WestNet Hosting Reviews - Reconsider it before your choosing them, especially for their share host service

Friday, 22 February 2013

We recently worked on a website project for a client who has been using WestNet Hosting in Australia, and met some problems that we have never met in our development life... So read this article before you choose WestNet Hosting if you are in Australia.

Obviously the server we have been working on was not set up with the right user permission group. But just such a simple problem, which could be done by their system administrator in minutes, gaves us the idea what the shared host clients like our client deserves to hosting companies like WestNet Hosting...

1. After the website is deployed/moved from our developing host, we were surprised finding that any action that Joomla requires file rewriting can not be done. Joomla SH404 not working, DocMan backend file upload not working, and even change of system configuration not working.

2. Then we checked the Joomla system information, and found none of the file folder has the permission to rewrite (unless we change these folders into permission 777). Also before this project a hacking file was planted by a hacker through web end and we could not delete the file through the FTP. Deleting such a file from the server is not a big challenge to us. But no rewriting permission?

3. Then we checked and did tons of tests on the server, and found any file that transferred through FTP can not be written by the web end. We guess it is because the FTP user does not belong to Apache group.

Now the funny story begins.

We tried to call them 3 times, got 3 different answers:

1. The first guy told us, if changing the folder permission into 777 will make the website work, then just change it into 777. I got a lol for this answer, and hung off the phone with a sigh.

2. The second guy told me, we need to enable the FTP config in Joomla. But the problem is, to enable that has no business with the permission problem at all, and, due to the problem of permission group, even if we enable that, the config file does not work (because the server does not allow us to apply the changes due to the permission error).

3. The last guy, told me that their FTP system is separated from Apache and they can do nothing. He told me the FTP user should be in Apache group by default. Then tell me if 777 works then it is the Joomla system problem, not theirs. For the god sake I can not figure out a correct logic here as these answers are conflicted... So if 777 works, then the program itself has a problem? The last sentence he told me was that he can not help, and his call time is limited due to their company policies... This last guy, he did not even check the username of the share host we use.

Well after spending over one hour, we did not get a precise answer to tell us what to do, neither they did not even spend a second to check if their system is set up correctly.

What we were also worried, is that if any of the virtual host on the same IP, is having the same trouble as we met, and followed their suggestion of turning file folders into 777, then once this virtual host is hacked, the rest will be down too.

So this is the story, the first 2 guys were in good attitude at least, but not helpful and the last guy was just bullshitting. Another host, called innet, is actually the same group of guys with this WestNet Hosting. Check their websites http://www.iinet.net.au/ and http://www.westnet.com.au... They are both using the same hosting system Parallet Automation. We did a project on iinet share host before but totally had no problem like this.

What we are not comfortable with is not only the setting problem, but actually how unprofessional they are and how funny their replies to such problems, I guess especially to share host users as they are the "small clients" in their mind.

This is the worst server experiences we have ever had. Good bye WestNet Hosting!


Yes actually I have been using Westnet for my website hosting for the last 5 years and am really a loyal customer based on great service. But recently their customer service becomes very poor. When my host went wrong I tried to reach them to resolve the problem but even their technical leaders can not really help.

They have failed to provide basic service now and I'm looking for some other decent Australia based local host providers. Any suggestions?

Thanks for your comment Jennifer. The main problem we met with these guys, was that they told us permission 777 should be safe on their server. Technically speaking, 777 is never safe on any server. 

For other Linux hosts, there are many out there for Australia local clients:

1. If you are looking for a VPS or dedicated server, Digital Pacific may be an option. We have been using it for years for one of our client too.

2. If you are looking at small business shared hostings, try companies like ZipHosting and VentraIP. Do not use companies like NetRegistry (their c-panel experience is pretty bad).

I hate to comment such a old blog post. But recentlly this iiNet jumped into our eyes again with very bad experiences. One of our clients, insisted using its hosting server, and her website got hacked just within minutes after a clean version site is loaded up, which put us into a very bad situation. In their message center we got a message saying their server has been receiving tons of attack attemps but their only solution is not to handle the security of their server. Our SA assumed that the server which was hosting our client's site had been completely hacked and any site on the same IP can never survive. 

What is funny is, these guys of iiNet, or we say WestNet, has been keeping email us for removing this blog post, for years. Because this article now has a very high rank in the results of searching their company on Google. Quote a review of this shit hosting provider from Internet, "one star rating is too high".

I really want to say to you guys iiNet, go fxxk yourself!

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