Need recommendations on a web hosting service

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Alex Ethridge

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What I am asking for are recommendations from people who have personal experience over a long period of time with a web hosting service they would recommend.

I have been with a web hosting service in Florida named FutureQuest since about 1998. I chose them at the time because they had an exceptional review in an in-print, major monthly PC magazine and they have lived up to that reputation -- except in the last year. In the last year, I have experienced many mail server down times, the most recent of which is in its third day of ZERO mail. Neither their pop nor smtp servers nor web mail are working.

So now I am looking for a new, reliable service.

I don't really need much, a pop mail server and a small amount of web space. I do need some web space but not much as I don't have a web site per se, but I do occasionally upload a file or two for someone to download.

So, for those of you who might have long-standing experience with a reliable web host, whom would you recommend?
 

Couriant

James
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I am also looking for a new one for my wife. She would need a mail service too... the one she has been using hasn't been great in some time and she gets too many spam emails.
 

Alex Ethridge

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I am also looking for a new one for my wife. She would need a mail service too... the one she has been using hasn't been great in some time and she gets too many spam emails.
After 25 years of helping people with their computer problems, I have come to these conclusions:
  • Spam filters are not practical because from time to time, very important mails end up in the trash.
  • Secondly, when an e-mail address becomes polluted with an unacceptable amount of spam, the only solution is to migrate to a new address
  • Have three or more e-mail addresses, one for friends and family whom you trust to use it discretely and if you have family members and friends who bulk send jokes, funny stories, political, etc to scores of people at a time DO NOT GIVE YOUR FRIENDS_n-FAMILY ADDRESS TO THEM. A second address would be for businesses you know and trust. A third would be for those you aren't sure about. I actually have [email protected]MyDomain.com for those people.
  • Do not put your address on Facebook, Instagram, twitter or any other web sites. My father-in-law wrote a book and sold it on his web site. One of his friends thought he would do him a favor and posted his e-mail address on the 8th Air Force Historical Society's web site. He went from two to four spams a day to nearly 800 a day in about two weeks.
Personally, I currently have the following:
All ending with my domain, a domain I own, but you can do that with GMail, Yahoo, etc. You don't have to own a domain to have multiple e-mail addresses.
 
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Couriant

James
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Unfortunately she did not do that and mixed business with pleasure when using her email address.
 

Alex Ethridge

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Thanks for the help. I went with HostGator for two reasons. Ease or use and price. For someone as non-tech-savvy as I, I needed a service with lots of features that were also easy to figure out how to use and HostGator fit that need well -- AND at the lowest price. I got a full three years of prepaid service for a total of $107.

To be clear, that's $36 per year.
 

Alex Ethridge

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yes there is. You can create one email account
Thanks for the reply.

This illustrates one of the problems I have, so little understanding of the terms people who know so much more than I do. When you say "one mail account", that would seem to me to mean one e-mail address but I have gotten confused by the use of the term and lately begun to wonder what "one account" means. Can I have more than one address in one account?

Example (all using the same domain):
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

They told me at HostGator that I could have as many addresses as I wanted in a domain. Their words were "no limit". Is this what you mean when you say "one account"?

As an aside, and not related to what you wrote about one e-mail account, they said I can have several domains on one HostGator account. Example: I can have MyDomain.com and MyOtherDomain.com in the same HostGator account. The visitors who click on a MyDomain.com link will see no hint of MyOtherDomain.com in the address bar and vice versa.

I like that as I own other domains that I might want to use without having to pay for and maintain two accounts.

Gripes/Rant:
The one thing I will miss at HostGator that I had at FutureQuest is user-to-user forums, each forum covering a separate topic. I could post a question there and get help from other users. I could find out what kinds of things were going on with the hosting service in case there was a glitch. Users could communicate with other users and FQ did not censor gripes, which there were so very few.

HostGator's tech support chat is pretty good but I hate the delays, the sit-and-wait times after I open a chat window waiting for them to get to me. And once they do the initial reply, it is blatantly obvious from the delays in each exchange that the person helping me is also helping other people at the same time. Then when they do answer after a long delay, I think they're lying when they say they had to consult a senior tech about what to me seems a very basic, simple question. The delay was because he's helping several people at once.

Using a forum instead of a chat screen, I can post my question and then go about my business and come back at my convenience. If I have further questions, I can post that and go about my business again. I'm not chained to my chair with eyes glued to the screen waiting for a reply.

And oh, the language barrier. The words and phrases I type to a person whose first language is something from the Near East do not mean the same to them as they would to an English-speaking American, very frustrating and time-wasting. Example: I asked a HostGator chat guy if HostGator had a peer-to-peer forum where users help users and I got a reply telling me how to set up a forum of my own on my web site. After four similar replies and each time telling him/her they weren't understanding, I finally got a link to exactly what I was looking for, a peer-to-peer forum where users could help users -- WHICH HAD BEEN SHUT DOWN AND LOCKED TWO YEARS AGO.
 
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