We started off using dreamhost as recommended by wordpress.org but found them to be terribly slow. After an exhaustive period of research, it boiled down to a choice between tsohost, evohosting and fasthost since we were trying to go for a fairly cheap option.
In the end, we chose fasthost because of the promised speed and contention ratio of the hosting. They also claimed to have redundancy built into every aspect of their systems.
About 5 weeks into the hosting experience with Fasthosts we experienced a site meltdown. By this point I’d actually signed up Fitness Saver and another personal account to Fasthosts. Both these accounts suffered serious website failures with the websites being available only 1 request on average out of 50! I tried continuously calling and emailing fasthosts to find out what was happening but I never once got to speak with a technical engineer. Fasthosts employ a buffer so customers never get to speak with someone technical. This slows down communication immensely – I kept getting fobbed off with unrelated server errors which were being caused by a plugin I’d had installed for the entire 3 weeks of the installation.
On day 2 of our server failures I was going seriously mental – they were still fobbing me off but I finally got through to someone in the afternoon who explained they’d suffered a catastrophic failure on their SAN where a whole bunch of VPS servers had their files stored. So much for ‘redundancy’ everywhere. I begged and pleaded to be put through to a technical engineer so I could explain to them that we needed them to copy our VPS files from backup file and migrate them to working hardware so we could get back online immediately. Why they did not have this policy in place is beyond me in the first place.
On day 3 I decided enough was enough – there was no way we could stay with Fasthosts now since they had trashed all trust we placed in them.
- They clearly did not have good redundancy built in.
- Their support was useless and they kept trying to blame ME. If it wasn’t for me being so technical, they probably could have convinced me that the server failure was my fault.
- They had nothing in place to restore virtual machines to working hardware – their policy was to fix the problem in-situ and not tell customers about anything going wrong. The best I got was a note on the website saying ‘a small number of customers have been affected by a SAN error’ – their website did not even admit that websites were entirely DOWN.
We ended up paying for a VPS with Titan, now Easyspace, who have a fantastic reputation and who I know of from previous roles at a website supporting over 1 million searches per day.
I can say with 100% certainty that I would never recommend Fasthosts to anyone, and in fact, if you are with them now I highly recommend you make moves to leave them as soon as possible. Their approach is certain to bring them down since customers will leave in their droves as soon as anything happens which requires support.
For quality VPS I recommend either Titan (Easyspace) or Hostway. Titan, in my opinion, have better and faster support than Hostway but I’ve had VPS’s with Hostway for many years and never experienced any issues there.
I offer my sincerest condolences to anyone currently with Fasthosts or who was previously with Fasthosts. I am now experiencing the pain of dealing with their account closure team who are refusing to accept my reasons for wishing to close the accounts even though their VPS service is not fit for purpose and their marketing material is in clear breach of marketing laws.
If you are with Fasthosts, I wish you a speedy resolution to your problems. Leave a comment below if you would like any help or advice in dealing with them or if you’d like to share your similar (or contrary!) experiences.