Tue Dec 15th 2009 18:01:00: Review

When I first setup it was just a small website and I had many good years of hosting by Purplecloud. Their pricing was excellent and the support was superb - they really knew what they were talking about. I also hosted with them. Unfortuantely Purplecloud did suffer from some down time and about two years ago they had a big network failure that took them offline for an entire afternoon. Seeing as includes an online shop this obviously lost a number of orders and so I decided it was time to upgrade my hosting to something a bit more expensive in the hope I'd get better reliability.

Therefore I got a bulk hosting package from for about £100 per year and moved both websites. I soon discovered that Streamline's support was poor. They didn't really know the answers to my technical questions (normally related to quirky server setup) and I ended up having to solve the problems with the aid of google. Then at the beginning of this year I started having problems with their server. The support ticket at the time went like this:

Date: 09/01/2009 19:08:49Ticket Number: 400092


I seem to be getting fairly regular Internal Server Errors. Looking at my error log, the error is:

[Fri Jan 9 19:00:36 2009] [error] [client] FastCGI: comm with (dynamic) server "/var/www/fcgi/php-cgi" aborted: (first read) idle timeout (30 sec)
[Fri Jan 9 19:00:36 2009] [error] [client] FastCGI: incomplete headers (0 bytes) received from server "/var/www/fcgi/php-cgi"

I've also been experiencing one off 404 errors, despite the fact that I know the page is there. Requesting the page a second time (by pressing refresh in the browser) successfully displays the page.

Do you have any suggestions what might be causing these problems?

Many thanks,


Their support staff blamed the problem on their mysql server: "This may be an issue with mySQL14 which we are aware of and working to resolve. Our spologies for any inconvenience this causes."

But alas the problem never went away:

Date: 18/05/2009 11:07:51Ticket Number: 400092


This error is still happening pretty often to both myself and my site visitors. Please could you investigate further?

Here is a sample of the error log:

[Sun May 17 15:23:02 2009] [error] [client] FastCGI: incomplete headers (0 bytes) received from server "/var/www/fcgi/php-cgi"
[Sun May 17 15:23:05 2009] [error] [client] FastCGI: comm with (dynamic) server "/var/www/fcgi/php-cgi" aborted: (first read) idle timeout (30 sec)


The reply I got back basically said that this was because the server was shared and there was nothing they could do about it.

By this time my online shop would take about 20 seconds to return a page and my sales were well down. My tests showed that the problem was caused by the MySQL server being very slow. Therefore I moved to 34SP and everything started working again. Seeing as there was not much database usage on I didn't bother moving that until my year ended with Streamline.

At the beginning of December Streamline tried to charge my credit card for another year of hosting. They didn't warn me about this which was pretty annoying, however fortunately the card details they had on record for me had expired. When they couldn't charge me they disabled FTP access and control panel access until I paid them. I explained that I didn't intend to renew and please would they temporarily renable access so that I could extract my files and settings. True to form they refused - unhelpful to the last!

So my webhost advice is:

  • Purplecloud - great for small cheap websites
  • Streamline - Don't touch with a bargepole. Terrible hosting and unhelpful support
  • 34SP - Excellent. Fast servers and helpful support (Update Feb 2013) 34SP servers are fast when they are online, but are offline far too often. I had reseller hosting and business hosting and both were just as bad (reseller very slightly worse). I have now moved all my hosting to...
  • TSOHost - Fast cloudhosting. (Update March 2017) TSOHost have gone downhill with regular random internal errors that they could never explain. I have now taken my business to a Bytemark VPS.


I'm still with host monster, as they seem to be OK. Mind you, i am probably not loading it as much as you are....

Comment by Eddie at 10:32 on Wed 16 December 2009

If anyone wants to read more evidence about the incompetance of, please read this page: reviews

Comment by Tim at 17:17 on Tue 23 March 2010

You were lucky your credit card wasn't charged. Mine had expired but they were still able to charge my card and when I queried it with my credit card company they said it was treated like a subscription and I would have to ask Streamline for a refund.

2 tickets later and numerous phone calls later - no response and no replies to the tickets either.

Comment by Sue at 15:39 on Sat 23 October 2010

They are still playing the same game, have just added a review on - 'Rubbish, rubbish and rubbish'.

Comment by Paul at 8:18 on Wed 23 May 2012

They automatically charged me £65 for a renewal I did not want. They did not notify me. I asked for a refund, they took 4 days to respond. They refused.

Their support eventually said they would refund me in 2014 after the renewal date as I had 'registered my request'. This is ridiculous. I requested a refund within 4 days of the funds being taken from my account, the damage is minimal and I'm even happy to pay pro-rata for those 4 days.


I posted my concerns on their Facebook twice, each time deleting my correspondance. Then they just banned me.

Advice for all - avoid Their, servers, support and customer service are terrible.

Quite why a cooling off period, distance selling etc is apparently not valid on a renewal is perhaps a question the Office of Fair Trading should ask them.

Comment by Joshua Geake at 14:03 on Fri 14 September 2012

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