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I'm trying to find a hosting company. My existing host is having terrible networking problems and support levels are dropping drastically.
But trying to find a UK-based (or at least UK-hosted) Windows hosting company (shared hosting, supporting ASP.Net + php + MySql + Sql Server, with multiple domains + subdomains included) seems to be nigh-on impossible. I'd looked a month or two ago when my current host's service levels were falling, and found Brixly - which seemed ideal. But trying to sign up with them yesterday - they no longer offer Windows hosting. Today I found A2: US based, but with Netherlands-based servers; not 100% perfect, but the deal and reviews were good. Spent 40 minutes checking they did everything I needed; clicked "buy" and got "This service is out of stock". Email to support - "We no longer provide Windows hosting". FastHosts are rubbish and despite a bargain-basement headline price, I can't host the multiple domains + subdomains at a sensible price. GoDaddy likewise - they support unlimited domains + subdomains - but only a single email account (and that's only free for the first year); no free backup; REALLY expensive SSL certs (no free LetsEncrypt). UKHosting (in their various aliases, of which there are lots) couldn't even tell me what version of php they support, and I left their sales and tech teams having an argument over whether they still sold MS Sql Server hosting!
In short, I just can't find anything at a decent price. This worries me, not only from the point of view of hosting my own sites, but for the future of ASP.Net in the UK; if I can't host it at an economic price, how can I recommend it to my clients? Will I have any clients if they can't host their sites? (Tho' I'm semi-retired anyway - but I do need to support my existing clients).
FYI, I'm hosting my own company site, a hobby site of my own, a small Wordpress site for my wife's home business, a potential money-making "side project"; and then a sub-domain for each of my clients, hosting a demo/development version of their sites. I also have a couple of live clients who access webservices hosted on my server, and these are the most critical (though least resource intensive). Nothing is what you would call "high throughput"... Though mainly ASP.Net, some of these sites also include Classic ASP or php; some use MySql and some MS Sql Databases. Am currently with Fast2Host - they were brilliant about 10 years ago, but have become increasingly unresponsive (and surly) to support requests; done un-announced "upgrades" to databases and system software that have fatally broken my apps on more than one occasion; and as above have now had a run of lengthy outages due to network problems (no network redundancy, it would seem...)
In short, I just can't find anything at a decent price.
Not sure if this is allowed in the lounge but the cheapest dedicated servers I've found is at Kimsufi/OVH. If you wanted to run a Windows operating system then you would need to install the hypervisor option. You would need to administer everything yourself.
I don't know any good ASP.NET hosts, but I don't think it's dying (or dead), in fact, it's very much alive!
Hosting ASP.NET apps using a hosting company probably isn't very popular among ASP.NET users.
I can imagine a lot do self hosting or use Azure.
Perhaps ASP.NET is "too professional/corporate" compared to something like PHP, which is probably waaaaay more popular for hosting companies.
Not saying that's it, just saying it's a possibility.
I can imagine that if ASP.NET was profitable enough, hosting companies would offer it, but the problem is not the lack of ASP.NET users
Yes, it's true that Linux hosting has always been more readily accessible than Windows. What I've noticed though, during this search and over the past years in response to requests from clients, is that it's (rapidly) getting harder and harder to find cost-effective Windows hosting plans. So much so, that the great majority of UK hosts don't even bother to state that their solution is Linux-based - it's now a safe assumption. This certainly wasn't the case 10 years ago. Hosting companies are pulling out of Windows hosting at a rate of knots. That I've come across 2 in 2 days who still advertise Windows hosting but have actually stopped offering it (and not yet updated their own websites) seems to be a symptom of that.
I guess you're right that a lot of users are moving their sites into the Azure cloud. I have investigated that a couple of times, but found the pricing model to be incredibly complex, to the point of being unfathomable. Combine that with separate / additional costs for d/b hosting and a very different model for managing hosting services etc, moving hosting to the cloud (at least to Azure) is definitely non-trivial.
Self-hosting is all very well, perhaps for development / demo sites, but for production sites - even low volume ones - raises issues about network speeds, reliability, power supply resilience etc; and that's without the time involved in managing the server + op.system and configuring routers, security etc (and a self-hosted internet-accessible site must be a prime target for hackers, who could potentially wreak havoc on my home network).
Your observation that if there were profit in ASP.Net hosting then more companies would be doing it, is well made!
A lot of the subdomains are demo sites of past projects and I need to just copy them and forget about them, definitely don't want to be swapping databases or frameworks! Finding a non MS d/b is easy, most hosts support MySql (as that's used by default by Wordpress). Quite a few are switching to MariaDB I've noticed. (Fast2Host did that a few months ago, with no warning, and crashed all my MySql sites - although very close, MySql and MariaDB are NOT the same thing! (F2H tried to tell me that MariaDB was "the new name" for MySql; it's stupidity like that that's driving me away from them together with the unreliability).
Yeah, MariaDB was forked from MySql by former MySql developers just after the acquisition by Oracle. It has drifted from MySql a bit during the years of development since, so if you are developing to Oracle MySql, you would have to do some reconfiguration for it to work properly with MariaDB.
I feel your pain and have been through a few hosting providers but a few years ago I found HostingUk.Net. They have been excellent. I use their Developer Hosting Silver, very reasonably priced and quite flexible. I had one client where their SQL Express database needed to exceed the normal limit and they allowed it with no extra charges. Give them a lookup, I have been very happy with them. The only negative I have is that periodically my sites will go for a few minutes. This is normally down to upgrades. On a couple of occasions it's been down to someone else's processes running amok but support have always been quick to resolve it.