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Current Projects:
Joe Christensen, Inc. Web presence for family printing company
MightySETIInfo Email sig/html output based on SETI@Home progress

Previous projects:
Ripmax RC Simulator
Fighter Squadron: Screamin' Demons Over Europe

28/MAR/05

Powweb has a lot of things going for it.  Clustered servers.  Very active forum.  Good price/GB ratios.

But they have always been a bit... arrogant about not listening to their users.   The owner, James, too often takes a stance that's adversarial to his users.   Along the lines of, "I don't care how upset you are about this broken feature/missing email, I'm not going to characterize this behavior as a problem.   Now, shut up about it."

And that appears to filter down to his staff.  Not the people who frequent the forum.  They're univerally very helpful.  But the front-line tech support over email appear to follow his lead.  They often answer questions with boilerplate replies that miss the point.  And when the replies are personalized, they also are often flat-out denials of clearly obvious bugs.

I don't have a busy site, and I don't make any money off of it.  But out of curiosity, I like to peruse the stats.  I'm curious about how people get to my site and how many there are.

Starting in Aug 04, the stats have been broken at Powweb.  They routinely drop approx 15% of hits.  And, about 15% of the visits that do show exhibit mangled search strings.  Some of the log records are so mangled that they don't even parse correctly.

The replies from "a developer" at Powweb indicate that he thinks logs are just an estimate of the activity at a website.  That's flat-out incorrect.  The analysis is an estimate.  But the logs should be complete and accurate.

In addition, most changes at Powweb are not announced ahead of time.  They routinely break email and implement major changes to their servers that break many scripts.  Even a few days or a week of notice would often help a large number of users.  But they only make their announcements as they're implementing the changes, or immediately after.  Since subscription emails to their Announcements forum don't go out until 2:00 am, most people don't see them until the next day.

I finally had enough.

On Feb 1 I moved my site to Site5.  They appear to have a similar bang-for-the-buck.  And very importantly, they have a routinely demonstrated reputation for quickly addressing tech support emails.  More than one person has reported on the forum this month (Mar 05) that they had problems addressed and solved within five minutes of sending their email.  Five.  Minutes.

That's impressive as hell.

They also have a forum, albeit not very active.  And they have a monetary guarentee of uptime, with constant monitoring and documentation of their servers' performance.  That displays real confidence in their guarentee, instead of the pure marketing hype of most webhosts.  After one month I'm quite pleased with my new host.

I do miss greylisting, though.  It was really nice when my spam went from 30/day to a little over 1/day.

Current .plan
.plan Archive 2004 - Start of JCI
.plan Archive 2003 - MightySETIInfo
.plan Archive 2002 - MightySETIInfo
.plan Archive 2001 - Inertia/RC Sim, MightySETIInfo
.plan Archive 2000 - Inertia/RC Sim
.plan Archive 1998-1999 - Digital Chicken, Parsoft/SDOE, beginning of Inertia/RC Sim


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Last modified: March 28, 2005
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