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Lunarpages Review

by Tom Penick
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Lunarpages is the webhosting company that this web site uses. I have used several webhosting companies over the 12+ years that this web site has existed. The move to Lunarpages was the result of a need to find a webhosting company that was operated in a professional manner and did not charge excessively for high bandwidth usage. tomzap.com continues to grow at a steady pace and is a large web site with 1000s of bandwidth-consuming photographs and an active forum. I have been happy with Lunarpages since I started using their service in 2005.

Lunarpages notifies me of scheduled maintenance and changes that may affect my account. There is seldom any downtime. The system seems to perform well for me and for the readers of tomzap.com. I can use cgi scripts. I do not have shell access. Support is always responsive.

Lunarpages Support One note of caution if you should use Lunarpages is the technical support system. On the front lines of Lunarpages technical support are its dimmest and least knowledgeable non-technical staff. For example, in one initial contact I reported, "For the last couple of months there seems to be a 150kB limitation on the email attachments that I can receive. Can this limitation be lifted?" Lunarpages frontline staff, Deanna Murphy, replied that "Unfortunately none of the limits can be altered" and pointed me to information that stated there was a 10MB restriction on email attachments. She kindly invited me to respond in the event I should need any additional help. So I had to explain to Deanna that 150kB was much less than the 10MB limit, so there was a problem remaining to be dealt with. Finally after several more exchanges, the "support" staff decided to forward my issue to "technical staff" for review. What a grand idea! Why didn't we think of it sooner? So in dealing with Lunarpages technical support, my recommendation is to state your problem carefully, avoid abbreviations, technical terminology and multisyllable words as much as possible. Do not assume that the person with whom you are communicating has any knowledge of internet operations. Use short sentences and do not include more than one problem per support ticket. And finally, be patient--advice I struggle with.

2009 Update It appears that Lunarpages has peaked and is in a solid decline. The notices of outages have stopped but outages have increased and they no longer meet their published uptime specs. The most recent difficulty is that I am facing requirements to limit my use of CPU time and memory. The task is complicated by an absence of published CPU and memory usage limits coupled with a lack of a means for me to monitor this usage myself. I allowed support to talk me into upgrading to a "virtual private server". I did not have time to make the move myself so I paid Lunarpages to do it for me. They did not have the technical ability to successfully complete the job so I canceled the move but they pocketed the fee. As I continued my dialog with support on the CPU and memory usage issue, it became apparent that their own accounting of this usage was flawed. In one report, one of the alleged top 3 files whose usage violated the unpublished CPU usage limits was the file which is called into use when posting to an older version of the Visitors' Comments. This version was made read only long ago so that file is not actually employed and therefore cannot be a leading contributor to CPU usage. I don't feel like embarking on the tedious task of explaining this to Lunarpages support so I will be moving tomzap.com to a better webhosting company. Lately the heckling over the CPU issue has stopped so perhaps a light bulb has come on somewhere but I don't know when the next bout of idiocy will begin.

This page has been visited times since January 13, 2007.

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The Pacific Coast of Mexico www.tomzap.com Tom Penick:  tom@tomzap.com