Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Web Hosting

Everything seems to be ticking along nicely on the HostGator server. Spent some time changing my stats database so that I can track downloads and referrals from other websites. The old host provided AWStats (summed up) files that I could use, whereas HostGator provides raw logs. These contain much more detail but I needed a new process to make sense of them.

The EasySpace account has now been killed off. In my opinion they are best avoided as a company due to the following experiences I've had:
  • Tech support is only core business hours and they are slow to respond, sometimes taking hours and thereby causing the issue to continue into the next day. HostGator are 24 hour and respond in minutes to chat requests.
  • When I changed to a cheaper package of theirs they were unhelpful and did nothing to avoid downtime. I encountered disruption even though ultimately I stayed on the same server and didn't benefit from newer version of software (e.g. PHP).
  • They publish prices for hosting on their website, but increase this by 15% + £2.50 year on year. The terms and conditions do not state this, saying instead "at our discretion". This effectively penalises existing customers and gives no incentive to stay with them as well as being underhand.
  • Cancellation of an annual package requires 12 months notice. I am still waiting to be stung for another year's payment for a service I won't be using. This will teach me to spend more time wading through their unintelligible Terms and Conditions.

Onward and upward. Hopefully HostGator will continue to impress me with their responsive technical support. They only take a couple of minutes to respond to chat requests and thus far have answered all of my questions and were very helpful when I moved everything across.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Website and Email Moved

The website has now been moved to HostGator. So far, so good. HostGator have been helpful when contacted and everything seems to be set up correctly.

The building work at the back of the house is progressing slowly due to the wet unpredictable summer we're having. We have some brickwork down today and hopefully the concrete floor will be in tomorrow.

I'll post some more next week about my experiences with EasySpace and HostGator.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Ads, Hosting and Building Work

Following the release of the KitBase (scale model database) update last week, I have been tied up with arranging ads (finally) and getting the emails out to customers, press and model clubs.

This week building work started on the house. We're having a good size conservatory put on the back to give more space for us and the small person who is taking over. This will free up our lounge to become a study/office for yours truly to spread out a bit.

The work is progressing nicely. I get on well with the builder, which is good. He does take a bit of care and is minimising disruption, even taking the time to put our gates back up at the end of each day. We had a bit of a faff with brick matching but hopefully we're all sorted now.

Aside from finishing off the advertising for KitBase, I'm moving my hosting in the next few weeks. The new company is likely to be HostGator as I've heard good things from some other Indie developers and they are a lot cheaper than my current EasySpace hosting. EasySpace inflate their prices by %15 + £2.50 every year which is not stated explicitly in the T&C's - just says 'at their discression'. This gives me no incentive to stay with them as you are penalised for loyalty.

My first experience with HostGator has been a bit poor though, in that I emailed them 2 days ago and still haven't had a response.

If the hosting change doesn't cause me too much work, I may be able to crack on with some of the enhancements to the game engine next week.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Gamedev mode again soon

Hoping to be in gamedev mode again soon. My other product upgrade is code complete. I just have final testing to do.

Starfire - Ares Assault is still being downloaded and played. Around 10% of the downloads are Mac which is good to see. Makes the effort creating a Mac version worthwhile.

Still playing and enjoying Trine. Well worth a look if you want a nice hack and slash / puzzle platformer.