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Author Topic: K-Tools Hosting  (Read 8256 times)

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« on: May 09, 2012, 13:51 »
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Would anyone mind sharing their hosting experiences with me, where - how much good/bad etc.  Thanks in advance!


lisafx

« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 16:09 »
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I'm at Bluehost, which was one of the webhosts recommended by Ktools.  No problems at all.  I've been there over a year and very happy.  :)

velocicarpo

« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 16:11 »
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Would anyone mind sharing their hosting experiences with me, where - how much good/bad etc.  Thanks in advance!

I do not have personal experience with Ktools hosting, but I heard a lot of times that it is very reliable. Nevertheless IMHO you should consider a own VPS. It is much cheaper and the Problems with Server admin are overrated. A script like KTools is installed with just a few clicks. The most complicated should be installing the Database on a own VPS which takes like 5 clicks in CPanel.

« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 16:42 »
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I use their own hosting. No problems other than the software has some things that should have been better.

« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 08:31 »
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Ktools look nice, I think the pricing could have been different. Many people venturing in this business will need a lot of time to develop the site, maybe a subscription option would have been a great idea.

« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 10:30 »
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They do have a subscription, but I think it was around $45 /month which includes installation, hosting and upgrades.  I'd stay at Smugmug for a lot less than that.  I need a site for hosting client files so I might as well sell my stock photos on it also - but don't like paying US taxes on my earnings so I need to do it myself.

« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 10:30 »
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In my personal experience I have seen our KTools site go offline for 30 to 90 minutes at a time, especially during the morning hours in the eastern US. Many times I have seen it run so slow that it was virtually inaccessible, and other members of WP have contacted me during such times to let me know...so it's not just from my end.

« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2012, 12:30 »
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I had really good luck with them but outgrew them.

I HIGHLY recommend http://www.knownhost.com for VPS or hybrid hosting. Great pricing on VPS and a lot of incremental plans and great, fast service.

RacePhoto

« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2012, 09:37 »
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I use Gate.com for hosting a few sites, nice support, easy to manage behind the scenes, all the right software on the servers, reasonable prices. What people find is that the cheapest and some FBN hosting (in someones basement) just can't handle the traffic. Otherwise it's like going to a fast food place. The prices are similar, they are all competing, they all have the same fries, burgers and soft drinks.

What I'm pointing out is, find an established hosting company, that's not just the cheapest, it's for a business and people want to cut corners? I don't get it. You'll probably pay about $110 a year for a good one and about $10 a year for Domain Name Registration (two years at a time) Heck that's cheap! $10 a month for your own website.

They have a refer a friend program, I don't care about $25 for referrals. Just that gate.com is a good reliable service at a reasonable price. Take a look?

« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2012, 09:46 »
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I'm at Bluehost, which was one of the webhosts recommended by Ktools.  No problems at all.  I've been there over a year and very happy.  :)

I was there also with Ktools, and I have used bluehost for some client's sites. No problems.

« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2012, 10:00 »
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We were down for 9 hours this morning, and I have the Google Analytics to prove it.  >:(  I'm afraid I can't recommend KTools hosting to anyone.  This has to be the third outage I have caught in the last 45 days. Who knows how many I didn't catch?

« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2012, 10:04 »
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We were down for 9 hours this morning, and I have the Google Analytics to prove it.  >:(  I'm afraid I can't recommend KTools hosting to anyone.  This has to be the third outage I have caught in the last 45 days. Who knows how many I didn't catch?

Yeah, mine was down too.

« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2012, 14:12 »
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you should use pingdom to track your down time (and warn you when your site is down).  It is free if you just have it track one site
http://www.pingdom.com/

How much are your paying for ktools hosting?  I've got my site hosted with wiredtree.  I've been really happy with them but their minimum package is $50/month.  I also have a few small sites with bluehost and can also say good things about them.

« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2012, 16:59 »
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another for bluehost although I dont have ktools.
On my hosting I have cms account which I havent finished setting up yet (has about 6000 images so far, struggles if I upload more than 25-30 images at once). I also have a coppermine gallery with about 8000 images in it and about 6 other sites one of which gets about 200k pageviews a month. All up using about 85GB of space.
Overall it is not the super fast speeds of your own webserver, but it is respectable and of course you are only paying for shared hosting. the few times I have used support it has been fast and friendly.

« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2012, 17:01 »
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another for bluehost although I dont have ktools.
On my hosting I have cms account which I havent finished setting up yet (has about 6000 images so far, struggles if I upload more than 25-30 images at once). I also have a coppermine gallery with about 8000 images in it and about 6 other sites one of which gets about 200k pageviews a month. All up using about 85GB of space.
Overall it is not the super fast speeds of your own webserver, but it is respectable and of course you are only paying for shared hosting. the few times I have used support it has been fast and friendly.

that's the best ad I have seen for bluehost so far :)

« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2012, 07:33 »
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We were down for 9 hours this morning, and I have the Google Analytics to prove it.  >:(  I'm afraid I can't recommend KTools hosting to anyone.  This has to be the third outage I have caught in the last 45 days. Who knows how many I didn't catch?

Yeah, mine was down too.


We've been down for 8.5 hours since last evening. I really can't express how terrible KTools hosting is. This is over 17 hours of downtime that I know of just in the last few days.

Suffice it to say we have to move, or simply raise the white flag. I'm not looking forward to the logistics of moving over 30 thousand images.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 07:44 by djpadavona »

« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2012, 11:59 »
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If you find a good host it really isn't a problem making the move.  I just moved a number of big sites and it will take a while in terms of waiting for the transfer but transferring a big site and a small site require exactly the same steps... the length of wait is the only difference. 

Just be sure to use shell access (or similar back door method) to transfer the site directly from one server to another.. don't go from Server A -> your computer -> server B

« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2012, 13:28 »
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you should use pingdom to track your down time (and warn you when your site is down).  It is free if you just have it track one site
http://www.pingdom.com/

How much are your paying for ktools hosting?  I've got my site hosted with wiredtree.  I've been really happy with them but their minimum package is $50/month.  I also have a few small sites with bluehost and can also say good things about them.


Thanks for the link, I'll check it out. Here's the hosting prices:

http://www.ktools.net/ktools.hosting.php

I'm not ready to pull the plug yet, but it was pretty bad this weekend. Definitely unacceptable. That said, I hadn't noticed any significant downtime prior to this. I should probably send out an email or phone call on Monday to get an explanation.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 13:58 by cthoman »

« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2012, 14:04 »
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Thanks for the link, I'll check it out. Here's the hosting prices:

http://www.ktools.net/ktools.hosting.php

I'm not ready to pull the plug yet, but it was pretty bad this weekend. Definitely unacceptable. That said, I hadn't noticed any significant downtime prior to this. I should probably send out an email or phone call on Monday to get an explanation.


Definitely. I went a step farther and demanded a refund of this month's hosting costs.

They talk a big game on their hosting page about "lifetime support" and "reliable hosting." But the truth is it is just 2 guys running the show, and they apparently aren't set up to monitor the servers 24/7. So if the server goes down at midnight on the weekend, plan on being down until someone walks into the office sometime the next day.

Hosting requires a lot more effort than that. If they can't keep up with it, they shouldn't offer it. I'd say at this point that any claims of reliable hosting is at best disingenuous.

« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2012, 14:11 »
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Thanks for the link, I'll check it out. Here's the hosting prices:

http://www.ktools.net/ktools.hosting.php

I'm not ready to pull the plug yet, but it was pretty bad this weekend. Definitely unacceptable. That said, I hadn't noticed any significant downtime prior to this. I should probably send out an email or phone call on Monday to get an explanation.


Definitely. I went a step farther and demanded a refund of this month's hosting costs.

They talk a big game on their hosting page about "lifetime support" and "reliable hosting." But the truth is it is just 2 guys running the show, and they apparently aren't set up to monitor the servers 24/7. So if the server goes down at midnight on the weekend, plan on being down until someone walks into the office sometime the next day.

Hosting requires a lot more effort than that. If they can't keep up with it, they shouldn't offer it. I'd say at this point that any claims of reliable hosting is at best disingenuous.


That's kind of what I figured was happening by the hours that it was down. Unfortunately, I don't really have downtime hours. I've sold to people in Japan, Australia, Germany, UK, America and more. That means I should be open for business pretty much 24 hours a day.

« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2012, 09:15 »
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Same with us Cory. As a guesstimate, I'd say 1/3 of all sales are non-US.

FWIW Warmpicture is hung up again this morning. I've been trying for 15 minutes to access our site and I can't. Google Analytics shows the visitor count stopped, so it's not my connection. You just can't make these things up. It's an unmitigated disaster.

« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2012, 09:27 »
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Yes. I'm down again this morning as well. I guess I should start looking for another host. I don't remember this ever happening with my Bluehost site, so maybe that is the way to go. I think that was on their recommended list.

« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2012, 09:37 »
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The bigger issue is how Google treats these outages. They take server reliability and speed very seriously. I told the other contributors that we dropped 20 to 30 spots in the rankings just in the last few days. It's no coincidence.

So the bottom line is I really believe Warmpicture is finished. It's just too hard to come back from these repeated issues. It took me 3 solid months of daily link building to get us to where we were, and we lost it all in 4 days because of KTools.

« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2012, 11:45 »
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I'd be really careful about moving to Bluehost, I'm having issues with them lately running ktools , I'm seeing super high server loads according to the widget in ktools manager and some throttling recorded on my account recently which is new. It's certainly not due to overwhelming traffic as I haven't launched yet. Just a shared hosting hazard.  I've been looking seriously at a move to Media Temple. I've used bluehost since 2005 I'd still recommend them for general hosting but not for a large ktools site.

« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2012, 14:11 »
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I'd be really careful about moving to Bluehost, I'm having issues with them lately running ktools , I'm seeing super high server loads according to the widget in ktools manager and some throttling recorded on my account recently which is new. It's certainly not due to overwhelming traffic as I haven't launched yet. Just a shared hosting hazard.  I've been looking seriously at a move to Media Temple. I've used bluehost since 2005 I'd still recommend them for general hosting but not for a large ktools site.

Thanks for the advice. I will definitely keep that in mind. It doesn't look like they do server to server website transfers either.

« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2012, 13:14 »
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The bigger issue is how Google treats these outages. They take server reliability and speed very seriously. I told the other contributors that we dropped 20 to 30 spots in the rankings just in the last few days. It's no coincidence.

So the bottom line is I really believe Warmpicture is finished. It's just too hard to come back from these repeated issues. It took me 3 solid months of daily link building to get us to where we were, and we lost it all in 4 days because of KTools.

Dan - are you going to give this more thought before you throw in the towel?  is Warmpicture still dropping?

RacePhoto

« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2012, 02:15 »
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Try this, and not the ones you find that are nothing but paid ads for hosting sites, pretending to be a rating report:

http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2012/04/02/most-reliable-hosting-company-sites-in-march-2012.html

Blue Who: (outage nothing new)

http://victorcaballero.com/bluehost-once-again-down/

Hint for your next project. Don't pick the cheapest service.  ::)
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 02:20 by RacePhoto »

antistock

« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2012, 23:31 »
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Hosting requires a lot more effort than that. If they can't keep up with it, they shouldn't offer it. I'd say at this point that any claims of reliable hosting is at best disingenuous.

no.
they're probably not even hosting themselves, they certainly use a reseller and when there's troubles they sleep or they have to wait for the reseller to fix the issue.

if you're serious about your business you should consider a reliable hosting, something like Rackspace for instance.

antistock

« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2012, 23:34 »
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Try this, and not the ones you find that are nothing but paid ads for hosting sites, pretending to be a rating report:

http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2012/04/02/most-reliable-hosting-company-sites-in-march-2012.html

Blue Who: (outage nothing new)

http://victorcaballero.com/bluehost-once-again-down/

Hint for your next project. Don't pick the cheapest service.  ::)


i used DreamHost and BlueHost in the past (they're the same company) and so far so good with small sites, but for anything else i would stay away, it all depends how much traffic you have, a CMS like Ktools can be pretty intensive about cpu time and bandwidth, if you see many slowdowns it's time to move to a VPN, or just rethink your whole business and use Photoshelter or SmugMug etc

antistock

« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2012, 23:39 »
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They talk a big game on their hosting page about "lifetime support" and "reliable hosting." But the truth is it is just 2 guys running the show, and they apparently aren't set up to monitor the servers 24/7.

this makes me fuming, it's so normal nowadays for fly by night companies to sell and resell things they know sh-it about.

even joomla and wordpress are selling hosting and domain names ... w-t-f ?
these guys all take hosting too lightly and when there's a serious trouble they're caught red handed and they realize they need a lot of money
and skilled sysadmins running the game, and an expert unix sysadmin doesn't come cheap, nor the faulty raid hard drives, the daily maintenance, the server room, and the eventual datacenter.

i know their logic .. they have customer buying their software and asking them to suggest a good hosting, before or later they have the genius
idea of selling hosting themselves .. and bingo !!

« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2012, 08:14 »
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They talk a big game on their hosting page about "lifetime support" and "reliable hosting." But the truth is it is just 2 guys running the show, and they apparently aren't set up to monitor the servers 24/7.

even joomla and wordpress are selling hosting and domain names ... w-t-f ?
these guys all take hosting too lightly and when there's a serious trouble they're caught red handed and they realize they need a lot of money
and skilled sysadmins running the game, and an expert unix sysadmin doesn't come cheap, nor the faulty raid hard drives, the daily maintenance, the server room, and the eventual datacenter.

Exactly. Doesn't Yahoo have hosting too? There are so many "me too" hosts that I lose count.

FWIW Dan Heller uses ServerBeach and he has been individually running a successful stock site for over a decade. It's also interesting that he is a techie first, and a photographer second, so I assume he chose carefully.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 08:22 by djpadavona »

« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2012, 11:19 »
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@djpadavona and others that experienced the recent down time on ktools8 (whoever that may be in this topic?).

I understand you are upset over the recent down times (in and out of service) for about a week on the ktools8 server.
So here is information for those that want to know.

The Ktools8 Crash:
The ktools8 server started to crash 1st week of July, I looked over the logs and seen nothing out of the norm and figured it was just a non-issue. It happened again a few days later, so back to work I went at looking over everything, figured it may of been related to the nightly updating of cPanel systems. Next day it crashed again, so during that crash we ran all sorts of diagnostics on it (took a few hours) and determined some system files were damaged. We let the server boot up and run until that night when traffic is slowest and then ran a fsck (Linux file system check) to find and fix damaged system files. After that completed (took a couple hours) the server has been running fine ever since (19 days at the time of this writing). Every hosting has it's downtime or an issue here and there.

Just 2 People:
Yes this is very true and we don't hide this, it is Jon and I (Jeff), and we use Softlayer for our data center. At that data center is 100's of technicians that help us at any given notice. So essentially we are more than just 2 people.  I have been working on servers, computers, websites, and programming since 1993. Jon has many years of experience as well.

Our Data Center:
We don't like to deal with the hardware side so we rent our servers, although we are well capable of hardware related issues if needed. There are reasons we rent our servers. One, is they are in a proper data center (think of cooling, electrical requirements, on demand backup electrical, etc..). Two, that datacenter has direct connection into the internet backbone (super-fast). Three, the data center manages the hardware (less we have to worry about). Those are the main three reasons, there are others reasons but I can't cover them all here.
The data center is located out of Dallas, Texas. All servers are monitored 24/7 and we are notified when a server goes offline. We rent our servers (hardware) and we configured them to what we need to run a proper "photo" store online, and I don't just mean our product photostore. I mean any php based scripts that works with photos. Working with photos on the web requires a lot of memory and CPU. Very similar to the way Adobe Photoshop requires a lot of memory on your computer.
Also just an FYI, there are over 4000 other hosting companies that use the data center that we use, like for example HostGator (those 4000 run their hosting setup just like we do, rented hardware).

Why We Do This:
As stated above, to run a website that works with photos you must have hosting that offers a lot of memory and CPU. Unfortunately you will have a very hard time finding this on a $3 "unlimited" (which isn't unlimited, I will talk about that more further down this post) plan that the big hosters seems to be offering these days. There is a reason the big guys can sell you hosting for $3, it is because they will put upwards of thousands of sites on the same server and then limit them severely on what they can and can't do (hardly any memory or CPU usage). It's all about profit per server ratio. 2000 sites at $3 a month is $6000 a month gross for that one server. We limit our hosting to around 50 sites per server at $24.95 a month is $1247.50 gross. With only 50 sites per server this allows us to offer way more memory and CPU for your site to function correctly without errors. This also puts less load (traffic) per server so MySQL etc.. all runs as fast as possible. That is why we even started offering hosting in the first place, there are just to many clients of ours that couldn't find good working hosting for their stores. I am sure this is the exact reason others that offer scripts (wordpress, etc..) now offer hosting as well.

Unlimited Hosting:
This is just a FYI for those thinking of an "unlimited" hosting package from someone. The famous unlimited plan that most the big guys are offering for $1 to $7 isn't unlimited. No such thing as unlimited disk space or bandwidth, you would ventually hit a limit if you keep trying. I have seen so many clients of ours sign up for hosting elsewhere and within a year they get their site turned off without notice from their hosting company because of a violation of the TOS (terms of service). Basically the hosting comes up saying something like "Sorry, but you are using disk space to store media, and that is against our TOS and you must delete these media to get your service turned back on". So what happens is the client of ours uploaded gigabytes of photos until they hit some sort of "hidden" limit that forces the hosting company to investigate why they are using so much disk space. Then from there they find a reason to shut the site off. Most hosting will even say in their TOS (terms of service) that storage of media isn't allowed (photos are considered media).


Conclusion:
You are free to host where you want, all hosting will have their downtimes. It's hard to find any hosting that will accommodate a photo based website, especially one that uses PHP/MySQL, and one that is capable of creating thumbs, samples, etc.. on the fly.
You're upset over the downtime, I get that, I'm sorry it happened. We do care about our clients, their site, and their business. We take hosting very seriously and we work hard to make it the best you can get for our products.

« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2012, 16:13 »
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I understand you take it seriously. However the fact remains that the downtime has been extraordinary. I run 2 websites, and up until a year ago I ran a third. All 3 were monitored by 3rd party software for outages. I can tell you that I have had more than 10x as much outage time in the last month with KTools hosting than I had in 5 total years of hosting for my other sites.

I have money on the line with this business. I don't doubt for a second we permanently lost customers who figured we simply closed shop. The loss in traffic we experienced in the week following these outages was very large, and even today we are still sitting 10 to 15% below where we were prior to the outages.

So continue to take it seriously, and kudos for doing so. But don't be surprised when disgruntled customers publicly question what they are paying for when something like this occurs twice inside of a week.

« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2012, 23:21 »
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I understand you take it seriously. However the fact remains that the downtime has been extraordinary. I run 2 websites, and up until a year ago I ran a third. All 3 were monitored by 3rd party software for outages. I can tell you that I have had more than 10x as much outage time in the last month with KTools hosting than I had in 5 total years of hosting for my other sites.

I have money on the line with this business. I don't doubt for a second we permanently lost customers who figured we simply closed shop. The loss in traffic we experienced in the week following these outages was very large, and even today we are still sitting 10 to 15% below where we were prior to the outages.

So continue to take it seriously, and kudos for doing so. But don't be surprised when disgruntled customers publicly question what they are paying for when something like this occurs twice inside of a week.

I'm sorry we are unable to make you happy. There were no other outages after the fix on the 9th of July, if you are getting a report of outages after that date then it is false or the IP of reporting company blocked for excessive pinging. I agree with you that the down time was a little extraordinary since usually there is hardly any downtime per year. However even if you compared the number of hours down for that week to the number of hours in a year (8760) it still puts that server in the uptime well over 99% (1% being 87.60 hours). 99%+ is the norm for shared hosting.

If your company is very dependant on hosting being up all the time then you should consider putting your site(s) on multiple servers with a load balancer etc.. like the "big sites" do. So when one server is down or overloaded it switches traffic to another which has a duplicate of your site. When you get shared hosting or for that matter anything less than I described above you will need to plan on downtime because it will happen with any hosting company.

Again I am sorry it happend, that you're upset about it, and there is nothing I can say to you that will change your opinion.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 23:33 by Ktools_Jeff »


 

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