Web Hosting and Stuff I Don't Want To Deal With

This was originally written over at my other blog, but it deals with both sites, so I figured I'd put it over here.  This is literally a direct copy-paste, so the part about "people on Twitter know" refer to people that follow me on one of my other Twitter accounts, @KE8P.

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Those on Twitter already know that I’ve been tasked with managing the club email list because I am the secretary of the Milford Amateur Radio Club.  I asked on Twitter if anyone had any hints and I mostly got sympathy.

So I looked for something, and stumbled upon CiviCRM that looks like it may help.  CiviCRM is an open-source Customer Relations Management system that looks pretty cool.

The problem is, it requires MySQL 5.1.  That’s not a problem FOR THEM.  It’s a problem FOR ME.  I use GoDaddy shared hosting, and they have resisted every MySQL upgrade since 5.0.  So I looked at GoDaddy’s forum, and found a cornucopia of people demanding it, all met with the same response of “we have no plans to upgrade that on the shared hosting plans, but buy a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or Dedicated Server.  Now, I pay about $100 per year for “Ultimate Shared Hosting”.  A dedicated server is $100 PER MONTH.  A VPS is $30 (ish) per month.

Mind you, the shared hosting works perfectly for me, as it’s cheap (I make no money from my websites, neither directly nor indirectly.  I don’t have the money to go to a dedicated server, nor do I have the money to go with a VPS, and if I did, I wouldn’t because I don’t want the added workload of administering a server.  I used to do that, and I got away from it because I wanted to spend time on content rather than computer administration duties.

So here I sit.  Via Twitter, I’ve received recommendations for BlueHost, DreamHost, Linode, and WestHost (and had a nice twitter conversation with an account manager from WestHost).  I haven’t made up my mind, and my hosting contract with GoDaddy is up in June.  I’ve enjoyed great up-time and service from GoDaddy in the past, but running several versions behind on the backend database is not only an annoyance (for not being able to use CiviCRM), but it is absolutely frightening to think that I may have other peoples’ emails in a database on a server that isn’t being kept up-to-date with security patches.

GoDaddy, you have a week to meet my requirements.  Upgrade to the latest MySQL.  Else, Daddy, you’ll Go.  Moving is a pain, but I will do what I have to do.  And that is NOT a promise.  I may decide to leave anyway because

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So anyway, by the time you've read this, it is on a different server.  I've moved the sites over and double-checked everything.  Email is working, CiviCRM is working (except the parts I haven't setup), and if you read this, the site is working!

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