Happy New Year! Singing Dogs “Auld Lang Syne” versions

auld lang syneHappy New Year everyone!  I hope 2013 was a great year and you accomplished a lot and that you are looking forward to a fruitful 2014.

Since we celebrated Christmas on this blog by saying Merry Christmas from the Singing Dogs we are going to wish everyone a Happy New Year by bringing in 2014 with a great rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” with Cody and Sierra otherwise known as the Singing Dogs.

Auld Lang Syne

As you can see Cody and Sierra love celebrating the New Year just as much as anyone else and all while singing to the classic New Year's tune “Auld Lang Syne.” While we think their singing is great many people think the best part of our video is when they both decide it is time to leave and go party.  At least that is what I think they are going to do when they left in the end.

Sierra sometimes likes to sing Auld Lang Syne by herself lying down without Cody though.  She is a bit of a dog diva and needs things to be comfortable for her to perform properly.

Sierra's Lazy Auld Lang Syne Version

If you like the Singing Dogs videos and want to wish a friend, family member, neighbor, etc. a Happy New Year please share Cody and Sierra's Auld Lang Syne videos. That would make their New Year's a whole lot more special.

If you have a New Year's Resolution please let us know what it is below.

Christmas Songs from the Singing Dogs

I just wanted to wish all the people that read and follow my blog a “Merry Christmas.”  The best way to wish everyone a “Merry Christmas” is with two Singing Dogs that love to jam to Christmas songs and music.  Check it out.

O Christmas Tree

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Silent Night

If enjoyed Cody and Sierra's great renditions of these classic Christmas songs please let them know over at their blog.  The Singing Dogs always like to hear from fans, great and small.  If you have a special Christmas song request or Christmas music you want to hear be sure to let them know.  Cody and Sierra will be taking Christmas music requests this year.

Anyway I hope everyone have a great Christmas this year whether you are staying home or going to visit friends or family.  If you don't celebrate Christmas I wish you a Happy Holidays.  From my web analytics I see a lot of visitors from all around the world come to this website and other websites I operate.

I hope over the past year you've found my advice and posts useful, informative, and entertaining.  If not, well I guess I will try to improve my writing in 2014.  You always need a New Year's Resolution, right?

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and I hope you enjoyed the Singing Dogs versions of these Christmas songs.  I'm sure you will be hearing a lot more Christmas music over the next few days.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013 to All! What are you Thankful for?

happy thanksgiving 2013I just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving 2013 to all of my friends, family, followers, and readers of this blog.  If you are Jewish, Happy Thanksgivukkah(It's a mash-up of the words Thanksgiving + Hanukah since today is both holidays.)

Since Thanksgiving is a holiday to reflect on what we are all thankful for I'd thought I'd throw out some funny, but meaningful things I am personally thankful for;

  • I'm not a Turkey and therefore I am not getting eaten on Thanksgiving.  (The turkeys in the picture I'm not sure are so lucky though.)
  • I live in the United States, which is a great country.
  • I have two amazing Singing Dogs that have been featured many places.
  • I have the knowledge and ability to run this blog and other websites.
  • All my blogs get tons of traffic… 😉 I wish.  (You can always help by sharing my posts.)

I could make a much longer list but I thought I'd keep it short so you don't need to read too long of a post.  This way you can have a Happy Thanksgiving 2013 and get on with your eating lots of Turkey, stuffing, and pie.

However hard you think your life is sometimes it's good for people to reflect on the positives in your life.  Now that I have revealed my list of things to be thankful for, it's your turn.  Tell me what you are thankful for on Thanksgiving.

To up the ante, feel free to leave an anonymous comment below.  It still needs to be appropriate and follow this website's guidelines or it will not be approved.  Still that's giving a lot of freedom and most webmasters won't allow anonymous comments.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving and let me know what you are thankful for.

HostGator Parks Domain Names to Make Money off Your Websites

I discovered something pretty sneaky about HostGator web hosting.  Hostgator parks domain names which are using their DNS (domain name system) if you are not using your domains.

What happened the other day was I was trying to create a subdomain for this blog and Singing Dogs to use on Tumblr.  I recently deleted my Facebook account since I want to focus on other social networks, like Tumblr.  The nice thing about Tumblr is that sharing is very quick, fluid, and part of the ecosystem and links are DoFollow.  (Unlike Facecrook run by Mark Fuckerberg.)  To get the maximum SEO (search engine optimization) benefit out of using a Tumblr blog it's best to setup a subdomain.  Lots of startups nowadays host company blogs on subdomains on Tumblr for the SEO benefits and due to the fact content is much more likely to get shared readily.

As I was trying to add a CNAME record to create the subdomain at my domain name registrar, something must have went wrong.  I checked the main domain, AdamYamada.com, and saw this website was being parked.

adam yamada hanff“WTF? HostGator!” is all I could think to myself.  I then thought, “Well, maybe this is just a fluke or something.” Then I checked Singing Dogs and HostGator was parking that domain too!

singing dogs adam yamada hanff

For those that don't know what domain parking is, it is essentially displaying ads on a domain name instead of putting up a blog, forum, or website with content.  The domain owner hopes visitors will click on displayed ads, earning them revenue.  Domain parking is a big industry and something that earns a lot of people good money, but a hosting company shouldn't be doing this in my opinion.  If you are going to route DNS anywhere it should be to at least advertise your web hosting offerings.   Even if you have domain names you are not doing anything with I think domain parking sucks.

If you land on a subdomain that doesn't exsist or you haven't setup, HostGator will display a 404 error page advertising their hosting.  It's just weird they do it on a main domain name since most other hosting companies would at least display an error page to let you know something went wrong, instead of trying to earn money. hostgator park domainsWhat's fucked up about this is the fact that HostGator shouldn't be making money off customer's domains parking them.  When I got on the phone with HostGator support today I was going to tell the service representative off, but it wasn't worth my time.

I am seriously inclined to move backed to Site5 after this domain parking incident.  I've also been having error issues which HostGator blamed on caching but I know that isn't the issue.

Let's not forget the major outage at the Provo, Utah datacenter which took out customer's websites with BlueHost, JustHost, HostMonster, and HostGator.  All companies are owned by Endurance International Group (EIG) which is sort of infamous for buying hosting companies… and then ruining them.  HostGator is starting to become like the all other EIG web hosts, crap!

Site5 Review

site5 web hosting

Since I have been hosting with Site5 for awhile I decided I would write a Site5 Review.  Overall Site5 provides robust and fast servers, good support, and a nice backend you wont' find anywhere else.

Anyway here is my Site5 review for those that are considering hosting websites with Site5.

Site5 Review

site5 custom cpanel

Custom Cpnel and User Interface

Site5's custom cPanel and backend user interface deserve a big nod of approval.  It's clean, simple, and easy to navigate which can't be said about most hosting interfaces.

What I really like about Site5's custom cPanel is that you don't have to visit your own cPanel URL.  You can login into your cPanel directly from Site5.com by clicking “Client Login” in the top right.  You can also manage your billing and affiliate payouts from the same backend as well.  It's convenient and a well thought out user interface and system.  I don't understand why more hosting companies don't utilize or have a similar custom cPanel.  This is how other web hosting companies backends should look like and work in my opinion.

Keep in mind this is 2013 and most web users expect ease-of-use and clean interfaces.  Site5 has brought cPanel into the modern age whereas everyone else (including cPanel) is stuck in the year 2000.  If you are a Site5 competitor I ‘d recommend signing up for a free trial account with Site5 just to get an idea of what their setup is like.

Support

Site5‘s support team is top notch.  They will take the time to explain any problems or issues instead of getting an answer that was read from a script.  It is clear support representatives take time to read and review your issue before replying and know what the issue is.

Generally response times on most tickets will get a reply within 30 minutes.  If you have a complex question or issue you will be notified that the ticket has been kicked up to a higher level support representative or system administrator for review.  Tickets that get kicked-up to a 2nd level support member tends to get a reply in about 1 hour.

I've also used Site5's chat service and wait times for an available representative to help you with an issue is usually 10 minutes or less.  The same can't be said for other hosting companies chat support.

What is nice about Site5's email and chat support is they display a picture of the support representative who you are working with.  Under the picture you can click a link that takes you to a short Bio page about that Site5 support team member.  This gives Site5 support a more personal touch and makes you feel like you know the support team better than just being some faceless entity.  One of Site5's support team members includes Mitch Keeler, who is well known in web hosting circles since he runs the Web Hosting Show Podcast.  Ben Welch-Boen, the CEO of Site5, has even replied to one of my tickets and gave a lengthy response to my questions and was quite helpful.  I probably would not have noticed who they were unless they included those pictures.

site5 support

Site5 phone support is only offered between 10am – 6pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on weekdays.  If you are someone who prefers phone support for working through problems than you won't appreciate that timeframe.  (I personally prefer using email and chat support to resolve most issues.)  I've used phone support in the past and found that the call quality wasn't that good since to my understanding Site5 support uses Skype.  Most hosting companies use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems now since it is huge cost saver but each time I called I was disappointed with the call quality.   I've only called Site5 phone support twice though.

UPDATE: Site5 is in the process of updating their phone system to a new provider to improve the call quality.  

Another complaint I have with Site5 support is that if you are not that knowledgeable about hosting or web savvy you might not always find Site5 support helpful. Site5 is sort of a hosting company aimed at geeks and you should have a general idea of what you are doing before hosting with them.  Their support is extremely helpful but they won't hold your hand.

Something you should be aware of about Site5 support agents is that they all work from home.  Personally I think that is nice for employees but others might disagree and not like that for some reason.  Since this is a review and I am trying to provide as much information as possible I thought I would just let people know that.

Uptime and Downtime

Site5 Uptime is pretty decent and is as advertised.  I monitor all of my websites using Uptime Robot and while there is occasional downtime here and there I've never experienced any downtime lasting for too long.  The longest downtime I have on record is 30 minutes according to my Uptime Robot alert notifications.  You can check all of Site5's server uptime stats here.  I've checked the time claimed on my server against what Site5 claims and they are accurate.

One thing I like about Site5 is they are good about sending you notices of when they will be doing scheduled maintenance on your server and when you might experience downtime or issues with accessing your websites.  I appreciate that they keep customers updated about maintenance since you are not caught off guard if your website is down.  Most of the time the maintenance is done early in the morning and should not affect your websites for too long.  I actually don't get Uptime Robot notifications when they say they are doing maintenance.  So most of the time I don't even worry about those scheduled maintenance emails.  Something to keep in mind is a lot of web hosts won't inform you when they do server maintenance.  I really appreciate Site5 does though.

site5 resource points

Server Resources

Site5 does offers “Unlimited Bandwidth and Storage.”   People should know that “Unlimited” for shared hosting plans is never truly unlimited.  While Site5 claims to be unlimited they are actually pretty restrictive it seems with their server resources.

Site5 uses an in house metric known as “Resource Points” to determine if your account is using to much of your shared server's resources.  Site5 says it is easy to understand what Resource Points means but I really have no idea and it seems to be vague.  They calculate it based on CPU, inodes, and some other factors which I don't really understand.  (It does state in their Terms of Service that you can't go above 75,000 inodes on any shared account.)  The server operating system (OS) Site5 uses is Apache, which is the industry standard, but to what I've read is not quite as good at handling server resources as other server OS available.

Adam's Auto Advice was shutdown once for using excessive bandwidth which I believe was only 40 gigabytes.  Honestly that is not that much bandwidth usage.  On the flipside in the span of 2 days the Singing Dogs were mentioned on MSN and the Huffington Post.  The traffic for those 2 days spiked A LOT but really only for a limited time during both days.  I thought Site5 would shutdown the Singing Dogs blog for excessive server resource usage.  Most of the time if you have a traffic spike that much within a few hours your web hosting company will deactivate your account.  I was impressed they did not shutdown the Singing Dogs blog considering the huge traffic spike.

I should also mention that I am consistently over Site5's Resource Points soft limits (check the image above) and they haven't said anything about it.  So… I guess it is kind of hard for me to complain.  I appreciate the “soft limits” but it does concern me since I don't understand what my sites are doing that could take up that much Site5 Resource Points.  I wish my websites got tons of traffic but they don't.

People should understand that no Unlimited host can truly offer “Unlimited Hosting” and shouldn't expect that.  The majority of hosting companies, like Site5, that offering shared unlimited plans have limits and will be kind of vague about it.

Speed

It should be noted that most of my websites are WordPress blogs (including this one).  I have 1 MyBB forum which is moderately active that I host with Site5.  The WordPress Multisite installation I have seems to be a bit slow but I haven't not done much work to speed it up.  (Ok, I don't really know how.)  Wordpress Multisite networks are a bit resource intensive and tend to be slower.  The 1 MyBB forum I have is fast and I haven't had issues with that site being slow.

site5 review

 

Site5 Hosting Plan Prices

I've seen some people on hosting and admin forums complain that Site5 is a bit expensive.  For the level of service and support Site5 provides their hosting plan prices are reasonable and inline with the rest of the hosting industry.

Sure you can probably find a great deal from a Endurance International Group (EIG) hosting company but they won't provide support that knows that they are talking about.  In addition their servers will most likely be overcrowded, have a lot of downtime, and be slower than your grandma driving to church.

HostGator's Baby Plan (an EIG company) is $10 a month after coupons and discounts run out.  Site5's HostPro plan, which is what I use, is $10 a month if you prepay 1 year in advance and $9 if you pay 2 years in advance.  Since Site5 doesn't run coupons specials and promotions that often I think it only seems like their pricing is more expensive.  If you check around a lot of companies offer Unlimited Linux server hosting for $10 a month.

Site5's Additional Features

Some notable additional features Site5 offers is daily backups of all accounts.  So if your site was hacked or you for some reason deleted all your files and don't keep backups, which you should, you can request Site5 to restore your website(s) from the day before or up to a week.  Some hosting companies backup data but few do it everyday.

Site5 also offers MultiAdmin which allows you to easily control different cPanl accounts from the SiteAdmin interface.  This is useful if you have several sites you run for clients or yourself and want to make sure you have best best security.  Running each site in it's own cPanel ensures that if 1 site gets hacked, the others will not.

Site5 also offers you the ability to choose where you want your server to be located for shared, reseller, and VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting accounts.  This is useful if you have customers in Brazil and need to setup a website close to those customers for the best service and speed.  Since Site5 has an available server in Joao Pessoa Brazil you can do this easily.  It will just cost a little extra every month.  Site5 also offers many different cities around the world and throughout the United States.

Site5 Themes is another nice extra that Site5 offers.  These are custom designed WordPress themes which are nice layouts and are responsive (meaning they will work on mobiles devices and touchscreens.)  Check them out and see if they would work for you.

Conclusion

site5 web hosting

Overall I have been happy with Site5's service and support but like most hosting companies they still have some room for improvement.  I'd like it if their support was more friendly to people who are not quite as knowledgeable about hosting.  This would not only make some current customers more happy (me) but I assume bring in new customers to Site5.  Also I wish Resource Points was a bit easier to understand.

The person who originally recommended Site5 to me was my brother.  He runs custom scripts and programs via a private website for his Neuroscience studies at Harvard.   (Yeah, he might sound smart but I am actually the smart brother.)  Site5′ customer base seems to cater to those who want to build and run customized scripts and programs on their servers.  So if you have highly specialized needs Site5 would be a good choice.

My brother has been hosting with Site5 for about 7-8 years I believe.  In that time he has not had any issues or complaints that I am aware of.  So that's good for Site5 and shows the type of service they offer in my opinion.

At the time of this review this blog, Singing Dogs, and Adam's Auto Advice is hosted with Site5.  In addition I have several other websites hosted them too.

Even though I have had my own hosting account with Site5 for about 8 months, Adam's Auto Advice has been hosted with Site5 for several years on my brother's Site5 account.  So in essence I have been hosting with Site5 for quite awhile.

Site5 does bill itself as “Web Hosting for Designers” which I think is pretty accurate.  It is an excellent company for web designers and developers.  If you are just starting out with a new website and getting online though Site5 is a good option but not sure if they will be the best for all situations.

If you want to tryout Site5 they do offer a 30-day free trial which NO other web hosting company offers that I know of.  That seriously means you can tryout Site5's service free for 30-days without giving them your money.  Few web hosting companies offer a Free month of service.  So if you want to find out if Site5 meets your needs, you can see easily without hassle.  Site5 also has a 45-day money back guarantee if you want to give them your money.

There is not much else to say except that Site5 is a quality hosting company offering quality hosting service.  Since the company has been around since 1999 you can be assured if you host with them that they are not going anywhere.  There are around 140,000 websites hosted with Site5 and they have about 30,000 customers worldwide.

I hope you have found my Site5 Review helpful and informative.  If you have found this Site5 review useful I would appreciate it if you left a comment below since I like hearing when I help people.

Got an experience with Site5 you want to share?  Whether it is good or bad please leave a comment below to let myself and others know.

Disclaimer: I have included commissionable links in this review.  This means I get a commission when you buy a web hosting plan through Site5 using a link on this page. However nobody can influence my opinions on this site and this Site5 review reflects my honest opinions about Site5's web hosting services. Also the revenue generated from this links help keep this site and my other sites up and running. 🙂