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May 2011
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Ys [userpic]

Here's what I need in hosting:

  • I'm a reseller, so I need some sort of reselling-service-allowed account.
  • I need it to handle IMAP-based email. Procmail is preferable but not absolutely required. Catching user-*@domain while still rejecting *@domain is required, as the majority of legitimate email for me these days comes in on an address that looks like that.
  • Obviously, I need multiple domains, since I'm reselling.
  • Access to a billing-tracking tool would be cool, but not absolutely required. But a big plus; I currently cannot bill my customers correctly and that's a big issue
  • Reliable service. Preferably on reliable/fault-tolerant hardware (mirroring, RAID, whatever). This shouldn't have to be stated IMHO, but I'm also realistic.
  • Ability to host PHP and MySQL required, ability to run Zope/Plone a big plus but not required.
  • I'm currently paying $85/month for the service I'm unhappy with. Less than that would be better.

Things I don't need include root access and the like. I currently have a dedicated server. I don't like the service I'm getting nor the price. I could do another dedicated server but I suspect I'll have the same problems, unless I'm willing to pay way more than I can justify. (I found a reputable dedicated server provider that could do all of what I wanted, and they wanted $350/month for it.)

There are several providers that provide most of what I want at a price I can justify (HostGator is damn close, but that user-*@domain email thing may be a dealkiller if I can't get them to support it). I haven't found one yet that is a definite win. I thought HostGator was worth trying, but I haven't yet either cancelled my account or called them to see if I can get what I need. I really need to do one of the two soon.

Anyone have any recommendations?

Current Mood: irritatedirritated

This is just a shot in the dark, but have you looked into Servage.net? They run dedicated, offer IMAP mail and have the ability to run both PHP and MySQL, the only package I'm aware of is their basic $6.85/mo bit, but it has oodles of space and a lot of bandwidth for what they're asking. They're pretty quick with responding to inquiries, problems etc so you might have some good fortune speaking to them about a particular package deal for your situation.

Just a thought.

I would recommend pair.com without reservation. They have a range of service levels on shared servers, a reseller program (I believe you can resell services outside of their formal program as long as you don't let anyone else access your main account, but this may have changed since I've tried it), and dedicated servers available. PHP, MySQL, perl, procmail, and just about anything else you want -- you can install your own stuff or have them install extras on a dedicated server. I have had very few problems in close to 10 years with them, and the few problems I've had have been solved quickly. I have had essentially zero downtime, other than infrequent system maintenance (always announced well in advance).

I'm a Dreamhost user that's happy 99% of the time, so let me look through your requirements:

* Reselling: yes. But there's no special account type for it.
* IMAP: yes. procmail: yes. Catchalls: um, it looks like it's +, not -, there. Otherwise should be doable.
* Multiple domains: definitely. :)
* Billing tool: not as far as I can tell, but I may not be clear on what you need. (I mean, all my usage stats are broken down by domain, and my ftp stats by user, so maybe it's enough.)
* Reliable service: ah, yes. They try hard. Sometimes they don't quite make it. Generally they've gotten really good and their support people are both prompt and non-hostile. (The latter is, sadly, not a given.)
* PHP and MySQL: definitely. No limit on databases. Don't have Zope/Plone as a "one click install" but if it only needs PHP and MySQL you can install it yourself, as they provide shell accounts and so on.
* Well, depends on what you expect for it, of course. Dreamhost is pretty cheap, but you get what you pay for. (They cost more than GoDaddy or Siteground, but you definitely get what you pay for there, too.)

Largely I'm pretty happy with Dreamhost.

If all of your resale stuff is low bandwidth low storage, you could look at NearlyFreeSpeech, but I find them not to scale well, which is why I have a Dreamhost account also. (All of my podcasting mp3s are stored on Dreamhost. Dreamhost has such a sick amount of bandwidth and storage that I do remote backups of my home systems to there, too.)

Anyway, FWIW.

user+extra@host is more common (i.e. on by default) so if you aren't dealing with existing user-extra addresses (or can remap - to +) you might get what you need.

Between spamassassin and procmail rules I've been able to avoid most random address spam while still allowing people to email things like "throw things at trevor stone dot org" FWIW, I route messages not addressed to me which are either flagged as spam or contain an image to a spam folder I only look at on occasion.

I am satisfied with Dreamhost so far. Especially the price.
$10 per month, unlimited domains, lots of disk space, generous number of real (shell/ftp users) and email-only (pop/imap) accounts. Bandwidth is metered, but I haven't come close to 1-2% of my limits yet for like 12 domains and about as many friends.
Reselling is completely OK. The control panel is great, and includes domains, subdomains, accounts, granting some or all admin duties to others, one-click installs for wiki, gallery, forum and a ton of other software, php/mysql, lots of shit. Mailman mailing lists too. You don't get root access, but just about everything else.

I am not sure if they can do user-* email, probably not, and if it is possible, I don't see a hook for it. According to the forums, it IS on the suggestions list but there's no ETA (very real possibility of "never"). Also there's some small number of usage reports but no "billing" feature that I know of.

So far I have to say I'm happy with everything except the spam filtering- it's not great. I whitelist most everyone, set my scores really low, and still a fair amount of spam sneaks in. Ah well, I'm probably spoiled from running my own mailserver, but even though it's not great I'm still happy enough overall that I'm willing to live with that. If you do sign up tell them gconnor at nekodojo.org sent you.

In other news, if you find that you must have a server all your own, with root and everything, I've had good luck with Tektonic.net. I subscribe to their "virtual machine" service (plan UM1 I think). I get what mostly walks and talks like a Linux machine with a static IP, except it's a "slice" of a larger machine. It comes with a web interface to reboot, manage firewall, kill processes and backup the machine. I keep it for stuff that I want to download/experiment with, in case I need a specialized application that needs root, etc. It's a bit more than webhosting ($15/mo) but great for the do-it-yourselfer and still not breaking the bank.

WebFaction ?

Sounds like WebFaction (http://www.webfaction.com) is exactly what you need.
Now that Zettai has shutdown they're probably the biggest Plone host our there.