Michael Ball Profile

Michael Ball

Beyond the North Wind

Michael Ball has been a 34SP.com website hosting client since 2004. Mr. Ball is the owner and website developer for Beyond the North Wind, a website design studio and creative services company based in Ticehurs.

Mr. Ball describes his history with 34SP.com in his own words, “In 2003, a friend who ran a website for a bookshop recommended 34SP.com to me, and as a result, I took out hosting for one domain to see how 34SP.com compared with the other two web hosts that I was using at the time. The speed of the server was as fast as the other hosts that I was using, but at a noticeably lower cost, and I found that there were other benefits to working with 34SP.com that I hadn't anticipated. Their hosting accounts come with an impressive range of features, the level of support that they offer is excellent, and they have a 'can do' attitude that is a breath of fresh air compared to the other web hosts that I have worked with. I now use 34SP.com hosting services by default.

If you have a large website that is continuing to grow, then at certain stages in its development it becomes necessary to move the site to a hosting option that gives more space and more facilities. One of my clients who I work closely with are the publishers of a magazine called craft&design. Over the years the magazine's website has grown and we recently decided to move the site from 34SP.com business hosting to VPS hosting. At such points there is a danger that despite all the testing you will find that some facilities on a large site will cease to function. As it was 34SP.com offered technical advice and practical assistance, before, during and after the transfer process. It was a great reassurance to know that we were in good hands, and to know from experience that support issues would be addressed as a matter of priority.

“It was a great reassurance to know that we were in good hands, and to know from experience that support issues would be addressed as a matter of priority.”

I occasionally take over the management of existing websites, and so I am obliged to deal with a number of different UK web hosts. Over the years I've seen a few questionable practices from other web hosts. Some of the practices that I've seen this year include:

  • Allowing you to buy a domain name, then charging a premium if you want to use that domain name with another web host, or setting up the user administration options so that the transfer options are hidden in admin pages that appear to be deliberately obstructive. 34SP.com make no charge to transfer a domain name, and in my opinion their admin pages are among the most straightforward in the industry.
  • Insisting that you cancel an account in writing, and threatening legal action for non-payment of an expired hosting account. 34SP.com will advise you that an account will expire if you don't wish to pay for it, but if you do not wish to renew a domain or hosting account, you are free to allow it to lapse without worrying that you are going to receive a letter after the event insisting on payment.
  • Denying access to the admin facilities for domain and hosting details for multiple domains within a user account if you do not have the details for a current credit card registered with that web host despite all accounts being fully paid up to date. At the point when you pay for a domain or hosting package, 34SP.com give you the option to have charges automatically debited to that card, but they do not deny access to the admin facilities for accounts that are paid up to date if a registered credit card expires during the hosting period.

The fact that 34SP.com avoid all of the sharp practices I've seen elsewhere has simply served to reinforce my already positive opinion of them.

I am more than happy to recommend 34SP.com to anyone on the basis of good value, excellent support, professional technical advice and the honest manner in which they conduct their business.”

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