Review: of Shieldhost [shieldhost.com]
Overall Grade: D
I have been using Shieldhost for about a year.
I signed up for their Starter plan which is 700 mb storage and 15 gb transfer on a one year discount.
The good side of this host is that they support SSH, and everything they offer is unlimited like mysqls, and sub domains. For my purposes the host has been bearable. I’m not one of those people that expect to get a Hilton for the price of a motel 6. But at the same time I am certainly not going to renew with shieldhost either.
I just host junk mainly. Picture for forums posts. Random webpages for various projects I do, goldmine for family pictures etc etc. Lately I have started hosting a phpbb for a gaming group I game with. It has about 45 registered users so it's not exactly a big time forums.
First bad thing that happened was that when I went to create a sub domain I found out that you have to get a support ticket and have them manually activate it. I originally was going to use a lot of sub domains for family and friends but after the weeks wait it took for the first sub domain, I gave up at one.
Next is the down time. My domain was totally inaccessible, no ftp http, or ssh, for 2 days. I sort of hoped they had gone out of business so that I would have great excuse to find another hosting company . I sent in a support ticket and they responded fairly quickly and fixed the problem ( they responded in 2 days) so 4+ days total down time.
Another problem I have only recently noticed but would guess was always there is that their service seems to blink out a lot. I access my domain more then I used because of the phpbb, and I would say about once every 2 days I will have short times where my domain times out and I can't connect to anything on my domain (maybe lasts 30 sec at a time, its hard to tell, You just have to keep hitting reload, or try back in a few minutes)
Also my phpbb runs very slowly and is slow to respond when a person first connecting to it most of the time. The website is worst at night, sometimes the site will time out when posting to it and that really sucks. One day I posted a bunch of pictures linked to my shieldhost domain on a fairly heavily used forum, and right after I posted them they received about 200 views. Then all of a sudden shieldhost went down and none of my pictures hosted with them would show for about 2 hours.
They say that they offer Frontpage support But this does not seem to actually be the case. I was going to set up a sub domain for a family member that uses FrontPage, and let them upload and manage with the frontpage extensions but while their support webpage, which is actually almost nonexistent, says they are ready by default. I find this strange, since, 1. They are running linux, 2. If they actually do offer frontpage extensions it must be a support ticket issue, as frontpage extension are not installed by default, though their support document doesn’t say you have to contact them to use frontpage extension, since my only other support ticket issue took about a week, I just didn’t bother. Finally about a week ago FTP was working but the website was down for a good 3 hours.
So in conclusion Shieldhosts uptime is very bad even for someone like me with nothing mission critical running with them. CMS like mambo, and phpnuke, and phpbb all seem to run a bit glitchy and laggy. But they do seem to still be at the helm of their ship as they will respond to support tickets, ( I've only sent 2, once for the sub domain and once for the outage, I try to not be one of those customers that use support a lot)
Also they have basically no support documents except for a few short tutorials covering the very basics, and the user manual that came with their admin php software, which is broad and vague as would be expected. I suspect another one of those operations run out of a New Jerseys basement by russian immigrant, simply the basis of the fact that they guy's name that responded to my support ticket, and the guy who's name appears on the paypal subscriptions where both as Russian as you can get. Nothing wrong with that, but couple that with the service quality ( or lack there of), it doesn't instill confidence in me as a customer.
On the upside, they do offer ssh, perl , php, flash and shockwave, Unlimited mysqls is also nice, though that isn't much to gloat about nowadays.
Overall Grade: D
P.S. any suggests for a replacement host. It would be fun to have a host that supports multiple domains. Actually I don’t really care if they aren’t absolute first rate if they are cheap, as everything I would do with them isn’t really important, though obviously I would try to avoid the total dead fish companies.
Thanks, this is really a fair and concise report, I have been with IICInternet.com for a long time , perhaps you want to try them, they don't offer SSH though, the rest they should be able to offer.
Thanks, I will look into IICInternet.com.
I have looked at hostony, hostrocket, andd dreamhost.
I like all the stuff that hostony gives for the money. But, their transfer amounts are really large, I'll never use that much and if I was doing 100 gigs of transfer a month it wouldn't be on a shared host. Makes me think that they are just desperate to get customers.
With the prices of domains being so low nowdays, I like the idea of a resaler accounts as they allow you to host mulitple domains. But I'm not sure if the couple of dollars more a month is worth it just so that I can have stuff separated into mulitple domains, though the idea of it is cool . Have one for the family junk, one for the gaming and one for my work projects.
For family and gaming , looks like any host can do, but maybe you should separate your work project hosting to ensure minimal problem. Rather pay a little more for the work project hosting.
IICInternet.com is good - I have an account with them for soemthing I needed hosted separately. Then quoting your issue about transfer - they must either have unmetered bandwith, or they are dratically overselling taking the averages in factor. The average website on the web doesnt use but maybe 5% of what they are sold.
bobthegoat, thank you for the objective, detailed review. It seems to me that you know what money can actually buy and don't have too high expectations when it comes to budget hosts. That can save you from being disillusioned at times.
Good luck with your search!
That is quite a long review. Now someone needs to compile a large list to go by