Mobile - Web - Media
Wednesday, Aug 29, 2007 9:35:26 AM
HostMySite.com Limits ColdFusion, Does Not Tell Customers
Are you considering HostMySite.com as a Web host for your ColdFusion site?
If you are, please read the following, because you won't find this
information out on the the HostMySite.com Website - in particular, this
post refers to their "Builder" package.
Two months ago, a new client of mine wanted their site hosted with a
'more established' ISP as opposed to hosting with my current ISP - who
is great, very responsive, honest, etc. - but they are small, have less
resources, etc. While they aren't 'big,' my host is at a great facility and we have a lot of bandwidth available. I definitely recommend them. HostMySite.com on the other hand... is a company you may want to avoid.
The issues I'm going to cover here came up because I ran into a problem
when trying to upload a 1.2mb zip file using a very simple file upload
script. The upload failed, so I checked my code - no problems there -
then I run though some tests and find that smaller files 'do' upload. I
found the largest file that would upload was 550k - anything larger,
and the server would not respond. No error message... just no response at all.
After wasting 30 minutes trying to find the problem, I contacted their support team over chat.
My description of the problem was not enough - the staff at HostMySite
would not do anything unless I would give him the URL so he could see
the issue happen for himself. My question to him was, "How many sites
are you placing on each server?" Over the period of 30min that we were
on chat, I asked the same question 5 times - finally, asking, "Why will
you not tell me how many sites are on that server?" then backing up my
request with the following, "This is key information for me as a
customer - I need to know how overloaded this server is that you have
us on." He replied that it's not their policy - in other words, they do
not feel it is important to let their customers know what they are
paying for. Here is a direct quote from Julius F., the second support
person who responded by email:
We are not allowed to disclose how many sites are assigned to each
server however I can say we do allocate a set number of sites based on
the specifications of the server and each configuration has been
time/stress tested before it is deployed as a production server.
Interesting wording... they are not "allowed." What are they afraid of?
Another thing to point out here... this stress test they do... doesn't
mean much when you place the same number of applications and users on a
box who are amateur developers. Although, they do have a 'safety
measure' in place, which brings us to the second issue with
HostMySite.com that you should know about.
"All ColdFusion processes must complete in under 50 seconds. If a
process takes 50 seconds or longer, the process gets cancelled."
The support person I was chatting with had no idea this was put in
place. He hit our site, tried the form, and uploaded a 10mb file (he's
on the same network) with no problem. I then had to waste another 30 minutes doing
more tests, uploading files from remote servers, etc. In the end - the
support person said they would respond to me in email once they figured
it out. Here's the email:
This is not written on their site.
This is not listed as a feature of their hosting packages.
This is not listed in the Admin area where you manage your site.
Apparently, not even the general support staff know about this limitation.
- If they kill off your processes, they don't inform you - you would have to discover that it is happening either on your own or if you are lucky, a user would inform you
I wrote back, and explained that what they were doing was enforcing a
limitation on my hosting package that I was never told existed. If I
would have known this before I signed my client up, I would most likely
have selected a different host. While you may not agree with me, I tend
to feel that HostMySite.com is misleading customers. I also told them
that this is a "feature" of the hosting package, and that they need to
list it on the package page: http://www.hostmysite.com/hosting/builder/
- as you can imagine... they probably don't put it there because it
will not help with sales.
The timeout error that you are receiving is from a program that we run
on our ColdFusion servers called SeeFusion. It is set to kill any cf
process that runs longer then 50 seconds. SeeFusion was implemented to
increase the stability of our ColdFusion servers, which it has done.
The only way to avoid this timeout on a shared server would be to use a
different method of uploading, like ASPupload. Alternately, you could
go to a VPS.
If you have any other questions feel free to contact us.
What do you think? Is not telling a customer about a limitation of a
service the same thing as lying about what you've sold a customer?
Would you be happy if you bought a car, and then find that it could
only go 60mph for 50 seconds before the engine would turn off?
HostMySite.com - I thought you were going to be a great host, instead,
I'm quite disappointed at your lack of openness with customers about
the number of sites per server, and the lack of informing customers
what you've really sold them. I will not set another client up on your service and will continue to tell others to look elsewhere until your policy changes.
What am I going to do? Well, we are past the 30 day money back
guarantee and the client already paid for the first year - so it looks
like I have to create a hybrid solution for them that uses ASPupload
for all the file uploads. Hopefully I can integrate it without having
to spend much time in ASP rewriting portions of my application. Thanks HostMySite - I was almost done with this project - now you've added more work AND wasted an afternoon spent discovering your 'features.'
How about you? Do you host a site there? Did you know of these issues? Are you experiencing any other problems with HostMySite.com?
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