Slow, clunky and poorly setup servers aside, host it are without a doubt the worst customer service I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with, in terms of lack of professionalism as well as shocking technical incompetence, not to mention the dishonesty!
Issues that should have been instantly resolved took several tickets each of which went back and forth at least 3-4 times. I had to repeatedly ask for things as simple as the root database password, "are you sure", "yes I'm sure", "you might break server", I didn't ask for technical warnings about what can happen with root access to the database, I'm a developer for goodness sake, just give me what I'm asking for. I only wanted this so that I could give myself a privilege I needed, because the staff were apparently too incompetent to just give me the privilege.
I'm *still* waiting for access to php.ini after being told "there is no problem for us to add commands to php.ini file if will not affect for sever stability". I don't want you to change settings for me. I asked for access to php.ini, give me access to php.ini.
A lot of the staff don't even have secondary school level english. I am one of the most tolerant people you would ever meet but it is absolutely infuriating trying to work through complex technical issues with people who you can only half understand, when they can't properly understand you either.
We had quite a few issues with the server which I reported, only to be told there was nothing wrong. These issues would then mysteriously fix themselves. Server settings would change allegedly by themselves overnight, which the staff denied all knowledge of. It took me nearly three days of back and forth communication to get PHP error display turned on (it was broken in the panel, even though I had it set to E_ALL and display on, the setting had no effect in the panel). After wasting the first day trying to communicate the problem to staff who appeared to have no clue, I had to prod them for another two days before this was resolved. I dread to think what's going to happen when I come to turn it off for production.
The "one hour" response time they boast was rarely met with even the simplest issues, and even when it was the problem was compounded by a communication barrier and what I can only assume is complete technical incompetence.
If this is the sort of trouble we had with one of their smaller packages on a development stage project, I cringe at the thought of having to use host it for a large production project. Absolutely would not recommend this company to anybody, there is MUCH better out there for far less money.
Response from Host-It:
24 March 2015 at 11:05
Hi Scott (it is not difficult to identify you as you are the only customer with this problem),
The service you subscribed to is a VPS which means you have a server instance of your own. The selection you chose was to have your VPS fully managed for your domain name for just £15 + vat per month. When you sign up the description of the option on the sign up page is as follows: “Full VPS Management (no root/admin access):”
So this is the reason why you do not have full root/admin access.
£15 is very low for full server management but this is possible if the hosting provider retains root/admin access and performs the changes for you so they can check any changes before implementing them. However a Plesk admin panel was also provided so most changes could be performed via the admin panel. Any changes outside of the Plesk Control are performed on the customers behalf upon request and guidance from our support team. Our support team therefore provide best-advice and guidance on any changes that could pose a security, stability or performance risk to the server that are requested by the customer.
This is optional so if you no longer want server management, this can be selected in your admin panel within a few clicks. Our engineer gave guidance on this in the ticket stating "no problem for us to add commands to php.ini file if it will not affect for sever stability", and "If You wish to have access to root directory and all files on server, please change option from full manage server to part manage.".
We have a step by step tutorial for this here: http://tutorials.host-it.co.uk/billing/upgrade-downgrade-options/upgrade-downgrade-options.asp
With regard to making changes you contacted us to say that the PHP version had been changed without your permission however when this was checked we checked the date of the PHP installation and this was dated 31/10/2014 (over four months before).
There were however server security updates due soon, but these had not been performed yet (we raise a ticket to let you know before this is done).
One problem which did occur was that some of the changes you made via the Plesk admin panel were not updating on the server. As we are not the authors of this software this needed to be passed back to the authors (Parrellels - www.plesk.com however two of our engineers were also investigating this and discovered a bug in the Plesk admin panel which they passed back to Plesk and then made the changes manually for you (to the PHP configuration).
You can view details of this particular bug on the Parallels forum here: http://forum.sp.parallels.com/threads/fastcgi-sites-do-not-log-php-errors-bug.296020/
With regard to support response our support team aim to respond to all tickets within an hour during normal work hours however it can sometimes take a little longer. We have looked at this ticket and the longest reply was three hours (Saturday) however this was whilst they were working on the problem. The average was however 40 minutes and many were within a few minutes even out of hours. This would compare very favourably to any hosting provider.
This review was posted on the Friday and your ticket was completed on the Friday so this particular support request is resolved.
Under the circumstances we would be happy to either cancel your service and issue a pro rata refund or alternatively remove the server management option so you have full access and control over your own server. Just let us know via your ticket system.
Robert – Host-it Support