Bad experience :(

LyubovL posted 25th of January 2010 in . 21 comments.

Hello everyone!

This is from my personal experience with one of our customers, and I want to share it so newbies are never faced with similar issues.

Some of the hosting providers have the following in their Terms:

"you are not allowed to run any kind of unattended server-side processes, e.g. any kind of daemons/servers.

Offering video and/or audio streaming or downloads is not allowed, as well."

Consistent with this point, it's impossible to have the Media Server (RMS) installed, as well as Audio/Video streaming and downloads.

It is a normal thing that a newbie tries to get a cheaper hosting provider and doesn't have enough experience to check the Dolphin tech requirements or analyze if their hosting company's web server offers matches them all. Probably 90 percent of site members never read the Terms of agreements/use. As it was with one of the customers, it wasn't possible to have Dolphin installed properly and use its features completely due to that point in the Terms, and the customer gave up with Dolphin. Dolphin is really great, and it is developed not by the BoonEx team alone, but by lots of Unity members taking part in this hard development process - this makes Dolphin the COOLEST Community software. And it's a big frustration if, due to some server issues, you become discouraged with Dolphin and the entire BoonEx community.

So, newbies, BE CAREFUL when choosing a hosting provider. Contact your agents who will explain the tech requirements and other Dolphin specificity.

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Can you also add mysqli extention to the list of server specs as a handful of modules now need this.
If mysqli is not compiled on the server you can not install some of the modules and above the wall comments there is an error that shows mysqli not installed please see http://php something or other.

Also like to add that all should try to stick to the list of recommended hosting providers, read the comments the other members have left in regards to the different hosting providers, do a search in the Forums & Blogs and conduct interviews. Ask questions, even if you don't know what your doing. The more you ask the more you will learn. Compare what they offer to what other hosts offer, not just the price, but the bandwidth, disk space, processor speed, memory and so on and so on and so on. see more

Read the Terms of Service and pay attention. Do not believe everthing people tell you, in the end it will only matter what is in writing. Of course, that means you can screenshot the promises for future leverage if you want.
Imagine that. People can't figure out that their server doesn't meet all requirements, until they try to install Dolphin.

Hey.... maybe that standalone script I suggested a bout 6 months ago to check all requirements BEFORE attempting an install, isn't as stupid as some of the Boonex staffers made it out to be.... and rejected the idea without giving it a thought.

So stop complaining. You guys rejected a suggestion that would have eliminated a lot of this sort of thing. Sorry... you've made see more your sleep in it.
If people are serious about running a top notch dating or social networking site, than they shouldn't mind paying a few extra dollars a month for suitable hosting. I'm always amazed when people are upset that some new software they want doesn't run on their existing server.

Oh no, you might just have to invest a few dollars a months in a different hosting provider. Now if you purchased new hosting for the new software, and didn't first find out if it was suitable, then that's just not smart. see more It's time to get your money back and go to another hosting company.
I was able to run a test installation of D7 on a $8 a month hosting plan...... up until they decided to install mod_security, In my case, mod_security blocked the flash user agent the D7 script uses to upload media.. Hosting providers don't always let their customers know every detail about their server configuration, and for someone new, it may not be that easy to figure out. That's why I suggested a standalone script to test server configuration that people could download and run on their server, see more or give to a potential host to try, before attempting a D7 install.

Boonex's response to my suggestion was, "The Dolphin installation script already checks server configuration".
I agree with a few of you here. From my expieriance on this -

1 - Make sure you choose an agent that will actually talk to you! My agent wont even do that still! Even after requesting a new one.
2 - Foget about that list of hosting providers, I went though 3 of them and had nothing but problems from the start. I finally ended up with Joombyte who bent over backwards to help make my site work.
3 - Ask for references, somthing you can go to yourself and check out on thier servers. Most of them see more will not tell you they have 50 other sites on that server and 30 of them are very busy.
Houston, do you want to resurrect that old draft of a start of a script I scratched up some months back? Maybe you can extend and sell it for $5 as an independent enthusiast, and raise some funds to donate a big barrel of coke to the dev team and thereby advance the creation of a Boonex-provided checker script. =)
HL and CodeSatori,
if you have a script that checks the server, bring it on. I dont even really see the use in this post in all reality. if this person was not listed on the touted list of hosting providers and is not a well known dolphin hosting service provider, then why was this post necessary.

There are thousands of hosting service providers that are not configured to run dolphin, so the issue here is the user who purchased the $1.99 hosting.

I had a guy track me down the other day on see more my ymessenger, and ask for help. well i dont mind helping so i said sure, whats going on. he proceeded to tell me about how his ffmpeg would not work, and that his hosting service would not allow him to run a local instance of ffmpeg on his site, but they had a community instance that he would be able to use.

and was asking me to tell him the location of the ffmpeg that was installed on the host where he was trying to host his dolphin site. well of course here comes the question, 'where are you hosted at' told me some off the wall name, and i of course asked if this was $1.99/month hosting. ha ha ha ha ha ha, never in a million years was i prepared for the answer.
'no the hosting is free'. immediately i said sir, i am sorry, i am not going to be able to help you with this situation. i can see that you are not serious about hosting the dolphin script, and when you do become serious, please let me know if you are still in need of assistance. FREE, the guy was on some free hosting service somewhere, trying to run dolphin. brilliant i tell you, absolutely brilliant.

TOS and EULA, if people would read those, there would not be any posts of this nature required. see more

what kills me is the fact that so many are advertising UNLIMITED, folks, there is no such thing, NO SUCH THING, there is a limit to all tangible and intangible items.

even if they say UNLIMITED bandwidth or unlimited space, although its a farce, if you read the TOS, it will state that if you use more than your allocated % of resources on the server, your account will be terminated. however, it has been in open discussion, that nobody knows that % until your site goes down.

2k character limit got me again
why dont boonex provide Shared Hosted dolphin solution for some fee. so that newbies can try it out until they want to move out to a dedicated server?
good idea
boonex should provide hosting as well (shared vps/dedicated)

and better yet give free hosting for prime license holders
free 1/yr hosting with prime purchase
I think a lot of members assume that they can run rms server on shared hosting for a few bucks a month, which won't happen. You can still run most of the features for a few bucks per month. Some hosts have speedy servers that will allow you to do more than others without them complaining.

Others not so. A few video uploads and they can you/suspend you for too many resources. The ffmpeg video upload chews up the resources and shared hosts with a tight tos will complain.

I don't think you need see more to spend $20+ per month for dolphin unless your site really does a lot of video uploads(chewing the resources) or you need a plan with rms. Even if you need rms you can get a cheap host to handle dolphin and rms stand alone for cheaper than $20, if you don't do a lot of resource hungry things, but just need it there just in case.

If you do need the extra power than you are almost better off getting a vps or dedicated box, or sharing it with someone. You will get more bang for your buck plus you won't have to share the resources with 500 other accounts on the server fighting for the resources.

But if you are just starting out, have a small site, that don't use much power and/or just want to test things out then a few dollars per month would work too.

You can sang a cheep monthly dolphin host and then get a 3rd party rms for much less than $20 per month combined. So shop around.

Then when you are ready to get big time upgrade.
are you serious, you think boonex should provide free hosting services. can you tell me of any software developer that would host for free. well for that matter why would anybody host dolphin for free. how about this prolazink. for every Dedicated server that you supply to the community for free, I will also provide a Dedicated Server to the community for free. Quirk here is that for every prime license, you will need to provide a Dedicated Server Per Dolphin license, taking into account see more that Prime offers 3 Dolphin License with its purchase.

Since you think it should be free, lets see just how free you think it should be sir. I am willing to go to bat on this one, and see what gets produced. as i recall you are on some shared environment with GoDaddy, so the likeliehood of producing one Dedicated server for the community is basically 'null'.

Please consider what you are saying here, you expect Boonex to fork out the cost of a dedicated server, minimum cost $1560.00/year based on $130.00/month dedicated server. So in evaluating this, the Prime License sales for $998.00, therefore, Boonex would need to payout $562.00/year in order to sell a prime license to its customers.

Then not only that sir, but we are talking about the necessity for support of those servers that boonex would now be the manager of? Boonex does not have the staff to properly support the application, and you wish to put another burden on their plate.

Again, my offer stands, for every Dedicated Server that you provide to the community for free, i will match that Dedicated Server.

@DosDawg @prolaznik @LyubovL

it would be nice if newbies can get a hosting service from boonex itself like
that will avoid getting discouraged in opting for boonex software.
we can assume that all newbies are too tech savy to grasp all the in and out of boonex requirements and master it imdly.
anyone can reach a comfortable level of understanding of boonex dolphin maintenance in one year or short.
paying regular $10/month is more affordable to start with.
if boonex see more thinks that maintaining hundreds of growing hosting clients is a headache they can provide the service on contract.
say, 1 year paid shared/VPS hosting in boonex server. after one year they can be forced to move out to any of the recommended hosting partners.
in a gist:
1.boonex will be providing a cool welcome hug to new members
2.boonex provides 12 month time for its members to learn things about their software members dont have to worry about critical errors
and most importantly boonex can learn many bug issues raising from its hundreds of installed domains.
DosDawg, I can think of a number of CMS and other web app providers who provide free hosting for controlled basic versions of their software. phpBB and many other popular community web applications offer such services. Heck, I'm a software developer myself and I throw in free hosting every so often for customers, and sometimes bundle it with licenses. Just design a setup that's planned for low maintenance yourself/the company. Shared hosting with limited/controlled media uploading are economical see more enough to provide for added value.

Regarding checking scripts, I once made a quick derivative of the D7 (some beta IIRC) installer into a stand-alone script checking the basic extensions and PHP configuration that are checked by the installer. It doesn't cover everything obviously, but it's a start and it's easy enough to add to it.

You can download the zip here:
brother codesatori, thank you first of all for the link to download. im not gonna hash this with you because of a simple reason, phpbb Does Not compare to the resource intense Dolphin Environment.

Then ok will take it down a notch, Prozac, for every shared account you host for free, just the app with FTP access, no shell, no emails, no auto responders, i will match that with you. if you think its such a walk in the park and boonex should provide such.

but then what about the whiners who havent see more purchased the Prime license, oh my, why should they be singled out and thrown to the wolves and forced to fend for themselves in the matter of hosting.

maybe we can just provide free Prime licenses, and Free Hosting for the Dolphin Script, oh yes much better, it should all be free.

Free he says, boonex how dare you not provide free hosting
i only said boonex should offer hosting that's all
no where did i say they should give out a dedicated server to every prime user

(and better yet give free hosting for prime license holders
free 1/yr hosting with prime purchase)

what i meant to say was

put 10-20 prime users on a dedicated server let them try it out (it's there for one year)

(but then what about the whiners who havent purchased the Prime license, oh my, why should they be singled out and thrown to the wolves and see more forced to fend for themselves in the matter of hosting)

they have the option,.. hosting is there shared/vps if you like it buy it simple as that :)
The main factor I think most users take into consideration when looking at Dolphin is that it is an "out of the box, complete solution" that is FREE. That tends to attract people looking for the cheapest possible solution to making their next million running a unique new dating/community concept site. With a "Free" package, now let's start looking for the cheapest possible way to get it hosted and up making our big bucks today. Well, OOPS, it won't run or do all the things see more it is supposed to do on hosting. It won't even do all of the things it can do on a lot of higher-end VPS setups. You need a good-quality host and preferably use a dedicated server where you can make all of the adjustments necessary to suit your needs or a hosting provider willing to do that work for you. That is if you plan on making that million by next week. Otherwise, you're going to have to work at it a bit to get it where you want it to be. I won't make the mistake of recommending one over another, it's up to the individual to decide who they go to for whatever reasons they deem important, but when I made my selection, I looked at: Quality of Service rankings, Guarantees, Reviews, Number of backbones they are directly connected to, features list, server configurations and upgrade flexibility, bandwidth limitations, and a lot of other aspects.
I chose mine after having considered all these factors AND after having contacted their customer service via Email & Phone to see how responsive they were going to be. The final consideration was what they were willing to do in the way of incentives and discounts. (NEVER assume the price quoted on their websites are etched in stone, I was able to save about 35% off of the listed prices for several server packages). As I knew in advance what I wanted to do both immediately and in the future see more for my site, I chose two separate dedicated servers, (one for the site itself and another to run strictly the Flash Media Server for my chat application) to give me the flexibility to expand as the site grew. My host also provides 17 worldwide caching servers to allow my members to connect to the closest server to them (for an additional cost of course), but worth it if the site reaches the point where it would be cost-effective to do so.

While my needs probably differ considerably from a lot of users, I spent more time looking into what I was going to need and what I should be aware of prior to installing the first file. I tested the software for 3 months prior to taking the site live to give me time to understand it and to tweak it to where I wanted it.

It's been 3 years since I first took a look at Dolphin and decided to download a free version and I've never looked back. (Yeah, I bought the ad-free license within a few days of installing it too!)

Why is the "Poll" thing missing in Unity?
Maybe it can get the result without much fuss in comments.

I suggest you to consider.
DosDawg: That would of course mean offering preconfigured Dolphin setups for light performance --- giving "whatever y ou may want to do" space for free is of course a tall order.
Below is the legacy version of the Boonex site, maintained for Dolphin.Pro 7.x support.
The new Dolphin solution is powered by UNA Community Management System.