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  1. #1
    HTML's Avatar
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    Homestead Web hosting

    I have rec'd emails and today a phone call from Homestead technologies, they are interested in advertising space.

    Though there packages may not be the best solution for experienced webmasters with larger sites, they look pretty good for those that are still in the learning phase.

    All packages include:
    24 x 7 Web hosting with no ads
    unlimited use of our award-winning SiteBuilder software
    hundreds of templates
    hundreds of thousands of graphics
    interactive features like chat rooms, guest books & hit counters
    access to FTP
    unlimited e-mail support and more!
    I am very interested in learning more about Homestead from those that have used or are currently hosting at Homestead.

    Sometimes I think I am just too damned picky on who gets real estate

    Dave

  2. #2
    Derek's Avatar
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    Well I got two views on this:

    For new beginners this would look like a fairly plausable idea, particularly it's made for a lot of beginners.

    Or,

    Where's the PHP and MySQL?

  3. #3
    QuietDean's Avatar
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    I used homestead a few years ago before I knew any webby stuff at all.

    I found them reliable, easy to use.

    Dont know what the support was like, I never had to use it...
    If one of our members helps you, please click the icon to add to their reputation!
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  4. #4
    HTML's Avatar
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    Great input guys

    I will ask more about the packages provided the input continues to be positive.

    reliable and easy to use is good hopefully somebody will share equally positive comments in regards to the support. I do have to keep in mind though that they were once a free host, meaning the chances of getting negative reviews are greater. Just the fact that they went in told folks the free ride is over is enough to anger the freebie crowd.

    Dave

  5. #5
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    Re: Homestead

    I was doing online searches to check out a new host, and I came upon your site.

    I have several accounts with Homestead and have been with them for about 5 years now. I found them when they were a free site, and I now have paid sites with them.

    Here are the pros and cons of Homesteads services:

    If you are grandfathered in (no new account will be, only those who were around when the hosting was free), then it isn't a bad package for basic web hosting. If you are a new account, then you will need to get their Gold account or higher to get any kind of number of webpages. They don't just limit bandwidth, they limit numbers of pages in your website per account.

    You are mainly paying for their website builder. There are many, many more affordable hosting solutions. But Homestead has this very easy to use drag and drop sitebuilder. This makes building a webpage very visual and incredibly easy. It also means that the user tends to never get a grasp on HTML and using Front Page or Dreamweaver or other page building tools.

    Homestead's sitebuilder puts a lot of unnecessary code into your webpages. It is a proprietary system, so the excess code plus any use of their images means problems if you ever transfer your site. In other words, you will lose your stats counters plus your email forms plus have to debug every page of your website's code when moving a site.

    But users probably won't transfer their sites, because they won't know about FTPs and how to build a webpage--except for the WYSIWYG drag-n-drop Homestead method.

    But, as I said, for someone who is not technologically minded or who wants ease of use, then Homestead is great.

    I was around when Homestead announced their changes. There was an exodus of many users to other hosting options, as well as quite a host of digruntled "Homestead sucks" posts on the Homestead support forums. (Those posts have all since been wiped out by the admins.) One former Homesteader even set up his own hosting service and took the digruntled users with him to the new site.

    Homestead's biggest problem has been its lack of communication with its members. When they made the switch from free to paid, it was the lack of communication that caused the largest problems--users felt like they were out of the loop and were being pushed out. Their plans were then tweaked several times, again with not enough communication to the users, again causing outcries from the most vocal of their forum members.

    I've never had to use their customer support. With any glitches I have found answers in their forums or from other member's posts. With all their price increases, my accounts are charged the same amount they initially announced, paid in 2 year chunks and paid at the beginning of the new hosting period.

    Now for what you are NOT getting with Homestead accounts.

    You aren't getting a lot of bandwidth or storage space. You may be limited to a 10 page account or a 25 page account, unless you really cough up some $$.

    When someone reaches a broken link on a Homestead accoun page (and I've occassionally had Homestead change links...mostly through ommission of one letter in the URL...which I attribute to normal computer errors), they will get a Homestead error page instead of sending them to one of my pages. So any misdirected traffic will get lost, as the Homestead error page just says that page isn't found at Homestead.

    You won't get PHP or MySQL or other features that will allow you to create forums and other interactive features.

    You can't upload anything but .jpg and .gif files to your pages.

    There is a low file size threshold that will limit any other type of files, if you want downloadable content on your pages.

    For someone who wants professional business templates, their templates aren't as varied as they could be. So that means starting with a blank page and dragging and dropping your elements into the page.

    While Homestead does let you choose which viewing resolution to set your webpage to, it also limits how the page is viewed. When using their recommended page resolution, your webpage will be pushed to the far left of the screen when viewing at a higher screen resolution. Any colorbars will stop--leaving a nice blank space on the right margin. Other html based web-building programs center the web page, making a more pleasing end result.

    So in summary, for the beginner who wants ease of use, the quick set up far outweights the cons. But once you get past the beginner phase and need more features on your website, then you realize that you should have been learning to be proficient in Front Page or Dreamweaver or another program, instead of investing so much time learning Homestead's program.

    I am paid up through 2 more years on my Homestead accounts, but I now need forums and other features that Homestead would charge me big bucks to implement, when other hosting companies include them for much less or as part of their basic package. So--if your site is small and won't need to grow--Homestead will be sufficient for years to come. If your site becomes popular or you will need advanced features added in the future, then I'd advise investing the time in learning internet-standard programs (Front Page, Dreamweaver, and other programs that aren't linked to one hosting company only) instead of proprietary programs like Homestead.

  6. #6
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    Thumbs down Re: Homestead Web hosting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave
    I have rec'd emails and today a phone call from Homestead technologies, they are interested in advertising space.Though there packages may not be the best solution for experienced webmasters with larger sites, they look pretty good for those that are still in the learning phase.I am very interested in learning more about Homestead from those that have used or are currently hosting at Homestead.Sometimes I think I am just too damned picky on who gets real estate Dave
    Too funny! Homestead was easy for me to figure out even as a newbie to online business. The per click price in Search Light was triple than 7 companies i recieved quotes from. Most people don't seem to understand that you still need to shop around. I believe homestaed preys on these prospective clients (my simple opinion). I have also had custom quotes for the size of site I need that ran circles around homesteads pricing schedule. In the beginning the customer service was a tremendous help however as they got busier they expected I suffer thier growing pains. I bailed on homestead because they were to restrictive. If you want your company to remain a small company I recommend homestead...

  7. #7
    cnnon's Avatar
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    Re: Homestead Web hosting

    self promotion removed
    Last edited by HTML; 08-15-2006 at 01:28 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Homestead Web hosting

    I will give you my experience with Homestead.

    I design websites and also provide tech support for others who do their own sites. I have had a number of issues with individuals who use Homestead Sitebuilder and cannot insert simple copy and paste JavaScript into the body of their page.

    One such example is an individual who needed to insert an event planner for which he paid a decent amount to a service to which he subscribes. Sitebuilder rendered useless his attempt to improve his business via this code.

    He had to hire me to copy the page source, paste it into a real html editing program (Dreamweaver), so that I could save that file to my hard drive and then import and publish, using his username and PW, after having to install Sitebuilder on my own computer.

    Having accomplished this at last, he was very unhappy that after he decided to make small changes in his page text, Sitebuilder eliminated the code which he had paid me to insert.

    I tried to contact Homestead to find a workaround, and lo and behold, there is no link for tech support to be found on any of their pages.

    Also, there seems to be no way of inserting "alt tags" into any images he has on his page. This is detrimental inasmuch as search engines require such for optimal ranking.

    All in all, Homestead Sitebuilder may be easier to learn than Dreamweaver and even FrontPage, but it is a poor choice for those who are serious about gaining any significant position on the web IMO.

  9. #9
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    Re: Homestead Web hosting

    Hi,
    When I look at the 'Client Sites' on Homestead, how come they all appear to have PR of 4/5?
    The sites have no backlinks, the SEO on them looks poor, some just have a big picture and a welcome paragraph.
    I have spent months creating executivecoachingsolutions.co.uk using a package called Antenna. Which appears on the surface to give me a great site. I have uploaded sitemaps to google, SEO'd the site (granted as a newbie) to the best of my limited ability. But the point is I have tried.
    But is the message here, join Homestead, granted you wont get a lot of functionality, but with PR 4 chances are your site will be seen.
    I'm dazed and confused.
    Regards.

  10. #10
    HTML's Avatar
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    Re: Homestead Web hosting

    Looks like you are putting too much weight into PR, and especially too much weight into toolbar PR which is not accurate.

    Without an example of a pr4/5 with no backlinks I cannot speculate. I do see that your site has no backlinks listed.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Homestead Web hosting

    Hi HTML,
    I completely get your point of my backlinks, I'm starting to contact sites to get this on the way.
    On Homestead there are sites that appear to have 0-2 links and yet they still get the higher PR.
    PR5 (2 backlinks):
    weddingsandthecity.com/
    PR4 (No backlinks):
    virtualizedoffice.com/
    I have been reading a lot about PR not really signalling a great deal, is this really the case?
    It would be great if so, but (I know there must be exceptions) but generally wouldnt a PR 4/5 do better in searches than a PR 1.
    It's a theme I have noticed where newbies liek me see ther efforts seemingly beaten by someone who's just dynamically generated a site.
    Very confusing!



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