I’m sorry if you couldn’t reach this site in the last weeks, but my hosting provider experienced several down times. I’m currently hosted at Alturo, which is member of United Internet (1and1, Schlund + Partner). A half year ago, all was fine but in the last months the service became very unreliable. Downtimes are frequent and they block search engine crawlers because these bots would “endanger the normal operations”, as an Alturo technician told me.
Of course, the hosting plans of Alturo are very cheap, but this follows from the limited support, which is available via email with slow responses (up to three days) or a $2/minute hotline. Because normally I don’t need technical support, I thought it would be OK as they are in the same data center like their "premium brands" and use the same servers (you can find old 1und1 test and configuration files on the server).
So I’m currently looking for alternatives, maybe even hosted in the US because most of my traffic comes from there, but the data center should have a very good connection to Europe. Dreamhost has been very popular in the last time, but I heard complaints about the server configuration and restrictions. The perfect solution would be a root server at plusserver.de, but this would cost 95€ (about $120) per month and is definitely to much for this site.
Plusserver.de has also a low-level-support brand called server4you.de which is in the same data center and has the same servers, but with a less professional touch and not the same support quality. A comparable plan costs 54€ (about $68) only and has the same technical specifications like plusserver.de. And after 24h months, they replace the server with a new one and you can get the old one for 20€ shipping fees as a gift.
That sounds good, but 54€ per month are still too much… I’ll continue my search and update this post when I’ve found a solution. Or you help me to pay for the new server and make a donation which would be very appreciated.
And yes, I’m currently writing this post as a draft in Word, because my site is down again since I started to write. Now, two hours later, the site is mercifully up again…