Caveat: there follows a bit of a moan about some poor service - but if you can't have an occasional moan on your own blog.... who know, maybe even the service I'm moaning about has people who monitor for this sort of thing! I've been using the same web-hosting supplier, Site5, for a number of years. Site5 was a good fit for me as it offered a good range of development tools and more access (SSH/SFTP) to the server than was commonly allowed by web-hosts at the time. Over the years, Site5 has been pretty reliable, and has stayed very affordable, so I've been satisfied. Lately however, I've begun to wonder if isn't time for a change. First there was the much heralded support for Ruby on Rails. Site5 was proud of its early adoption of this platform. To this day, the deployment of a Rails application on Site5 is a labour of love. I just don't happen to love the process of deploying applications - I want to create something and then get it deployed as quickly and easily as possible. I suspect there are others out there who feel the same! Recently the availability of the various sites I have hosted on Site5 servers has less than ideal. Today, I discovered that visitors to this blog were receiving an "access forbidden" message. I logged a support call - nearly eleven hours later, and three hours after upgrading the priority of the call to 'premium' by paying a dollar I got fed up with waiting and added an 'encouraging' message to the 'ticket' I had raised. A couple of minutes after this I finally got a message to tell me that a minor directory-permissions problem had been fixed. I asked how a such a problem could have been introduced as I have done anything with file/directory permissions directly, or with .htaccess files, which as far as I can tell are the only ways I could have introduced such a problem myself. I got the electronic equivalent of a shrug. Oh well. Maybe Site5 has had its day. There are plenty out there who think so now, from a cursory search. So - can anyone recommend a good hosting package? My criteria would be:

  • modest diskspace and bandwidth requirements
  • SSH access
  • plenty of support for development (libraries for popular languages - Perl, PHP etc)
  • good Ruby on Rails support
  • email accounts, or at least forwarding
  • MySQL database access

Any suggestions welcome!