Since August, 1998 - (had to look up my first invoice to remember;-)
I’m convinced I made the right choice, and believe me when I tell you I have been through my share of “ups” and “downs” since signing up.
The only things I am really “concerned” about right now are email and CPU limits. I’m afraid the 100 email per hour limit not only affects any “decent” size list you might want to run, but might also pretty-much preculde you from hosting an interactive site (one that mails email confirmations of postings to forums, notifications of new articles, order confirmations from ecommerce, etc,) that becomes even moderately popular, and I am starting to see that as a real potential problem.
I’m fearful the CPU limits now enforced will also be a problem for any successful interactive sites. Looks like dedicated hosting may be the only way to go if you have any real success. Maybe that is how it should be.
I understand their concern, but I don’t see the email limit as being a solution to the “spam” problem. There is not much use for all that bandwidth and webspace if your site can’t handle traffic, correspondence, and it’s consequences.
AOL still blocks various DH webservers, seeming without any real logic or reason. One day mail gets through, another it doesn’t. First one server is blocked, then another. IO don’t believe it is DH fault; but it sucks for customers not being able to get order confirmation emails, or acknowledgement of their form comments/'suggestions.
Value? I’m still convinced that DH rocks! I used to unreservedly recommend them to anyone needing general “outsourced hosting”, and still do on a daily basis, but now I find myself qualifying my recommendations with questions like, How many visitors do you expect? Any interactive features? How do you want to handle email? The email and CPU limits I think make what used to be the best deal going into “too low-budget” for some (many?) small business users.
DH is great while just starting out, but you would hate to have everything start to break if your business took off! I can see it now: great little site with a great product/content/etc. Discovered/mentioned by a “biggie” - "Oprah says ‘check it out’, then boom, site crashes shared server, emails containing links to confirm “sign-up” don’t get sent because more than 100 people signed up in the same hour (it could easily happen!), and all these visitors pounding on your “forum” run your CPU usage way up and gets your scripts suspended…virtual death. I can see such a scenario kiling a site long before webspace/bandwidth limits are approached. Still useful for shoving “heavy files” to limited visitors, and great for your own “virtual backup” tool, but I don’t think a user on a shared server would ever approach bandwidth/storage limits before CPU usage became the problem, particularly if the site is interactive in nature with dynamically built pages (which is the way most “modern” sites are now run). While I have always been happy with the email only tech support, and have found them responsive, friendly, and knowledgeable, I’d hate to have to wait for email only exchanges if a scenario like the one I described developed. That would suck!
LIfe has gotten more complicated. I still love DH, I’m just a bit more “nervous” now than I used to be. Maybe DH could make a “win/win” arrangement where, with prior agreement and by arrangement, an account could agree to automatic ad/banner insertion for and during any “short-term” (say 7-14 days?) “spike” caused by “great press”, internet buzz, slashdot, etc., and scale you up “short-term” to keep you breathing while things “settle”. That would sure go a long way toward calming my nerves, and I would gladly share the benefits of such heavy traffic with the provider that stands by me when/if that happens.
I can’t believe I typed all that! DH is a great host, good people, and fair with their users in every respect. I’m happy for their success and, as far as I possibly can, I’m not moving any of the sites I host here in the forseeable future.