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How is SimpleHelix for Magento hosting
 
Sindre|ProperHost
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For those who are looking for Magento hosting, I recommend checking out the hosts at this list. It is also a good idea to ask for their demo store to check the speed, and send a few presales questions as well to check their response time.

 
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SimpleHelixcom
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crxman - 09 February 2009 08:17 AM

That’s enought for me guys,

My website went on this morning and off again after couple of hours, I’ve decided to leave the Titanic and host somewhere esle ...

I’ve just realised that the troubles they have wont be solved soon,

So bye bye Simple Helix :(

Your offline issue was a billing server issue where it kept marking you canceled, I’ve made it so the billing system can’t cancel your hosting even if it tries to, it has to be done by a person by hand -now- still investigating why it did that every morning.  It’s like it totally flaked out over you trying to go from monthly to yearly.  My apologies for this it was a very odd billing problem that I fixed, but turns out wasn’t fixed, so I fixed again, and now I’ve fixed it good (by breaking it to fix it).

 
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dniesen - 09 February 2009 04:51 AM

@frostbytes
I submitted a ticket to SimpleHelix last night because suddenly open_basedir was enabled on my account keeping me from being able to upgrade a cart.  Luckily this wasn’t a production cart but is killing me while I’m sitting around waiting to develop.  This morning, their entire support and hosting portion is down.  Emails to support are bouncing back (they must rely on the same database):

http://www.simplehelix.com/hosting/

^^^ is responding with:

Critical Error
Could not connect to the database

And my site still cannot be upgraded via Magento Connect.  Growing pains or not, they need to scramble faster to keep their business.

Yes we’re definitely scrambling.

The DB error was due to a DNS hiccup and should be fixed now, we’re also bringing 2 new dns servers online so we can offload dns and have better DNS failover so things will calm down on the dns side.

If anyone else has tickets that aren’t getting the attention they deserve, email me directly gary.harris@simplehelix.com and I’ll look into it.

We’re also bringing on more support personnel as soon as we can find worthy candidates to hire.

 
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crxman
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SimpleHelix.com - 09 February 2009 10:42 AM

Your offline issue was a billing server issue where it kept marking you canceled, I’ve made it so the billing system can’t cancel your hosting even if it tries to, it has to be done by a person by hand -now- still investigating why it did that every morning.  It’s like it totally flaked out over you trying to go from monthly to yearly.  My apologies for this it was a very odd billing problem that I fixed, but turns out wasn’t fixed, so I fixed again, and now I’ve fixed it good (by breaking it to fix it).

Okay ... let’s see what the site says when I wake up tomorow morning ...

Plaese read yesterday’s message I payed my hosting twice so I cancelled the payment from paypal, I’ve send a mail about the issue to Gary already.

Thanks,

Mike

 
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aristomat
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Short update, I was told to clear my browser cache 3hrs after the site went down for 2+hrs and that they see no problem, interesting response.  I have looked at switching to a different host only to be told that we need to pay 6-10 times the price to be able to handle multiple TLDS (all the same site) pointing to one install.  Multistore and SEO would generally indicate mutliple TLDs for each country, looks like some hosts want you to pay large corporate prices for this (not sure how Varien will see this as it defeats multi-country setups).  Looks like they all have issues, you just choose your poison (not disgruntled in any way smile )

 
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GreyWolf
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frostbytes - 05 February 2009 02:22 PM


I’m shaking my head in disbelief…

[L]

I’ve been sitting on the sidelines, watching this thread, and now *I’m* shaking my head in disbelief…

Here we have a company, (who specializes, almost exclusively, in Magento hosting) that is “up to it’s chin” in problems, and hires a system’s admin that has no previous experience in Magento hosting...?.?.?.?

Here we have folks that are intelligent enough to write their own software code (which 99.9% of the rest of the world can’t even begin to get their brain around), and artistic enough to create websites with the latest in state-of-the-art look and feel, .....
and then willing to compromise both their’s and their customer’s integrity, reputation, security and business ... ?.?.?.?
to save a buck?

The time that has been spent typing-up a “rant and rave” post, one could have setup an account someplace else and the dns would have already migrated by now.

Come on guys ... Ya get what you pay for!

There are *actually* MUCH better Magento hosting solutions out there.  And surprisingly enough, they don’t spam the forums. In fact, I’ve never seen as much as a post or blog from them. There *are* Magento hosting companies that *can* provide 99.9% up-time. And that’s *with* a “lead zepplin” bloated software program, on a “tweaked” server running a large site with a considerable amount traffic.

One thing that I’ve learned is, that there is no “silver bullet” hosting solution for Magento.
Another thing that I’ve learned is that the bigger the Magento site, the more problems, and the less knowledgeable the hosting support is.
Building a huge Magento site and setting up a server, to run a huge Magento site, with a lot of traffic, is like building a “Rube Goldberg Contraption”. 

But when it’s running ... “its a beautiful thing”!

Like I said, you get what you pay for.

 
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aristomat
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I think we are splitting off into two subjects here.  We have tried most of the systems (Interspire, Aspdotnet, Interprise, Kentico, ...) and really came up against a brick wall for good multi-currency and mutiple fronts with single inventory handling.  Magento is not perfect (all the big boys tools have a pretty impressive number of bugs) but we choose a version, live with its flaws (adjusting the business where necessary) and upgrade to the better version when there is a compelling reason to do so (knowing the amount of work should not be underestimated in an upgrade).  We were very suprised that it was free so given that I am quite impressed with the software.

Hosting (which is what the thread was started for) is a different beast.  If a company puts itself out as a Magento specialist then they know it is not the quickest software.  We chose a middle range plan (not $20 hosting for Magento which is probably going to give you sleepless nights on a live site) to match the business and this is where the choice comes in.  You go with the more flexible hosters who are proabably younger and have more teething troubles, or companies more experienced (and usually more expensive) but lack some flexibility.  A dedicated server is better performing but needs maintaining so for those without access to good sysadmins you are paying hosters for their experience to keep the server running.  If you use too much, you pay more, seems fair enough but you have to start with what suits you business, traffic, etc and not put yourself out of business before you start.  I believe Simple Helix can get it right as they seem to have the flexibility to adjust to the smaller stores (us included), but they need to act fast before customers start moving (we looked into it but the cost/benefit for moving isn’t quite there yet).  You need to find a balance for your store between maximizing profits and reliability given your size, we thought we had it right for our business and got a wake up call, we’ll see if the new guys there can bring it back online before we as a store have to decide to give up flexibility for better realibility.

 
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GreyWolf
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fifthave ...
I’m reading your “quotation”, of my last post, thinking to myself, I didn’t write that.?.?. (you planted your quote in the middle of my message)

Anyway, I’m not a developer, I’m an end-user.
Perhaps you may find this point of view and experience of some value.

You can’t get a software solution for $100-200 per year, or per month, with all the bells and whistles of Magento, even *if* some of the bells are cracked and the pea is missing out of some of the whistles. For me, Magento is a “love - hate” relationship. I’ve done the “due-diligence”. I’ve attended the Internet Retailer Conferences. And to get a product with the look and feel of Magento, I’d be paying as much as $100K to $150K plus a percentage of the gross, plus $20K a year in support and hosting, and I’d still have the same problems, as they have bugs and downtime with their softwares too. Between that, pay-for-clicks, inventory and salaries, everybody is making money - except me.

The topic here is “How is SimpleHelix for Magento hosting”

I completely understand and agree with the idea of using a cheap hosting company to develop a site for a client.

But many of these posts are ranting and raving about lousy support service, mixed up ip addresses, dns issues, servers being down and they or their clients having security breaches and losing ecommerce revenues .

What I don’t understand, as a business owner, is why these same people would compromise their client’s “production” site and business, and the dev/client continued business relationship, by continuing to utilize the same “cheap” shared-hosting.

There are many posts at these forums by folks who are *actually running* or maintaining Magento production sites. Almost all will suggest, due to the bloated software, cache issues and the way Magento handles queries, that one should run a dedicated server, (especially if they have a lot of products and any kind of traffic).

Some will say that a VPS will do just fine.
From my experience, it took me only two days to “blow up” a VPS, and ... not all dedicated servers are created equal (regardless of the server/software tweaks).

So, if one puts all of the problems from the posts of this thread together, along with the thought of some day going *live* with a Magento site, IMHO, I would say that you gotta do your due-diligence and look elsewhere for now. As a business owner, I can say that it sucks to be in the situation that SimpleHelix is in. But hopefully for Simple Helix, someday they’ll have all the scattered cattle rounded-up and back in the corral, and be able to provide good stable service again.

 
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Blackthorne
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SimpleHelix is a perfect example of Hostpapa. They accept too many customers when they’re just 4-5 geeks running a partnership and they cant handle it all. They’re quality people but whats the point when you cant manage it, if you cant handle that many people stop accepting customers at least. GO TO the big guys if you want quality. They can NOT leave you stranded. Hostgato etc. All this magento optimized is TOTAL BS, obviously when a shared host starts up there aren’t that many stores and traffic, so it will perform better but when the load does come and they do get customers, their resources GET RAPED because they aren’t a big company. ESPECIALLY advertising that you are magento optimized is even WORSE because that means more people using hardcore resource hogging magento will join the same shared host and guaranteed it will be a shit fest. Look at http://www.seawiser.com magento store hosted by Hostgator much cheaper and man they respond fast. Stop joining these indi hosts because you will regret it 1 year from now I promise you.

 
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SisterTwisted - 10 February 2009 12:02 PM

@Blackthorne

Are you hosted with SH? IF you’re not you really don’t have anything to talk about here.

To their credit, my site was moved yesterday, and so far it’s blazing fast like it was when I first signed up. Even faster actually.

I have 15000 or so products right now and it’s handling it quite nicely.

Obviously the true test will come when the server I’m on now is filled but it looks like they’re being extremely careful about what goes where.

http://www.seawiser.com hosted by hostgator

Who are you to tell me I have no right to state my opinion?

 
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zoooj
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I’ve been with SH for just over three months now. My first Magento build went live on Jan 22nd. This week it’s been down for just over 6 hours in total (that I’m aware of). The site’s been live for 19 days, therefore the uptime is now at 98.3%, which over the course of a year will be just over 115 hours of downtime. That’s a lot of time for a commercial website to be down for.

The email I received did explain the problem was with the nameservers, though I’d have thought it better for them to put a post onto their main website explaining the problem to be honest to mitigate the number of people not knowing what’s going on and unable to email them. None of my emails went through during the outage, nor could I access the client area.

As with SisterTwisted the site’s now fine and page loading times are fast (though there are far fewer products - about 400). However, it’s been a rather embarrassing experience, to be honest. That’s embarrassing for me when having to explain why my client’s newly launched site is broken and for SimpleHelix who really shouldn’t be getting this kind of thing wrong. I agree with a previous post which suggested turning away customers rather than risk current customers.

 
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zoooj
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I hope you’re right about SimpleHelix knuckling down to make this work. It seems to be a case of them taking back control of the servers and monitoring them much more closely. It may also mean they need to increase prices if they want to be profitable.

 
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James Hayton
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I have an account with Simple Helix and I am planning on moving to another server very shortly.  I have already signed up for the new account and just tuning an optimizing on a sub domain before I make the move.  Long story short is that my site has gone down far too often.  In the past I have had long outages, but lately the site just goes down for 30 seconds saying that the mysql server has gone away and then it comes right back.  Support has been great at times and not so great at others.  They will probably fix their problems, but I don’t want to be around while they figure it out.  They are worth a look when problems are fixed, but right now there are much better options for anyone serious about their store.  Just my experience with them for anyone interested.  rasberry

 
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Cymri
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Well...... based on what I thought was a fairly thorough research process here I decided to correct my error of hosting with Godaddy by signing on with Simple Helix. I called them today with some basic questions that seemed to have the receptionist fairly stumped but she was on top of it enough to finally get Steve on the phone. He struck me as a very professional and knowledgable guy and I told him he had a new customer.

I signed up and migrated my domain successfully to SH’s nameservers. I confirmed the migration by Whois and tracert queries and went to login and it just wouldn’t do it. That was at 4 pm and at almost 10 pm I am sitting here with an unacknowledged support ticket that led me to dig a little deeper until I found this downward spiraling thread.

Now I can understand the issues of growing pains cited here, but it really irks me that the 24/7 phone/chat/email support promised in their sales pitch on their site is clearly BS. After my experience with Godaddy’s woefully bad support, it was one of the main selling points for me. I spent probably half an hour clicking through every page looking for the damn phone number or live chat app before I realized it simply was not there, That’s not cool.

I understand that having a stable of tech guys that can solve the tougher problems is a tall order, but it’s difficult for me to believe that there isn’t a trainee around that can answer why I can’t login to my page.

Moreover, it should not be necessary for me to have to search in the Knowledgebase just to find out how to get to the control panel.

*UPDATE: 10:45 PM
Min wrote back with my correct login info. There is incorrect/incomplete info in the Knowledgebase about control panel login. For anyone else running into this, your control panel login is NOT in your Welcome Email, but here:

Client Area > Manage my Hosting & Services > Hosting > View Details > Login to DirectAdmin

the View Details link is a small unlabeled icon to the right of your hosting plan

I’m going to stick it out for a while with SH and see if they can get back to where they were a few months ago. I pull for the underdog, but things need to get whipped into shape. It’s Business

 
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Blackthorne
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fifthave - 10 February 2009 04:07 PM

Blackthorne - 10 February 2009 11:59 AM
SimpleHelix is a perfect example of Hostpapa. They accept too many customers when they’re just 4-5 geeks running a partnership and they cant handle it all. They’re quality people but whats the point when you cant manage it, if you cant handle that many people stop accepting customers at least. GO TO the big guys if you want quality. They can NOT leave you stranded. Hostgato etc. All this magento optimized is TOTAL BS, obviously when a shared host starts up there aren’t that many stores and traffic, so it will perform better but when the load does come and they do get customers, their resources GET RAPED because they aren’t a big company. ESPECIALLY advertising that you are magento optimized is even WORSE because that means more people using hardcore resource hogging magento will join the same shared host and guaranteed it will be a shit fest. Look at http://www.seawiser.com magento store hosted by Hostgator much cheaper and man they respond fast. Stop joining these indi hosts because you will regret it 1 year from now I promise you.

@Blackthorne

I don’t know how long you have been a customer of hostgator, but I wouldn’t be pluggin them because your store is not that fast.  Maybe hostgator is NOT OPTIMIZED for magento.  Is your database Innodb or MyISAM? .  There is some optimization a host can do and is not BS.  Also Brent and I go way back, when he first started his company in Boca Raton, Florida.  I have personally booted resource hogs from his servers that was affecting other clients, so it just a matter of time before they tell you to move to a vps or dedicated box.  Hostgator is a well-run host, but they are not perfect either.  They too had their share of growing pains from a huge blackout from their server provider that caused them to move over 25,000 clients to the planet.  Lost data because of their weekly backups failed.  You want to talk about a crap fest, that was.  As matter of fact, every single host will have a catastrophic event that will make them question their existence.  Some will fold and sell out to me and other companies that buy hosting companies or they will dig in and pull their sleeves up.  That appears to be the case for SH.

In fairness to Simple Helix, magento is a beast that has unlimited potential and many unknowns.  The only thing that Simple Helix is lacking is business savvy and that is gain through the university of hard knocks.  If you care too look at my post history, I have posted several time about various hosting issues and bug issue.  I knew about two months ago, that SH was having some issues.

I don’t use Hostgator, what I was saying is at least Hostgator would not have those downtime’s. What Im getting at is that if you’re paying for a premium you better get what you paid for (they better deliver). I personally use http://www.fusednetwork.com/ they’re amazing, support responds within minutes no matter what day and time, uptime is outstanding. I would never think of moving away from them.

 
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