You Bitch!
9th of December, 2023



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Hosting (Really) Matters

Reading Brian’s account of his hosting woes, I couldn’t help feeling good about my recent decision to dump Hosting Matters. I went to them for hosting back in 2002, when I’d seen how many of the bigger players were using them. I figured if they could handle the traffic generated by blogs like LGF and Instapundit, there shouldn’t be much problem with a pissant little operation like You Bitch.

At first, everything seemed great. I had SSH access, though not root, and the machine was pretty quick. I could dick around with my .htaccess files all I wanted, and was generally pretty happy with the whole thing. So, I ordered a reseller account, and began getting friends and customers to do their hosting through me, at Hosting Matters.

And then, I stopped getting emails. I only realized it at first because I hadn’t gotten spam in a day or two. Spam is sort of like a distributed, SMTP-only version of Nagio; it reminds you every now and then that you’ve got an email server running somewhere. So, I tried sending myself emails, and received neither errors nor emails; they just vanished into the bit bucket with nary a peep. I opened a trouble ticket, and received a reply a few hours later that my account was over its quota. As it turned out, all new email addresses were created with a 10MB maximum size. So, shrugging, I upped my quota in the control panel and went on with my life.

In the meantime, of course, all my customers were having the same problem, they just didn’t know it. Unless you realize you’re missing something, you’ll never know that your mailbox is full. And if you’re running IMAP, that 10MB is gone with the first batch of cat pictures your mom sends you. Any further emails that get sent your way will just be unceremoniously re-routed to /dev/null. Hosting Matters will summarily delete your data, plain and simple.

Administrators should do everythiing they can to ensure that one thing never happens: Data loss. That’s really what 90% of administration boils down to. Data loss or, relatedly, data compromise through security or connectivity issues, is the definition of failure for admins, but at Hosting Matters, it’s company policy.

Mail cannot be delivered when quotas have been reached. Quotas be can be removed by setting the quota value to 0.

Of course, that’s only half the story. Maybe mail can’t be delivered, but it most certainly can be bounced. It’s what SMTP error codes were invented for. So, I ditched them and got myself a (quasi-) dedicated server where I’m the admin. And I brought all my customers and buddies with me.

Despite the fact that they have very capable support people, and good prices, I would never recommend Hosting Matters to anyone. And it’s simply because they deleted my data for no reason, and without even having the courtesy to tell me they were doing it. Because really, not deleting my shit isn’t too much to ask for in a hosting company.



Not deleting your shit is the most important thing to look for in a hosting company! Only then should we start to worry about price, etc. Sorry you ran into that. :-(

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