I’ve been hosting my sites on GoDaddy for years, despite everybody saying that they suck and so forth. I’ve even defended them. Their interface is crap, but it’s not terrible once you get used to it. It works well enough. Their shared servers are indeed overloaded, but with a little super-caching they tended to work alright. Their new cloud hosting service is definitely faster.
But if there’s one thing I can not stand, it’s censorship.
I recently discovered that a couple of old posts of mine about decoding code used by hackers were no longer loading up. Everything else worked, but not those posts. I couldn’t even pull them up in the WordPress post editor.
After some trial and error and back and forth, I discovered that any HTTP or FTP request that contains the string “eval(base 64_decode(” or similar variants, is blocked. FTP just stops dead, as does HTTP requests, with a continual spinning loading icon. Apparently they have some form of filtering in the TCP stack somewhere that just stops those connections dead in their tracks.
(BTW, the irony here is thick. GoDaddy’s malicious code scanner was blocking my “Scanning for Malicious Code is Pointless” post.)
GoDaddy… guys, I loved your service in the past, but I have to tell you that this is a *shit* approach to security.
After some tweeting back and forth, I found out from the horse’s mouth that this is intentional and cannot be disabled.
And as much as they’d like to claim this isn’t censorship:
Guys, you’re wrong. It is censorship. I wrote that post content, and they’re refusing to serve it over HTTP. You can spin that any way you like, but GoDaddy hosting is now censoring me.
What’s more, this is a *new* problem. Those posts worked fine when I wrote them. What changed? I dunno. I did move to their 4GH hosting, but nowhere did I see in the documentation that they would be intentionally blocking my content.
Anyway, I’ve worked around the problem for now with a plugin to add spaces to the proper places in my HTML content, thus bypassing their filter. However, in the long run, this will not stand. GoDaddy thinks it’s okay to block my personal content. I disagree with them, and no amount of argument is going to make me change my mind on this topic. Blocking my own content from being served is NOT a security measure.
As you might be able to tell, I’m a bit angry.
Therefore, I am now looking for a new hosting service. Some requirements of mine:
- Traffic-wise I serve about 6000 page views a day, all told. In terms of total HTTP requests, I’d say somewhere around 30,000 or so.
- Bandwidth tends to be in the 1.5 GB per day range. So, 50 GB per month, say.
- Obviously, any form of censorship or technical limitations is unacceptable.
- SSH access is a must-have.
- I don’t necessarily need dedicated hosting or virtual dedicated hosting, shared is fine if it can handle it.
- Speed would be nice. GoDaddy has always sucked in terms of time-to-first-byte. Their cloud hosting made it better, but not great.
- MySQL Databases. I need at least 10 of them.
So, not too heavy requirements, I’d say.
I’ve heard suggestions for DreamHost in the past, and A Small Orange has always gotten favorable reviews from people I’ve talked to, but what the heck, might as well solicit the opinions of the internets in general, yeah?
Suggestions are happily accepted. If you can provide estimated pricing or links, I’d love to take a look at them.