web host selection Help Needed

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Hi - I am really in a jam and hope you might be willing to share some
objective advice on
resolving a problem with my web hosting service.

I am a freelancer and my business relies largely on my website which
i've had hosted by
Apollo for a few years.  This past year i've had several instances
where email is delayed
randomly for up to nearly a full day.  The way i have my account
configured, my primary
business email addresses are set to forward to my Charter account

Apolllo email reliability has lately (for me anyway) developed "issues"
where they report that
their servers or whatever are jammed to capacity and mail is
temporarily backed up until
excessive traffic volume/load clears up.  In my business this won't cut

That said, i am on an annual plan which just automatically renewed -
paying around 16 bucks
a month.  They are suggesting that i switch to a newer platform to
'help' alleviate this issue.
Meanwhile, i've come to see that there are scores of hosting providers
out there since i signed
with Apollo that offer far more features and capacity - for half the
price of this contract.  I don't
really know what definitive authority to look to as far as judging
who's critically acclaimed to be
truly great or better than most, for one thing - but that would help of
course.  The main thing is,
what can i do as far as the existing commitment with Apollo if i want
to switch out to another
host.  Should i not be entitled to a refund given that they now have
regular email problems?
What's my recourse in this situation?   Beyond that, i need to just
know where a trustworthy
resource is to judge the best hosting services -- and ideally hook up
with a user-friendly host
that cares and is willing to actually HELP me to oversell migrating my
site and all properties associated with it (including client FTP
download area, multimedia
components et al).  My first impulse is that when ones' business is
dependent on reliability
and it isn't being delivered as promised, I should have grounds to get
a hassle-free cancellation...
Beyond that, as mentioned, i'd welcome suggestions on actually reliable
and caring hosts in
the same price range (or less).  When I see hosts offering literally
tens of Gigs more capacity
and all the rest of the features of Apollo at half the rate i'm paying,
it seems like a no-brainer
to switch.  AFAIK, delays of 8 hours for email to be 'handled' by a
host on a random basis
are not something most people routinely expect, or deserve - if their
business relies on as close
to "real-time" delivery as possible.   Alternatives and Advice Much
Appreciated from those more
experienced than me in this.


Mike E

Re: web host selection Help Needed

mike e wrote:

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<description of problem snipped>

You may need to re-think your criteria for finding a host. Most hosts
advertise X amount of disk space and Y amount of transfer plus Z
features. What you really want is a host that does not oversell. You
aren't going to find that at a cut-rate host.

If you can tell us a little more about you needs, we might be able to
help you better. How much disk space? How much transfer? How many users
to expect to have using the site at any one time? How many emails do you
get on an average day? Do you rely heavily on server side scripts or

Re: web host selection Help Needed

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Hi Scott - sure - i am a voiceover talent - (fulltime freelance-
announcer/narrator -).  Actually you
can check it out at: www.MikeShepherd.Net if you like.

The site doesn't consume or need a lot of space for text/design content
but primarily serves as a
client resource  to access audio demos (download or streaming)...and,
for finished projects, use of my  FTP for client-download of mp3

As this is a very specialized, business-to-business situation, Traffic
tends not to constitute more than a few individuals at any one time.

Email volume is conservatively in the range of 75-100 daily on average

I can't really speak to the question of server side scripts and
databases -  There are the multimedia files in several formats... and I
would anticipate a need to expand capacity for such demo material, and
ideally for FTP "parking" space as well.

The purchased disk quota of 10050MB, transfer quota     200000MB - seems
to be sufficient.
Email volume -often including audio file or text attatchments of 1 to
50mb...and normally i send a lot
of attatched mp3s for studio delivery, occasionally .wav or .aif, but
those usually get posted to my
anon. FTP for download.  I believe I am using around 15% of my
purchased capacity at
the moment, though it fluctuates depending on FTP uploads parked for
retrieval at any given time.

Hope this helps a bit.  I really have not had any problem with Apollo
other than the email issue
I've described and cost-wise, i'd ideally prefer  something in the same
budget range provided
the stability and reliability are there.  Email, though, has to be as
"real-time-responsive" as possible  in my business given the nature of
rush-turnaround broadcast deadlines and ad agency demands.

One other note- i do not retain any email on my Apollohosting WebMail
server. I use/need only
a few unique email addresses that are associated with my DN, and all
forward to my one primary
ISP-based (Charter) e-mail address.  Hence, I do not accumulate any
e-mail on the website mail
server.  Everything is forwarded to an off-site email-box.

Thanks for any insights,


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