Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ages ago I was looking for a host. There were two criteria the host needed to meet. I wanted a free host, that allowed me to hotlink. Hotlinking is linking to non-viewable files. This means you can take images from this host and put on some other site of your's. Or you can put your downloads on this host that allowed hotlinking and link to them from another site.
That last thing was what I wanted to do. I had put my website on a really - and I really mean really - crappy host and wanted to have a place to put my downloads. I couldn't put them on the crappy host, because it didn't allow .exe files, or any archives. It took me a while, but I found something in the end,
It had PHP and mySQL support and gave me a reasonable amount of space and bandwidth (100mB - 1000mB/month). Allowing hotlinking basically also meant there were no ads on your website. This is because any host that forces ads on your websites, doesn't get any hits if you are only hotlinking, thus only hosts without ads on your site (and only very few of those) allowed hotlinking. Besides all that UGtech provided cPanel. All of this couldn't even compare to any other free host.
I became active on the ultrageek-tech forum. And when they needed a moderator I applied. Being a very active member, I was the one chosen for the job. At that moment I was the only non-owner with rights on the site :D. Because the service was so amazing they attracted an amazing amount of "customers". And the 'ebay-offer' the owners intended to use to raise money, didn't work as good as they had hoped. Due to these two things they discontinued providing free hosting. They provided $1/month hosting instead. Moderators and administrators on the forum got to keep their hosting.

Later I moved my site to this host. And also started using it for about anything. A game I made for school was put on there, as they simply provided the best hosting I could get for free. Over the years, though, the forum died out and it started to get really hard to get support, even for those who paid. And they once even did not have a domain name for a couple of days. The same thing that happened now, happened back then, they didn't renew their domain and some dummy page was put up by the provider.
This time it happened just when I and I admin on the forum where discussing whether we could put some new life into the service, possibly even offering free hosting again. And this time it wasn't fixed within a few days. I checked the domain every day for a couple of days, but it didn't help. So I went looking for a new host, and when I had put my website up on the new site and I was browsing to it, my browser showed me my website URL, so I decided to have a look what happened if I entered it. Without expecting anything from it, I entered the URL and ended up on my own website. Then I also tried the front page, which also turned out to work.
The cPanel is currently broken, so the service isn't back to where it was before they lost their domain. And even back then the forum was dead and it was hard to contact about anybody. The start is there, though, and you should not be surprised when I post that is providing free hosting again.

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