Ayende @ Rahien

My name is Oren Eini
Founder of Hibernating Rhinos LTD and RavenDB.
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Host review: Webhosting4life, Recommendation: AVOID

time to read 14 min | 2647 words

I am posting this because I am extremely annoyed. I moved from my previous host because of reliability issues, I had to do it fairly quickly, so I didn't have time to really ask around and find out the best host. I went to webhosting4life because it was fast to setup, and I believed that they were big enough to be competent.

(Image from clipboard).png

I do not have a very big site, or a very complex setup, I run two applications, one needing MySQL, the other needing SQL Server. Neither of which is particularily tasking on the server.

As you can see, I had 6 outages in the last 20 days, some of them lasting mutliply hours. In nearly all cases, the reason that I was given was:

There is a routing issue on that server. Our tech is working on it now.

I could accpet it once or twice, but when it go to this level... below is a chat transcript of me and a tech from webhosting4life. It is complete with spelling mistakes and everything. As a result of this, and the evasive answers that I got, I am now on the lookup for a new host.

Notice that the operator simply left the chat when I tried to get additional information about the root cause of the problem. The chat equilent of hanging in my face! They have "Email our CEO" link on the help desk page, which I used to send a question regarding the frequent outages, I never even got a "Thank you for email us".

Powered by SightMax
Welcome to sightmax2.webhost4life.com. alvin will be right with you.
Ayende Rahien
my database is down
Ayende Rahien
Ayende Rahien
An error has occurred while establishing a connection to the server. When connecting to SQL Server 2005, this failure may be caused by the fact that under the default settings SQL Server does not allow remote connections. (provider: Named Pipes Provider, error: 40 - Could not open a connection to SQL Server)
could you please let me have a check.
Ayende Rahien
There is a routing issue on that server. Our tech is working on it now.
Could you please check it out later? If it still have problem. please open a urgent ticket in our helpdesk system. Thanks.
Ayende Rahien
This is the 5th time that I heard about a routing issue with the servers.
Ayende Rahien
Each of those time, it was because I had noticed that my site was down!
Ayende Rahien
That is not an acceptable way of hosting.
I am sorry about this, we are working on the issue now. Thanks.
Ayende Rahien
How can I get an answer from an authorized source about this issues?
Ayende Rahien
I would like to know what it the underlying reason for the frequent outages and the actions taken to fix this.
Could you please open a ticket about this issue, and our senior tech will give more details to you. Thanks.
Ayende Rahien
Ayende Rahien
I did
Ayende Rahien
How can I get guarantees about uptime?
Ayende Rahien
I am not expecting five nines, but I do expect more than 80%
Ayende Rahien
Dear customer, it seems that there is a routing issue on the network that make the connection for your site can't connect to the database. Our technician are working on the issue now. Sorry for any inconveniences caused. If you want a quick fix, please change the connection string to IP first.
Ayende Rahien
Nice copy/past.
Ayende Rahien
Now, can you tell me why you are recommending that I would do something that you explicitly tell me NOT to do on your site?
Ayende Rahien
It concerns me that there is a canned response for this question.
As there a routing issue in the data center, and can let the web servers to reslove the domain name, and the quick fix is using IP to instead.
Ayende Rahien
And why does it occur every other day?
Ayende Rahien
I cam to you because you were supposed to be a proffesional hosting service, with good technicians that would NOT mess the routing in the data server every day
alvin was removed from the chat.
alvin has terminated the chat session.



Jay R. Wren

They may not offer everything that you require, but a few people and I use bluehost at bluehost.com and are very happy.

Their CEO even blogs(http://mattheaton.com/). Posts are about customer satisfaction and reliable hosting.

Matt Berther

I hate to tell you "I told you so", but I told you so... :)

As I mentioned in my previous comment, if you're looking for a windows host, crystaltech.com is absolutely wonderful. If you're in the market for a linux host, icdsoft.com and dreamhost.com are superb hosts as well.

Nick Parker

I've mentioned this in the past, but ServerIntellect (http://serverintellect.com/) has been my host for more than 4 years and they have been absolutely great to work with.

Nick Parker

I've mentioned this in the past, but ServerIntellect (http://serverintellect.com/) has been my host for more than 4 years and they have been absolutely great to work with.

Chris Hynes

I've been using CrystalTech (http://crystaltech.com) for awhile now, and they've been very solid. They were down once, as I recall, because someone was DDOSing their DNS servers, but that was resolved in short order.

Ayende Rahien


There are legitimate problems, and there are repeated problems.

When I get the same problem over a period of time, I have a problem.

Thomas Nguyen

I don't think it's a legit issue. I thought I was the only one that got that reason, but I guess not. Check it out

Pawel Pabich


I can not complain about http://www.aspnix.com/.


while we're at it...

MelbourneIT are a useless host also. The helpdesk guys did not even know what an MDF file was, nor had they heard of rails..


Ken Egozi

I'm very happy with Reyox.NET

They have a very good response time for occasional problems.

I host several sites there, and it's reliable enough, and as I mentioned, when problems do occur, they are very quick to respond, 24/7.


I've used webhosting4life for just over a year and I haven't had any problems, though nothing on it is incredibly demanding. They are more reliable than GoDaddy, which a client insisted on using despite my objections, and which was miserable to work with.

The chat dialog you posted is scary as hell. I'd dump them if I had the same experience, too.


You get what you pay for. crystaltech is a lot more expensive. webhost4life is sort of incompetent some of the time, but it's an incompetence I know and allow for. I don't run anything demanding, it just won't work fast enough on the shared hosting. They host too many accounts on a server, and its not a real tight ship -- each server seems to be set up differently and you have to bug them about stuff.

They give you a lot of features and database for the money however and you get spoiled. I'm sure their server security stinks, but I don't dare test it. I would use crystaltech for anything requiring real security.

Eric D. Burdo

+1 for BlueHost.

Stay away from Dreamhost. They have pretty much the same problems you have been having, and they give the same canned responses.


I find it annoying too, when the "Technical support" expert is copying and pasting from a standard list of queries. I wonder if you had a real person or if it was automated software running, like the IKEA's Anna. I once swore at her and she asked me not to use profanity :)

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