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Old Feb 21, 2012, 7:54 AM   #1
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Default Website down, considering options.

About 30 months ago I signed up for some shared hosting at Justhost.com, all was well until Saturday when I get an email telling me they've killed my website 'cos it was using too much cpu.

4 Telephone conversations and 2 emails later I can't even access the site to try to get a backup of the site and move it elsewhere.

I have some sympathy with them. They have to be tough in a shared hosting environment, but my website was a Wordpress site, installed from their control panel, with 2? active plugins. I have no idea why it started chewing up cpu, but their unwillingness to even engage to the extent of giving me back control panel and ftp access is disappointing/infuriating/etc.

The most likely cause is a plugin gone wild or I didn't update the site frequently enough and it was hacked.

Anyway, I will probably get a refund for the remaining period of my contract. But the question is then whether to set up a new website with shared hosting or go for a photography site subscription.

If I can ever get my stuff off, I should be able to transfer to another host.

Requirements are:
  • blog + galleries,
  • stylish presentation, ideally with some sort of shadowbox
  • mobile support
  • no flash (yuck)
  • reasonable cost ($50 per year, $100 absolute max).
  • no sign-up, sign-in or other similar stupid requirements for visitors
  • no ads on my site
  • must support own domain
  • relatively easy setup and configuration, re-doing my wordpress site from scratch is probably a couple of days' work.
  • must have analytics, ideally support google analytics

What else is there?
  • Flickr is ailing and cannot compete.
  • Don't like SmugMug, never have.
  • Facebook doesn't cut it.
  • Photobucket looks alright but visitors must sign or be pestered with ads.
  • PBase is hideous beyond belief.
  • Photo.net pesters visitors with ads.
  • Fotki - ugly, ugly, ugly.
  • Zoomr - ugly^ugly
  • Photoshelter - perfect but way too expensive.
  • Zenfolio.com - not bad, but uses Flash. The custom sites are 100 per year. Too much.
Current contenders:
  • I think 500px.com is pretty good - not hideous, and has a rudimentary blog. Only $50 a year, so it might be worth it.
  • DeviantArt.com
Other hosting platforms:

  • all the non-specialised ones, but I don't want to fall foul of TOS again.
  • hostingphotography.com - supports wordpress & graph paper press themes - a hosting company, but at $8pm, not too bad, could probably just do it myself on another shared hosting platform though.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 8:03 AM   #2
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Maybe this thread will give you some other ideas:
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 8:04 AM   #3
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I use dreamhost. Just a wordpress site. I don't claim to get much traffic but I'm satisfied. and you should think seriously about getting a backup system (the wordpress group in town recommends backup buddy).
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 9:07 AM   #4
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I am using photoshelter.com for my main site and for now the free version of 500px.com along with twitter for generating interest in the photoshelter site.
Twitter uses photobucket as its image store and their image usage tos are way to shady for me to upload content directly to them.

Photoshelter's 30$/month may sound expensive and it is if it is a personal site, but if you are selling images and want to stay far away from the crowed sourced microstunk junk it is not a bad way to go.

Photoshelter has plugins that will integrate it with a wordpress site and blog as well.
Graph Paper Press makes some wordpress templates that are built ready to use photoshelter as a image backend.

I'm in Canada and use Costco.ca hosting (99$/year) to run the wordpress site, which is pretty bad as I wrote the code myself while taking a php class

Anyway I agree about flicker being a waste of time anymore.

There is also google+ which lets you upload images and run a discussion thread.
I'm not too familiar with this one yet.

Imaging is all about light and your ability to sculpt it.
Equipment is just a secondary nuisance.

Last edited by PeterP; Feb 21, 2012 at 9:11 AM.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 5:57 AM   #5
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Okay, got some stats back from the hosts.

Site was definitely compromised. Wordpress exploit. My fault for not patching frequently enough!

I will have access later today and see if I can fix the site or whether I have to rebuild from scratch.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 6:12 AM   #6
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Another Dreamhost user for all my sites. While they support Wordpress, I built mine with X-Site Pro. Quick and easy with the compromises that allow quick and easy - and particurally dislike their photo widget. Currently learning Dreamweaver to create my 3rd site and may update the other two.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 7:40 AM   #7
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I've been using HawkHost for over 3 years and haven't had any issues at all. Right now I have multiple domains and a few WordPress blogs on the site, but I plan on installing Gallery and using that instead of SmugMug. I am very technical and seldom need to contact their tech support dept.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 2:36 PM   #8
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Well, back up and running for now. Wordpress updated and I hope the site is behaving itself again.

And backed up and downloading the backup!

Looking at the stats I was quite surprised to see how much bandwidth I've used. Around 50Gb in the last 12 months!

Over 1m hits and 40,000 visits.

I guess I've been getting my money's worth for $5 a month.
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Last edited by peripatetic; Feb 23, 2012 at 3:56 PM.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 3:50 PM   #9
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Any other issues with http://www.justhost.com, other than the recent suspension for high CPU usage after you were hacked?

Their pricing is very tempting. For example, I went to their site and ended up seeing a coupon code for 50% off when trying to leave the page, and for just for giggles, I added their hosting service to a shopping cart and see that I can get 2 years of hosting service for $99.42 including the optional nightly backup, with unlimited parked domains, subdomains, e-mail addresses, bandwidth, disk space, etc. (they want $2.48/month for the plan after the coupon code, and if you remove some of the extras, it came to a total of $99.42 for two years including the optional backup plan).

But, I don't see any way to add a dedicated SSL Certificate, static IP Address, etc. on the checkout page. So, I'm guessing you'd have to add those features *after* you create an account there.

With godaddy, you can get a plan for $8.49/month (on sale) now that includes that type of thing:


To bring the price down every more, I've got godaddy coupon codes good for 30% off my first order now, too (since I have domain names registered there I've never done anything with, I get e-mails with coupon specials from them on a regular basis). They don't seem to be too bad about suspending accounts due to CPU usage, etc, from reports I've seen either. But, any of the cheap plans are going to cause problems if you're getting much traffic.

But, since you've been using http://www.justhost.com for a few years without any issues before now, their service offerings with [very] cheap prices did get my curiosity up (if they don't charge too much for the extras like a dedicated IP Address, etc.).

I'd prefer to host my own server. But, my ISP would probably frown on that. Now, I've done it before (setting up beta versions of forums software and letting some of the forum members log in and give me feedback about it). But, if my ISP saw too much traffic, they'd probably disconnect my service (as I don't think you're supposed to do that kind of thing under the TOS they have now).

I did register some domain names via godaddy.com a while back. But, I haven't done anything yet with them and I'm still looking at options.

Other than hosting my own server, some of the VPS offerings are tempting since i'd have far more control. But, the prices are far higher than you can get with one of the cheaper shared hosting plans like you have have, and performance to your site seems fine.

Another option would be using Amazon's Cloud services. They even have a free tier offering that's tempting, while letting you increase resources used at reasonable "pay as you go" pricing. See here for more details:


I've already got an account for it, but haven't taken the time to play with it yet. You can also find amazon partners that have prebuilt machine images for a variety of operating systems and applications. One of them is http://www.bitnami.org

So, I'm wondering if you've had any other problems with http://www.justhost.com before now. For $99.42 including nightly backups (after a coupon code) for two years of hosting with [supposedly, but not really] unlimited everything before any added cost for a dedicated IP address and SSL Certificate, their pricing is very tempting compared to their major competitors (bluehost.com, godaddy.com, dreamhost.com, etc.) for shared hosting services.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 4:08 PM   #10
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I've had no other problems with them at all. The control panel is pretty good, and they really don't mind what you do as long as your site behaves itself.

They are a little pushy on the marketing side and want you to sign up for all sorts of extras of course, but even the extras are reasonably priced, and it's easy enough to ignore the marketing.

There are many good cloud providers of course, but AWS is actually fairly expensive if you're running a site 24x7x365. Fantastic if you need the flexibility to scale from 1 up to many servers and back down again, but for individuals it's overkill and expensive.

Rackspace is even more expensive, but their service and support has to be experienced to be believed.

If you are neutral between Linux and Microsoft, there are some good deals on the Azure platform too at the moment, it's very competitively priced.

However my chief requirements for a site to host my photography is that they support the major content management systems. With Wordpress being my favourite, and the Graph Paper Press themes in particular being utterly splendid. When it comes to photography I don't want to be an IT person, I want to be a photography person. So in a shared host I'm looking for maximum leverage per man-hour invested.
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