Attack on EllisLab thwarted by their webhost Nexcess

Mon, 4th May 2015, 17:00

EllisLab, the software development company behind the ExpressionEngine CMS is urging users to change their passwords after hackers gained unauthorized access to EllisLabs servers. EllisLabs says that on March 24, 2015, an attacker logged into with a Super Admin’s stolen password. The perpetrator then uploaded a common PHP backdoor script that allowed a group of attackers access to the server without requiring authentication.

One of the functions of the backdoor software is to gain root access to the server. A number of failed attempts alerted EllisLab’s webhost Nexcess to the malicious activity. Nexcess immediately shut down access at the firewall level and informed EllisLab’s of the activity.

EllisLabs says “they began dissecting the server logs to retrace their steps and learn how they gained access. We went through all our files to remove what they added. We also audited ExpressionEngine, since we would need to release a patch before disclosing the attack if the breach was due to an exploit.”

EllisLab’s has determined that the the perpetrator used a Super Admin’s stolen password to log in to the site. ExpressionEngine was not exploited, the attack began from a session created using a valid username and password. Referer data reveals it was multi-national, but the source and number of assailants is unknown, as the use of Tor servers disguised the route of the attacks.

In a statement released by the company EllisLabs says

“We can’t begin to express our gratitude to Nexcess for their alertness and speed. It inspires confidence in their team and platform.”

While the attackers did have approximately three hours of access to the server, the evidence shows it is unlikely that they stole the database. Preferring to err on the side of caution EllisLabs is urging all users to change their passwords.

Nexcess Magento Hosting banner

Nexcess: Magento, WordPress, & ExpressionEngine Hosting

Mon, 9th February 2015, 21:51

Nexcess is a Michigan-based web hosting provider known for their enterprise eCommerce hosting solutions. A leader in Magento, WordPress, and ExpressionEngine hosting, Nexcess has experienced consistent growth since its early days as a 2 man outfit working out of a small garage. So while a garage could be arguably considered luxurious surroundings compared to many a humble starts of the era, these guys were running a ‘data center’.

Today the company's in-house team of web hosting experts currently provide hosting services from two wholly owned data centers in Southfield and Dearborn, Michigan, in addition to international operations based in the UK and Australia.

A random quote from the web

Nexcess' rapid growth over the past five years is a testament to the company's single minded focus on providing the fastest web hosting with the best support. A commitment to iteration and innovation allows Nexcess to offer a performance-optimized platform uniquely suited to hosting WordPress and Magento sites of all sizes.

Founded: Co- Founded in 2000 by Chris Wells, President and CEO of Nexcess and Paul Oehler.
Type: Privately Held
Company Size: Less than 50 and growing
Headquarters: Southfield , Michigan USA


Brands & Acquisitions




Magento, WordPress, ExpressionEngine, and vBulletin Hosting

Nexcess offers a full product range for Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Dedicated Servers, Enterprise Hosting, and Michigan Colocation. Additional Services include Content Delivery Network, SSL Certificates, and Domain Registration.


Hosting Solutions

Shared Hosting (4 levels of plans)
Shared Web hosting plans comes with everything you need to host a website, including email accounts, FTP accounts, access logs, a control panel, and first-class, in-house support. All shared hosting plans are available on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis. The longer the term, the more you save.

Magento E-Commerce Hosting (4 Levels of plans)
Cutting-edge Magento Secure Isolated Platforms (SIP) provides reliable, secure, and high-performance hosting for the popular Magento eCommerce platform. Each SIP includes everything you need to operate one or more Magento-based online stores. Optimized hardware and software for superior reliability and speed. Hosting options in the U.S., U.K. and Australia are available”
All Plans Include:
PCI Compliant Environment / 24/7 support / Level 3 Server Management / FREE Setup / FREE Migration / R1Soft File backups / PHP-FPM / SSH access / APC / Percona Server / Nightly Database backups.

Magento Enterprise Hosting (4 levels of plans)
Magento Enterprise Clusters are built for performance. Cluster solutions use the latest security and performance enhancements wrapped into a stable and scalable platform. Each cluster solution is custom built and optimized for Magento and includes access to Nexcess Content Delivery Network. Hosting options in the U.S., U.K. and Australia are available.

WordPress Enterprise Hosting (3 levels of plans)
WordPress cluster solutions are custom built to scale and include performance and security optimizations specifically for WordPress. Each WordPress cluster includes access to the Nexcess Content Delivery Network (CDN) for faster page loads and better Search Engine Optimization.

WordPress Hosting (3 levels of plans)
WordPress Hosting plans have the power, scalability, and security needed to run any WordPress blog. Each WordPress Optimized Blog Platform (WP-OBP) includes WordPress-specific software and hardware optimizations. Currently offering WordPress Hosting in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

ExpressionEngine Hosting (4 Levels of plans)
ExpressionEngine hosting packages are finely tuned to provide you with a high performance publishing platform. Each ExpressionEngine Platform (EEP) is scalable and secure. We currently offer ExpressionEngine hosting in the U.S., U.K. and Australia

Clustered Servers (3 plans levels)
A cluster of dedicated servers can keep extremely high-traffic websites online and responsive. The numerous web servers within the cluster work together to handle the incoming traffic, and you can add new servers as your traffic increases. Server cluster plans include one DB/file server that provides file storage and database services for the cluster. The plan also include one or more web nodes that act as the “face” to your website visitors. Inbound traffic is split among these web node servers, ensuring your site stays online and accessible. This offers offers an ideal solution to large-scale websites built with Joomla, Drupal, or basic HTML

Reseller Hosting (4 levels of plans)
Reseller hosting plans give you the flexibility of providing Web hosting services to your own clients. You can also host multiple websites and allow different users to administer each.


Unlimited and Limits in the Terms of Service (ToS)

Hosting Plans appear to come with preset terms and limits. Other terms and stipulations outlined in the ToS appear to be standard generic stuff which, at least at the time of writing, shouldn’t shock the average individual. And yes, you should read the ToS in its entirety prior to purchasing a service.


Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Nexcess will provide a minimum 100% uninterrupted transit to the Internet (as measured on a monthly basis) as well as 100% uninterrupted electricity. Nexcess will do its best to make hardware replacements on all dedicated and co-located systems, but cannot make any guarantees in regards to co-located equipment.

Should transit to the Internet or electricity become unavailable for a cumulative period up to 15 minutes beyond the 100% minimum in any month of service, the Customer can receive a credit equivalent to 5% of the Customer’s recurring monthly fees for that month for every additional 15 minutes the network or power is unavailable. All credit calculations will be based on unavailability in 15 minute increments. Outages may not be combined to fulfill the 15 minute minimum.

To claim a credit the Customer shall follow the Approved Procedure within seven (7) days of the end of the Claimed Outage.


Acceptable Use Policy (AuP)

Again everyone should read that fine print themselves but it would appear on a glance that Nexcess AuP is generic in nature and pretty much constitutes the same jargon found in the AuP of countless other web hosting firm. Nothing shocking!


Additional Information & Features

Domain Whois: Privacy is NOT enabled and contact information is readily available.

Site Migration: Migration service provides free migrations from your current hosting service. You can be sure that our expert staff will perform the migration with great care and precision, no matter what control panel or account access you have on your old host.

Guarantee: Nexcess offers a thirty (30) day money back guarantee on all shared, reseller and shared Magento hosting services. All other services, including, but not limited to: setup fees, secure socket layer (SSL) certificates, dedicated servers, clustered services and domain registration services are non-refundable at any time. In order to request a refund, Customer must submit a termination notice as described in this TOS above within thirty (30) days of your first invoice date AND Customer must open a ticket with the billing department requesting a refund.

Control Panel: The InterWorx control panel was created by the Nexcess founders and is now used by numerous hosting companies.

Script Installer: Control panel uses the one click installer SimpleScripts.

Customer Support: 24/7 tech support by email/telephone.

Eco-Conscious Green Meter: No grandstanding or tooting the greenhorn on Google.

Payment Options: Nexcess accepts PayPal and Credit Card but you could also pay by Check or money order using snail mail.

Loyalty Plan: Does not appear to be beyond the standard discount for paying annually rather than monthly.

Community: Nexcess has a very comprehensive knowledgebase and article wiki as well as an active company blog. Nexcess is well known for its support of Wordpress, Magento, and ExpressionEngine community having sponsored events worldwide.

On Twitter: @nexcess

Nexcess web hosting reviews:


The Disclaimer:

The proceeding information is intended solely to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. The information is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering professional advice or services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation.

While we have made every attempt to ensure the information contained in this site has been obtained from reliable sources, HostJury is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided "as is," with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Nothing herein shall to any extent substitute for the independent investigations and the sound technical and business judgement of the reader.

And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of any providers. You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided


Nexcess Magento Hosting banner

Australian Web Host Crucial Acquires AVS Networks

Tue, 3rd February 2015, 19:58

Sydney-based web hosting provider Crucial has acquired Sydney domain hosting and registration firm AVS Networks. Under the agreement, AVS Networks customers are expected to be migrated to Crucial’s servers this month. (February 2015). Crucial CEO Ijan Kruizinga says a detailed migration plan has been developed to ensure that all services are transferred to Crucial with no disruption to customers.

A message from Nigel Burke, founder of AVS Network is now posted on the AVS homepage stating:

After helping businesses get online for the last 17 years, we have chosen to merge with Crucial to provide a higher quality of service.

AVS Networks has been a fantastic experience for me. For nearly two decades I have dedicated my life to growing AVS, helping Australian businesses get online and connect with thousands of customers.

Recently, Australian hosting provider Crucial showed interest in acquiring AVS Networks. Their interest in AVS Networks was validation for what AVS has achieved thanks to your support, and is something we can be proud about. After discussions in late 2014 and early 2015, the decision was made to accept the offer.

As part of the acquisition, all customers will be moved to Crucial’s state-of-the-art infrastructure, hosted in Sydney. It’s with great pleasure that I can announce that I'll also be joining the team at Crucial and will continue to serve you under the Crucial brand.

I'm extremely happy about where we’ve taken AVS Networks and the milestones made along the way. I’m excited to continue working with you and trust everyone will enjoy the improved service levels with Crucial as we continue to provide for all of your hosting needs.

Last year Crucial CEO Ijan Kruizinga mused in a blog post that the web hosting industry has been consolidating for years but 2013 saw what he believed to be a few key acquisitions both locally and globally. Citing Internap’s acquisition of iWeb, IBM taking over Softlayer, and fellow Australian UberGlobal completing its acquisition of iLisys and Smartyhost, Kruizinga said “There are couple reasons you may want to consolidate, you may want to build critical mass to your revenue, you may be after a certain technology that a competitor has or you want to increase your customer numbers.”

And Kruizinga is correct. From a corporate perspective, acquisitions do allows corporate entities to achieve goals and open up new markets that traditionally they couldn’t reach or penetrate hard enough without expending considerable time and money.

Which may be fine and dandy for those corporate suit types but questions remains on whether that web hosting consolidation trend produce similar advantages for end users and consumers.

Many of the webhosting acquisitions we’ve written about on HostJury were inevitable. Some companies formed by youthful tech enthusiasts blossomed and morphed into monsters beyond their skills and ability to manage. Others fashioned like a pyramid scheme, were train wrecks waiting to happen. As noted by Kruizinga, some are merely marriages of convenience that allow companies to achieve their goals quicker. Sometimes acquisitions can be inevitable and advantageous. Then there are the mega-host acquisitions monopolizing the webhosting industry.

Crucial CEO Ijan Kruizinga ends his post on acquisitions with an observation..

So what is the answer for hosting companies that want to continue to grow and thrive? That’s the billion dollar question and I believe the answer lays within the application and customer support layer. The reality is that more than ever before the world is being advanced by the consumer and what they want and need not the underlying technology, infrastructure or the details that only 20% of people actually care about.

Our sentiments exactly. As always, HostJury allows the consumer to share their web hosting experiences!

All AVS Networks customers will receive emails regarding the changes and improvements being made to their services.

Crucial Web Hosting

Datapipe Acquires GoGrid. Consolidation Continues

Tue, 3rd February 2015, 15:43

Managed hybrid IT solutions for the enterprise provider Datapipe has announced that it has acquired GoGrid. GoGrid proprietary orchestration and automation technologies are unique in the market, providing 1-Button deployment for Big Data solutions that speed creation and results of new cloud projects.

Robb Allen, CEO, Datapipe, says:

"GoGrid has made it easy for companies to stand up Big Data solutions quickly. Datapipe customers will achieve significant value from the speed at which we can now create new Big Data projects in the cloud. This acquisition advances Datapipe’s strategy to help our enterprise clients architect, deploy and manage multi-cloud hybrid IT solutions".

GoGrid has more than a decade of experience in managed cloud and dedicated hosting. In 2013, the company added a focus on Big Data infrastructure, including clustered test and production environments for a range of NoSQL database technologies. Last year GoGrid introduced its 1-Button Deploy orchestration process, and partnered with Cloudera to speed up enterprise Hadoop deployments.

This recent acquisition marks yet another innovative milestone for Datapipe which continues to carve out a unique space for itself in the security, integration and management of multiple cloud platforms, including AWS and its own leading hosted private cloud, Stratosphere. In September 2013, Datapipe bought Newvem, a provider of Amazon Web Services monitoring and optimization services, and last in August 2014 it purchased Layered Tech.

Not unlike its prior acquisitions, financial details of the GoGrid acquisition are not being disclosed. DH Capital, LLC initiated the transaction and served as exclusive financial advisor to GoGrid.


About GoGrid

GoGrid enables companies to evaluate and run multiple, on-demand solutions quickly, reliably, securely, and cost-effectively in the cloud and on-premise. As a leader in managed cloud and dedicated hosting, GoGrid has more than a decade of experience serving businesses around the globe, delivering solutions and services for the management and integration of open source, commercial, and proprietary technologies across multiple platforms. With over 15,000 customers and over 600,000 VMs deployed, GoGrid has pioneered cloud infrastructure for companies like Condé Nast, Merkle, and Preventice.


About Datapipe

Datapipe is the only global managed service provider to future proof IT for the enterprise. The company leads the industry in architecting, deploying and managing multi-platform hybrid IT solutions, including public, private and hybrid clouds integrated with traditional IT environments. By automating IT, Datapipe supports the continuous development and delivery of secure, highly available enterprise class applications. Datapipe also delivers operational excellence through proven ITIL processes via a global team of experienced professionals and next generation data centers in New York Metro, Ashburn VA, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Kansas City, Dallas, Amsterdam, Iceland, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore.

Liquid Web Managed Wordpress hosting

Quick Lowdown on A2 Hosting

Wed, 28th January 2015, 15:18

A2 Hosting


Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, A2 Hosting is a web hosting company focused on satisfying customers needs. A2 Hosting is a full service provider of web and internet hosting services providing a range of services include affordable hosting for personal homepages, up to full service solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.

Random Quote from the web

We really try to be the hosting provider we would want for ourselves. One of the ways we accomplish that is by offering what we call All Inclusive Hosting. We’ve found that many hosts show a low price, only to hit their customers with a ton of upsells in their shopping cart like backups, malware protection, SEO tools and premium support. We wouldn’t want to be treated this way as a customer, so we include all of those features and more in our Web Hosting packages for no additional charge.

A2 Hosting flexibility allows them to design a solution specific to your needs and within your price range!

Founded: Founded in 2003 by Bryan Muthig. A second founding partner was bought out. The company was originally formed in 2001 using the brand name Iniquinet before being recreated as A2 Hosting.
Type: Privately Held
Company Size: Less than 50 and growing
Headquarters: Ann Arbor, Michigan USA


Brands & Acquisitions

A2 Hosting



Full product range includes Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting, Cloud VPS Hosting, Managed VPS Hosting, Dedicated Hosting and Managed Dedicated Hosting.


Hosting Solutions

High Speed Hosting (3 levels of plans)
Uses their “ultra-reliable, high-performance SwiftServer hosting platform”. Despite the lower priced plans losing a few features, overall the bells and whistles included in A2 shared hosting plans is pretty comprehensive feature rich environment.

Reseller Hosting (3 levels of plans)
Not unlike their shared plans, A2’s reseller plans are feature rich and competitively priced. With the exception of the SSL certificate and storage limits, all the plans include similar attributes which suggests scaling as the client base increases should be easy enough.

VPS Hosting (2 plans)
A2 offers both traditional Dynamic VPS as well as their new Cloud VPS Hosting. Like Virtual Private Servers, the Cloud VPSes include full root access but garner some new features too. Cloud VPS include free high availability failover for the ultimate in reliability and the ability to design the perfect VPS so you only pay for what you use. They also give the user the ability to re-size the VPS on demand.

Managed VPS Hosting (3 levels of plans)
More resources than a web hosting account, but not quite a Dedicated Server. A2’s “HostGuard” management includes managed software, hardware, network monitoring and optimization, as well as security.

Dedicated Flex Servers Options (2 plans)
A2 Hosting has two management levels for their Dedicated Server options designed to meet the needs of two different types of users.. Both options are already setup, tested, and instantly activated on A2’s SwiftServer platform. Fully managed servers includes around the clock support, whereas the unmanaged is better suited for a developer or experienced system administrator.


Unlimited or Limits in the Terms of Service (ToS)

(editor’s generic observation: unless a webhost uses the term “unmetered” then there is likely a limit somewhere)

There are limits:

The terms “unlimited” and “unmetered” are defined by our experience with similarly situated customers. This means that your use of our resources may not exceed that of similarly situated customers.

You may not place excessive burdens on our CPUs, servers or other resources, including our customer support services. You understand that bandwidth, connection speeds and other similar indices of capacity are maximum numbers. Consistently reaching these capacity numbers may result our need to place restrictions on your use of the Services. You agree that we may place restrictions on your use of the Services or customer support services to the extent that they exceed the use of these resources by similarly situated customers.

Shared web hosting accounts are allowed to use a maximum of 300,000 inodes and 35 concurrent HTTP connections to the server. Backups older than 30-days in a customer account may be removed from the server at our discretion. Complimentary Server Rewind for shared web hosting backups are limited to a 50GB quota. If you exceed 50GB of disk usage in your account, your account will no longer be backed up. Please download any cPanel backups and store them locally.

VPS accounts are limited to a maximum of 1,000,000 inodes.


Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A2 Hosting doesn’t appear to have a publicized SLA. It doesn’t mean they don’t offer credits, just that it’s not clearly stated. They do have a very well written policy on maintenance windows and their notification standards. A2 also state that “planned outages during these period will not fall under our 99.9% uptime guarantee”.


Acceptable Use Policy (AuP)

Although everyone should read that fine print before agreeing to any service, it would appear on a glance that A2’s AuP is generic in nature and is pretty much constituted by the same jargon found in the AuP of countless other web hosting firm. Phrased another way, there doesn’t seem to be anything evil!


Additional Information & Features

Domain Whois: Privacy is NOT enabled on the domain whois. Contact information is readily available.

Site Migration: A2 will transfer your site for free if you use cPanel with your current host.

Guarantee: Hosting services carry an unconditional 30 day satisfaction guarantee. To cancel your hosting services and receive a refund, you must contact us within 30 days from the Effective Date of the particular Services you wish to cancel.

Control Panel: cPanel although some plans by design are user designated.

Script Installer: Softaculous installer sets up popular applications with 1-Click

Which Version of PHP: 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 or 5.6

Customer Support: No pay to play here. They love to tout their inhouse US based “24/7 Guru Crew”.

Automatic Back Ups: All A2 Hosting servers have redundant hard drives for real-time RAID 1 mirrored backups. We also provide off-server backups. These server backups are stored for the last 30 days on a best-effort basis. To do a restore from one of these backups, use the Server Rewind feature in cPanel.

Security.. ProActive or Lax:  The A2 Hosting Perpetual Security initiative says it all. Proactive.

Environmental Consciousness: A2 passes the green test.

“Since 2007 we have partnered with to offset our carbon footprint to be 100% carbon neutral. They are a leading organization in the fight against global climate change. We work with to fully offset our servers' CO2 emmissions. Their work centers on reforestation and promoting energy efficiency. A2 Hosting's partnership with helps their continued development of clean, renewable sources of energy and the reduction of CO2 emissions on a global scale.”

Payment Options: A2 Hosting accepts several payment methods including PayPal, Google Checkout, 2Checkout, Bank transfer, Credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). You can also pay by Check or money order using snail mail.

Loyalty Plan: Does not appear to be beyond the standard discount for paying annually rather than monthly.

Website Design Service: A2 appears to focus on webhosting and leaves the website creation biz to the design firms.  

Community: A2 has a very comprehensive knowledgebase and article wiki that encompasses just about everything. A2 also has a customer forum and active company blog. A2 Hosting is also an active supporter various groups and organizations including the Joomla Community and Wordcamps.

On Twitter: @a2hosting

A2 Hosting reviews:


The Disclaimer:

The proceeding information is intended solely to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. The information is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering professional advice or services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation.

While we have made every attempt to ensure the information contained in this site has been obtained from reliable sources, HostJury is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided "as is," with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Nothing herein shall to any extent substitute for the independent investigations and the sound technical and business judgement of the reader.

And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of any providers. You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.

A2 High Performance WebHosting

Managed Wordpress Hosting. Profiling WP Engine

Mon, 26th January 2015, 18:09

WP Engine Managed WordPress Hosting

WP Engine is a managed hosting platform focused solely on WordPress. Sites are speedy, even under massive traffic loads, and guaranteed secure. According to the company its now powering 18% of the world’s top 1000 highest trafficked websites. Sounds good but for people with projects still waiting to be discovered, one of the first things they notice is the cost. Its certainly more expensive than many other popular hosting companies! WP Engine provides this explanation:

Typical shared hosting companies care about one thing, and that’s keeping their cost as low as possible. They may staff low-paid entry-level employees who don’t know the first thing about WordPress, and they use less-expensive servers. At WP Engine, we don’t do that. We source high-performance hardware for both our virtualized and bare metal solutions, and then we place our software stack (including Evercache) on top of the hardware to give our customers the highest-performance WordPress caching solution available on the market today. We back our technology with top WordPress experts to help your business grow and thrive. If you run a WordPress site and need the highest level of security, stability, and support, WP Engine is an excellent choice.

Founded: Co-Founded In 2010 by tech innovators Jason Cohen & Ben Metcalfe
Type: Partnered with investors and investment firm. (editor’s interesting tidbit.. one of WP Engine’s earliest investors was the founder and CEO of DreamHost, Josh Jones. He got involved because they hired away one of his top WordPress support guys!)
Company Size: Less than 200 and growing
Headquarters: 504 Lavaca Street, Austin, Texas, United States


Brands & Acquisitions

WP Engine



As the name suggests.. WP Engine are experts in Wordpress hosting!


Hosting Solutions

Every WP Engine Plan comes with a long list of features like Git Version Control, One-Click Restore Points, One Click Staging Area for Plugins, Content Delivery Network (CDN) ready, and a whole lot more.

  • Personal Plan: 1 WordPress Install, 25,000 visits / month, Unlimited Data Transfer, and 10GB Local Storage
  • Professional: 10 WordPress Installs, 100,000 visits / month, Unlimited Data Transfer, and 20GB Local Storage.
  • Business: 25 WordPress Installs, 400,000 visits / month, Unlimited Data Transfer, and 30GB Local Storage.
  • Enterprise: 25+ WordPress Installs, Millions of visits / month, Dedicated Environment. Plans Customized to Fit Needs.

More detailed information about the features included in WP Engine managed web hosting packages can be found on the WP Engine homepage.


Unlimited or Limits in the Terms of Service (ToS)

(editor’s note: unless a webhost uses the term “unmetered” then there is likely a limit somewhere)

Terms of Service were obviously written by lawyers. Definitely slanted to protect WP Engine backside. Hosting plans do come with preset package limits.

“Overages may apply if your use of the Services exceeds your plan limits (e.g. exceeding the number of monthly visitors). Additionally, we may adjust the Fees if there is a change to the configuration your sites or your use of the Services (including changes to CPU or RAM consumption, cacheability, bandwidth, visitors, or transfer).”


Service Level Agreement (SLA)

“WP Engine will provide service availability of 99.95% calculated on a calendar month basis. Customer will receive a credit of five percent (5%) of Customer’s monthly fee for each hour in which we fail to meet the Service Availability for such month.

In order to receive SLA Credits, Customer must make a request in writing to WP Engine via Support or to Customer’s account manager (if applicable) within 30 days of the event giving rise to such SLA Credits.”


Acceptable Use Policy (AuP)

“Overburdening Resources; Overuse. You may not overburden the Services. You may not place excessive burdens on our, or the providers of Third Party Services’, CPUs, servers or other resources or interfere with the services we provide to other customers.

You may not use excessive bandwidth or data transfer. If your Services are unmetered, and your use of them exceeds the use of the Services by similarly situated customers, we may offer to move you to a metered plan. If you refuse to move to a metered plan, we may place restrictions on your use of the Services until your use corresponds with that of similarly situated customers.

If the Order sets out an amount of data transfer or number of visitors, you agree not to exceed this amount. If you do, and we choose not to limit your use of the Services, your data transfer or visitors over the contracted amount will be billed at our then-current rate.”


Additional Information & Features

Site Migration: DIY although they say “Within the WP Engine User Portal you’ll find access to our Migration Checklist. This checklist provides a guided navigation through the entire process of migrating your site to our platform”

Guarantee: Risk Free For 60 days. If you're not completely happy with the platform, you can cancel within 60 days and get a full refund.

Control Panel: WP Engine User Portal

Script Installer: Script pre-installed

Customer Support: Leaves something to be desired. Presently 8am to 8 pm Central time but they are promising to continue expanding the hours until it is 24/7. WP Engine does have a very comprehensive support wiki as well as very active blog.

Extra’s: They have numerous but one cool feature is their staging area. Need to test out a new plugin or install a new theme? Don’t want to screw up your existing site? With one click, set up a clean copy of your site that you can then do whatever you want with. No more breaking your site or having to manage multiple sites just to test-drive a new plugin or theme.. except some people (and WP Engine) have stated that while the cache method used by WP Engine gives great performance, it may also prevent cookies or sessions working as you expect on their servers.

Extra’s Not Allowed: WP Engine forbids a relative handful of plugins that researchers may want to be aware of. Most fall into a couple different classes. First, are the ones that are banned because they collide with the solutions put into place as part of the service offerings...Caching & Backup plugins. Then there’s Server & MySQL Thrashing Plugins, Related Post Plugins, Email Plugins, etc, disallowed because they cause a high load on our servers or create an unnatural number of MySQL queries.

There are over 36,000 plugins in the WordPress plugin repository so while the prohibited list is quite short, potential users should check if any must have plugins have made the list.

Payment Options: I’m guessing Credit Card and PayPal are at least two forms of payment accepted. (editor’s note.. I could explain why ‘I’m guessing’ but that may taint the reader’s perspective. So I’ll leave you guessing why the editor is guessing!)

Loyalty Plan: Does not appear to be beyond a standard discount for paying annually rather than monthly.

Community: Where in the world is WP Engine? Quicker to ask where they are not! WP Engine attends, speak at, and sponsor events and conferences around the globe. Community involvement is core to their company values.
Resources: The WP Engine Support Garage is a very comprehensive knowledgebase and article wiki that encompasses just about everything wordpress. As well, WP Engine has a very active company blog.

On Twitter: @wpengine

WP Engine reviews:


The Disclaimer:

The proceeding information is intended solely to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. The information is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering professional advice or services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation.

While we have made every attempt to ensure the information contained in this site has been obtained from reliable sources, HostJury is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided "as is," with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Nothing herein shall to any extent substitute for the independent investigations and the sound technical and business judgement of the reader.

And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of any providers. You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.


Softsys Hosting Profile: Windows & Dedicated Servers. Some Linux

Tue, 20th January 2015, 14:48

Softsys Hosting


Softsys Hosting is one of the most affordable, reliable and flexible Windows hosting providers in the market today. We provide our own in-house 24/7 customer service, offer a wide range of shared, reseller, dedicated and VPS hosting packages and can even develop a customized hosting plan based on your specific requirements - all at a price that won't break your pocketbook!

Moreover, we are committed to providing the latest technology advancements to our Linux & Windows web hosting customers quickly - just when they need them most.”

Founded: In 2006 by Ruchir Shastri
Type: Privately Held
Company Size: Not Disclosed
Registered Address: Softsys Hosting USA, Inc
1521, Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803


Acquisitions & Brands

 Softsys Hosting



Forte is Windows Hosting but Softsys Hosting also offers Linux, Cloud VPS, Dedicated Servers, as well as other services mentioned further below.


Hosting Solutions

Windows VPS hosting (5 types of plans)

All of the Windows Virtual Private Server offers are powered by Microsoft Hyper-V which is a hypervisor-based technology with true hardware virtualization and high-level of isolation from other virtual machines on the same physical server.

All VPS plans feature multiple operating system choices - primarily Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2 with the operating system license included.
In addition, all Windows VPS options have administrative RDP access available as a standard.

Windows VPS Hosting - Self-Managed - Windows-based SSD VPS Hosting Plans - Managed VPS Hosting Services - Unlimited Windows VPS Hosting - Shared Hosting on Windows with ASP, PHP & .NET - Multiple Domain Windows Reseller Hosting

Linux VPS (2 plans)

KVM VPS Hosting on Linux OS and cPanel-Powered VPS

Redundant VPS Cloud Hosting Plans
An automatic failover feature helps keeping your server up and running from an alternate HyperVisor node even if the existing one fails. Thus high availability of your VPS server is achieved. All mission-critical data is backed up automatically every week on a separate backup server at no additional cost. Choose from Windows (Windows Server 2008 R2/2012) and Linux (CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo, ClearOS, FreeBSD) operating systems. You will also be able to manage your cloud VPS hosting account from the web-based management panel.

Dedicated Servers (5 plans)

Softsys Hosting offers first-class dedicated server hosting at affordable prices and with excellent 24/7 technical support services. Softsys Hosting dedicated servers are available with multiple operating system choices such as Linux, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, or Windows Server with 24x7 Ping Monitoring and 99.9% Network Uptime Guarantee. Our dedicated hosting is powered by quality network & reliable hardware to ensure that your IT infrastructure does not suffer from slow server performance, limited bandwidth and high operational costs.

Standard Dedicated Servers - Fully Managed Dedicated Servers - SSD Dedicated Server Plans - Worldwide Server Hosting in International Locations - Unlimited Bandwidth Server Hosting


Optional Extras

Along with shared, reseller, VPS and dedicated hosting services, Softsys offers a full line of small business solutions, including payment gateway services, SSL certificates, domain registration, etc.

More detailed information about features included in Softsys web hosting packages is available on their web hosting plan pages.

Site Migration: Migration appears to be DIY

Guarantee: Quoting: If for any reason you wish to cancel your account within the first 15 days of setting up the account with us, we will issue a full refund (minus setup fees and surcharge charges) with no questions asked for shared and reseller accounts only (review below for details). To request a refund you will need to submit Cancellation request from the billing portal.

Please note that 15 day money back guarantee only applies to base shared and reseller hosting accounts and not to below mentioned services:
1) Premium / Economy / SSD / Managed / Any Other VPS (Virtual Private Servers)
2) Cloud VPS
3) Dedicated Servers
4) Domain names or Domain transfers
5) SSL Certificates
6) Any addons like Additional domains, Databases, Backups, Dedicated application pools and/or any of the hosting addons/plan-upgrades.
7) Any other services/addons except base shared and reseller hosting accounts

Also, there will be no pro-rated refunds issued after 15 days of service. Accounts that are terminated due to violation of Softsys Hosting's Terms and conditions will not be eligible for any kind of refund. Additionally, accounts with any pending dues or overusages will not be eligible for any refunds.

Please note that a surcharge (processing fee) of 7% will be deducted from all the refunds.

Lastly, only first-time signups will be allowed to utilize our 15 days money back guarantee. For example, if you have had an account with us, canceled and signed up again, you will not be allowed to utilize our money back guarantee. This also applies for current customers who sign up for a second account.


Unlimited or Limits in the Acceptable Use Policy (AuP)

(editor’s note: unless a webhost uses the term “unmetered” then there is likely a limit somewhere)

Reading in the Acceptable Use Section…there are indeed some limits. As expected with the variety of plans being offered by Softsys Hosting, there is no clarity on what exactly constitutes the limits beyond ‘we reserve the right to determine when enough is too much’. Buyer beware and ask before you sign on the dotted line!

CGI, ASP and Cold Fusion and other scripts or in general high / absurd usage in server may cause excessive usage (system resources and/or bandwidth) which will detrimentally affect other sites/virtual machines on our network. Client takes full responsibility for all scripts executed from their account - regardless how the script was obtained. Any account found to be using excessive usage may be suspended or terminated without warning. When possible, advanced warning will be provided, however if the excessive usage is deemed to be causing immediate harm to our servers or network, no warning will be provided. Clients will need to make acceptable arrangements (typically removal of the offending script) with

Softsys Hosting prior to the account being reinstated. Repeated excessive usage will result in the account being canceled without the possibility for reinstatement or refund.

Softsys Hosting retains sole discretion over what constitutes excessive usage.


Additional Information Features

Control Panel: Parallels Plesk and cPanel depending on the plan.

Script Installer: Again it depends on the plan chosen.

Customer Support: Softsys Hosting has 24/7/365 in-house dedicated technical support team.

Payment Options: Credit Card, PayPal, Bank Transfer, and Bitcoins are acceptable forms of payment.

Resources: Online Knowledgebase / Tutorials, Extensive Web Based Flash / Video Tutorials, and a active blog.

On Twitter: @SoftsysHosting

Softsys reviews:


The Disclaimer:

The proceeding information is intended solely to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. The information is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering professional advice or services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation.

While we have made every attempt to ensure the information contained in this site has been obtained from reliable sources, HostJury is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided "as is," with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Nothing herein shall to any extent substitute for the independent investigations and the sound technical and business judgement of the reader.

And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of any providers. You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.


Softsys Hosting


Rochen Performance Hosting . Joomla Hosting & more

Thu, 15th January 2015, 17:27


Unlike a lot of other web hosts Rochen very much focuses on providing a “performance hosting” solution where you can deploy an installation of a dynamic script (e.g. Joomla, Magento, WordPress, Drupal, etc.) and it will run right out of the box without any configuration hassles, slow downs or performance related problems. In addition to their shared hosting and visualized computing solutions Rochen also offers resellers plans for web design and development firms.

They also offer a range of unique features like the Rochen Vault managed off-server backup platform that takes multiple daily snapshots of your hosting account allowing a website to be easily rolled back to points in time over the past 30 days with the click of your mouse.

Rochen is a strong supporter of the open source community backing projects, including the Joomla content management system (CMS). Rochen is the web hosting partner for the official Joomla! website. Rochen helps sponsor Joomla! Days Worldwide, an event created exclusively for Joomla users and projects.

Founded: In 2000 by Chris Adams
Type: Privately Held
Company Size: Not Disclosed
Headquarters: 11 Dudhope Terrace, Dundee Postal Code, United Kingdom


Acquisitions & Brands




Joomla Hosting, Drupal Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Business Hosting and Cloud Hosting


Hosting Solutions

Shared Hosting :

Business Hosting Plans (Three Levels of Plans)

Rochen's business hosting plans offer an excellent solution for hosting a small business site, personal homepage or a blog. All hosting plans are performance tuned for hosting dynamic database powered applications such as Joomla!, Drupal, WordPress, phpBB or in fact any PHP / MYSQL script. As your website grows you can seamlessly upgrade to a larger plan without downtime or penalty fees.

Reseller Hosting Plans (Three Levels of Plans)

Rochen privately branded Reseller Hosting service is ideal for web designers and entrepreneurs looking to offer their own web hosting service or for anyone who simply has greater needs than can be met by our business hosting plans. Rochen's flagship reseller service provides a true 'data center in a box' solution with the option to 'Host Unlimited Domains' while leveraging our expertise and revolutionary infrastructure.

Rochen Managed Cloud Servers

Rochen’s Managed Cloud Server platform is an easy-to-use solution for small-to-medium size businesses that want the most control out of their hosting plan. Rochen cloud servers are built with a self-healing architecture, industrial-grade VMware, a fully redundant network, proactive security, and easy user-scalable CPU, RAM and SAN control.

Managed Dedicated Servers (MDS)

Rochen provides a full range of well configured managed dedicated server solutions from both their US and UK data centers in Dallas, Texas and London, England. They can tailor a server or cluster solution to meet your needs.

Managed means Managed

Rochen’s 24x7 trained engineers monitor the machine for trouble, updates the operating system, database server, web services and other software necessary for its operation. Leaving you time to take care of your business, while they take care of the server.

Optional Extras

Various optional services can be added to managed dedicated servers, including Rochen Vault Managed Backups and their Content Delivery Network (CDN) service.

More detailed information about features included in Rochen web hosting packages is available on their web hosting plan pages.

Site Migration & Guarantee: DIY although they’ve included in their Joomla Utilities cPanel plugin a Joomla migration tool. The migration tool will take a copy of your entire Joomla website, and migrate it to your Rochen hosting account using just your FTP credentials from your existing hosting provider.

If you are not 100% satisfied with their services in any way, they’ll refund your money within the first 15 days after your purchase. No questions asked!


Unlimited or Limits in the Terms of Service (ToS)

(editor’s note: unless a webhost uses the term “unmetered” then there is likely a limit somewhere)

Terms of Service are amazingly straight forward and easily understood. Hosting plans come with preset package limits.

From the Acceptable Use Section…some limits

Prohibited Resource Use

Users may not:

  1. Run any process that requires more than 128MB of memory space or uses more than 30 CPU seconds. This limitation does not apply to Managed Virtual Server (MVS), Managed Cloud Server (MCS) or Managed Dedicated Server (MDS) accounts.
  2. Consume more than an average of 2% of overall server resources over a 24 hour period. E.g. -- Consuming more than 30 minutes of CPU time would exceed 2% CPU usage over a 24 hour period. This limitation does not apply to Managed Virtual Server (MVS), Managed Cloud Server (MCS) or Managed Dedicated Server (MDS) accounts.
  3. Run any type of interactive chat software that requires server resources. Remotely-hosted services are allowed. This limitation does not apply to Managed Virtual Server (MVS), Managed Cloud Server (MCS) or Managed Dedicated Server (MDS) accounts.
  4. Run background processes at any point in time on the server. This limitation does not apply to Managed Virtual Server (MVS), Managed Cloud Server (MCS) or Managed Dedicated Server (MDS) accounts.
  5. Run any cron jobs or scheduled tasks more than once per five (5) minute period. This limitation does not apply to Managed Virtual Server (MVS), Managed Cloud Server (MCS) or Managed Dedicated Server (MDS) accounts.
  6. Run any software that interacts with an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) network.
  7. Run any type of security, port or vulnerability scan or conduct load or benchmark testing either directly or indirectly. This limitation does not apply to Managed Virtual Server (MVS), Managed Cloud Server (MCS) or Managed Dedicated Server (MDS) accounts.
  8. Run any process which interacts with the MySQL database service using persistent connections. This limitation does not apply to Managed Virtual Server (MVS), Managed Cloud Server (MCS) or Managed Dedicated Server (MDS) accounts.


Additional Information Features

Control Panel: cPanel

Script Installer: Fantastico Auto-Installer

Customer Support: 24/7 technical support and environment monitoring. Email ticket support included with all hosting plans. Rochen does not provide live chat or telephone support.

Payment Options: Credit Card and PayPal are the two forms of payment accepted.

Loyalty Plan: Not really although they do offer non-profit and charities a permanent discount schedule for a 10% recurring discount for the life of the account to qualifying non-profits and charities.

Community: Rochen is a strong supporter of the open source community backing projects, including the Joomla content management system (CMS). Rochen is the web hosting partner for the official Joomla! website. Rochen helps sponsor Joomla! Days Worldwide, an event created exclusively for Joomla users and projects.

Resources: Rochen features a comprehensive Knowledgebase Wiki, Customer Forum, as well as a company blog.

On Twitter: @RochenHost

Rochen Host reviews:


The Disclaimer:

The proceeding information is intended solely to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. The information is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering professional advice or services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation.

While we have made every attempt to ensure the information contained in this site has been obtained from reliable sources, HostJury is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided "as is," with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Nothing herein shall to any extent substitute for the independent investigations and the sound technical and business judgement of the reader.

And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of any providers. You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.


Rochen Performance Hosting

ProperHost at a glance. Profile of a Magento Host

Tue, 13th January 2015, 22:30

Magento Hosting by ProperHost


ProperHost is a provider of premium hosting services with a strong focus on Magento hosting and other performance-critical applications. ProperHost claims to offers one of the industry's fastest hosting environments for Magento and guarantee faster page loads and improved performance. Research shows visitors are more inclined to purchase from an online store if the webpage feels fast and responsive. A fast web site also rank higher in Google and other search engines. ProperHost states that by using top-of-the-shelf servers, carefully optimized for maximum performance they have created one of the fastest Magento hosting solutions on the market.

Founded: 2004
Type: Privately Held
Company Size: Less than Ten
Headquarters: Roedbergveien 7B 0591 OSLO Norway


Managed Hosting

  • Magento Hosting
  • Magento Multi-Store Hosting
  • Magento Reseller Hosting

Managed Servers

  • Dedicated Servers
  • Magento Dedicated Hosting

Magento Services

  • Magento Upgrades
  • Disaster Recovery

Products and Services

  • Domain Names
  • SSL Certificates


Site Migration & Guarantee:

Will transfer your website for free and configure it to work properly in their optimized environment ensuring a seamless transition. If you are not 100% satisfied with our services in any way, they’ll refund your money within the first 30 days after your purchase. No questions asked!


Unlimited or Limits in the Terms of Service (ToS)

(editor’s note: unless a webhost uses the term “unmetered” then there is likely a limit somewhere)

Disk Space - Each hosting plan includes prepaid storage capacity on ProperHost servers. Additional disk space is available as an upgrade option.

Traffic - Each hosting plan includes prepaid monthly traffic in Gigabytes. This traffic quota is shared between all sites hosted in a single account. In case that a hosting account exceeds its allowed traffic quota, it will be suspended until the beginning of next month when the quota will refresh automatically. Additional traffic is available as upgrade.

Hosted Domains - ProperHost's hosting plans include domain hosting. Each hosting plan allows a particular number of domains that can be hosted.
E-mail accounts - different number of e-mail accounts are available for setup with each web hosting plan.

MySQL/PostgreSQL Database(s) - MySQL databases are included in all web hosting plans. Additional databases are available as upgrade. PostgreSQL databases can be either included or optional. Contact our sales department for more information.

Database Storage - For Shared Hosting Accounts ONLY: Each hosting account has a limit of database storage. This storage is shared between all the databases in a single hosting account. Additional database storage is available. Contact our sales department for pricing.

IP Address - ProperHost hosting accounts do not include IP addresses. For many customers IP address is important for starting SSL hosts, that's why we allow the purchasing of IP addresses. Additional justification of use may be required. (editor’s note: justification is required by all webhosts)

SSH - In case your hosting account does not include SSH, please contact our sales department for more information on how to obtain it.

ID Protection - ensures that your private contact information will not be visible in the domain's WHOIS details. Optional for all hosting plans, but available only with certain TLDs, supporting this option.

More detailed information about features included in ProperHost’s web hosting packages is available on their web hosting plan pages.


Additional Information & Features

ProperHost website features an announcement page, knowledgebase wiki, and company blog.

Control Panel: cPanel

Script Installer: No. Free installation of Magento available on request.

Customer Support: Email ticket support included with all hosting plans.  

Payment Options: Credit Card and PayPal are the two forms of payment accepted.

Loyalty Plan: Every month you renew your hosting plan ProperHost will give you a 5% “cashback reward” for being a loyal customer. You will accumulate Loyalty Reward Points for the lifetime of your account as long as you stay with ProperHost. Points can be converted to credits and used to pay for invoices.

On Twitter: @ProperHost

ProperHost reviews:


The Disclaimer:

The proceeding information is intended solely to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. The information is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering professional advice or services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation.

While we have made every attempt to ensure the information contained in this site has been obtained from reliable sources, HostJury is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided "as is," with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Nothing herein shall to any extent substitute for the independent investigations and the sound technical and business judgement of the reader.

And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of any providers. You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.

Magento Hosting by ProperHost

EU Rules Give Competitive Edge to American Webhosts

Fri, 5th December 2014, 20:44

In an of age of bloated governments fatcats, unable to balance a budget, or even pretend to live within their means, news of impending tax hikes come as little surprise. Austerity has become a misaligned buzzword synonymous with keeping more while sharing less.

For European companies offering “digital services” (eg:webhosting), a hangover having no connection to the prior nights activities is due to be imposed on January 1st, 2015.

On January 1st the EU is changing the rules governing the VAT charged by companies providing “digital services” to consumers in EU countries other than the one the company is based. Currently companies charge VAT at the rate of the country they are based in. A UK based company charges UK VAT to all their customers regardless of location while a French company would charge the French rate. Starting in January, VAT must be charged at the rate of the country where the customer is based.

Editor’s Note: VAT and other similar type goods and services taxes are a form of national sales tax, imposed by many countries, on most goods and services. They are traditionally only imposed on a country’s own citizens. Foreigners are generally entitled to rebates of VAT taxes paid. (some countries do create barriers for collecting those rebates). Depending on the locality, the tax may be in addition to a local or state/provincial sales tax. Again depending on the country, VATs can exceed 20 plus percent… not frivolous by any measure!

Although impossible to explained in a couple of brief sentences, businesses in the supply chain, through a system of credit/debit are rebated any VAT paid. The tax, by design, is paid by the end user and/or consumer. As the tax is paid on almost every conceivable form of goods or services, the paper trail is very useful in identifying tax cheats.

The new regulations state that digital service company will need to get, and retain two pieces of information that indicate what country a customer is in. This could be a combination of (but not limited to):

  • Customer’s address
  • Customer’s phone number
  • Customer’s bank account details
  • Customer’s IP address


Then it gets crazy. Paying the VAT each country is owed?


Not without heart, the EU gobermint is providing a couple of options. A web host could register to pay VAT in each EU country that they have customers, and then file a tax return in each country every year. Or they could use a VAT Mini One Stop Shop portal and file a single return.

The issues arises in that the UK has a very high threshold before businesses are required to register for VAT, (at the time of writing £81,000), while other EU countries may have a much lower, or even zero threshold. New or smaller web host may not sell enough to need registering for VAT in the UK but could be forced to register in another EU country for even selling one “digital service” to someone in that country.

The second option is only available for companies registered for VAT. Technically one could voluntarily register to collect VAT and get started on filing that monthly paperwork. Okay so you may well want to get some professional advice on what is the best approach.

While the impact of the new rules on new or smaller European web-hosts is self evident, the additional reporting burden for providing digital service to "foreign consumers" could possibly remove any competitive edge or incentive for many mid sized firms. For larger companies or those dealing exclusively with business clients the new rules will have few repercussions.


Outside Looking In. The Fallout


In all likelihood this change is going to represent a ‘lot of extra work for very little reward’. Not only for EU businesses selling “digital services” to customers in different EU countries, but for the tax man looking to reap another windfall.

EU businesses, digital and otherwise, are competing in a global marketplace. As mentioned earlier, VAT style taxing is imposed by countries to screw over their own citizens as foreign companies are exempt from collecting VAT if they are not EU based. Presently foreign web hosts and other digital services have close to a 25% pricing advantage over locals. It almost seems counter-intuitive to add another layer of complication.

Go figure!

Siteground Web Hosting

Compilation of Web Hosts offering Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials

Tue, 25th November 2014, 16:20

As the day of guilt free gluttony that kicks off the holiday season fast approaches, HostJury is surfing around to provide a listing of companies offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday web hosting specials. While many of the specials may be a closely guarded secret, the companies offering them are less so.  

As the specials are announced, HostJury will add links to their specials. 

HostJury shouldn’t need to to remind anyone that price is only one consideration when researching a web host. Cheap web hosting will be little consolation if you can't see your website because it is “down again”. So if you’re considering a change, or bagging a bargain this week, take the time to do some research so the only turkey you get is the one on the table!

While we do spend the better part of the day surfing the web, it doesn't necessarily mean we need to handle this task alone. Webhosts and websurfers alike are welcome to send us the details of the webhosting specials: This list is presented in no particular order and should not be considered a recommendation of any particular webhost or their services.


  • Black Friday wouldn't be the same without a sale from Siteground.. they've promised not to disappoint!
  • There may be 3 football games on the tube today but Aspiration Hosting is kicking off the holiday season with a month long sale!
  • Wordpress Host WP Engine  has their CyberHosting14" deal
  • TurnKey Internet has a Black Friday Customer Loyalty Bonus
  • Wordpress hoster Flywheel is offering a "Black Fly-Day" sale
  • Eleven2 has a "secret" Super Sale and Give Away
  • HostGator will be dealing all weekend but making it even hotter with a number of "one hour fire sales"
  • SugarSync will be offering the DEEPEST DISCOUNT offered ALL YEAR on SugarSync personal annual products.
  • BlueHost is having a "Killer Sale" this weekend!
  • JustHost isn't missing the party with these deals (TBA)
  • MonsterMegs Black Friday Deals
  • Namecheap is sweetening the deal for Bitcoin users by having a "Bitcoin Black Friday"
  • A2 Hosting Black Friday Specials
  • WebHostingBuzz has the "BLACK FRIDAY DEAL"
  • The time zones will give Midphase an edge albeit slight!
  • Sago Networks is running Black Friday deals
  • Interserver will have a Black Friday Sale
  • A Small Orange (ASO) is planning a huge sale..details to come!

Hostjury will continually update the companies as the sales become available. Oh and have a great Turkey Day... because most of the turkeys are not!

Mega-host wannabe Astutium acquires Zooko

Tue, 25th November 2014, 15:32

UK based business and enterprise web hoster Astutium is trying to end the year on the same note as it was started by announcing yet another acquisition. Astutium has announced that Zooko – a UK webhost providing cPanel based internet services to small business and individuals has been acquired, and integrated into the larger entity. The zooko brand provided SMEs and End Users with domain registration and cpanel web hosting.

Rob Golding, Head of M+A’s for Astutium stated:

After careful planning the company migrated the existing Zooko hosting accounts onto a new server on the Astutium London Docklands network, so clients gained the benefits of fully redundant high-performance connectivity to SSD powered cPanel/WHM servers.

All Zooko clients now have the advantages of dealing directly with the actual provider of the services (rather than a chain of resellers), plus as an ICANN Accredited Domain Registrar we’ve been able to make their domain renewals much cheaper.

The completed integration grants users access to ‘Unified’ – the online Astutium Client Portal – allowing for realtime management of web hosting accounts, domain registrations, virtual private servers, dedicated servers, colocation and cloud-servers from one single location.

All clients now have the assurance that their emails and websites are online at a host with a 17+ year proven track record of uptime and quality in-house support.

In January Astutium kicked off the year by announcing the acquisition of three web hosting companies: Ultranet Web Solutions, HostGreece, and UFastHost.

Astutium clients can share their experiences here.

About Astutium

Since 1996 the team behind Astutium have been on a mission to help individuals and businesses succeed online. Astutium take pride in offering a complete range of reliable cost-effective services, backed up by in-house 24/7 technical support and using the latest technologies.

Customers in over 150 countries rely on Astutium’s easy-to-use online tools for domain registration, web hosting, 1-click software installs, virtual private/dedicated servers, colocation and cloud services to power more than 100,000 websites – including individuals, bloggers, publishers, creative, business of all sizes and web hosts.

D9 Hosting

WP Engine Kicks Off Black Friday Early

Wed, 19th November 2014, 00:55

Even the most festive amongst us bellyache those commercial tycoon types plying disingenuous Xmas adverts earlier every year with the sole aim of taking a larger chunk of our hard earned cash than we intended to part with. On that same vein, shouldn’t we get annoyed when some entity thinks it’s marketing genius to be the first out the gate giving away the farm?

Possibly, but maybe that’s why there’s such excitement around Black Friday and Cyber Monday… Consumers giving it back!

Fully-Managed WordPress Host WPEngine is making the opening play!

Now for a limited time, sign up for a WPEngine annual web hosting plan and you will get 4 months of free hosting! Use the special offer code “CyberHosting14" when signing up. As easy as running a Wordpress site on a WP Engine server! But this deal is limited and expires on December 2nd 2014. Offer is valid for new customers on all Personal, Professional, and Business Plans.

WP Engine CyberHosting14 Special Offer

 All WP Engine plans come with:

  • EverCache Technology
  • Insanely Fast. Robust Scalability.
  • WordPress Hacked? They’ll fix it free!
  • Backed Up. Secured. Protectively.
  • Curated Plugins & Themes
  • Power Tools for Power Users
  • Assistance with Moving Your Site
  • Expert WordPress Support
  • And So Much More

Code: CyberHosting14
Expiration Date: Expires 12/2/14
Validity: Only valid for new customers with Personal, Professional, and Business Plans.


The Disclaimer

As always, HostJury recommend that while price may be a consideration when choosing a webhost, it should only be one of the many factored into your research. Page load speeds, additional features, good communication, and a fast knowledgeable support team will always top saving a few cents per day... And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of the listed providers. The web hosts are presented in no particular order. You are encourage to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.

Got a Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal to share. Contact us by email:


More about WPEngine

WP Engine is headquartered in beautiful downtown Austin, Texas — the same state where WordPress was born. WP Engine proudly host tens of thousands of the 75 million WordPress sites and apps on Earth – a number that grows every day.

When you host with WP Engine, you’re betting on us, personally.

White Falcon Communications Sues after Server Seizure

Tue, 18th November 2014, 19:34

White Falcon Communications and its owner Dmitry Glazyrin are suing the Attorney General of Canada and RCMP members Clint Baker and Paul Wrigglesworth after the federal police agency seized the web hosting company’s dedicated servers and equipment in June 2013.

The Notice of Claim filed in BC Supreme Court on November 6 allege the RCMP conducted a negligent investigation and seized servers owned by White Falcon Communications from Burnaby Co-lo firm Arima Networks in June of 2013.

At the time, Arima’s president Curtis Look told media "that White Falcon provides automated server and web hosting to customers using an the traditional automated, online process. Considering this, it is possible that neither Glazyrin nor White Falcon were actively and knowingly taking part in any illegal activities”.

Dmitry Glazyrin was out of the country when the servers were seized.

The seizure was related to an earlier U.S.-led investigation into the distribution of harmful malware known as the Citadel botnet. The Federal Bureau of Investigation working in concert with Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit served warrants to data centers in Pennsylvania and North Carolina seizing over 1000 servers. This knocked out over 80% of the command and control center (C&C) infrastructure used by Citadel.

According to the suit...

It is well known in the Internet security industry that legitimate businesses can be affected by botnet infections and indeed, the United States of America have a number of legitimate online business that had been affected with the ‘Citadel’ malware. It did not occur to the Defendants Wrigglesworth and Baker that White Falcon Communications may have been the victim of the Citadel botnet and malware and instead jumped to the erroneous conclusion that the Plaintiffs herein were actively engaged in the crime of unauthorized use of a computer and possession of device to obtain computer service.

The seizure effectively destroyed White Falcon’s business and the subsequent media coverage damaged its business goodwill. White Falcon and Glazyrin seek damages for intentional interference with business relations and negligent investigation.

One report recently found that the USA hosts 44 percent of all malware, making it the leading malware hosting nation, well ahead of Germany, which garnered a silver for hosting nine percent of all malware. The allegations have not been tested in court and the defendants have not filed a response.. yet.

Pay dirt for the attorney botnet. Meanwhile, the 'scourge' of unrepresented litigants, a.k.a. the Canadian taxpayers, just get screwed again!

Up to 25 off MDD secure and reliable webhosting

Just199 Hosting acquired by Cloud Equity Group

Thu, 13th November 2014, 18:08

Cloud Equity Group, an investment management company focused on opportunistic acquisitions of web service providers, (editor's note.. think shark) has announced the acquisition of Just199 Hosting, a budget web hosting provider based out of South Carolina.

Founded in 2006 by Dave Wykofka, Just199 Hosting goal is providing easy-to-use budget hosting services for the masses. Over time, the company diversified its product offerings to include shared hosting, reseller hosting, virtual private servers, paid forum hosting, and remote support.

Cloud Equity Group will integrate Just199 Hosting into its consolidated portfolio to deliver a premium budget hosting service to both novice and advanced website owners worldwide. According to Sean Frank, Managing Partner at Cloud Equity Group:

This acquisition aligns with our focus of providing robust hosting solutions geared to help both individuals and small businesses develop an online presence.

As we got to know Dave and his team, we became impressed with the platform and quality of product they developed with minimal capital input. Just199 offers a more affordable hosting solution than the majority of hosting providers in the industry while fully facilitating individuals and small businesses in creating a unique online presence. We plan to open new opportunities and enhance Just199 Hosting’s digital footprint by leveraging Cloud Equity Group’s existing infrastructure as well as taking their feature-rich hosting services and providing them to the masses. We’re excited and eager to get started.

Only time will tell whether Just199 Hosting clients will share Sean's enthusiasm but they can share their experiences here!

About Cloud Equity Group

Cloud Equity Group is a Wall Street based private equity and mezzanine debt firm strategically positioned to capitalize on the rapidly expanding industries of web hosting and cloud-based infrastructure. CEG’s primary focus is levering investor capital in the acquisition of private lower middle market companies that possess high levels of unlevered free cash flow and/or significant opportunity for exponential growth.

About Just199 Hosting

Just199 Hosting is a part of South Carolina-based HOSTED HERE LLC, a privately held profitable group of companies. Founded on the idea of exceptional customer service and support, Hosted Here’s objective is to provide a Tier-1 web hosting solution for small-medium scale businesses and individuals at about 15% of the contemporary prices.

MochaHost Green servers starting at $1.95 per month

Chilling News. The 2014 Fall DeadPool

Mon, 10th November 2014, 15:45

On what could only be described as a beautiful sunny fall day, (possibly just the calm before a big Arctic blast), a number of web host will garner that dubious honour that few have aspired to procure.

While it could be said that some of these hosts appear to have been ambitiously striving to achieve this distinctive accolade from their outset, others appeased the need for bling with an award badge purchased from one of those review sites that give an opinionated view based on the web host paying the most for advertising. Regardless, we'll pin one on their chest anyway.

Whether quietly whimpering or going out in a blaze of glory, all will be dosed and extinguished in the depths of the HostJury Deadpool.

Plop plop fizzle fizzle...



TopHandle out of Las Vegas, NV was established in the web hosting industry by providing a reliable service/support for personal web sites and small-to-medium sized business with the best web hosting solutions. They were committed to providing customers with the power and tools to achieve the highest level of success.

Screenshot of the TopHandle domain is a GoDaddyu Landing Page

Okay so I'm not sure that GoDaddy courtesy page will inspire confidence in TopHandle but GoDaddy has been marketing their solutions to small and medium sized businesses...



Denmark is still looking for this shining star. (editor’s note.. then again they are also still looking for that sub!)

One2host was a rapidly growing hosting company, offering only high quality hosting at low prices. One2hostr had a dedicated support staff, located in Denmark, and would do everything to guarantee that you got fast and competent support if you should have any problems with your hosting…

Houston.. we got a problem. Looking for a name for your latest webhosting project. The domain is available for purchase!


SiteNet Host

SiteNet Host place our web servers in the most reliable, redundant and fastest data centers in the world. Our Main Datacenter Servers are located in Seattle, Wa, Dallas TX, Chicago IL. And NOW in New York!!! SiteNet Host offshore servers are located in the UK and India…

Guess server speed and location are redundant now!



Terabyet’s described itself as the favourite home for more than 500.000 web sites. Dedicated to providing everything for an online presence starting from domain name registration(s) and shared web hosting to e-commerce solutions, VPS hosting and SSL certificates.

Born on September 14th 2012 (editor’s note.. not sure whether that’s the owner or the domain), “iwebsocial”, a self described internet marketer, was off trying to drum up some traffic by asking compatriots on one forum to check out his new website.

Hi, Guys, I have launched my new web hosting site I request you all to please review my site & make your comments on it. Thanks!

In March of this year the same iwebsocial was back at it sharing “that within 2 years! of my company it has now 1000+ satisfied customers”.

(so the editor is perplexed.. is Terabyet home for 500 websites or 500,000 thousand websites. Do 1000 plus clients have less than one half website each or do they have 500 websites each… did this kid go to school? )

Maybe one of those 1000 plus clients can explain but we can’t be bothered digging the body deeper when we can just throw them in the deadpool.. the domain is pending delete.



“MyDearHost was established by a team of young and energetic people whose desire was to build an environment primarily intended for beginners…”

Another kiddie host that never knew where to start.. Okay so we know where this is going.. oh my dear.



YourBigSite was originally established under the name of hot-wires ( in 2003 as a personal project, hosting small websites and new websites for friends. In 2007 we expanded our services to customers across the internet allowing new signup to our services trading under the name of YourBigSite. To date the company is still relatively small - and its the way YourBigSite like it. With top customer support and expert solutions.

YourBigSite domain redirects to a GoDaddy Landing Page

Pinch me if I’m wrong but YourBigSite appear more akin to GoDaddy’s big site.


Vectro Web Hosting

“Vectro was started with the main goal of pleasing customers. Having a good reputation means making sure customer's needs are met. Satisfaction is the first priority, otherwise there is no point to being in business.”

Despite the mission statement Vectro / x Proxy Host are Out of Business
"Due to financial circumstances, Vectro is no longer provides web hosting services."

No matter how much you want to please those customer, cash is still king!



“WelltodoCentury is a full service web hosting and reseller hosting development business. Let's face it, getting your niche on the internet can be an expensive venture.”

Even in Malaysia cash is king!


BeastWire Hosting - VPS web hosting with a beasty attitude.

Okay despite that sounding like an awesome tagline, Beastly majestically failed. The first rule of hosting is to keep your own homepage and support live!  Splish splash on beastly.


Steel City Hosting

Steel City Hosting operate in Sheffield, UK and thats primarily why we are called 'Steel City Hosting'..

(editor shakes *head*)



We are informing you that Netpivotal Ltd has ceased trading. We are very sorry to be closing the company but we would like to Thank-you for your previous custom.



So these guys were offering dirt cheap VPS and giving away coupons to make them even cheaper. In hindsight they may have been a little too enthusiastic with that pricing structure.

We started BreezeHost last year in mid July and have expanded with over few hundred clients who are happy with us, we have grown our product ranges from just selling shared hosting to now selling virtual private servers and very soon dedicated servers with our own custom dedicated server control panel for the customers as well. We know you can't wait, we can't to for the final release near July!

Still waiting! redirects to a GoDaddy landing page

Unless you're GoDaddy, mourning your web host's demise is not fun. Need Web Hosting... Choose wisely!


Web Hosting

HostGator Resellers Experiencing Major Headaches

Thu, 6th November 2014, 19:31

What is rumoured to have started as some system upgrades has now turned into a continuing nightmare for some smaller webhosts that resell Hostgator services under their own hosting brand. HostGator first announced the issues in a October 29 forum post that all reseller plans had gone offline and they were performing emergency maintenance to resolve the issue

We are currently experiencing issues with our reseller servers which has necessitated emergency maintenance. We are working to bring the service back online as soon as possible and will update this thread with status updates.

After more than 12 hours of generic status update spew, Hostgator provided a more detailed post that likely did little to quell the growing frustration being expressed by the masses:

We are continuing to work on the affected servers; a residual issue primarily affecting MySQL-driven sites has been identified and a resolution is being implemented. In the meantime, certain non MySQL-driven sites may also be temporarily affected due to the nature of the solution being executed. We do appreciate your patience and cannot convey enough that the full resolution of this issue is our top priority at this time.

It took a full twenty six hours into the débâcle before Hostgator released another meaningful status update that at least gave some hope that a resolution was in sight:

To begin, we would like to first thank all of our customers for their continued patience while we work to fully restore complete functionality to all users. We'd like to sincerely apologize for any prior responses that may have seemed rather repetitive or nonchalant. Please know that we are approaching this situation with the utmost urgency and we are committing as many resources as possible to resolve these issues.

As an update on the situation, while we don't have many details we can divulge at the moment, we are making significant headway on the restoration of services. Additionally while there are still a large number of affected servers, our uncompromising commitment to serve our clients is driving us to work as quickly as possible. As previously stated, we will continue to work unabated until a full resolution has been achieved.

Thank you again to all of our clients and their respective customers for your continued patience and understanding. We sincerely apologize for the continued inconvenience.

Another 14 hours pass and again HostGator posts

We have officially entered the homestretch towards a full resolution. There are very few still-affected servers at this time. Work will continue nonstop until full service is restored, and ultimately email notifications will be dispatched to affected customers with further details. This post will be updated again within a few hours.

On the evening of November 2nd (yep..November 2nd) Sean C from HostGator finally posted

At this time we have resolved the remaining server-level issues with the affected reseller servers.

It is possible that some sites may have lingering account-level issues, if you're still seeing problems we welcome you to contact us via Chat, Phone, or Ticket support.

We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience this has caused everyone over the past week, and we are working hard toward resolving any remaining concerns. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

And he promptly closed the thread on this one.

Except looking at the HostGator status forums and twitter, one would quickly deduce many resellers are still experiencing lingering issues with their reseller accounts.

One tweet expressing anger over HostGators handling of the downtime

or maybe

A response from Hostgator to a clients tweet about reseller issues


The Downside of Reality

While downtime may be a reality to be anticipated with any webhosts, for the reseller it has a cascading effect. Web hosting resellers are not only dealing with their angry and irate customers, (all while not even able to access the databases to transfer the sites to stable hosting), many if not most will also offer a service level agreement (SLA) compensating their clients for downtime.

HostGator has a similar agreement with their resellers plans and will provide compensation to their resellers in the form of a credit for one month service. This credit will provide small consolation considering reseller will not only take the brunt of the financial loss but also suffer the lingering effects of the inevitable loss of both clients and goodwill.

Web Hosting

Top rated Arvixe acquired by Mega Host EIG

Wed, 5th November 2014, 19:44

It has been confirmed that top rated webhost Arvixe has become the latest acquisition for mega host Endurance International Group (EIG). The sale became public when EIG released a report on 2014 Third Quarter Results

Third Quarter Operating Highlights

During the quarter, the company acquired Webzai, Ltd. and the assets of BuyDomains. In addition, on October 31, 2014, the company acquired the assets of Arvixe, LLC. The total consideration for these acquisitions is expected to be approximately $77 million.

Arvixe founder and CEO Arvand Sabetian has publicly confirmed that the sale has indeed been finalized.

As you know, myself and my staff have always played an active part on WHT as well as other public venues. And lack of response on here has not been as a result of trying to hide anything but that as you can imagine, things have been busier than normal.

First, I want to take the time to thank all of our customers on here for the support over the years. Without the customers, Arvixe would never have become the brand we are today and be given this opportunity to continue to work with Endurance to serve our customers. Despite some of the negative sentiment, it is truly humbling to see the concerns that have been posted here - which I can truly resonate with.

Our goal in this acquisition is to move the brand forward with the same principles I founded the company on, which have included providing the highest quality product at the most affordable prices possible. All I can say is that these principles are what attracted Endurance to Arvixe, and what we’re both striving to maintain.

As many of you have followed Arvixe for a number of years, you know that I stand by what I say and that my customers and my staff have been the 2 most important aspects to me while growing the company. So, it shouldn't come as a shock that regardless of what choices are made in the future in regards to Arvixe customers, I will be here to help make sure customers are taken care of first.

Endurance has a lot of experience migrating customers. And Arvixe has migrated customers from one datacenter to another since our inception (as we lease all of our hardware). This is experience that's undeniable and we'll use the same expertise to make sure the least amount of impact is noticed by the same customers that helped us get here and will be here to reap the benefits of the new partnership with Endurance.

With everything in a state of change, and I do not yet have all the answers, but we’ll do everything possible to maintain open and transparent communications with our customers and the community.

Hostjury will continue to update the details as they continue to emerge.

Update #1

Reuters is reporting that the French subsidiary of Avanquest Software, Avanquest North America Inc. sold its 50 pct stake in Arvixe LLC on Tuesday.

Contabo VPS Servers

HostJunkies turns off the lights

Sat, 1st November 2014, 15:54

With a brief email that provides more questions than answers, the management at Hostjunkies announced they were shuttering the servers and turning off the lights on a five year run.

Hostjunkies has decided to shut down and exit the market on OCT 24th. There are many reasons for this decision. The main reasons are that I no longer have the time to properly manage the business, the industry is full of fraud, and the industry is moving towards a complete demise for the small guy. We ran a successful business for 5 years yet it's now apparent the run is over.

I decided to give everyone 2 weeks notice before we have to pull the plug. I could have just pulled the plug and not said a word but i don't believe in treating people like that. Please login to your cpanel and grab backups of your account via the backup/partial backup area. Grab your home directory, your databases, your email forwarders and your email filters. Then just restore your backups with another cpanel provider. This might seem weird but we are going to recommend everyone consider transferring your accounts to 2 personally respected providers. Stablehost and Nosupportlinuxhosting. We respect both providers and they will be great providers for you going forward. (editor's note: Hostjury would rather lets users recommend and review the web hosting providers to other users but we're letting this instance slide)

So again, we are shutting the power off on OCT 24TH. That gives you 2 weeks to get your sites moved to a new provider. I will send this message again in 1 week or maybe even twice a week to ensure every attempt is made to contact everyone.

Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks again for your business!

HostJunkies first launched into web hosting under the domain in March of 2009. Hosting mainly family, friends and some local businesses, they started utiling the domain in January of 2010 and began advertising to gain more clients. In July 2010, they rebranded the biz to Hostjunkies.

While it’s commendable of the owner to give clients a heads up on the impending doom, suggesting that the industry is full of fraud and headed for an implosion for smaller web hosting companies based on his own experiences may be a little overstated. Possibly the principals at countless webhosting entities (both large and small) would respectfully disagree and counter that his perspective maybe a little jaded.

Undoubtedly a greater consensus would exist in the notion that smaller companies trying to compete against deep pocket equity backed webhosting firms in a 'race to the bottom pricing structure' will likely come up a day late and a dollar short.

The webhosting marketplace has indeed evolved since its early days. The phenomenal growth experienced by the emergence of E-commerce and the reality that even the smallest business needs a web presence to exist ensures the continuing growth of the webhosting industry globally. Regardless of size, firms offering exceptional service, support, and uptime will always find a niche.

The main reason for Hostjunkies demise is the owner no longer had the time to properly devote to the business and regardless of size, devotion is a necessary ingredient for success. Still, kudos to the owner for giving clients notice.

The Transitive Nature of Green Value Hosting

Thu, 11th September 2014, 19:02

Customer satisfaction is our ethos! Well so goes the motto of GreenValueHosting, a two-year old hosting company with a less than stellar reputation and a relatively young team of administrators (editor's note: Green Value Hosting also goes by the alias Green Value Host, GVH, and Green Value Networks). GVH is a common sight on hosting forums and not just for their regular deals. They say no press is bad press, but read a little further and decide for yourself.

GVH over the past couple months could works as a poster child for the underbelly of the cut rate, low-end hosting industry, the world of kiddie hosts, oversold resellers reselling the oversold reselllers, and fly-by-night discount providers. The industry is there because the price is right, but, if you’re ever wondering just what you’re paying for, well, you may be surprised.

When our story begins, GVH’s reputation is already pretty banged up, to put it mildly. Often, hosts end up in our deadpool for nothing more than mediocre service aggravated by poor customer relations. GVH managed to top that recipe: combining outrageous levels of downtime with an aggressive, hostile founder in Jonathan Nguyen, a constant presence anywhere where there may be GVH naysayers.

Complaints threads on that forum with the partisan webhosts spouting the only unbiased web hosting reviews on the web jargon is perhaps the ultimate case study in passive-aggression, but there’s always been the question of just how independent GreenValueHost really is- and how much of their business is linked to the much more established Colocrossing.

In a sense, it’s actually difficult to summarize just what GVH did wrong- merely because there’s so much there to tell. A poorly-managed reseller program left in tatters? Check. Almost continual downtime for reasons obscured by ill-conceived nonsense like an imaginary DDoS or a hacked SolusVM? Check, check, check.

At a certain point, however, the GVH story stops looking like your classic host meltdown- your BurstNets and your VolumeDrives, and takes a sharp turn into the utterly bizarre. After an extended downtime and a typically poor response from Jonathan Nguyen, the internet was shocked (read: mildly amused) to hear of Nguyen’s impending resignation from the position of Operations Director, leaving the company he founded in the capable hands of Jaroslav Urban, a Czech warez pioneer American office manager potentially non-existent sock puppet for Nguyen to retain control while publicly stepping down.

No doubt you’ve seen companies make poor choices in selecting new leadership, but this may be the first time we’ve seen a new employee’s very existence called into question. Urban’s work in the new position did little to quell the concern over GVH’s service outages, and attempts to start a new reseller program while their old one languished and died, and for a time the question was ‘Is there even a GVH, or is it just Colocrossing now?”

It was about this time that Jon Nguyen threatened to kill himself.

And that was the odd moment where the slippery nonsense of the hosting industry had to pause for a moment, and everyone marvelled at the simple fact that all of this business, all of these clients, and sites- all depended on the services of an overtaxed 17-year old in far, far over his head.

Nguyen is fine, by the way, and nominally speaking GVH still exists. You can pretty much decide for yourself whether or not their latest new deals are worth wading into that swamp for. For our part, we don’t really know how to cap off this story. It’s not often that a piece of hosting news ends with ‘at least no children died, thankfully,’ so perhaps ending there is best.

Web Hosting

24/7 Hosting NZ finally succumbs. Domain holders in turmoil

Thu, 4th September 2014, 14:12

Recently HostJury wrote of the woes clients of Kiwi webhoster 24/7 Hosting NZ endured when company compatriots decided to take a month long hiatus. Clients were left scrambling to retrieve domain names and find alternative hosting solutions while the web hosting vultures circled.

Despite all those 24/7 reassurances to ‘resolve all issues’, 24/7 Hosting NZ is gone again and it appears the coffin is being nail shut for burial in the HostJury dead pool.

It wasn’t only the clients being placated with the double talk. After investigating consumer complaints that 24/7 Hosting was taking annual payments for renewal of domain names, then only renewing the domains for a month, as well as registering domains in the name of 24/7 Hosting NZ, rather than in the name of the person requesting the registration, the Domain Name Commission (DNC) issued a warning in May that 24/7 Hosting’s behaviour has been contrary to the .nz policies that were created to protect registrants,

Debbie Monahan, Domain Name Commissioner advised

People who have a relationship with 24/7 Hosting, or who are considering using their services in future, to beware of their activities in respect of the registration and management of .nz domain names

The warning did not extend to 24/7 hosting services as that was beyond the scope of the DNC responsibility. 24/7 Hosting poured oil on the situation when they gave an undertaking that they were now in a position to address complaints from their customers and that support ticket could be submitted via the support interface. (editor’s note.. fool me once…)

24/7 Hosting now appears to be abandoned - its website is offline and the domain is due to expire. Support emails are bouncing and authorities are unable to make contact.

The collapse comes days after an "unprecedented" sanction which will force all 24/7 Hosting customers to transfer their domains to another provider.

The "last resort step" was imposed by the Domain Name Commission on August 19 after months of regulation breaches and ongoing issues for customers, with 24/7 management becoming extremely difficult to contact.

Campbell Gardiner of the DNC says:

It's become really blindingly obvious that people are experiencing massive disruption and 24/7 Hosting appears to be doing nothing to fix things. This is very, very rare, in fact it's unprecedented… this is beyond a joke, this needs to be closed now.

24/7 customers now have until September 20 to leave the provider or face having their domain cancelled, put back on the market and available for purchase after a 90-day grace period.

Mr Gardiner said the measure is designed to "close the book" on the embattled business, which buys domain and hosting services from other companies and resells it to the end user.

It's never happened before; we've never had to take an action to require people to move away from a provider. We're ultimately acting in the best interests of the name holders.

24/7 Hosting bought thousands of domains through Voyager which, under an order from the DNC, is now working to inform all customers of the impending sanction.

24/7 Hosting NZ claimed to be one of New Zealand’s leading Web Hosting, Domain Name and Data Centre solutions providers, stating in their company profile that:

From the beginning our focus has been providing high quality products and services at affordable prices. Just because our prices are cheaper than other New Zealand companies doesn’t mean our services are budget.

Considering 24/7 Hosting NZ used erroneous contact and owner information to register domains, rather than that of the client… well good luck fixing that one. I suspect we’ll be writing more about this mess in the future as the DNC begins to cancels domains!


Reliable Hosting from Namecheap

Magento eCommerce: Separating Fact from Fiction

Fri, 1st August 2014, 11:58

Regardless of statistical model, the economic forecaster are all in agreement of one indicator. E-Commerce, the buying and selling of goods and services online, is only going to continue to increase expeditiously year over year. Possibly this trend has you thinking about creating your own e-commerce website.

Building an online business is a most efficient and sustainable solution when adopting the right strategy. All that is needed is a product, (goods or service), an eCommerce software platform to showcase it on, and a web host for hosting your platform. A marketing plan helps, but that’s for another day. One possible suggestion is the e-Commerce suite called Magento, which offers three different variations of its popular eCommerce platform.

Magento is one of the most trusted platforms built on open source technology and it’s the creation of Varien Inc., an American company headquartered in Los Angeles. First released in 2008 , the software was known as “Bento”. Because this name was already used by FileMaker Inc., Varien and osCommerce had to come up with a different name, so they combined Bento with Mage and came up with a new term – Magento.

Later, in 2011, Roy Rubin, the former CEO of Varien, sold the company to eBay, after accepting massive investments in Magento, in the previous year, from eBay. Shortly after the acquisition, the corporation revealed its intention to make Magento an integral part of the X.Commerce initiative.

X.commerce is the result of the collaboration between eBay, PayPal and Magento and its purpose is to allow online shop owners to sync sales. The sellers get a package with codes and documentation they need in order to understand better how to build and test their websites based on this open source platform.


Platforms and pricing 


If you’re a skilled developer who can improve it by adding new plug-in modules, then choose the Magento Community Edition (MCE) open source software. This platform was released in 2007 as a beta version and in time it received a lot of improvements. You can now download for free the version, which is the latest update released in the mid-May.


Magento Enterprise Edition (MEE) emerged from Magento Community, having more functionality and features, but it costs you 15,000 dollars per year. This is the right solution for large size businesses and for this price you receive technical support (installation, configuration, usage, troubleshooting). The latest version of MEE was released two days before the new MCE update, being available as the version.


Magento Go comes to the aid of small businesses that don’t want to install the software, but need web hosting. The cloud-based eCommerce was released at the beginning of February 2011 and it will be shut down next February, so the customers will be forced to transfer their stores to another hosting company. The reason behind this closure might be related to the fact that Magento Go didn’t have the new functionality found on MCE and MEE, and eBay decided that it’s better to focus more on these two products and improve them. Meanwhile, until February 1 2015, the customers will pay between 3.95 dollars per month (shared hosting) and 170 dollars per month (dedicated servers) to have their websites hosted by Magenta itself.


Fake Magento Speed Testing 


Once you have downloaded the Magento Community Edition or purchased the Magento Enterprise Edition, customized your website by adding or modifying an existing theme (PHP, HTML, CSS) and added some Magento plugins, your website is now ready to use. Or you’re already the e-Commerce whiz looking for a more experienced company that hosts Magento websites.

As expected, all the companies specialized in Magento hosting promise their customers that their websites will run very fast and to prove they are not babbling, they use Magento Speed Test to generate a speed result and then they publish it on their websites to impress their visitors.

There are companies that use fake Magento speed testing and run some automated HTTP testing tools such as Joe Dog’s “Siege” and brag about the results, and often inexperienced or naive clients are taken in and fooled by fake speed tests.  But there are also reliable and legitimate companies that offer realistic speed testing results. They’re committed to doing their best to provide rock solid hardware infrastructures for Magento websites.


Web Hosting Providers for Magento 


In 2014, a group named Magento2X, which has been working with Magento since 2008, asked its customers to vote the top three providers that offer the best ecommerce security hosting.

So, the winner was SiteGround, with a price of 3.95 dollars per month, free domain for life and free site transfer, Magento Optimized Server with Top Hardware and Network, Magento Security, Auto Backup and Auto Upgrade etc.

The second in line is Nexcess, with a price of 11.95 dollars per month, free site transfer, Magento Security Enhancements, Auto Backup, Nexcess Magento Optimization Server etc.

To host your Magento website at A2 Hosting you’ll pay 4.97 dollars per month, but you’ll receive Unlimited Disk and Bandwidth, Server Rewind Backups and Perpetual Security w/ Free HackScan etc.

A common complaint among reviews is the frustration exhibited towards web host support monkeys regurgitating the canned response that they don’t support 3rd party software. So in the coming days, HostJury will profile some of the most popular Magento web hosts, all who claim to be ‘Magento Experts’ and providing Magento support. We’ll interview these “hoster”, find out more info about the companies, and learn what makes their services superior to the other companies making similar claims with promises to host blazing fast Magento websites.


The Pros of Magento 


Magento users love the large community which has developed around Magento. It continues to grow and the support forums are a great source of information for resolving many common issues.

The application is customizable, coming with lots of cool features – product management, marketing, SEO etc., it’s available in multiple languages and most important, is open source, offering a free edition for those who are not ready to invest money to build their online stores.

You can use the built-in functionalities that come along with the script or you can install other functionalities, although you’ll be charged.

You can also incorporate more payment options to your website so your buyers can choose the right payment gateway.

Magento is mobile friendly, running perfectly on most of the smartphones or Apple devices etc. 

You have access to the records of your customers, the products and transactions made through your website and no third party is allowed to access this information.

Also, as a Magenta CE user, you get coupons and promotions every once in a while.

A major advantage is the mobility of Magento.. if your webhost starts to suck or gets consolidated into one of those mega-hosts, you can move it!


The Cons. Complaints against Magento 


It seems that some of the customers are not very pleased that Magento runs in PHP and not all of them are expert programmers, so it’s kind of difficult to use for beginners. So, if you don’t have a coding experience, don’t rush to purchase MCE.

Not everyone can afford a dedicated server and also it’s slow loading sometimes. Magento is a hog on ram that can bog down a server. A common complaint of new users is that Magento exceeds the limits imposed by many traditional hosts.

Many of the users get common errors like: “Fatal error: Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in ...”. A simple enough solution is just increase the execute time. Still not everybody wants to be a code monkey.

While Magento Community Edition may be free of charge, you’ll still need to pay for the hosting service, security and other fees but these are not likely to exceed the traditional costs imposed on brick and mortar entities.

Even if Magento Community Edition is free of charge, you’ll need to pay for the hosting service, security and other fees.

The MCE users don’t benefit from Customer Support, so when they have technical problems, they can express their frustrations on the forum.

There are customers that complained of software glitches and incompatibilities when they upgraded the software. Other customers found hard to implement templates.

For a Magenta Go Store, you can use 3rd party themes, but there is a list of approved themes you can choose from. Magento doesn't support third-party software.

You’ll need a powerful server with a large disk space and high memory, if you want your website to run properly, so you’ll have these options: VPS, Cloud Server or Dedicated Server, but these solution are sometimes expensive.




Ecommerce business owners have many choices when it comes to shopping carts and e-Commerce platforms -- almost all of which claim to be easy to deploy and manage. Despite other platforms, like Shopify and woocommerce, gaining traction in the eCommerce marketplace, Magento continues to remain one solid option as an e-Commerce solution. The  reality however is that most business owners will eventually wind up hiring a designer and a Web developer to help them create and maintain that perfect eCommerce site.

Nexcess Magento Hosting banner

Host Europe makes bid for UK based webhost Iomart

Wed, 30th July 2014, 14:23

This past May, UK based web hosting specialist Iomart Hosting announced overall revenues had grown by 29% to reach £55.6m, with revenues from Iomart’s hosting segment growing by 40% to £44.7m.  Iomart is now confirming that it has rejected two cash takeover offers from Host Europe. Iomart said it had received cash offers on 13 June and 27 June of 275p and 285p per Iomart share, respectively.

Iomart Hosting growth has been fueled by a number of webhosting company acquisitions over the years including ServerloveRapidSwitchEasyspaceTitan InternetMelbourne Server Hosting and RedStation. The Glasgow-based firm says its directors concluded that both offers undervalued the company.

Host Europe offer domain registration, application hosting, cloud hosting and managed hosting through their own long list of brands that includes 123-regHeart InternetHost EuropeWebfusion, Domainmonster, RedCoruna, Domainbox, Donhost, and Brand Fortress.

In a statement, Host Europe has confirmed that it had approached the web hosting firm regarding a possible cash offer of 285p per share. Host Europe has until 21 August to announce a firm intention to make an offer for Iomart, or walk away. While the deal would not make HostEurope the largest webhost, the company would certainly rival Endurance International Group (EIG) for number of hosting brands.  

Iomart currently has eight data storage centres in the UK, including Glasgow, London, Manchester and Nottingham and currently uses various brands to deliver their hosting services.  Iomart's share price was up 10.53% to 259.75 with the news.

Clients of  Iomart and its hosting brands can share their thoughts on the possibility of a new master in the form of a web hosting review here.


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The Little Box Challenge & Overall User Experience

Tue, 29th July 2014, 14:15

Google and The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) have announced that they will be awarding one million dollars to an enterprising individual(s) creative enough to shrink a big box into a much smaller box.

The goal of the competition is to create a kW-scale inverter with the highest possible power density of at least 50 Watts per cubic inch. Anyone who knows what that means and has a healthy disregard for the perceived limits of engineering, would be a great contestant for this challenge.

Google claims that they believe inverters are becoming increasingly important to our economy and environment. They believe that a main purpose for hosting this competition is to inspire much advancement in technology that we cannot even fathom today.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association committed to advancing technological innovation for the advantage of humanity. The IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) has facilitated and given direction for the development and innovation of power electronics technology for decades. The PELS will be assisting in judging the Little Box Challenge.

So basically, both Google and IEEE are hoping this contest is able to spur innovation that can tremendously reduce the size of power inverters and produce a device that is capable of converting electricity from direct current to alternating current. With these technological advancements achieved, Google and IEEE hope that smaller inverters could potentially lower costs and increase efficiency and reliability.

Applicants considering competing in the Little Box Challenge must first register their team by September 30th, 2014. For academics that are eligible, grant applications must be submitted by September 30th, 2014 as well. More information on the contest can be found at


Not so fast. The lowdown on Overall User Experience


Even the less tech-savvy internet users are aware of the importance Google places on page load speeds and overall user experience. So, we have decided to run a few tests of our own on the site where the contest is announced.

The first test we ran using Domain Tools was no surprise to us. The site itself runs on Google servers located in New York. It did however; highlight the importance of tagging images that are used for visually impaired users... even more importantly how not tagging images could affect a visually impaired using screen readers. In addition, not tagging images makes search engine optimization (SEO) much more difficult as well.


domain tool report on little box challenge

While Domain Tools may be great for getting the whois on a domain, there are superior tools available to measure webpages against accessibility standards (Now mandated by law for commercial websites in some locale).

Ignoring those legal implications for a moment, striving to ensure a website meets the minimum accessibility standards will not only provides a better overall user experience for visually impaired users but can also have repercussions on the effectiveness of those search engine bots crawling the web. (editor's note.. think SEO)

AC Checker confirmed the suspicions raised by our first test regarding accessibility:


screenshot of AC Checker test results on the Little Box Challenge website 

The WAVE web accessability tool showed similar results.

Moving on, Google has attempted to impress upon the masses the importance of page load speed for overall user experience. Numerous studies have collaborated this notion which can be summarized in the KISSMetrics Infographic showing 47% of consumers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less.

Below is an image that explains the recent performance results for The test was run using a tool called GTmetrix. As it shows in the image, the site seems to be somewhat mediocre when it comes to overall page speed.

GTmetrics report on the Little box challenge website


Lessons in life

So what can we all take away from this.

Not making web hosting and page load speed a priority will cost YOU in the end, and will ensure your project doesn't have the competitive edge that others in the sector do have. Additionally, that more work is needed to ensure accessibility standards continue to be incorporated into the best practices of web development.

Lessons less learned.

When offering a million dollar bounty those studies about page load speed and conversions are less applicable and that while money can't buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.

Now Dust off the Propeller Beanie and Get to Work!


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Lumous calls it a day on their web hosting services

Tue, 29th July 2014, 01:54

Lumous was run by a small team of like-minded individuals who had a deep passion for building truly amazing products. Elastic, Highly-Available Compute Cloud to power your mobile and web applications. Delivering exceptionally consistent performance and reliability with hard resource limits, and intelligent virtual machine placement.

With a simply stated email, Lumous as a hosting service is no more.

Today I’m saddened to announce that Lumous will no longer be offering hosting services. Over the past two years, we’ve built an incredible platform from the ground up offering true high-availability, and brought an enterprise level SLA to the small teams and 1-man shops.

We will be reaching out to you individually over the next couple of days to put together a strategy to fit your needs, and to ensure a seamless, minimal downtime, migration.

For those of you using Lumous Mail or our Web Hosting services, we will be keeping some infrastructure with one of partners to maintain those services in some capacity, should you decide to stay with us. Either way, there will be a migration for your accounts.

Going forward, Lumous will exist as a software company providing products & services to other Cloud & Web Hosting companies. As many of you have already told us, our software is intuitive & easy to use – we think we can help the rest of the industry make their customer experience better as well.

We will work directly with you regarding the current billing, and any un-applied payments will be fully refunded.

We sincerely appreciate your support over the years, and I look forward to speaking with you all soon.


Kris & Eric


Siteground Web Hosting