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Thread: webnet77 hosting questions

  1. #1

    webnet77 hosting questions

    hello,

    This appears to be the default community for webnet77 hosting questions and support so I will ask my questions here. Please let me know if there is a better place to do so.

    The webnet77 hosting plans appear to have many advantages for my hosting needs, including helping to provide financial support for this community, the Bible Database and related projects, as well as offering reasonable hosting plans.

    Unfortunately, I can not find much specific information on the people behind webnet77. This is critically important since it appears that support is only provided by 'BDH' and perhaps two other people (Brent Maurer and Christopher Fraley). Is this correct? Is 'BDH' the webnet77 SysAdmin? There is very little mention of support. What is the availability, response times and technical ability levels? Is there a ticket system?

    While I found the servers are specified as having good specs, there is no indication of which specific Data Center(s) they are in. The DC is critical for speed and reliability - as ThePlanet disaster earlier this month dramatically demonstrated. Will you please provide specifics?

    I found webnet77 by looking for secure POP email hosting as part of the hosting offerings. This is a very good thing, but why do you have to purchase the most expensive shared hosting package to get secure FTP? It seems that is even more critical?

    I'm looking to initially build a small business web site and need a groupware or CRM product, such as http://www.freecrm.com/ , http://www.vtiger.com/ , http://www.sugarcrm.com/ or http://www.centriccrm.com/ . I know you don't support any of these, but do you have a problem with any of them?

    Your 'overselling' page < http://webnet77.com/overselling.html > is very good, but I wonder if it is just part of a reseller package template as you do not answer any of the questions with webnet77 specifics. Will you please answer these questions?

    As a begining php programmer, per your page http://webnet77.com/help/dangers.html - what is the procedure for having my pages vetted?

    Do you offer self-signed or shared ssl certificates?

    I would prefer to not do business with godaddy. Are you a godaddy reseller for your domain names?

    I am looking for a long term relationship with a capable and reliable hosting provider with their own servers and support staff, not just a reseller. With G-d's blessing I hope to need several managed servers of my own in the next couple of years. This is a significant and serious undertaking for me, which is why I've asked so many questions. I hope we can work together, but even if you are not the host for me I would appreciate your prayers as I work towards growing my own web site design business.

    Thank you for your time,

    Casey Townsend
    Tucson, Arizona

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    JNB, ZA
    Posts
    1,769
    You ask a lot of questions here. Some are easy, other not so simple to answer with a sentence. Here goes:

    This is critically important since it appears that support is only provided by 'BDH' and perhaps two other people
    It depends on which support you refer to. If it's simple "where do I get the latest ....", there are many people involved. From members on the board itself to our own staff. When it comes to SysAdmin as you refer to it, there are 4 of us. Myself, "Guilo" (an admin on the board) and two others.

    While I found the servers are specified as having good specs, there is no indication of which specific Data Center(s) they are in.
    That's because we use several. 4 in the USA and one in Canada (and plans for one each in UK and Australia). We've been down this road several times in the past 10 years with standby generators exploding, hurricanes wiping out an entire DC etc ... and DC's being down for days or weeks at a time. In every case we were able to migrate sites to a different DC within 24 hours or less (usually under 12 hours) ... and the reason being that:

    1. because we don't put all our eggs in one basket we can.
    2. We always do server/site backups like so: DCA -> DCB -> DC3 .... -> DCA. (It puts a massive strain on bandwidth because it is all "real" bandwidth which is the downside. The upside is we have only ever lost one site in 10 years).

    This is a very good thing, but why do you have to purchase the most expensive shared hosting package to get secure FTP? It seems that is even more critical?
    Because secure FTP requires SSH and it is available as an add-on for the webmaster package.

    I'm looking to initially build a small business web site and need a groupware or CRM product ... but do you have a problem with any of them?
    Not at all. Provided they run on PHP/MySQL, you should have no problem.

    Your 'overselling' page is very good, but I wonder if it is just part of a reseller package template as you do not answer any of the questions with webnet77 specifics. Will you please answer these questions?
    I've included some screen dumps from two different servers (see images below). We definitely do not oversell resources.

    As a begining php programmer, per your page what is the procedure for having my pages vetted?
    There is no specific procedure. Having an expert vet software is expensive and you no doubt know. We certainly cannot provide that service for free for shared hosting accounts. However, the resources referenced on that page should give you the tools you need to find the right places you can go to to find out what you need to know to write secure code. (And more importantly, the places you should stay away from to avoid bad code).

    Do you offer self-signed or shared ssl certificates?
    We only offer fully fledged signed SSL certs. This is because we are required to justify each IP we use to ARIN and they are extremely stingy with IP addresses (because they are in such short supply). If you want a SSL cert, it has to be a "real" one.

    I would prefer to not do business with godaddy. Are you a godaddy reseller for your domain names?
    Join the club! We don't use them directly, but do have an account with their business arm (It has a different name -wild west - but I think it's owned by them anyway). We have accounts with ENOM, tucows and several others as well. To be honest, they all have their problems. None are perfect.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Time's up

  3. #3

    Thank you

    Yes, and thank you for answering my many questions so quickly!

    (What time zone are you in?)

    I tried to look at the attachments, but I received an error:

    "CaseyT, you do not have permission to access this page. This could be due to one of several reasons:
    1. Your user account may not have sufficient privileges to access this page. Are you trying to edit someone else's post, access administrative features or some other privileged system? ..."


    General "I need help to get 'x' working" level 1 support is well handled by forums, but server/network issues affecting web site performance or accessibility are my big concerns. That is why I asked for more specifics about support. How do you handle covering problems 24/7?

    Yes, I have learned that WildWest is a subsidiary of GoDaddy. I'll probably keep my NameCheap/ENOM domains where they are so as not to have all my eggs in one basket in case I need to re-point them due to some disaster, but it's good to know about your back up plan and that you have enough resources to be able to move web sites from one DC to another if there is a big problem.

    Thank you for explaining that SFTP requires SSH. I thought it was ssl. Most of my web development work has been done on secure internal networks so I never had to worry about someone packet sniffing my UN and PW. I would think that FTPing into your web host in clear text would be a big risk?

    Would you be so kind as to tell me your experience and recommendations in hosting eCommerce sites? Do you have any preferences on shopping carts, etc?

    Thank you again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    JNB, ZA
    Posts
    1,769
    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyT View Post
    (What time zone are you in?)
    UTC +2

    I tried to look at the attachments, but I received an error:
    Try again. The usergroup "Members" had no permissions for attachments (weird). I changed it.

    ..but server/network issues affecting web site performance or accessibility are my big concerns. That is why I asked for more specifics about support. How do you handle covering problems 24/7?
    Each service (mail, MySQL Apache etc) on each server is monitored independently from remote locations. We are notified within 5 minutes of a failure via email and pager.

    We tried a ticket system but it never took off. Most customers still preferred email or just using the contact from in either their control panels or on our website. The longest a support question will ever take to answer is 6-8 hours. Over 80% are answered in less than 1.

    ... it's good to know about your back up plan and that you have enough resources to be able to move web sites from one DC to another if there is a big problem.
    At the end of the day, what really matters is not the size of a company or what they claim to provide but rather what intelligent contingency plans they have for disasters. The Planet disaster is a perfect example -- they probably employ hundreds of staff yet they were knocked out because of an unforeseen situation. They have "one" DC and are locked into it. We are locked into no one so we use many different ones which gives us a massive advantage over the heavyweights in that regard. This is even more true with our nameservers that we keep in US and Canada (for that very reason).

    Thank you for explaining that SFTP requires SSH. I thought it was ssl.
    I guess it can use SSL but we use SSH.

    I would think that FTPing into your web host in clear text would be a big risk?
    Not at all. They way FTP authenticates is that it does not get proxied along the way. Your session is handled directly between your IP and the server.

    ...hosting eCommerce sites? Do you have any preferences on shopping carts, etc?
    We offer 3 flavors -- OSCommerce, ZEN and CubeCart. I don't know much about the latter. OSC is the most popular although I'm a little skeptical about it since it requires "Register Globals" to be on which is a security risk. (We have it set to "off" on our servers as per PHP recommendations and you need to install a patch for OSC to use it). My choice would therefore be ZEN (even though the name puts me off).
    Time's up

  5. #5

    now one of your customers

    Of the few people that I could contact via your testimonial page, all gave you very high recommendations, without exception. Congratulations.
    (You may want to update your testimonials page - when you have the time :-)

    Despite some lingering hesitation on my part [because your web site could be better presented, and some of your answers were still non-specific [trade secrets?)], because of the above recommendations, your involvement with this forum and and your generous "first order half price" offer I have purchased your intro reseller plan.

    I still have several questions, but I now feel better asking for your time since I'm now one of your customers.

    I'm going to set up an account for one of my new domains, pinyoursocks.com, and start to learn joomla using it (rochen was my second choice web host, followed by siteground). From my reading, it appears that VirtueMart is the preferred shopping cart for Joomla. Do you have any concerns about it? Also, even though Fantastico can install joomla, many places have stated that a manual install is better because it is more secure. Is this correct?

    I'll need to purchase a ssl cert. from you when I get further along. It appears that ordering one for http://secure.pinyoursocks.com, and putting your shopping cart there is better than http://pinyoursocks.com/whatever. Is this correct?


    Once my account is set up I'll look through everything - twice! - before I bother you here again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    JNB, ZA
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    1,769
    Chris, one of our resellers in Australia contacted me and forwarded me his reply to you ... and yes, we do try real hard to look after them

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyT View Post
    Of the few people that I could contact via your testimonial page, all gave you very high recommendations, without exception. Congratulations.
    (You may want to update your testimonials page - when you have the time :-)

    Despite some lingering hesitation on my part [because your web site could be better presented, and some of your answers were still non-specific [trade secrets?)], because of the above recommendations, your involvement with this forum and and your generous "first order half price" offer I have purchased your intro reseller plan.
    The evasiveness of my replies has more to do with saying things on a public forum than keeping secrets from you. I've been doing this for many years and one thing I'm almost paranoid about is revealing anything that may be construed as "personal" on a public forum. If you have more questions, feel free to email -- I'll be happy to answer.

    Do you have any concerns about it? Also, even though Fantastico can install joomla, many places have stated that a manual install is better because it is more secure. Is this correct?
    A manual install is always better for any software. If you know how, I recommend you do. Fantastico is great for newbies but it has it's limitations and does a very "generic" install.

    Joomla is great. Excellent in fact. Just be sure to keep installations up to date.

    I'll need to purchase a ssl cert. from you when I get further along. It appears that ordering one for http://secure.pinyoursocks.com, and putting your shopping cart there is better than http://pinyoursocks.com/whatever. Is this correct?
    If you use pinyoursocks.com for the SSL then any folder (but not sub-domains) will also work. If you use secure.pinyoursocks.com then only the secure.... will work and other URL's will give a certificate warning, so it's 6 of one and 1/2 dozen of the other. Both ways have pros and cons. We use https://webnet77.net for ours so we can use it on any folder (but no sub-domains).
    Time's up

  7. #7

    subdomains or web root folders?

    Thanks again. Yes, Chris was very gracious. His Simplicity Budget looks to be a great value.

    I haven't yet come across a good explanation of the pros and cons of using sub-domains versus folders off of the root folder. Do you know of any resources you could point me to that wold help to shed some light on this subject?

    To confirm my understanding, 'secure.domain.com' would be the only directory the cert. would be good for so it would not work for 'secure.domain.com/some_folder' and/or 'secure.domain.com/some_other_folder' ?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    JNB, ZA
    Posts
    1,769
    The whole sub-domain vs. folders is a personal thing. Some prefer the one other prefer the other. Technically, the differences are minimal except that the sub-domain gets an A record. However from the server's perspective, they are both just folders anyway.

    To confirm my understanding, 'secure.domain.com' would be the only directory the cert. would be good for so it would not work for 'secure.domain.com/some_folder' and/or 'secure.domain.com/some_other_folder' ?
    Correct. Although on the server it would look like this public_html/secure/some_other/
    Time's up

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