Review of Ultrahosting

This is an honest and reasonable review of one of my hosting companies, Ultrahosting out of Toronto CA. Been using Ultrahosting for 6 months or so. And I’m overall pretty darned happy.

I was out thinking about putting up a Linux server (see previous post) primarily for WordPress hosting. I searched reviews, and “xyz hosting sucks” searches on Google to see who might be a good host. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought, “Why am I thinking about hosting elsewhere? I’ll just put another up on Ultrahosting.” So I went through their configs for Linux and had a question. This was about 10 am on a Wednesday. Ring up their number, press 2 for support. On the third ring, a guy, who natively apparently (awesome) speaks English, said “Support”.

When is the LAST time that you actually had anyone answer a support phone call without some serious waiting? AND could understand them? This is the norm when I have called this company. I can almost always get someone on the phone, and better yet, instead of treating me like a moron and saying (usually in horrendously broken and just about completely incomprehensible English), “Okay, I understand your problem. Have you plugged in your computer?” or some other equally inane statement, they talk to me like I actually have a clue. And amazingly (maybe this ISN’T the norm), I DO have a clue. I’m sitting on top of 7 servers right behind me in my office. I don’t need, usually, to be asked if they’re plugged in or have some first level tech wannabe give me a raft of grief about their misunderstood perception of what I said. Hate to sound somewhat negative about telephone support people, but there’s a lot of training out there that’s HORRIBLY needed. Back to topic.

So, I explained my issues and he offered a few ideas and then offered to actually look UP the information for me – sort of a not real obvious solution for me to use Ubuntu – and send it to me if I would just send him an email. In about 30 minutes, he sent a response – detailed and spoken like a human to me. Just awesome.

Now not everything is ever glowing. And if it was, everyone would peg me as a shill or paid reviewer. I’m not. And there won’t be any links to Ultrahosting here for signup or *SAVE MONEY ORDER HERE NOW links. Just a simple one to their main page when this is all done.

So the not glowing – DON’T order a 32 bit Windows Server 2003 image. There’s a nasty flaw that kept throwing me into chaos on a near daily basis in the first month I had it. Told them I spent more time dealing with their problem than doing my OWN business – unacceptable. They told me that it was a known issue and I’m not sure if they fixed it yet or not. They suggested I move to 64 bit Windows Server 2003 and that should handle things better. It did.

More downside on this little issue. “Well, we’ll put another server up for you to transfer your stuff over, but we can only leave it up for 3 days and then we’re going to remove the original one.” WHAT? Took me a month (WITH all the problems) to get my server configured, multiple IPs configured, a dozen sites using SQL Server, MySQL, .NET, PHP, etc and I have 3 days to move it- because YOUR server image has a problem? I was NOT a happy camper. I let it go though and called back after the 2nd day and spoke to more reasonable admin who worked with me. ANOTHER benefit of actually getting to talk to the people that do the work – they’re human and seem to want to help you.

So I can’t say everything went completely swimmingly. There have been a few things uttered under my breath. And there was the major move they made to a new operations center that took everything down for a day… but it was announced well ahead of time and seriously, how many times WILL a company actually move all their operations? Took a little longer than expected but everything was back up that night.

But, I also spoke to a tech on another Sunday afternoon that added some IP addresses to my setup for me. Ever hear of any OTHER company doing this? Nope, me neither – until Ultrahosting.

My two cents – GOOD solid company that really DOES go the extra mile to help their customers. If you want to talk to a human, pay a reasonable price for a good service, and feel like someone is actually listening (AND understanding) – Ultrahosting is the way to go. Period.

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Author: Eric Erickson

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