Posted by Moogie on 17th July 2009 at 8:40am
It's not often you'll find me SHOUTING online, but this time I really feel I need to!

In case it wasn't already apparent, SFC needs a new host. SmooveNET, the current host, has been rather lacking in it's support department (weeks to respond, if at all; regular downtime...) for the last year and I've had enough. Others are jumping ship too.

The question is, where can SFC go where it will be welcome? Fansites in general can struggle to find decent hosts because of the amount of content which is of questionable legality due to copyright. The very nature of a fansite is to include materials about someone else's products, be it a videogame, movie or TV series.

SFC hosts a great many images, magazine scans, screenshots and game scripts, not to mention the hosting of patch files for the game ROMs and ISOs (though I must point out I do not host any ROMs or ISOs here, nor will I as long as they are so blatantly illegal). I do however include links to MP3 files on other servers. A great many hosts seem to even frown on this, classing it as the 'facilitating of copyright infringement'. How a host can complain about what a website owner links to is beyond me!

So, who'd have us with content like that? I can't get permission from the companies involved (ie, Sega, Nintendo, Camelot etc) although they have on several occasions complimented the site, offered news exclusives and donated prizes. If that doesn't ring of some kind of approval I don't know what does.

I don't want to move the site only to find it getting shut down because of the content.

Similarly I'm very cautious about hosts who offer 'unlimited' bandwidth and disk space. Usually they have some kind of fair usage policy and can still shut a site down if they feel the use is excessive. How is this 'unlimited'?! So, I'd prefer a host which is up front about the usage figures.

Of those few hosts who seem to genuinely allow large volumes of traffic, most seem to have some kind of limit on the amount of files that can be hosted. While I don't see SFC hitting these limits, I prefer not to have them in place if they're going to seem like low numbers - 50,000 or so - especially when each email received on the domain counts towards the file limit.

I've only got about a month in which to find a new host. So far it's proving quite tricky. I've been recommended the likes of Bluehost, 1&1, Pinchhost and HostGator. Most of these seem not to be ideal for the site's needs. DreamHost looks ok, but still has rules on copyright issues and linking to such content.

I'm not looking for free hosting. Not even for dead cheap hosting. I'd happily take on a VPS or similar if it fell within budget.

So, here's what SFC needs - can you recommend a host or do you know someone who could offer this kind of hosting?

- US or UK based server
- at least 2.5GB of space (more preferable)
- at least 50GB bandwidth per month (200GB+ preferable)
- php, mysql (probably 10 databases or so would do - no size limit please)
- subdomains (at least 5)
- fairly relaxed rules on content
- fast tech support, reliable server
- monthly cost of US$30 per month at most

Or should I just give up and stick with Smoove? >.<;;