** Update - Nikey Bergi Won The Free ASP.NET Hosting Account.
After signing up, I immediately got a series of four confirmation emails. This was
at 7:19 AM their time (Pacific I guess). Basically, just confirmation of payment
and billing account setup. Then at 8:01 AM their time, I got another email titled
"Verification Reminder" saying that I can instantly verify the billing
details for my PersonalClass ASP plan and set up my account by going to their
LiveChat system. This I did, and I got to chat within about a minute. The conversation
11:17 XXXX: Hello and thank you for contacting Arvixe. How can I assist you? If at
any point of this conversation, you don't receive a response from me for a prolonged
period of time, it may be possible that you were disconnected. Please simply
restart the chat session through our website.
11:18Peter Bromberg: I got an email saying I could view details and set up my account
by going to live chat. Aren't I supposed to wait for an email that my account
has been set up?
11:18 XXXX: Let me check that for you... please wait.
11:20NXXXX: Your hosting plan setup is done. Shortly, you should receive an email
with login links inside. This email was just sent to you, so please allow a few
moments. All the instructions are in it, so please read it carefully and thoroughly.
Make sure our emails didn't arrive at your Spam/Junk folders on your webmail
or mail client.
11:20Peter Bromberg: that is fine. Thanks!
11:20XXXX: You're welcome! Have a nice day! And thank you for choosing Arvixe.
So, essentially my account got set up with complete instructions in a little over
an hour. I've seen this happen faster with other hosting companies, but I consider
it acceptable - and the chat feature is a nice one.
Domain Transfers and New Domains
When I initially set up the account, one of the choices was to point a domain you
own to the new site. You can also get a brand new domain, or you can transfer
a domain. If you transfer a domain, or get a new one, as long as you are hosting
the site for that domain on arvixe.com, they will renew your domain free for
life - a pretty nifty feature, since I am already paying GoDaddy.com an annual
fee just to have the domain parked.
Within 5 minutes in their control panel, I had confirmed and tested my FTP account,
set up a new SQL Server 2008 database, and verified that the domain now pointed
to my new Arvixe site. This is probably the most trouble - free and fastest set
up I have ever encountered. Here is a summary of the account I set up:
Hosting Plan: PersonalClass ASP
Purchase Date: 2/23/2011 8:15:22 AM
Disk Space, MB: Unlimited
Bandwidth, MB/Month: Unlimited
Maximum Number of Domains: Unlimited
Maximum Number of Sub-Domains: Unlimited
Note that the disk space is unlimited, Bandwidth is unlimited, number of domains
is unlimited. On top of that, if I transfer my domain, they'll renew it free
every year. For $8.00 a month if you pay monthly, or only $5.00 a month if you
pay every two years, I bet you will be hard - pressed to find a better deal than
this. This "PersonalClass ASP" account has a feature list of included
items that is both extensive and useful. I won't bore you with the details here,
you can visit their site page and look at the feature list yourself. Their Web Control Panel is well organized and also features a "Scheduled Tasks"
Item that many hosting companies do not offer. Scheduled tasks include Back up
Database, Check Web site availability, Send Files via FTP, Send Email Notification,
and Zip space files.
Currently they also offer a promotion where you get 10% Off By Linking to Arvixe
on your site or 70 Dollars Cash Back By Referring a Friend.
Additional Included Features
They also enable Remote Managment of your site, which allows you to use your local
IIS management console to connect to your site and administer it just as if it
were on your local machine. This means, for example, that you can put in a custom
404 handler (something I often do) and other items, including adding IP blocking,
etc. Most hosting companies "control panels" conveniently ignore these
kind of needs, being designed to be "simple".
One issue I did have is how to get the connection string to my SQL 2008 database.
Another quick chat:
12:07XXXX: Hello and thank you for contacting Arvixe. If at any point of this conversation,
you don't receive a response from me for a prolonged period of time, it may be
possible that you were disconnected. Please simply restart the chat session.
12:08Peter Bromberg: I can't find how to connect to my new SQL 2008 database via
SQL Management studio
12:09XXXX: Please find the instructions at http://blog.arvixe.com/how-to-use-microsoft-sql-server-2008-to-connect-to-your-database/
12:09XXXX: To fix a known principal error read http://blog.arvixe.com/how-to-fix-the-the-server-principal-is-not-able-to-access-the-database-error-in-microsoft-sql-server-management-studio/
12:09Peter Bromberg: Great thanks.
12:10XXXX: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
12:10Peter Bromberg: no that should do it.
Subsequent to that, I got the database visible in SQL Server Management Studio and
all was well. It would have been nice if they had put this information in the
welcome email along with everything else. It would have saved me some time. I
also tried using their email Tech Support and got the same anwer within just
a few minutes.
But otherwise, I'd have to say that the setup process was pretty smooth, and tech
support (especially that live chat feature) is top - notch. If you've ever had
to go around in circles with tech support at some hosting company, you'll appreciate
what I'm saying. Incidentally, I also asked if I could transfer my domain to
arvixe.com and still get the "Free domain for life" renewal deal, and
they said I could do it at any time.
Available Components / Controls
Your Arvixe.com hosting account also provides you with access to a large suite of controls from email to TCP to reporting, and they will install any control for you if you
do not find it in their list!
Arvixe is one of very few web hosting companies that offers Full Trust and a Dedicated
App pool for each website created. They are also one of very few hosts now offering
ASP .NET 4.0, WebMatrix and Web Deploy.
According to Microsoft's featured hosters pages, not only is Arvixe a "spotlight"
hosting partner (meaning they've passed all their tests for all the technologies)
but they are also the only host on the list offering Unlimited Space/Bandwidth/Databases. Therefore, Arvixe.com can rightfully
claim to be the low price leader in the Windows hosting realm, hands down.
Summary: Arvixe.com offers high quality ASP.NET site hosting at extremely affordable prices
with a base feature list that is really quite outstanding by any competitive
measure. Dealing with Tech Support is easy and fast, as is site setup. I can
faithfully state that you will have a difficult time finding a better deal and
the reliability that goes with your arvixe.com hosting account.