I’m very picky about web hosting. Too picky, in fact. But I finally found a hosting company that has met my overly demanding expectations. Cartika Hosting has worked flawlessly for me since I signed up.
I was so frustrated with the state of available commercial hosting that I hosted myself from home over cable modem for a number of years. When I bought a home in the country outside of broadband coverage, I tried several options and finally settled on a linux virtual private server at quantact.com. That worked very well for me for several years.
Recently when I moved back into town, I signed up for business FIOS instead of residential and built myself a Ubuntu Server box for hosting my websites and email along with sites for some friends. That also worked out well, but the business service cost $80 per month more than residential service, and I found that I was spending more time than I should playing server admin and tweaking on stuff. I was also concerned with backups and redundancy, which turned out to be both difficult and expensive to achieve on a home network.
So I decided that it was time to give commercial hosting another try. I spent several hours searching for information and reviews of various web hosts. My biggest concern is effective spam filtering. I have had the same domain and email address for 10 years, and I don’t want to give it up. But over the course of time, it has gotten spread around enough to generate way too much spam – often more than 100 spam emails per hour. I also want reliable and snappy performance and good support. Cost obviously matters, but I’m willing to pay a bit more for effective spam filtering, accessible and prompt support, and good performance. I looked at some of the bigger hosts and found a lot of negative reviews that mentioned poor support and extended outages. Then I found Cartika Hosting. They seemed to be the perfect fit for me, so I signed up for an account and set up one of my domains. I noted that they have an active forum community. The president of the company often responds directly to user concerns and is very wired in to what’s going on with the customer base and the infrastructure.
Aside from a tracking down where to find everything on the control panel, everything has gone flawlessly. I opened support tickets for a few minor questions just to ensure that I got a timely response. Every issue I raised was resolved in a timely manner, some within minutes. I signed up for the MailFoundry enterprise grade spam filtering addon, which has taken my spam from over 100 per hour to 3-5 spam per day. I know I probably sound like a fanboy, but really, it has just worked. Another nice feature is the backup system which has hourly backups for the last 24 hours (if I remember correctly) and daily backups for the last 30 days. But I’m still kind of paranoid, so I run a daily wget script to pull everything to a local linux box on my home network.
Negatives? The cost is higher than many of the cheap hosts, and the disk space limits are fairly low. But that’s because they are using mirrored SAS drives and the enterprise backup system, which costs more than some guy throwing a cheap server in a colo rack somewhere and calling it a hosting company.
Bottom line, I highly recommend Cartika Hosting. Full disclosure – my links ARE affiliate links. But I only recommend products or put up affiliate links for things that I have used myself and that meet my expectations. Feel free to hit me with questions or share both good and bad experiences with Cartika Hosting or other web hosts.