Yahoo! Web Hosting Review
Yahoo! was the first pay-for web hosting service I used and until recently, the only one. When I initially signed up with Yahoo! web hosting in 2003, they offered 3 packages. I chose the mid-range package for $19.95 a month. In the spring of 2008, they moved away from their 3-package offerings and started to offer a single package with unlimited space and bandwidth (an asterisk next to the word "unlimited"). This package was offered for $11.95 per month at the time I wrote this review.
Pros: Excellent up-time, good download speeds, 24-hour phone support (always courteous and kind), simple and easy to use.
Cons: More expensive than most shared hosting providers, slow & buggy MySQL service, lacking features that are common place among competition, clunky control panel.
Reliability: In terms of up-time and consistently good download speeds - excellent. In terms of database functionality - not very good, unless utilizing only very light database communications.
Features: Somewhat lacking compared to most shared hosting providers. The basics service components are all there, but the control panel is clunky (but functional) and doesn't offer as many options as I'd like. For instance, it is not possible to block access to your website by IP or prevent other websites from hotlinking to content.
Value: The bang for the buck wasn't very high when I was paying $20 per month, but now that they're offering a $12 package, it's getting better. Still behind other reputable hosting providers in terms of value per dollar.
Customer Support: Ranges from pretty good to mediocre depending on who you get. The customer support staff was always kind and courteous to me. Some seemed better versed in technical issues and how to deal with them than others.
Reason for leaving: I wanted better security features (like hotlink protection), more web space, more monthly bandwidth, more reliable database responsiveness, and didn't want to pay as much. Although just before leaving Yahoo!, they did up their web space, bandwidth allowance, and lowered their price, their security features and MySQL reliability did not improve.
Recommend it: Maybe, but only offering an explanation of what I liked and disliked about the service. It's strongest points were excellent uptime and consistently good download speeds.
In the five years I used Yahoo! Web Hosting, I was generally satisfied with the service, though I often felt I was paying a bit much for what it was. Their service is reliable and easy to get started without having a lot of technical knowledge. Many of today's shared hosting providers are getting better at that though, perhaps even surpassing Yahoo.
At one point, my site traffic log files were ending up full of holes and missing about half their records (sometimes more). This problem was discussed with their customer support a few times over the duration (about a year), but they didn't seem to know how to correct it. It was frustrating for me because I often study my site traffic and this made it impossible to get an accurate gauge on things for some time. It was eventually resolved, perhaps after enough people complained about it.
Although the service was lacking in some areas, it was overall stable and reliable. My site had almost no down-time because of Yahoo's redundant servers - an area in which they're still ahead of the game. Sites aren't just housed on a single server - they exist on multiple servers at the same time. If any one of them goes down, another kicks in without down time, and no files are lost. They're automatic back-up feature is nice too. All files are automatically backed up daily and available for restoration in a 4-week rotating cycle.
Yahoo! is name that most people know and trust. They're big, well-established, and will be around for a long time. That is the reason I chose their web hosting service in 2003 and I imagine many others have as well.