We began using Dantor.com on May 13, 2003, when our previous hosting company, KorkSoft.com, put us onto a half-speed machine and then refused to answer any contact attempts.
By this point, we had now changed hosting companies 7 times in the past year or so and I REALLY wanted to just find someone that was stable and reliable. I explained in detail our situation to Dantor so that it was crystal-clear what our traffic and size were so there would be no misunderstandings. They said this was quite normal for them - in fact we were at the low end of the sites they managed. This was a very good sign!
I was up on the server on May 14th, and everything moved over quite smoothly. We got a P4 2.4 GHz with our own copy of SQL Server and *mirrored* hard drives for a setup fee of $99 and monthly fee of $282. This way I had full control over my own SQL database setup, avoiding the numerous past problems with inept SQL administrators taking our site down. I had mirrored drives, so even if we had numerous hard drive failures a la CIHost.com, we'd be covered. The server was very fast, so we wouldn't have the slowdown issues of KorkSoft.com.
From May through September, we were happy. The site was been up and stable. Requests for information had been responded to in a timely manner. We did have an issue in that our chat NEVER worked properly, despite us working on it regularly. Chat worked perfectly on previous servers and on the subsequent server, so something about their network just wasn't kosher.
Starting in September, the site went down four separate times. In each case it appeared that they were testing equipment during the middle of the day. Two of the cases happened during the same week. One time the site was down for 2 hours in prime time, the other time the site was down for 4 hours. Both times when I called repeatedly I got either nobody answering or a busy signal. Afterwards I had to prod them to get a response as to why the site went down.
The core problem appears to be that the Dantor people are almost an hour away from the hosting facility and do not control the facility. So if there's a problem, you have to wait that hour for things to get worked on, and if there isn't coordination between Dantor and the facility, you're left in the dark.
In the end, this lack of communication wore me down. I would call, email, page and nobody would answer. I would be stressed out that the site was down and I would have no idea of these guys were on vacation or even around to try to help with things. When the site would finally come back up, they wouldn't even respond to say why it had been down, until after a few email prods I would get a message in a few days saying "Oh maintenance" or something like that. I moved my site to a new server in December 2003.
A small side annoyance is that they didn't have automated billing, I had to go in manually and do it once a month. But I could have lived with that had the server been stable and the communication been reliable.
As a final note, when I sent them the final shut-down request in January 2004, having finished testing my new server, they were quite reasonable about it, had no problems at all and didn't even charge me for the days I'd kept the old site running in January as a backup measure. So compared to other web companies, they were very good to deal with on that end.
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