Why I’m mad at Hostbasket


Note:  Comments have been removed.  After a refreshing weekend, we’ve had some time to think about the ‘problems’ in this post.  A follow up post will soon follow.

This week, dealing with Hostbasket has been an unpleasant experience.  For those of you who might not know:  Hostbasket is a Belgian hosting company.  They mainly focus on the Belgian market, although the fact that they’ve got an English website AND back-end indicates that they’ve got “international” ambitions, as well.

As you know, when not blogging here (or on another site) I actually do some work for Analys4IT; a great small company.  One big part of what we do, is build Joomla! websites.  We’ve used Hostbasket for our hosting since the beginning…. but that might change.

If you’re interested:  Joomla-and-more.com is hosted on WordPress.com, Toretto.be is hosted on a private server and Brevcom.net is hosted by Hostgator.  No Hostbasket here.  Why?  Read on and you’ll find out. 

This week, I’ve started to consider jumping ship and convince management to switch hosting providers.  I’m going to spend some time / money trying to find out if hosting our websites abroad has a negative effect on the websites we sell, in terms of “localization” in Google, and much more important:  performance.  Once I got those results; we might bail.

It’s already hard to motivate us choosing for Hostbasket: 

  • Their prices are way too steep for what you’re actually getting; especially when compared to companies abroad.   (Which is why I stay away from them, myself).
  • Their servers seem to become more and more Joomla unfriendly.  Restoring an Akeeba backup is not fast and smooth, it’s a painful process.  And it’s not the back-up solution that’s to blame.  
  • Sometimes I think that their support people don’t know what they’re doing.    I’m not too excited about the ‘support’ we get, either, to be honest.  Apparently, they don’t work in the weekend, so if you rely on their back-ups and have a problem on, let’s say Sunday morning, you’re pretty much screwed. 
  • I mentioned that the prices are steep.  Well, they only get (significantly) more expensive when you add something to the basic package…

But that’s not what frustrated me the most this week.  This week, I was extremely frustrated because of their admin panel.  Here’s why:

  • Apparently, when ordering something for a customer, I can no longer select the customer from a list.  Which means I’ve got to look up the username and password, and THEN order it. 
  • Or, I could just ‘order as the current user’.  Yes, that would be great… if they actually displayed who that current user is, instead of showing this:                                                           <-  In case you’re wondering, that’s a blank. 
  • While we’re talking about ordering… their system seems to be broken.  Yesterday, when ordering some delicious shared web hosting, I ran into this nice error:  after completing the last page (which used to be the one-but-last page) I was taken back to the login screen, instead of to the page where I could confirm my order.  So, naturally I assume that there was an error processing an order.  After this happened for the fifth time, I got suspicious and looked up our most recent orders.  Yay, there they were:  5 orders of shared hosting, for the same domain!  Luckily the ‘Cancel’ option was still working…
  • In a not so distant past, when I ordered Shared Web hosting, Hostbasket took care of the domain name registration + frustration.  Here’s what happens now:
  1. On one occasion, no domain name was registered AT ALL.  So I had to register it manually and configure it myself (which only takes two clicks, but still.)
  2. On another glorious occasion, just 10 minutes later, the domain name WAS registered.  But Hostbasket didn’t configure it automatically like they said they would.  So once again, I had to configure it.  Not a big deal.  Had I actually known that they hadn’t configured it automatically, of course…

    What did I do about all this?  Nothing, to be honest.  I had better things to do than write them a long e-mail about what I thought was wrong, because I’d just get the same answer I got last time.  “yes, we’re working on that part of the website.”
    You know, usually people improve their processes over time.  I think it’s a bold – and stupid – move by Hostbasket to do the contrary.  

Is Hostbasket hosting bad?  No, we’ll probably won’t find a better alternative in Belgium.  Do the customers suffer from these problems?  Nope.  But when you’re in the web business, you’ve got to make sure that the solution you offer, works out for yourself, too.  And as of recently, things just aren’t working out.

This rant is not a part of our normal routine.  Regular updates will resume after I’ve cooled down and compensate for the time I’ve lost on Hostbasket’s stubborn backend 

Got your own unpleasant experience with a hosting company?  Share them in the comments, or send an e-mail to joomlaandmore@gmail.com .  Anonymity guaranteed 😉

2 thoughts on “Why I’m mad at Hostbasket”

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review « Joomla and more

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