15 Nov 2006

LunarPages vs AN Hosting (MidPhase)

PLEASE NOTE: This article has expired. For a full host comparison please go to the unlimited host comparison page.

After loads of research over the weekend to find the perfect host, I finally moved my site today. What started off as a honeymoon romance a few years ago with LunarPages quickly soured over the last year as their tech support is now virtually non-existent and my site has frequent outages.

After careful and thorough research I finally decided on AN Hosting as my new host. They are a division of the more famous MidPhase, but they offer outstanding value for money. For less than half the price of LunarPages package I get loads more disk space, more bandwidth, my site loads faster, 24-hour tech support that really supports (I thoroughly tested this overnight during the move), and trusty cPanel. And for all intents and purposes, they are MidPhase.

When I grow out of their shared hosting, I can move over to one of their dedicated plans. They even offer Windows hosting with all the usual components.

Lets compare the two:

  LunarPages Business Plan AN Hosting MEGA Plus
Monthly fee: $21.95 $9.95
Storage: 50GB 100GB
Monthly bandwidth: 1000 GB 1.5TB
Support: 24 hour (slow) 24 hour (responsive)
Addon domains: 3 (additionals at $2.50 per month each) 20
Parked domains: unlimited unlimited
Subdomains: unlimited unlimited
FTP accounts: unlimited unlimited
Email accounts: unlimited unlimited
FTP accounts: unlimited unlimited
PHP: v4 v4 or 5
MySQL databases: unlimited unlimited
Ruby on Rails (RoR): yes yes
Perl: yes yes
Python: yes yes
CGI-BIN: yes yes
Full .htaccess control: yes yes
cPanel Build: 10.8.2-RELEASE 83 10.9.0-STABLE 58
Dedicated IP: $2.50/month $2.50/month
Chillisoft ASP: $1.00/month/domain unavailable
SSL Certificate: Shared @ $49.00/year Free Self-Signed SSL Certificates


  • olivia
    November 27, 2006 Reply

    They are running a special offer for Thanksgiving – for the next few days until the end of the month if you sign up with them you’ll get a month of free hosting with AN Hosting.

    They’ll even move all your files across and buy your old contract out.

  • olivia
    November 16, 2006 Reply

    They look like a good and solid option for those who need a dedicated host and people who need shell access and I’m sure you’re on the button about never having had problems with them before. Its worth paying such high monthly fees if thats what you need – high traffic sites like Sock Dreams where up-time and reliability is absolutely critical.

    For smaller customers like me (bloggers, web designers etc), considering tech support is just as responsive as AN Hosting (20 – 30 minutes to fix problems), and both their bandwidths and uptimes are faboo, the only difference they would notice is the price. It seems overkill to pay such extraordinary fees per month just for shell access if you don’t need it.

    Its a shame Pair.com are so stingy with disk space on their most expensive shared package. $50 a month is hefty for just 4,000MB space. What is the space to them? It hardly costs them anything to give some extra breathing room to their highest-paying customers. I think at the moment I’m using more space than that (and growing) to host my site, dev sites and other friends sites so the thought of being charged even more than $50 a month each time I need to add a few more gigs is a bit scary.

    I also don’t think they should charge a setup fee when you’re already paying premium for the privilege of hosting your site with them, but then that’s totally up to them.

    All that said, all hosting companies go through changes in staff morale and performance, so if things ever go pearshaped with AN Hosting over the years and they give me hassles I’ll know who to move to (if they are still going strong by then.)

    Thanks also for posting about Pair Dan – I am sure there are other readers who absolutely need shell access or dedicated hosting but don’t know where to turn. I’m sure for them the high fees are totally worth their peace of mind. I’m no developer, so for my requirements and budget right now, its not a good match.

  • nathan
    November 16, 2006 Reply

    @Dan Pair does seem like a good host, their support is faboo and they provide approximately the same services as Lunarpages…however, I’m a huge advocate of Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) and Pair’s PHP (plugins? – not sure what the word is for PHP extras) don’t seem to have the necessary updates for this to work without looking all jaggedy…

  • julie
    November 15, 2006 Reply

    Glad to see everything went well! The site does load super fast, although I do have to say, I have always loaded multiple pages at the same time in different tabs, and yours has always come up the fastest.

  • Dan
    November 15, 2006 Reply

    what about shell access? didn’t see that i the list.

  • Dan
    November 15, 2006 Reply

    Without evening reading anything, i’m going to say that pair.com is the best web host out there. I’ve had my fair share of experience with all sorts of web hosts and i’ve had problems here and there. When i started hosting with pair i’ve never had any problems since. (how often can you say that). I have 6 clients hosting on pair and my own site.

    Pair is a bit more expensive, but i believe it’s well worth it.

    Since i have found the perfect host, i’m not going to even bother investigating anyone else.

    I should say to all your readers that I’m a professional PHP programmer and i work a lot with unix/linux in the shell. Pair gives everyone shell access even the shared accounts. There is a lot you can do in the shell that you can’t do with it. For example run SVN (code verision control).

    Also pair has all the php libraries that you’d expect preinstalled including imagemagik (the perl image manipulation stuff). Even on the shared accounts.

    They even host a lot of the open source worlds web sites and mirrors (even PHP itself!)

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