old server, and the CF sechedualer was not set up.

Clearly when running a Cold Fusion Server and performing a "migration" support should look at all of these things including custom tags if any, and make a check list with the client, rather than promising a migration and delivering only a partial and un usable amount of support.

I wish I could say this was an unusual experience for me but it is the norm at Host my Site to need to call in several times to fix problems.

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I have about 30 sites hosted on CrystalTech and just started trying out HostMySite for a failry mid-sized client.

First of all CrystalTech hosting isn't that bad, I do experience a lot of down time on most of the sites though. I think they have very spotty customer support, but tend to lean towards bad. Typically they seem fairly defensive in their responses, i.e. not our fault, it's someone else on the server causing the issue, etc. Also, I had an issue with a client and copyright infringement. CT Legal was a joke. (i.e. client wasn't at fault, but CT had a knee-jerk reaction)

HostMySite, seems to have better customer support, but with my limited experience trying to move a mid-sized client to them has been nightmarish to say the least. We have now been moved to another server, because my "time-out" issues weren't being caused by my site, but someone else on the server. Yet the problem timeouts and server crashes are still occurring on the new server (This site was previously on CrystalTech, but we decided to move them to HostMySite due to CT's bad customer support).

I'm still looking for a decent CF provider, hence I found this article when searching Google.

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I recently left Crystaltech myself to join HMS. I was happy with Crystaltech - very happy. There was just one feature that HMS had which CT wouldn't allow which caused me to move.

Initially there were a few hurdles in setting up my site but HMS's support were always willing to help. Admittedly, sometimes I would have to wait 12 - 48 hours for a response from their support staff but perhaps this has to do with me being in South Africa and that most of my tickets were filed on the weekends (although this shouldn't make any difference in my eyes).

Anyway - since getting everything up and running with them - I am happy and running nicely on a CF8 server. My only qualm is that I can be guaranteed that once a day my site will go down with the following error:

"Database exception caught!
Error Executing Database Query.
Detail: [Macromedia][SQLServer JDBC Driver][SQLServer]SHUTDOWN is in progress.
"

I have a generic error handler that mails me when website errors are encountered and this error prevails at least once a day on average.
It is frustrating but something I can live with. So far :)

But overall HMS's service is good.

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Just an update since I posted my opinions on 18 Sep 2008. Issues such as long outages during maintenance slots have since disappeared, and the stability of my VPS has been excellent. I'm encouraged to think that this has been a result of HMS looking at issues they had, and addressing them which is of course a good sign from any ISP. It's also worth noting that issues/expectations you have with shared hosting are different than with a VPS.

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Hi - I'm reviewing the best hosting companies that offer ColdFusion 8 and have so far shortlisted 3.

No 1 - http://gearworx.net
Very competitve price. As low as $156 for 2 years!!!! and $1000 for 2 YEARS for VPS!!!! Good user reviews too.

No 2 - http://www.hostmysite.com/hosting/coldfusion/

No 3 - http://www.crystaltech.com/coldfusion8.aspx

I dont know if my categorization is correct or not...but would like to see comments from you all. I may opt for Gearworx.

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@John

I'm with you as well, wondering if I should go with Gearworx or HMS. I'd love to hear some feedback about Gearworx's VPS ColdFusion offerings.

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Just an update on my experience with HostMySite.com.

I was finally able to have my problematic site moved to a new shared web server and database server and everything seems to be working better. I still get an occasional crash (seefusion timeout), but it runs a lot faster.

I got to say, that I'm a little disappointed with how their technical support handled it. It's the same "It's not our fault, it must be your code, until you can prove it" mentality.

Here's a tip, I created a simple CFM page that had a average query in it. and I dumped the query result (Nothing else, just the cfquery and a cfdump). I would reload the page and you could see the amount of time it took to perform the query. It was across the board from 90ms to 40000ms or it would crash. This definitely wasn't my code, it was their DB server. So, if you are having the same problems, do this little test to see if your results stay consistent. If not, then you know it's their server.

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I would like to second the request for reviews of Gearworx VPS offering. I stumbled upon them recently when researching hosts. I was set to go for AHP Hosting but with the awful pound - dollar exchange rate at the moment I have begun looking for cheaper options.

Gearworx seem to offer a really competitive and feature packed service.

Anyone use them and how have you found them?

I'm also going to checkout HMS although when I last checked I think they were quite expensive on the VPS front.

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About HMS VPS Coldfusion 8 Plan.

It seems to me that HostMySite VPS 512mb CF hosting plan is useless. I'm only running CF 8 and MySQL and a very small DB and all my resources are being used.

I would recommend not even selling this plan to anyone.

After setting up CF and MySQL on the VPS 512mb plan, they told me that the lower price plan will not work. Now I have to move to the higher plan and start over.

Don't waste your time with the 512mb plan!

A classic bait (AKA 512mb) and switch (AKA 1gb) after you sign-up.

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When you say all of your resources are being used, do you mean you're experiencing slow performance or that resource monitors report high-utilization?

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If you load CF 8 and MySQl on a VPS HMS with 512mb it will use about 90% of you memory. 90 percent before any web traffic, web mail, stats, or adding any data to your DB.

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I think it goes without saying that if you're running a production server of ANY flavor (VPS or dedicated) with only 512mb of RAM you're almost always going to want to manually configure the allocation of resources to the applications that run on it.

Both MySQL and ColdFusion let you throttle and limit the amount of RAM they consume. If you're looking to free up more memory for a mail server or other purposes (by the way a 512mb VPS probably isn't the best candidate for a combo web/app/database/mail server jack of all trades to start with), you should do the research and configure it proportionally to your goals.

Obviously ColdFusion and MySQL out of the box will use a good chunk of RAM, that's how server applications work. VPS is a solution for projects/clients that want better performance than shared hosting and can't afford to go dedicated. That's why they're smaller portions of hardware capability, they're cheaper. You can't expect the world for a few hundred dollars a month.

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@Ben, Tom, John

Previously - I stated:

"The reason for my apprehension is due to an episode I had with Crystaltech. They had something similar in their earlier AUP and I ran an adult site there successfully for over a year.

Then one day I noticed the site was showing up a page not found error and when I checked they had deleted all my files and database (basically terminating my whole account)!!"

This is incorrect and I'd like to set the record straight. This was not Crystaltech I was hosting with at the time. It was in fact a company called DataRide, now called Implex (www.dataride.com).

Crystaltech on the other hand was a great company with great service and the only reason I ever left was due to the fact that I couldn't run adult advertising or even mature content on my websites.

Of the three you mentioned (gearworx, crystaltech, HMS) I can honestly say that HMS and Crystaltech are on par. Crystaltech has a better support response time than HMS, but HMS has a few features that trump Crystaltech too - such as not paying for DB backups. (Crystaltech charges $5 everytime you need to do a backup)

If it wasn't for the adult content issue, I porbably would have stayed at Crystaltech as I was very happy there. With that said though, I am also happy I moved to HMS as their service is great.

I would not recommend Gearworx though. I had numerous issues when setting up my account with them (like Database creation and FTP account creation not working as well as other issues with their "Plesk" control panel).
I spent 9 days with them and immediately moved to a different host.
Even after I told them to cancel my account - they didn't seem to be slightly bothered by it or enquire as to why I was cancelling - almost like it was expeected, or a regular occurance.

So ranking position 1 and 2 would be a tie for Crystaltech and HMS.
Gearworx would have to be 3, but I highly recommend you avoid them.

** Note **
These reviews are based purely on the shared hosting plans of all three companies. Nothing relates to VPS.

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@Paolo

"Even after I told them to cancel my account - they didn't seem to be slightly bothered by it or enquire as to why I was cancelling - almost like it was expeected, or a regular occurance."

Your cancellation wasn't "expected" or a regular "occurrence". We don't inquire that's just policy but you do have the choice to provide us with factual information as to why our services are poor or what we can do to better our services. Either way, the end result it the same; you're moving on.

Sure, I admit that your account had issues with the following:

Website hosting query after activation (DZT-785902) - Bug in Plesk, resolved through ticket by providing correct information.

MS SQL Database setup issue. (MFY-661804) - account related information and how the control panel works.

RE: Database Restoration from Backup (WJG-903908) - resolved by using Parallels support.

FTP Accounts on new domain (QZA-524163) - resolved by providing information on why the FTP username and password can't be both the same.

Cancel Web Hosting (DAC-755861) - resolved and refunded.

But you have to keep in mind that setting a website takes time, effort and requires that you overcome the learning curve involved with your new web hosting account. Our dual platform isn't for the faint of heart and requires a certain level of knowledge. That's why we don't get bent out of shape if you decide to cancel. It doesn't work for everyone but the reality is that we have plenty of customers that are happy and were willing to put up with us.

In some cases, the help docs will provide more than adequate information to get your website running. In some other cases filling a help desk ticket and working with us patiently works too.

There is also the matter of customer expectations. You're approaching a new provider with a certain pretenses of being like a certain other host without allowing yourself to be acclimated with the services and support. I'm guessing that you might have been setting yourself up for disappointment. I recommend that you approach with caution and let them do what they do, then judge after they've failed.

Your tickets were answered by me personally and I did my personal best to get your website running. Was is acceptable to not have your account setup within 9 day? No. However, I did have to escalate your particular SQL related issues twice to Parallels and everyone in the industry knows that Parallels runs on a different time table, which is often frustratingly slow.

I'm sorry it didn't work out. Best of luck to you!

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@ ben or other gurus out thier
I am currently on probibly the worst coldfusion hosting site period. I dont know im still a newbie. The host begins with a G ( yah i know )- dont want to promote them. I hate them to but --. I keep getting this error-- JRun closed connection. Im on a shared server, with their best plan, and a dedicated ip address. it happens randomly once or twice a day. it dosent seem to be becouse of server load becouse it not a high traffic website. the error only last like a min or two but its their---. Is it my coding or their server. Is this just jrun restarting.
Hey ben you need a donation section - like buy me a latte' !_!.
I would most definitly. your real world genius is invaluable.

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Hi James,

That message is almost certainly caused by the CF server instance being restarted. The poorer hosts tend to restart CF many times per day due to resource problems and other sites on the shared server causing issues.

I had the same problem with a host I was using. Looking at the logs would show the log header repeated through the day which inferred the server was being restarted many times.

This is a very annoying problem with sites that utilise application scope caching as the site has to reinit many times per day which leads to the site taking a while to respond while it initialises.

Definetely change if you can..

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Well finally I found a place to say my word about HostMySite;

First of all I would like to thank them and apologise to them at the same time; as I have been with them for more than 2 years but lately I was jumping between plans including Linux, .NET then .NET Pro then CF+ (I would explain why in a minute)

The big thanks to HostMySite is for their Support (responsiveness and cooperation;not necessary the technical knowledge which wasn't bad a t all) have been so wonderful that I can say they turned the HostMySite into HostMyHAERT.

On the other hand the apologies to them as I am leaving them after all the excellent support I had; thought the reason I am leaving is mainly the price although it is competitive for the features they offer but not necessarly ever one needed!.

If HostMySite reading this then please I need to suggest something as I felt you were as friends more than only service provider

suggestions:

1.Breakdown the packages to less features then cost

2.Why not support Flex on shared servers is really the feature going forward for ColdFusion as Silverlight for ASP.NET.

3.I would love to see Sub-Version standalone plans; or offer ColdFusion on Linux (as you used to before) or may be SVN on windows anyway that we can use it in one plan rather paying for two plans

4.The ability of using SQL 2005 Express and you might restrict it to one database as not every one needs full-blown SQL servers as in my case as developer and fan of experimental and challenging technologies but yet love friendly support (as you offer).

The reason I am leaving them might be clear as of my suggestions above; is bit pricey since I needed combination of requirements that they didn't have for the price as some other hosters

Any way finally I am settling on choosing ColdFusion as my web technology which my dream to become as my job one day; I currently do C# server side in banking and some times ASP.NET.

Any one tried CFML on Railo and if which hosting?

Thanks.

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On June 21st - June 23rd, 2009, HostMySite was hit by a cyber attack. An unknown party gained access to the shared hosting services using a ColdFusion exploit and modified numerous cfform.js JavaScript files across multiple domains so that ColdFusion pages which employed the CFFORM tag also loaded a hidden iframe which then attempted to load a bloodhound virus. HostMySite was unable to immediately fix the problem and after several days finally moved the domains on the effected server to another unaffected machine. One of our clients was one such affected domain. I write because HostMySite has not disclosed the attack to its customers, even though its customers' workstations may have been infected by the virus. If you did not see the attack in-progress, and call HMS support, you would not have heard about it. For a period of two days, multiple sites were serving viruses along with their standard web content. Did anyone else experience problems during this period?

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My site was one of the ones that was attacked. I'm still waiting for some sort of information release by HMS. My local machine was infeced with the Bloodhound virus.

Hostmysite.com used to be excellent but because of their rapid growth the customer service quality has deteriorated.

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It is my understanding thus far that HostMySite has no plans to disclose the attack to its customers or the public. The real question is, how many other attacks have they kept secret? On a side note, four weeks ago I found one of our HostMySite ColdFusion sites was serving raw ColdFusion code to the browser. Apparently ColdFusion wasn't processing the IIS requests and IIS was just serving the ColdFusion source code for the world to see. This problem also went uncorrected for several days until HostMySite finaly moved the domain to another unaffected server. Although their customer service is responsive, the lack of disclosure and accountability has become a serious concern.

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Mike - Thank Goodness someone else brought this up! I thought I was the only one!! 3 of my sites all went down on the 21st and I spent almost a WEEK trying to get them sorted out and up and running again!

It was SO frustrating working with HostMySite on this issue. They kept skirting around the issue and trying to make out as if it was something else. They kept telling me the problem was the symptom (e.g. DSN not working) rather than the cause (the bloodhound virus).

I actually managed to get a screenshot of the injected Javascript on one of my webpages. Even after showing them this they remained silent saying they were looking into it! Only when I specifically showed them the modified source code did they (half)acknowledge there was a problem. I had to follow up with them for more than FIVE days to get everything up and running again. Only once I contacted them through their live chat did they speed up the action.

And like Mike said - they never notified anyone about the problem. Only after prodding them and prodding them and asking them specifically if the problem was javascript being injected and the system being infected with the bloodhound virus did they acknowledge. Thank goodness my anti-virus picked up the trojan attack otherwise I'd be screwed right now.

Very unprofessional service from HostMySite. I had such good faith in them until this incident and now that good faith has gone straight out the door. You can not understand how frustrating it is to feel helpless with no one responding to your support tickets. I have FULL transcripts of every email ticket and screenshots of the affected site, so they can't deny it either.

At this point I'm just happy to have the issue sorted out and don't even want to waste any more time trying to get answers from them. The whole issue has just left me drained.

One good thing has come out of all of this though. I have found two other great Coldfusion hosts since that episode that I'm currently piloting my sites on and things are going great:

1)Hostek.com
They have a $5 CF plan which I thought was too good to be true. I thought what the hell, whats $5 and gave them a try. All I can say is WOW! They are faster than HMS and besides anything else $5!!!! Compared to HMS's $30! And support's pretty decent as well. I was able to get a test version of my site up with them within 2 days. And you'll be glad to know they fully support Sava / Mura CMS. HostMySite does not.

2)KickAssVps.com
I took a $35 VPS account with them specifically for setting up a dedicated box for open source Coldfusion (Railo) websites, running MySql and Railo (this is a first for me - I always used to use MS SQL and CF8).

Although they took some time with the Railo setup as it was new to them, they fully accommodated my needs and they allocated a support staff to my ticket who worked on getting Railo 3.1 (which is fairly new) integrated with the VPS as quickly as possible. I now have a VPS box with 1GB of RAM (more than enough for Railo,which uses almost half the memory CF does) and 10GB of disk space for $35/month - not bad.

In summary there are definitely a few more feasible options available now other than the typical Crystaltech / HMS / Gearworx options.

Do your homework and you'll find good deals. I have been forced to show around LOTS due to the nature of the content of some of my websites and can honestly say I have experience in most of the hosts you all are dealing with.

HostMySite deserves credit for being a good host in the past. But this last incident and their higher prices have expanded my horizons for the better and I'm in the process of moving to a new hosting family :)

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Another thing I should have mentioned... I FTP'd into my site a few months ago and on accident clicked the root folder. Once I was in the root, I was confused that I could see all these different folder names. I had no idea which folder was mine so I started opening random folders.

I was able to open every customer's code folder. That's right. If I chose to be evil I could have simply right clicked and selected delete.

I called HMS to let them know and they responded with. "Oops." They did end up protecting the folders but I seriously couldn't believe I was able to navigate like that.

I really wish Hostmysite.com would step up their game. Perhaps since they got bought out by Wachovia they let their attention to detail slip.

Also, unless you get a manager their support staff is rude.

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@Paolo,

As I noted back in May 2008, CrystalTech has been very solid for me since I left HMS, so give them a look as well.

- jfish

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@jish.

I agree - I never had a problem with Crystaltech. I had to leave them only because they didn't allow adult content. :)

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HostMySite.com is the best ColdFusion web hosting platform that I have used. There technical support is like no other. I usually have someone on the phone by the 3rd or 4th ring.

However on occasions I do receive NULL pointer values from the database... but I worked a simple hack to get around that. I do recommend them by far... you should seriously try them. They are a little pricey considering PHP and other free languages but the will win you over with technical support.

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Jody, out of curiosity what was your solution for the NULL pointer values? I've noticed that happening on our development server and my theory is that it's ColdFusion attempting to reuse a datasource connection after a MySQL ( or other db ) has been restarted ( the error happens once, on the first serve directly after a db restart ). Short of wrapping every query in some kind of try catch I haven't come up with a real solution. Thanks.

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@David

For the most part you are correct.

Being that the website that I developed is very simple and doesn't have a lot of functionality.
( It's Just a Hotels Website ). I came up with a solution to grab the current request and store it in a variable.

I then pass the variables through a cflocation which redirects the page with the same request until the page returns the data.

If you have a lot of information being submitted I suggest trying something very simple and thats to store the submitted variables into an array and then store that array into a session variable and then do your refresh of the page automatically
then pass the values from the array to the DB query... Trust me it makes more sense in my head and coded out... ( I will code something and then post it or a link to it for you to see as an example )

Okay here is another solution for you...

Assume that you have this type of blog. Okay.

Now assume that you do receive null pointer values it would be a lot easier to pass the information back into the form and have the user just hit submit again... you could even have an alert box that says... ( Click Here to Submit Form ) and once its clicked just auto submit the form using javascript or just have a javascript code that automatically submits based on if the data returned null values or not.

*( once again I will code a quick example and post it or a link to it on here for you)

* Quick Note.... If your content doesn't change I highly suggest you to catch your pages. Catching can be your friend if used properly.

I apologize if this doesn't make sense as I wrote it very quickly but the code will make a lot more sense once it is written.

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Jody: No, that all makes perfect sense. Thank you.

I'm actually running all dedicated servers so this won't be an issue in production luckily. I was just curious as to how you solved it. Great solutions.

Thanks again.

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I just received a mail from CrystalTech.com this morning that might explain that huge downtime a lot of us experienced at HostMySite a week ago.

Considering that HMS did not offer us any explanation for the WEEK of downtime, I will take the liberty to speculate and say that this was probably a possible cause.

Before I paste the mail contents from Crystaltech, let me just state that the owner of this product, CfWebsStore, provides a fantastic service and this should not be any deterrant from using her software. Just the fact that this mail was issued shows that the author is proactive in maintaining solid and reliable code.

Here's the mail:

"
Dear Customer,

We wanted to make you aware of a potential security vulnerability in the popular ColdFusion shopping cart application CFWebstore that allows someone to upload a shell script to a vulnerable site and gain root access to the server. The blog post below gives more details and mentions that there has been a recent outbreak of attacks on servers running this application.

http://www.cfexecute.com/post.cfm/cfwebstore-file-upload-vulnerability.

We'd like to point out that we have already taken steps to minimize the potential for compromise to the server itself. However, we suggest that you take a look at the following blog post to better protect your individual website from this type of attack (it is from the developer of CFWebstore):

http://blog.cfwebstore.com/index.cfm/2009/6/30/A-Code-Snippet-to-Help-Protect-Against-Attacks.
"

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Thank God people towards the end of the comments started pointing out how bad they are. When I first saw Ben Nadel comment I thought, "What the hell is talking about, they are the worst?" Then I realized that they use VPS's or dedicated servers, so they are in the minority of Coldfusion sites that are hosted. I guess HMS does a good job with that. The majority of Coldfusion sites are on shared hosting. This is where HMS has been a disaster.

The entire year of 2009 so far has been nothing but compromises. This is just a tidbit from the other day.

"When: 7/9/2009
What: Important information regarding your web server
Impact: High
Details:

This morning we identified a security issue regarding an elevation of privilege on the Windows server that hosts your website. We have identified the vector of the attack and have remediated the issue. We have also removed the injected code from all affected sites. All sites have been moved to a new server installation and all sites have been brought online. All steps have been taken to ensure the integrity and security of customer data.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you and your customers. Thank you for your patience and understanding."

The Good: They have been TRYING all this year to fix everything.

The Bad: It's not working!

30 clients all over the US, all hosed. Keep in mind many don't even use a database, so HMS "It's a SQL injection attack" doesn't apply here.

Peace and Love

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@Bobby,

Like you mentioned, I have a VPS. I am happy to report that it has been great even since I posted this and the customer service continues to be very fast and helpful.

I cannot speak to shared hosting. I am sorry that you are having such experiences.

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Here we go again with HostMySite and the seefusion ThreadDeath errors. We've been dealing with this all day long on a client's shared server.

Again, The HostMySite tech said "I looked at it and it seems to be working for me."

Well, I've been getting about 5-10 error message reports from the server all day long since his reply (I have it set up to cfdump and e-mail me the errors). I created a new support ticket and have been e-mailing every single error message to them all day long.

It's been 7 hours and still no reply. I'm sure I'm pissing someone off, but I'm going to keep e-mailing these until something happens.

Seriously, their support is a joke. I really wish there was a decent hosting company on this planet.

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@Doug

I've been working with Coldfusion since 1996. The only company that has been flawless for us is edgewebhosting.com.

I read threads all over the place and I'm surprised how little I hear people mention edgewebhosting. The clients I have at HMS usually have already signed up there, so I have to work with their sites there. Anybody that asks me for a recommendation, or that they just tell me to choose the company, always edgeweb.

Way back in 1996 I was with a small company that went out of business in NY, but since about 2000 I've been happy with edgeweb. They are a little more expensive for their shared accounts, but in my opinion this is a case where you get what you pay for. I know they always have a booth at that CFUNITED if you go.

Hope it helps!

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@Bobby Svengal

Thanks, I will check them out. Money has never really been the issues for the hosting. HostMySite was a little more expensive than CrystalTech, but it seemed like everyone was recommending them. I've moved two clients over and I got to say that I'm not going to move anymore. Both clients are having the dreaded ThreadDeath errors and HMS doesn't seem to be able to care about it or know how to fix it.

And just to give everyone an update on my current problem. I wound up setting the Application.cfc to send HMS all the threaddeath errors automatically, there were about 5-10 an hour. We didn't hear anything from support for 2 days, so we called them up. They said that there main support guy was going to be in that evening to take a look at it. And that that they thought it was a database issue.

After another two days (with continued threaddeath errors) I received an e-mail that said "I've found the problem on the server and rectified it. If you have any further questions or issues, contact us and we'll be glad to assist you." 5 minutes later the ticket was closed and 30 minutes later 5 ThreadDeath errors came in.

I really don't think these guys know what the hell is going on and at this point I'm just going to keep sending them the errors. But in the meantime, I'm going to start looking into other hosting companies.

Sad really.

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Just to follow up, for those playing along at home. I am still having major issues with HostMySite.com. The problem mentioned above is still going on and at this point, its not looking like I will be recommending them to any of my clients in the future.

The above message was posted on July 17th, this is now July 24th. That's 7 days that my clients site has been crashing, constantly. Their support is a complete joke. No communications on there part at all. You have to call them to have them respond, but even then they don't know what's going on.

As of right now, I have 2 clients with them, but I will be removing them as soon as I find another hosting company. I truly didn't believe I could find a company worst than CrystalTech, but HostMySite.com wins that title.

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Hahaha - this is sooo funny!

I'm busy downloading my database and website files from my HostMySite hosting (to move away from them), when all of a sudden the FTP transaction cuts out and my connection to their Control Panel dies!!

Then your Blog Reply about them constantly being down lands up in my Inbox. So I thought it's funny that they're down as it arrives, and decide to post about it here on Ben's Blog, when his site is down too hahahahaha!

Only now, 3 min later are they (and Ben) back up.

I am actually spending my weekend moving away from them. I can't handle this sort of disservice.

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@ Paolo - I feel your pain. In another life I would find this funny, but for a company who's business it is to HOST WEBSITES, it downright sad the quality of service you get.

In my 13 years of dealing with hosting companies, I can truly say that I have never dealt with such an unprofessional company, ever! CrystalTech was bad, but at least they communicated what they were trying to do. HostMySite tech support ignores me, does not provide feedback and either lacks the skills to manage a hosting company or just doesn't care enough to bother with a "squeaky wheel".

Seriously, if one of my clients had a major problem, I would never, ever, ignore them for over a week. If for some reason, I couldn't get to it immediately, I would communicate that message to them and I would be damned sure I get the problems resolved. Why, because I realize that I will lose their business. Apparently HostMySite does not subscribe to this this simple business philosophy.

BTW: since I posted my last message I have recieved over 25 java.lang.ThreadDeath error messages.

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@Paolo,

I've never had a bad experience, if a problem occurs it usally resolved within 10 minutes. I have mulitplie sites hosted with them. They have excellent support but the price is a little high but you get great service for it.

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@Jody,

Sure - and if you read my previous posts, you'll see that up till about 2 months ago I used to rave about them too.

But recently that's changed.

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@Paolo,

I hear you P. Things do change I understand that. I use to be with a hosting company ( not giving them any advertisement )that I thought was absolutely wonderful then one day I go to log into my account to review the error log, and other various things to only realize that the server had flucked up and changed all my application.adkjflad to Epplication
boy was I peed

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Jody! I filed this ( null pointer datasource issue ) as a bug with Adobe and they've fixed it for ColdFusion 9 as of this morning! Woohoo.

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@Tariq

Good one. I find that funny myself. Come on, you can click on Coldfusion 8 after all...

I can assure you, the out of date info on the website in this case has no reflection on the quality of this company.

I have nothing to do with edgeweb, so I don't care, but it doesn't change the fact that I've been using cf hosting since 1997, and since 2000 edge has never had a single coldfusion hosting disaster like hostmysite. That being said I've hosted at cfdynamics with success as well.

All I can tell you is try them, you'll be very happy. Edge also has a $200,000 IDS that has helped prevent them from getting owned by hackers that have had their way with hostmysite shared hosting.

BTW, I was just at CFUNITED, no Hostmysite, just Edgeweb and Media3. Edgeweb has always been a sponsor.

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We've been with HMS for a few years now. Overall I'd give them 8/10. We have a VPS Pro, and a couple of shared sites (low traffic).

Sure, they mess up sometimes; but generally they fix it quickly. And they don't always come clean as to *why*, which is frustrating, but we live in such a litigious society I guess I can understand that.

Support quality has definitely fallen; the good guys are really good, but they added a lot of greenhorns recently. My biggest bugbear with support is an assumption that our code is at fault (which may be true 20% of the time). Well, they do have a lot of noobs hosted there, but I think they need to better differentiate between noobs and a years of experience!

The one thing to look out for is that they tend to overload servers, leading to outages. Our current 8-way us running at 60%+ av CPU, and we have to cap our CF/SQL memory to run in the 2G partition. It seems every year or so we have to kick and scream about overloading, they move us to a clean server, and the cycle starts again....if you can afford it, go to dedicated server(s).

So are HMS golden? Less so recently. But they are still above average. But recently...only just.

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I've been shopping around for a ColdFusion VPS option for our nonprofit and this blog post + comments has been a big help. However, it's hard to get a good idea of the consensus behind the best CF VPS provider at the moment. HostMySite seems to have gotten rave reviews until this year, and their merger with Hosting.com leaves future service questionable.

Are they still the go to company for ColdFusion VPS?

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AD,

IMHO, too soon to tell. What I can say is that I had an issue with our VPS yesterday. Initially a hardware NIC problem, which somehow corrupted the virtualization software. They spotted the problem without my "helpful" call, and were already working the issue. 1hr downtime had me pulling my hair out, but sh*t happens, and they were working the issue and restored it as soon as possible. So so far, I have not seen any reduction in service. In fact, now they are bigger, we may even see superior offerings - e.g. I saw a lot of new stuff being advertised, like a cloud environment. With bigger datacenters (if they are smart) they should able to be better than a smaller hosting service (more redundancy, bigger/better storage arrays, etc). FYI, I estimate we have 6-8hrs unplanned downtime a year.

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I've been using www.HostNexus.com for over a year now, a few months back they had a huge revamp of their site and options!

Very cheap and i've not had many problems with them, their customer support is brilliant and their live support has never been off when i've gone to speak to them!.

If any of you are temped to sign up, use this link: http://www.hostnexus.com/104.html $50 affiliate program ;)

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Paul M: Thanks for the input. I guess right now I might as well go ahead and jump in with HostMySite/Hosting.com. Even after days of searching I can't find thorough examinations of and comparisons with other hosting providers. :/

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I wanted to follow up with my experience using HostMySite. First of all, I want to state that I think there quality of service really depends on the type of site you are hosting with them. Just by reading this thread you can tell that some people are having problems and some aren't. MY personal experience was horrible. Matter of fact I will not be using them for any hosting from this point on.

I think that before you go with them, you need to ask yourself what type of site are you hosting. If you are hosting a site that receives a decent amount of traffic (Say anywhere above 25,000 page views) then absolutely stay away from HostMySite. But if you need hosting for a relatively small site, then what the hell, go for it. Wether it's VPS or shared, I don't think it matters as long as it's a small site without a lot of traffic.

With that being said, I had nothing but problems with HostMySite and their support is the worst I've ever encountered. They never could resolve my issues (We had a site down for over a month). They first blamed the code, then they said it was the database server, then they said their top "tech" guy needed to look at it, then they said it was because we were on shared hosting so they moved us to a VPS solution, then they said they didn't know what the problem was and left it at that. That my friends is not a sign of a good hosting provider.

We wound up moving it to Hostek.com and I swear it was like going from night to day. So far Hostek has been nothing but spectacular. Now, I'm not going to fully endorse them just yet, it's only been about a month and a half, but so far I'm very happy with these guys and their hosting plans are cheaper.

I have about 40 clients hosted at CrystalTech, HostMySite and now Hostek. When my clients on CrystalTech and HostMySite need to renew I plan on moving them over to Hostek.

Hope this helps everyone else looking for a solution. This thread seems to be the #1 source for ColdFusion hosting.

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Doug: I took a look at Hostek and they seem wonderful except for one problem and that is they apparently don't provide any software support, only hardware. Perhaps I have the wrong impression but doesn't that mean that they also wouldn't be able to help resolve a problem if it's a non-hardware problem related to the code or database server? Or do I have the lingo mixed up?

That sort of support, which HostMySite/Hosting apparently provides albeit not well according to you, is critical for us because our developer isn't always available at the moment. That's something we definitely hope to change down the line but for now we would need to be able to call support and have them take a look at the site itself in the event of any problems where our developer can't be reached.

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Hi - After an extensive research I finally settled down for HostingAtoZ. I'm really amazed at their quality and immediate support. Very inexpensive and very nice options...I haven't tried them for huge web applications but for few of my simple websites/applications that are built on CF 8, FarCry 5.1.8 and SQL 2005. I have no complaints till now and would suggest that you at least give it a shot!

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Okay, after establishing that a VPS is probably overkill for our needs and doing more research, we've settled with Cartika's shared CF offering. They seem to have a very solid reputation as a hosting company and get generally good reviews. I hope they'll hold up, and I'll check back after a while to describe how service has been.

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This is great thread - thanks to all who have shared their experiences.

I wanted to share ours. We have been with CF for the last 10+ years and have tried several service providers (most shared and few vps hosting)

1) www.lfchosting.com (1999)
- shared plan CF 5 (or 4 may be, dont remember)
- slow but mostly reliable, but then had several outages and hence we left
- reasonable price

2) www.hostmysite.com (2000)
- shared plan CF5
- excellent customer support
- lot of downtimes per day (probably because of other sites hosted on the shared server)
- a bit pricey

3) www.hostnexus.com (2001)
- shared plan CF5
- unreliable with too many downtimes
- generally good customer support (only via email)
- a bit pricey then

4) www.hostmysite.com (2002)
- vps plan CF5
- excellent customer support
- lot of outages and was not satisfied
- a bit pricey

5) www.ixwebhosting.com (2003)
- shared plan CF5
- CF5, now CF7 (no CF8)
- slow, but mostly reliable, but they would not upgrade
- bad and slow customer support response
- reasonable price

6) www.cartikahosting.com (2006)
- shared plan CF6/MX
- fast servers and very good customer support
- somehow we had problems with mySQL and CF connectivity, so we left - would reconsider them
- reasonable price

7) www.ahphosting.com (2007)
- vps plan CF 8
- fast servers and mostly quick response
- experienced lot of outages and would deem not reliable
- a bit pricey

8) www.hostek.com (2008)
- shared plan CF MX/7
- unreliable with too many downtimes
- generally good customer support
- good price

9) www.hostnexus.com (2009)
- shared plan CF8
- started good, but now unreliable with too many downtimes
- generally good customer support (only via email)
- good price

After looking at this thread, we will add the following to our consideration list:
1) www.crystaltech.com
2) www.edgewebhosting.com
3) www.hostingatoz.com
4) www.sozohosting.com
5) www.kickassvps.com
6) www.gearwrox.com
7) www.cfdynamics.com
8) www.cartikahosting.com

Thanks & Regards
HP

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@AD,

I would appreciate to hear your experience with Cartika Hosting.

Thanks & Regards
HP

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We started off using HMS for our ColdFusion hosting many years ago, but we ended up moving to CT after many bouts of server downtime. Customer Support at HMS was good, but our site was just down too much. We even upgraded to their semi-dedicated plan, but it was no help.

After we moved to CT (regular shared plan), the up-time was much better. We would have days went by without any downtime. However, that ended earlier this year, after we moved to CF8 from CF7. I started noticing frequent downtime. It started off 5-10 minutes downtime per day, and it got worse from there. At one point, the site was down 15-30 minutes (cumulative) per day.

We requested a move to a different server, but that didn't help. Finally we upgraded to their semi-dedicated plan about 3 weeks ago. The uptime has since improved. Downtime is now about 5 minutes or less a day.

I don't know how other people feel, but to me 5 minute downtime a day is still not quite acceptable. The tech support at CT said that the problem is not with their hosting, but with CF8. He said that CF8 is really not designed for shared hosting and that they as administrator lack many tools/features for properly managing CF shared hosting.

Is this an accurate picture of CF shared hosting? If so, this is a big negative as far as ColdFusion goes. Given that a dedicated license costs a lot, shared hosting is really the only affordable way for us to use ColdFusion. But if that means frequent downtimes, we may have to look at other platforms (eg. php).

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@Uly,

I was having a very similar problem at HostNexus, however after a rather heated email they moved me, no fuss, to another server and i have to say i havent really noticed any downtime at all since. Really good improvement!

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After looking at Henry Parker's list it is apparent that many hosts have issues with CF. At HN we offer many types of hosting but I have to say that CF is probably the most challenging. We are finding that we have to be unswervingly strict with resource usage which often angers clients.

We are having great successes with our new line of Dual Quad Core Xeons running RAID 10 and all servers are slowly being replaced with this model.

It doesn't take much to overload a CF server and as clients load up domains problems can arise. So hosts need to continually juggle accounts around. We have new servers coming online all the time now so if any client is not satisfied they just need to ask to be moved and we'll gladly do it.

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As John stated and recommended, I have very similar and pleasant experience with Hostingatoz (http://www.hostingatoz.com). I host a few personal website with them. Prices are really good, uptime and support... I have no complaints so far.

I am in touch with William C., who is the main guy over there and he confirm that they are launching ColdFusion 9 hosting first week on next month. I can't wait to test my CF 9 site live on their servers.

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@Mehul,

Yes very nice people, however several downtimes per day which was not acceptable. Hence we had to move out. I am glad you are having good luck with them so far.

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@Henry Parker

What good is a list when every entry is labeled unreliable? So you're saying that you offer unreliable services to your customers who want or can only afford shared hosting? Are there any hosts that offer reliable service?

I mean honestly I am starting to become a little apprehensive here about hosting for my site. Unfortunately $25 to $50+/month for a more dedicated plan is out of my price range. To start, at least, I need something cheap, hence shared hosting.

I use Coldfusion because I know it. I would love to use PHP or some other server side scripting but I just don't know the language nor have the time to learn it. I would love to find some Coldfusion hosting that is somewhat cheap and doesn't have horrid reviews from people about weekends of downtime.

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@Craig,

I would sincerely recommend you to try hostingatoz. Its very simple and inexpensive to start and I'm sure you won't regret. But yes, it depends... I don't have any complaints and it may not be the case with everyone. Say in a month you have issues, what big deal! change your hosting provider. If not, you've got your best shot.

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@Craig,

The reason of the post is to share experiences so that others may benefit from it. Furthermore i am not the one offering services, i am the one using their services.

Most of these service providers were reliable to start with, but became unreliable down the road possibly after having more sites or if they have some bad sites using up all the shared resources and the service provider did not have the tools to track and isolate resource allocation.

I don't believe this is necessarily a CF problem - its more of a shared plan problem and the resource allocation that each web hosting service provides to each site.

If you were to move to VPS or Dedicated, you would not see these problems, but you land up paying more.

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With coldfusion shared hosting sometimes it's difficult for all providers to keep perfect up time. Cfml messed that way - even if you have an undeclared variable on your page (you may not even notice), that's enough to cause server errors and an inevitable jrun restart and pausing the hundreds of other sites on that server. I think most of these providers are missing something mine has just adopted for me after great discussion, is that if their site starts causing errors that they be notified and givin time to correct and if not corrected their account will be takin offline until they correct it. It would solve alot of this. It's realy just simple problems and communication.

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@james beuthlling,

Its not a perfect world and most of us understand that. I agree that if service providers were proactive in communications and taking immediate corrective steps, it would help tremendously.

Unfortunately most service providers (not all) deal with these issues very casually and their 1st level support simply blames your site without knowing the "abc" ColdFusion and simply restart CF server.

CF8/CF9 makes resource isolation/allocation more easier for service providers. The important thing then is for service providers to have the right expertise in there who can take advantage of the new features which would help minimize downtimes.

May i ask which service provider you are using?

Thanks in advance.

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(to henry) Im with godaddy,on shared hosting. I have found their support with me to be excellent, I dont mind waiting for an email response, because i prefer email, not phone. And their uptime is really 99.99 % its pretty good. I go months without errors or shut downs. The only problems i generally caused my self being a new in the game, stuff like weak passwords and being hacked and bad coding. All of witch they intructed me how to fix. Just be polite and understanding with the staff and it works out !!

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Thanks James (Beuthling). I saw few good comments on this post about hostingatoz and now about godaddy. I will try them out after my current contract ends. Thanks again.

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@Henry - I have to disagree with James STRONGLY!
GoDaddy is not good! They are not CF specialists and the only way you'll benefit from them is if you need hosting for a large capacity. With regards to the CF industry, they lag behind enormously and their support staff are not specialised. Also, you will find they restrict a lot of things in their CF hosting. You get what you pay for, so look at their price. There is a reason it is so cheap. Also - have you seen anyone else recommend GoDaddy? I strongly advise you to avoid them.

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@Paolo Broccardo,

Thanks for the quick post. I had heard about Godaddy before a long time, and also their issues. Seeing comments from James i thought they may have changed for good. Reading your comments appears they have not. Where do you host now? Are you happy with them?

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@Henry

Crystaltech, HostMySite and Hostek all have decent service, bar the occasional downtime which seems to be prevalent with all of them.

On average I'd also rate their customer service at a 6 - 7 which isn't bad.

Recently though, to my own surprise, I moved to Railo CFML instead of Adobe CF, which is open source and free.

I then got myself my own VPS box at Kickassvps.com and haven't looked back. I pay $35pm for a VPS box and host all my sites from there. I was virtually paying that for shared hosting with HMS anyway. Only difference is now my sites never go down.

They also offer Coldfusion shared hosting for $15PM.

Their service is top notch too. I didn't have a clue how to set up the Railo webserver and their technical staff actually took the time to figure it out and virtually install it for me.

Like I said though, if you have the patience to deal with support staff that are at times not too clued up, but will pass your request on to more senior ppl if need be and in their own time, then Crystaltech and HMS are good enough. (just to echo mine and other people's experiences though, HMS is known for downtime too)

Hope that helps!

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@Paolo,

Thanks. I've been wanting to move to Ralio, but did not take the time to actually transition.

So thank you for sharing your setup and your experience.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Okay, while two months isn't that long of a time to judge a hosting company, I'd like to update my earlier posts by saying I'm very impressed with Cartika. I've had zero problems with them thus far and their customer service is top notch, probably the best I've gotten from any hosting provider.

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- I think you would surprised how godaddy has improved their cfml, their entry level techs dont know cfml but they have more advanced techs that no exactly what their doing. And can fix any issue, they have been very helpful with me, and my less then perfect coding. And I have been with them for about 4 years. - just so you know any shared host is about 15 a month. Thats not enough to pay a good programer for breakfast. So what ever support you can get with a shared account is a bonus. And most people arnt going to go ralio - so semi private server is not an option. unless you have lots of doe to blow, and time to waist.

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Bit of a late entry but notices some conversation about Gearworx and thought I'd add a comment.

Was with them early 2009 and hated every minute. It was shared hosting but I think it gave a very good indication of their customer service abilities and even their infrastructure offerings and service levels.

I wrote a post about it here: http://frieswiththat.com.au/post.cfm/web-hosting-you-get-what-you-pay-for

Since then I have moved to http://www.gowesthosting.com/ - they offer great prices and no restrictions on CFML tags and functions. Overall I'm really very happy with them and don't see myself leaving.

Like I said, late entry but hosting is always an ongoing topic and someone might find the GoWest Hosting option helpful.

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@Steve, I disagree with your comments about Gearworx. I read your blog entry and all I can think is that you've taken it personal. I don't know of your experiences but, really? What's the point of telling folks that you hated every minute of it? After all, you chose them! Besides if the "initial" contact was mediocre, why did you choose to go with them?!?

I try to post positive notes about most of my web hosting experiences. I've been with quite a few, and I've had my fair share of problems but, I just move on as fast as I can. This isn't a personal relationship that I've invested in, I pay for a service, I don't get the service that I expect, then I move on. There is no point to go on a negative posting spree!

First off, I have a Coldfusion 8 VPS server from Gearworx. I've been told that they'll upgrade free of charge when they have 9 in place.

Their customer service is okay. They don't provide phone support so, what? I've dealt with fortune 500 companies that provide phone support only to place me on hold. Not having a self-served phone service doesn't demonstrate the lack of customer service. I didn't bother asking them why because I got my emails answered within a an hour.

I initiated a pre-sales conversation with Gearworx regarding the VPS prior to my order. Their response rate was decent. Was I hesitant? You bet! There is nothing worse than confirming what others have already printed on this website as well as others, but, I was pleasantly surprised at what I found out. Mind you that I purchased a larger ticket item that provides more sales to them and I'm sure that helped me get more attention. With that in mind, I'm going to go off the tangent and say that CF is not best suited for their shared hosting since its so damn cheap!

I also challenged them to answer why they have so many negative reviews on the boards. It seems that they made a few mistakes along the way that came back to bite them in the arse. The one person I was chatting with, Ben (I guess he's support manager), explained why, which I'll refrain from regurgitating here.

I have RDP access with control over the CF administrator. Again, their shared hosting provides minimal support while the VPS provides the gamut of features in CF server. The little support I've been provided from Gearworx has been fine.

Would I recommend them? Sure, if you go VPS but, that's just me. You practice due care and due diligence and take everything with a grain of salt.

Enjoy!

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@John Thanks for your comments regarding Gearworx, good points too.

I did not mean to bring a negative tone to this post and have read other comments above advising people to avoid hosting companies based on their experience and others promoting the same company based on their experience.

I apologise in advance, the below comments may be a little off the topic of this post.

My experience with Gearworx was with Shared Hosting and not VPS. It did start out nicely with pleasant communications with Ben (a nice guy). As you said I did choose them, but my opinions are expressions of regret due to a lot of frustration and wasted time.

After a short period with them it all went south. Settings and configurations were either lost or overwritten or not set up properly from the start, applications on their end were not syncing Parallel systems, I was getting licensing expiry errors regarding the Parallels system, I could not add domains and data sources. Tickets stayed unattended for very long periods of time, nearly 3 months in one critical instance (this was happening for other people too not just me). This is why I had mentioned alternative was to contact them; to call them to find out what was happening and gain a little perspective instead of feeling left out in the cold - email/ticket support consisted of extended periods of silence from their end. I would have loved to have moved on quickly like you said but there was the issue of not being able to extract data from my database in a backup due to errors (Ben had to end up extracting it and sending it to me).

Over all my experience was terrible, but it was *my* experience. I know others that experienced similar - with the same shared hosting. Only toward the end when I was leaving did the silence break and I was able to find out about various system issues they were struggling through that had cause the various problems I had experienced. I feel sorry for Gearworx, I really do think they were bitten in the arse by a few things they invested in.

If VPS hosting with them is great for you, then awesome, people should take note of your comments and look into it. I have heard rumblings of services at Gearworx having major upgrades and getting better so if someone was to post about a great shared hosting experience with them then that would also be great as it would show they are listening and taking action to get things in order.

All the best with your service. I'm super happy where I am now with CF9 at GoWest and everything has been great 'out of the box'. I'm sure Gearworx is now getting back on track and heading in the right direction, all the best to them in 2010 as well.

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One issue people are not talking about here is downtime due to hacking attacks. My existing ColdFusion host has been awful. Their blacklisting approach has banned whole countries, and has even banned me from accessing my own server.

Which host is the best for handling security and not getting hacked?

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We've just had another client on shared hosting with HostMySite (now Hosting.com) who had their site hacked. Here is Host My Site's response to our complaint / inquiry:

"This was likely a common exploit of the FileSystemObject component (which we must enable for our customers). This is a fairly common low level exploit that unfortunately cannot be prevented in a shared hosting environment. It's considered low level because it cannot overwrite existing content, it does not allow them access to your existing data, and it relies on exploiting IIS default document setup to have their uploaded content display instead of your homepage. The reason this occurs is when one of the other clients on your shared server uses the FileSystemObject component on their site insecurely (not checking referring url or passing variables without validating), someone can write a script to exploit this component to upload content to any site on the server. Due to the way the Microsoft IIS assigns user permissions and the way we must setup application pools in the shared environment, there's no real way for us to prevent this, other than educating the clients who write the insecure code and to edit your default document setup in IIS."

SO... TAKE NOTE... HostMySite can do nothing about other users writing files to your web site in the shared environment...and they consider it to be "fairly common" and "low level".

FYI...our client's site was 100% ColdFusion. This can happen to your site regardless of your own diligence.

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Mike,

This behavior sounds very similar to how CFXHosting, the former Hosting.com, treated us in their shared environment back in 2006. It's amazing that they haven't changed a bit. I strongly urge you to move elsewhere. Cartika has been a fantastic host for my nonprofit and the one time I experienced an issue, Cartika had already learned of it and fixed it by the time I called.

AD

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Things to avoid those foreign hackers - i have had my share - grrr !_!

1 - You always need a super duper strong password for your Hosting account - like Qu!6@h67yH9oL ya like this ( i know it's not cute or fuzzy - but it works )

2 - Change your super duper strong password every couple of months - yes every couple of months

3 - DO NOT USE YOUR SUPER DUPER STRONG PASSWORD FOR ANY OTHER SITE ANYWHERE - NOT EVEN IF YOUR MOM BUILT IT

I have more are you hungry !

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@James,

Actually, I have a question; I sometimes look at my System Event log and I'll see often that someone had like 500 failed login attempts in a row. For a while, I would check this and then add the IP address to my security file (I can't even remember where that was). But that seems extremely tedious.

Should I be using a white-list approach or something rather than a black-list approach? Or should I just not worry about that as long as these people never actually log in (they aren't even using valid usernames).

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Hi,

We are looking to change and wondering if anyone had recent experiences on any of these providers we have shortlisted:

1) www.crystaltech.com
2) www.edgewebhosting.com
3) www.hostingatoz.com
4) www.sozohosting.com
5) www.kickassvps.com
6) www.gearwrox.com
7) www.cfdynamics.com
8) www.cartikahosting.com
9) www.viviotech.net
10) www.gowesthosting.com

Our criteria is uptime and price - the site has very low volume of visitors.

Thanks in advance - HP

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Hi,

Would appreciate if anyone can share their experience with:
1) alurium.com
2) jassoft.co.uk

Thanks - HP

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@Henry Parker,

I can very comfortably recommend GoWest Hosting. I host my blog with them and the flexibility for ColdFusion is awesome (you pretty much get all CF features enabled on their shared hosting that other hosts would block). Great up-time, speed and pricing too (IMO). My experience is with shared hosting, but I'm sure it extends to private.

A big positive for me also is that they are very approachable and prompt with replies. I'd email them if I were you and I'm sure they'd be happy to answer all your questions in terms of what requirements you have. They have a big focus on CF development and hosting.

I think I've been with them for about a year now and have no motivation to change; they've been perfect for me. I recommend them to anyone that asks. And no, I do not work for them :)

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@John Manoah, still stick by my recommendation for CrystalTech. Have had nothing but good experiences on their shared servers for years now.

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Just want to mention that since the acquisition of hosting.com, service has been deteriorating. The shared servers restart several times a day. The tech support insisted that if you want reliability, you need to move up to their VPS plans. The good news is that jrun has stopped running out of memory on the VPS server (the cause of the restarts on the shared servers), but there have been three (that I know of) major outages in less than two months on the VPS platform. Back on May 2nd, when they were upgrading the storage platform, something happened to make the whole system shut down. Over 24 hours with zero access to anything. Another outage a few weeks back that lasted a couple of hours. Another one is happening right now. So far, 30 minutes with no access. No ETA on when it will be up again. So, it seems, your only options are an inexpensive frequently restarting shared server, or an expensive VPS plan that is prone to stop working. Neither seem very appealing. Maybe things will improve. My fingers are crossed.

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We've had really good success with KickAssVPS. Nothing beats having your own space and their prices are hard to beat! I've only had a minimal amount of experience with their shared hosting, but no issues.

I've played with Alurium's Railo hosting a little, I think it's a great option if you need really cheap CFML hosting and don't need any of the ACF-specific features. But I've not used it enough to know how reliable it is. I do though run a Railo site on one of my KA VPS servers and it just chugs along month after month without a problem. Railo is definitely worth looking into and the separate spaces for each web site make it a great option for shared hosting.

And just in case anyone would consider it - stay far, far away from GoDaddy hosting!

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Update: After a year and a half with Cartika, I'm happy to report that service has been fantastic since day one. Their customer service is great and the few times we've had problems, Cartika CS was on it ASAP. Highly recommended.

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@Mary, Couldn't have said it better.

Mary hit the nail on the head. I have exactly the same setup. Railo setup on a VPS at KickAssVps.com and I couldn't be happier. My servers have been running strong without incident since as long as I can remember.

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hi - u probably figured this out by now but hey why not i havent visited in a while--

""I have a question; I sometimes look at my System Event log and I'll see often that someone had like 500 failed login attempts in a row.
"""
Those failed attempts are just google, yahoo, and yes probably hackers. Their relentless

And it hard to track by ip because its always changing.

The GOogle is a password cracker like no other. It will pound your site till it gets in. or gives up for another day.You can sometimes look at google cached website pages that should be locked by a password ! he he

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Just curious to know what you think about Hosting.com terminating their ColdFusion VPS accounts on 6/1/11. Apparently to force our migration to their cloud enterprise solution or see a monthly cost increase by what looks like about 3x the current rate.

I got my notice yesterday and am considering making a move to another host. I came here looking for possible alternatives. Any suggestions???

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Sorry about that Steve. There are definitely reasons to move to the cloud, but not applications are meant for the cloud based on the price performance ratio.

My experience for the 9+ months with HOSTEK has been 8/10 - they would have got 9/10 except for the occasional restarts.

I've tried CARTIKA and they were great except they could not support the latest version of CF and hence we moved away.

I've heard about KickAssVPS to be another good option, i have yet to try them.

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Steve - you got a notice saying that existing Cloud VPS accounts are going to be terminated??? I did get a notice about a month ago saying that they would no longer be offering the Could VPS product. I called for clarification and they told me that they were just no longer setting up NEW Cloud VPS accounts.

Aside from two major outages I experienced on the VPS servers when I first signed up, they have been reliable for the past year or so. I hope they're not terminating old accounts. I don't have time to setup a new server (or the money either if it's with them... 5x the price for the same setup).

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@Henry and Ben,

Thanks guys. I'll check them out.

Keep it up Ben. We all love the insight you so generously share.

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@Chris,

I hear you Chris. It looks like I'll be migrating a few sites myself in the near future... not at all looking forward to that.

Hope this is allowed here, but below it the top portion of the email I received from Hosting.com yesterday. Apparently they are expanding that to include existing accounts. Imagine my horror when I read the subject line "(#T9xxxxx) Termination of Hosting Plan - optimumts.com".

After six months of analysis, Hosting.com management has come to a difficult decision that impacts you and your account. As of July 1, 2011 Hosting.com will no longer offer the CloudVPS ColdFusion Windows VPS Plus plan to new customers. In addition, we must drastically change the existing plan offering to ensure we can continue to offer the same level of support you have become accustomed to receiving. As a result, we are providing two options to you:

Option 1: Remain on the current plan, with the current configuration at a new price point - Hosting.com will continue to service your account at the new price which starts at the end of your current term.

Your new price will be $1349.64 per Quarter
The new price will take effect 7/11/2011

Option 2: Migrate to Cloud Enterprise - an expandable and highly available solution that can scale to meet your business needs. Monthly pricing starts at approximately $165 per virtual server.....

The message goes on but that's the most interesting part of it.

I'll be looking into the railo options you suggested as well.

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I have not gotten that email yet. I really hope I don't. When I asked about the that I had received, they said they wanted to focus on the higher end customers. I'll be angry when I get the email. I'll write a letter to their CEO, but I'm sure it will fall on deaf ears.

I'm also looking at http://macminicolo.net

They hook your Mac Mini into their network and you pay for bandwidth. Maybe that's the best way to avoid all of this nonsense moving forward.

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@Steve,

Uh-oh, I had no idea. I have a ColdFusion VPS on HostMySite (Hosting.com). I thought they just weren't offering "new" accounts VPS stuff. I had no idea there were going to be forced migrations. I better get to the bottom of this!

@Chris,

Yeah, that was my understanding as well. I never got a notice about it; I was just investigating some hosting a while back and noticed they didn't offer it as a product anymore.

@Steve,

Hmm, I'll have to contact my support; make sure I'm not gonna get the rug pulled out from under me!

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@Ben and Chris,

Good luck guys. I've been a very quiet and un-demanding customer of theirs for several years. It just came out of left-field and hit me like a ton of bricks.

@Chris,

I'll definitely look into the macminicolo.net. That might just be the ticket.

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@Chris,

There's something adorable about the idea of a whole bunch of Mac Minis hosted somewhere. Reminds me of the time I thought it would be funny to have a "Flash Drive" farm :) But seriously, though, that's a cool option. Plus, it seems pretty reasonably priced.

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For whatever it's worth, I've moved my site to Amazon EC2 using Ubuntu / Apache (for static content) / Railo (cfml engine) / Tomcat (java server) / MySQL. It took a couple of days to freshen up on my command line skills, but everything is working just fine. Best thing is, the entire software suite is free and the hosting is going to cost about half of what I'm paying Hosting.com. For around the same price, I'm going to have two servers, one in their Virginia data center and one in the California data center just in case one goes down. Yeah baby :o) If you're attached to Windows, you can do that too, but for more money. The coolest part is that you can create a bunch of virtual machines on your own and throw them away whenever you want. You just pay by the hour. Mine is 1 cpu with 1.7 gb ram for about .08 cents per hour. Awesome.

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I just got an email from Hosting.com (formerly Host My Site) about my VPS. The price of my VPS is going up this July by $200/month, because they are moving folks off of their old VPS plans and onto Cloud Enterprise. If I get a comparable plan on Cloud Enterprise, my cost will be over $560! From $200 to $450 or $550!!! I'm looking for a new host to handle a VPS with CF 9. Anyone have any good new recommendations?

Justin

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@Chris and Steve

Hosting.com really sucks big time for doing this to valuable customers. I'll be looking for an alternative and leaving them. I have also noticed that their service has deteriorated. The last few tickets i have put in have resulted in replies such as "we do not handle those sorts of things, you must do this yourself." I never got those responses until the last 3 months. Price goes up and service goes down...great model for success.

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@Chris,

This may be asking a lot, but I wonder would you mind setting up a guide to setting up that exact Railo config on EC2??

I would be extremely interested in it and I know it would really help a lot of people over at the Railo community. The topic has come up a few times.

Give it some thought. Thanks
Paolo

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@Paolo,

I'll try to write more later, but the short answer is:

Get familiar with Amazon's EC2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E78VKAPwmDM

I ended up choosing Ubuntu because it was less resource intensive and less expensive than Windows.

Choose an Ubuntu AMI from the Community AMI tab. Make sure it's an official build. More info here:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EC2StartersGuide

I installed the 32bit 10.04 Server Edition (if you need more than 1.7GB of RAM, use their 64bit versions). From terminal, log in to your new server (Amazon has documentation on this). The first thing I did was install the desktop environment (this is optional, but I'm still like having a GUI), apache2, mysql, and a vnc client to connect remotely:

sudo apt-get update; apt-get install -y ubuntu-desktop tightvncserver apache2 mysql-server

Once all that's installed, I started the vnc server.If you want to log in as the root user, you first should:

sudo su

...then

vncserver

I'm on a Mac, so I used 'Chicken of the VNC' to connect.

Download the Railo installer here (I used the Tomcat / Railo version):
http://www.getrailo.org/index.cfm/download/

This will install Railo / Tomcat running on port 8888. You can install your app in Tomcat's default directory and everything should run ok as long as your browser is pointing to port 8888. I wanted to use Apache for the basic stuff and only Tomcat for cfml. To do that, find the Apache Default config file at /etc/apache2/sites-available/ and change the top part to:

DocumentRoot /opt/railo/tomcat/webapps/ROOT
<Directory />
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride None
</Directory>
<Directory /opt/railo/tomcat/webapps/ROOT/>

... all of the rest can stay the same. Then you should have Apache serving the static files and Tomcat/Railo serving the rest.

The Railo web admin interface is familiar if you know ColdFusion already. So far I've not had any issues with my site. CFChart is noticeably uglier, so I'll probably switch to something else for that.

There's an active Railo group in Google Groups.

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@Chris,

Thanks for the info. The reason I asked for it is also because I am currently a Railo and MYSql user on a Windows VPS at KickAssVps.com (who are great by the way) but have been meaning to move over to a completely open source solution using Amazon's cloud infrastructure.

Your help will really aid guys like me that have no Linux or Amazon experience. And let me tell you that there are a lot of guys over at the Railo Google Group that would like to make the transition too.

So thanks for the info. Are you on the Railo group?

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@Paolo,

I just joined, but I figured everything out on my own before they approved me. I'm sure I'll need to go there eventually.

For anyone else thinking of switching over, it looks like none of the flash tools exist (cfdocument type flashpaper, cfchart type flash, cffileupload). I can live without that, but maybe someone needs it. Some of my cfdocument files with css are not rendering correctly either.

I still have not received a notice from Hosting.com about my VPS server getting turned off. Ben, have you yet?

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@Chris,

I am interested to know how you set up the backup. How do you make sure that the backup database is synchronized with the main database? And how do you manage the DNS to automatically point to the backup server when there is a failure with the main server?

Thanks!

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@Chris,

Wow Chris. Congrats on figuring all that out on your own so quickly. I hate the thought, but I have a feeling I'll be right behind you struggling to figure it out. It is very comforting to know that someone has pulled it off though.

It seems like there's a business opportunity in there for someone. I think I'd be willing to pay someone for their time to assist with the transition at this point.

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@Min,

I haven't gotten that far yet, but I'll either explore MySQL's built in replication or (more likely) use Amazons RDS service. They host your MySQL database(s) and you can optionally have it placed in multiple locations. Looks simple enough.
http://aws.amazon.com/rds/

As for DNS, here's the article I'm going to dive into next:
http://blog.rightscale.com/2008/03/26/setting-up-a-fault-tolerant-site-using-amazons-availability-zones/

For everyone who wants to attempt to set up their own server but are comfortable with Windows, start with creating a Windows machine on Amazon since your existing tools will work with it (Remote Desktop, etc) and then move on to Linux once you're comfortable with Amazon EC2. You're only charged by the hour for each machine you create. The micro instances (instances are their preconfigured hardware setups) are free. So if you spend a couple of hours playing around creating and terminating machines, you're only going to pay a couple of bucks. Just make sure you turn them off or terminate (delete) when you're done.

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@All, Interesting everyone is getting excited about this. I have been working on this for awhile for some projects at work. We're actually using Amazon's Linux and so far it's pretty awesome. I posted instructions on installing CF.

http://www.digitalrewind.com/post.cfm/amazon-linux-ami-and-coldfusion-9

It's the same for Railo except you just download and use their installer. I'll see if I can find time to do a Railo version I have all the notes here as I actually switched to Railo since this post.

So others don't get frustrated here are a couple thoughts for newer people working on EC2,Linux, and Railo.

* The micro instances have very very slow disk speed and throttled disk access so if you do lots of MYSQL load commands or file writes you need to get a bigger instance

* Amazon RDS has no way to do SELECT INTO file commands so if you need to export data in that manner. You have to have MYSQL on your own instance.

* Using Railo the server settings (threads, memory, etc) are all set in the container they run in (ie Tomcat or Jetty) that kind threw me at first.

* Ftp is a bear to setup inside of ETC on linux and is kinda spotty. You basically have to use sFTP which in itself isn't bad but a lot of people still use FTP.

* CFFTP on railo and coldfusion have to use Passive on all connections or it does weird failures or simply doesn't work.

If I get time to update my post I'll reply here.
Also make sure to check out the railo google group.

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Maybe one of us could create a disk image (Amazon calls them AMI's) with everything preinstalled/preconfigured and share it with everyone. You can make an AMI public. The only concern would be making sure people change passwords for all of the services.

The guys over at viviotech.net are the ones who created the Railo installers I use. I imagine they do everything for you when you sign up for their services.

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@Chris,

I thought there was an official Railo AMI, but all I see is 3.1.2 on CENTOS on the blog. I went with Amazon Linux, but I would assume that UBUNTU would be about the same. There would need to be a 64bit AMI and a 32bit AMI, but I'm not sure I feel comfortable releasing something as i am just doing research at the moment. Has anyone tried the Amazon support? I know everyone is down on Hosting.com, but they have always been very responsive to our company and I'm not sure I am ready to pull the trigger on being in charge of all the server stuff again. We have dedicated servers there, not VPS. So I hope they continute to support those.

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@All, No one has really answered the question of where one can find great VPS hosting outside of Hosting.com and Crystal Tech. VPS hosting with ColdFusion 9 is what I am looking for. And Hosting.com's new price of $500 is too damn much!!! What's up with them? Don't they realize we are in a bad economy?

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@Justin,

Did you check out kickassvps? Their plans are much cheaper than hosting.com and crystal tech. CF VPS starts at $70. However, the availability of their customer support is much inferior. They do not have 24x7 phone support and they tend to be slow in answering emails. Not sure about emergency cases since we haven't had any.

Last I checked, Crystal Tech offers CF VPS (Windows) at around $200, so that could be a good, albeit pricier, alternative. From my own experience, their support used to be exemplary, but lately I just got a feeling that it isn't the same anymore. I know this is generalizing but I think the bigger a hosting company is, the less effort they put at support.

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@Jeff, @Chris,
Thanks for those guides. I think it's going to help a lot of people that want to move to an open source option on Amazon. I too will do a setup next weekend and give it a try.

@Justin,
This whole blog post is about alternatives to Hosting.com and CT. Have you bothered reading it?

@Min,
Infact you can run Railo over at KickassVps.com on a $35/m plan instead of Coldfusion and it's faster.
My experience with their support is also a lot more positive than yours. They have always gone beyond what their duties require - I mean they set up the Railo environment for me. Who else has had that done for them? I also got immediate attention with their emergency support. I find their response times fine as well (I have hosted with Hosting.com and CT before them) and the ONLY little issue I have with them is that sometimes the first level of support seems to not know too much, which can waste time if they attempt to resolve your ticket. Let me also state that up time has been immensely more reliable than hosting.com and CT. I have literally never accessed my site and found it down. Not the case with previous hosts.

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@Paolo,
Yes, I have read it. But haven't seen any good ColdFusion VPS suggestions. But thanks for your comment.

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For anyone looking to move from HostMySite.com due to the VPS changes and price increase concerns drop me a line for some steep discounts on our VPS or Shared Dedicated ColdFusion packages to ease the transition.

We've been hosting CF since 2002, and have a tenacious support team that can help you get started moved over quickly.

jonc (at) hostek.com

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After a nightmarish two weeks trying to get a site working at Network Solutions (client insisted) I am finally able to choose my own host. Hostek wins.

Thanks Ben for hosting the blog and comments here, they helped me a lot.

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I've also seen some pretty sad falling off in the quality of Hosting.com's support, and the price increase is pretty much the final straw. Client sites all going to be migrated to a new host in the near future.

I do run a batch of small Mura sites on Hostek's upgraded shared plan (dedicated shared? Forget what they call it exactly) and they seem to run pretty well. It's a nice option if you want something better than the typical cheap shared hosting, but don't want the headache and expense of managing a VPS.

Anyone experienced using EdgeWebHosting?

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Hi Ben,
Just wondering what you think of hostmysite (hosting.com) now? I'm really annoyed. I have over $1000 in software licenses installed on my vps and less than a month to find an alternative apparently.

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@Chris,

Check out hostek.com - Have been using their services for almost 4 years now - Very responsive - Quite low downtime and since my need is not 24x7, they've worked well.

They have VPS offerings as well, which sounds like what you're looking for.

All the best!

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I've not heard anything yet about HMS closing their ColdFusion VPS accounts. I'll have to contact them as it is definitely making me nervous.

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@Ben,

I received an email titled Windows VPS Builder Plus CF Product Discontinuation. They gave me three options
1 migrate to a different host
2 continue my current service at almost 3 times the price (for up to 1 year after which I will have to choose from the other two choices)
3 switch to cloud hosting at almost 3 times the price.

Like you, I have been singing their praises for years and the tech support was excellent.

I would have liked 4-6 months notice for something like this though. Outrageous.

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@Chris,

I was recently looking for a Windows VPS with CF and in my research, two companies stood out as having excellent support: Kickassvps and Viviotech. Their offerings are fairly similar, and I ended up with Viviotech because of the great work they do in the Railo community.

I am still setting up my migration, but so far their customer support has been top notch. They are very responsive to my requests / questions even in the middle of the night. Only downside is their off-hour support is by email only.

I would suggest you contacting both these companies with your questions / concerns.

Here's my question: why are hosting companies dropping VPS in favor of cloud? Is it a cost issue? Server management?

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I called Hostmysite. They said they are getting rid of the older VPS machines on Virtuoso, but if you have the Cloud VPS Coldfusion you are ok. They no longer sell the Cloud VPS though and the new Cloud Enterprise is $$$.

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I agree about the great service. But, one of my clients used to host with them a non-CF site. Just a PHP/MySQL VPS and they raised the pricing to $240 a month for that. I switched them to knownhost.com for a lot lot less. It turns out that knownhost will install Railo or BD for you on the VPS for no additional charge. We already switched 3 accounts to them and we will convert all.

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A friend of mine was with hostmysite.com, paying something like $200 a month, around that range. He found a very cheap solution with hostek.com and switched to them (a savings of $150 + a month). I don't think it would serve most of the needs of what most developers want, the solution he found, but I think that they probably have other packages and solutions as well that would be a little more expensive than what he pays, but would be more what a developer wants, and would probably be cheaper than other solutions out there. I'm not sure about their customer service. I think he pays less than $10 for what he is doing with it.

On a somewhat related note, I have this server that is just sitting around my house collecting dust. I am currently using it for a bedside table/stool/bench (the new fad in interior decorating...functional furniture that looks like a server...oh wait, it is a server!!!)

It was actually a server that provided robust web sites to various clients. I just don't have the special skills of setting a server up. I am mainly a developer, and I know next to nothing about hardware or networking. I wouldn't know the first thing about setting it up, and would be afraid to try setting it up myself. I haven't been able to get anybody to help me with it so far. I keep meaning to, but no luck as of yet. Maybe some day, I will. I took it as payment from a company I worked for after I turned in a notice. (it was a web development company servicing a lot of clients in the area). They were changing out servers, and I wanted a server instead of pay, so I told them just to give me the server and we would call it even. :-)

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@Ben,

It would be interesting to know if they contacted you as well regarding the closure, being that you have given them so much positive praise in the past and probably referred who knows how many clients.

Are you still with HMS?

I migrated last week.

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HOSTMYSITE SUCKS AZZ FOR TERMINATING VPS SERVICE ABRUPTLY. I WAS A LOYAL CUSTOMER FOR OVER 3 YEARS AT $189.00 PER MONTH.

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Ryan,
I've been working with several HMS customers who decided to move to Hostek.com for the CF VPS service. We're finding that our ColdFusion Silver VPS solution. Reach out to me if you want help getting setup.

Jon C.
--
Jon Cavanaugh
D.B.D | ColdFusion Analysts
jonc (at) hostek.com | 918-361-0078

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Ok what is the veredict for simple shared cold fusion accounts, We are being kicked out of godaddy! @Skay Tautiva do you offer shared at m3?

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@fernando, we've been offering shared ColdFusion Hosting for many years and we're offering a coupon for Godaddy customers having to move from their shared ColdFusion which is being discontinued.

Call or email our sales for the coupon: 918-392-7870 | sales@hostek.com

If you need help getting your site moved over we will assist you for no additional charge.

Jon C.

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@fernando,
Yes we do, We are currently offering the first 3 months free with no setup for all of our shared CF accounts.
Here is a link to our shared CF hosting accounts: http://media3.net/cloudsites/cfsites.cfm
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if you would like to setup an account.
800-903-9327 ext 104

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@Jon,

We ended up going with Hostek, while getting first time setup was at first difficult, i am sure you had an overwhelming rush of sites, the staff was just amazingly friendly and helped me debug a simple cold fusion error (datasource issue). Yes, I think that was great service as I would not expect them to know my code. The service has been reliable and I am extremely happy with the price difference. I did not use Media3 or HostmySite because of the cost ( I basically had over 4gb of files but the traffic on the site is really 1.2 per month) so i did not feel that such traffic should not merit the price. For those of you looking for a good compromise of good service, price and quality, I suggest you try Hostek.com!

Thank you for all of your suggestions.

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HostMySite is absolutely sucking these days and I need to pull my sites of their shared services. Whats the latest consensus on shared CF Hosting?

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@Adrian,

I'm still very happy with GoWest Hosting. No restrictions. Excellent response to emails. Yep, I still highly recommend.

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Adrian,
I hate to hear that. If you decide to move, give us a look. CF Uptime is maintained, support is fully staffed 24/7/365. I'd be glad to set you up a free first month trial to make sure your not being charged in both places while you move. I know your looking mostly for a shared service, but if ever in need, we have VPS solutions that I'd be glad to setup for you with the same no double billing offer, while you migrate.

Feel free to reach out to me, my email is jonc (at) hostek.com.

Jon C.
--
Jon Cavanaugh
Cloud/VPS Sales Engineer

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I have run my own network for over 10 years and this year I've decided to move to a VPS solution.
I had to say it was difficult to choose between hosting providers.
At the end I've decided to give a try to hostek.com.
The performance is excellent, but the support... believe me... simply amazing!
The staff is professional and very friendly, even if I send them tons of questions before migration.
You send an email to support ... they answer in minutes and solve your problems.
Here in Italy a support like this is science fiction!

Hostek.com rocks!

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The sales team not so hot at hostmysite.com

18:20Ashley Hayward: Hello Simon
18:20Ashley Hayward: How can I help you today?
18:20Simon: looking for CF shared hosting with Postgres DB, can you help?
18:21Ashley Hayward: I'm not sure that I've ever heard of Postgres. Is it something that we would need installed on our servers, or just something that would need to work with our servers?

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2 year after we left, we get an email from HotMySite.com yesterday that says "Please Come Back-We'll Make It Up To You". Hostmysite, you screwed us royally in 2010 and we are never going back.

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Same here, although I left probably 5 or 6 years ago. Got that same message yesterday and thought, "What? You really think an email assurance is enough for me to dump my current hosting company which has *never* screwed up my server or my account?"

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Peter,

I've been with CrystalTech for years now, although I guess now they're called Newtek. Have had great support from them over the years and no problems, even on shared plans.

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Jason... thanks for the info. It may be about time for a change. Unfortunately there is some effort required in changing hosts, but the effort required to stay where I am is becoming a burden

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I'm too force to move from HostMySite from $200 they rise it to $514 all of a sudden.

After months of analysis, the management of Hosting.com has come to a difficult decision that affects you and your account. On October 1, 2012 Hosting.com will no longer support the Windows Builder Plus CF product offering. However, we are pleased to provide you with the following options:

Option 1: Remain on the current plan until October 1, 2012, with the current configuration at a new price point - Hosting.com will continue to service your account at the new price which will start on the next billing cycle after November 15, 2011. You may continue to use this product until October 1, 2012 at which time the platform will be decommissioned and your account shut down.

Your new price will be $514.08 per Month
The new price will take effect 11/17/2011

I moved to kickassvps.com ColdFusion 9 VPS, For 2 years now, no complains, support is good and they always try to help and do theirs best.

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I've been using CrystalTech.com (now known as The Small Business Authority - thesba.com) for more than one site and have been more than happy with support and service over the years. There have been hiccups but they have always done right by me and my clients. 8 years is quite a testimony if you ask me.

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I'm with HandyNetworks.com since 2002 I guess. I have 2 dedicated servers (fully managed servers) so they do all the job. Great service, good price, 24/7 support.

Gilles

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I'm looking for a new host. I see that the date of this post was several years ago. Would you still recommend HostMySite.com? I'll also check out thesba.com. A friend of mine recommended them.

-- Simone

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@Simone, Before moving to a new host, consider contacting the hosting providers you're considering. This is usually a good first indicator in general as to how responsive you can expect them to be. Second, here's some areas to discuss:

1. Support, is it 24/7 phone and email? What is the response time?

2. For VPS - Extra charges for Ram and CPU if you need to grow and how long it will take to scale.

3. Do they offer a Virtual Private Network or Load Balancing options for high-end setups (options for growth).

4. Their TOS or uptime guarantee.

5. Be sure to discuss special requirements for your site(s) to insure it will be supported.

I cannot comment about the hosts you mentioned, but if you would like to try out a VPS or full infrastructure at Hostek email me jonc (at) hostek.com

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