Host Search

Posted Sun, 04/17/11

I've been on the lookout for a new web host for more than a year. Even though I've used Tripod since 2000, I'm continually frustrated by their lack of PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) and Perl support. The 99.9% up-time is appreciated, but I need PHP and Perl in order to create my own contact forms and other interactive features.

Last week I read a handful of reviews about Blue Host, a company based in Utah of all places. Not only do they offer PHP and Perl, their fee is two dollars less than the current monthly tab charged by Tripod.

However, after a few more review researches, I found some disturbing information about Blue Host. They have been accused of censoring their clients' web sites; most notably if an organization or individual resides in a country deemed a "rogue state" by the US government. They also flag or remove "inappropriate" content, and are known to be big contributors to right-wing candidates and/or Republican entities.

According to Wikipedia:

In March 2009, Blue Host received national attention when they appeared in a Newsweek article that condemned the hosting company for censoring the web pages of some their customers believed to be living in a country that the US Government had listed as a rogue state. Blue Host has also been criticized for censoring websites that are perceived as "adult," a phrase they interpret to mean includes discussions of sexuality and swear words.

I'm not one to promote depravity in any form, but who judges collective moralities? What's wrong with discussions of sexuality if they remain healthy and informative? Apparently, Blue Host flagged a photo of two women getting married on one of their sites and removed the content. As with racial and religious bigotry, and tyrannical views on abortion, gay marriage is a non-starter for me. It shouldn't be an issue at all, frankly. People have the right to live any way they choose, as long as it doesn't harm or infringe on the rights of others.

What sorts of words are considered profane? Most Mormons think the word "God" used in any phrase is unacceptable. Who hasn't exclaimed "Oh my God!" or "For God's sake" as a matter of natural conversation? Use of the word "God" is not offensive; the notion is ridiculous to me. I'm sure there are many differing opinions on the matter, but I don't believe a web host is qualified to police the language of others.

The final straw is Blue Host's contribution to various political campaigns. Everyone has the right to their own choices, but I won't become party to or be associated with an entity that openly lauds right-wing fanatics or their skewed views on morality. Actually, Blue Host's ties to conservatives and their home-base in Utah should have been the proverbial red flag to begin with.

And so my search for a new web host continues...

*POSTSCRIPT 04/22/11: Hub Host holds promise.

Related post: Host Search (2009).

Tags: Web Design/Computer Misc