A history of this website

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A journey that started from 128KBPS.

This blog is about myself, and the journey of the domain suneil.co.uk

Many years ago, when the internet was still on dial-up (128kbps) I decided to create a website on GeoCities, and if my memory serves me right, it was called geocities.com/karki123 and it looked something like this.

GeoCities terminated their service somewhere in 2019.

I think I had a good number of visitors. By good number, I meant around 100 per month. Without smartphones, the internet was a luxury back then. I had to pay for the phone charges on top of the internet subscription. My internet activities were mostly at night because phone costs were cheaper and I could Netflix* internet.

*Shared passwords from people who had access to their company’s internet account.

Excited by the 100 visitors, I decided to purchase my own domain which came with free basic hosting. At this point, my website contained a few heavily compressed photos and an almost empty blog. But I had a lot of interesting stuff too- like a joke of the day, allowing visitors to change the background colour and day/location-based greetings (mostly via copy-paste JavaScript) It also had a lot of features like a wooden-effect visitor counter, guestbook and a chatroom from Bravenet.

When I look back, I think I was doing a great job there. Because of the 128kbps internet, images needed to be compressed to avoid longer waits during “web site found, waiting for reply” on the bottom of Netscape Navigator!!.

My domain didn’t live long, I probably had it for four, or five years.

While typing this, I looked up the new owners of sunilkarki.com and found out that it now belongs to somebody called San Hua Deng from China and it now contains information (in Chinese) on the FIFA world cup! Who knew sunilkarki is slang for football in China!

Fast forward to 2010, I decided to reenter the world of blogging and created several sites on WordPress, blogger and lately- Weebly. I do not recall any of the links or the contents of these websites. However, the Weebly one is still alive and kicking and has about two to five unique visitors per week!!!

In 2011, I tried to reclaim sunilkarki domain back, but it wasn’t available. So I had to settle with this one- suneil.co.uk. Once again, I was pointing my domain to WordPress and later Weebly. This continued until 2020.

In September 2020, pandemic-related redundancy and a few other issues encouraged me to consider opening an online store. And for the first time in my life, I purchased a hosting service with Namecheap.

Namecheap was running a promotion (s around £1.75 a month for a 2-year plan) which seemed to be a good deal at the time. I installed/tested a few CMS and eCommerce sites. (My favourite ones were CE Phoneix and Prestashop) and everything was running as expected. (UPDATE: Now I am with asura hosting, I can say that Namecheap is slower)

But the online business was more difficult than anticipated and sadly, I had to abandon the idea.

Then I returned to blogging. I had to utilise the hosting somehow. I replaced the eCommerce with a few blog software- before finally settling with WordPress.

One morning, I woke up to receive a “website suspended” email from Namecheap. I had hosted two sites (out of three permitted) and, apparently my 3-page WordPress website with a handful of plugins and fewer than 10 visitors a week caused “server overuse.”  I was very bemused. How can a company offer a 3 website hosting with unlimited bandwidth when it cannot handle some WordPress plugin?

I emailed Namecheap but got some copy-paste response, so I went to Trustpilot and left a long review which did the trick. My website was up and running again within a day!!

Namecheap made me a pluginophobic!! Thankfully the service ends in September. (the hosting, not my phobia- but I am keeping my bandwidth crossed)

With no intention of continuing with Namecheap, I began to look for alternates- ideally, a free hosting service as my website isn’t very heavy on traffic and I couldn’t justify paying for it. I tried Googiehost, Infinityfree, Free virtual servers, Awardspace and a few others. My vote goes to infinityfree. It is a great site for enthusiasts, really fast, has free SSL and is the fastest free host I came across, (often faster than Namecheap) unfortunately, it caused several JavaScript errors for the templates I liked and sadly, I had to abandon it.

However, this is not the reason I decided to leave infinityfree, I could have selected other templates but I found asura hosting. Not before host25cent, though. Host25cent is probably the cheapest SSD hosting provider in the world. It really is $0.25 per month for the starter package. It was too good to be true but I decided to have a go anyway. I bought their mid-range plan called cheapest. (I don’t know why) It came with a 10Gb SSD, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, a free SSL and a few other useful goodie bags. The cost- a mere $7 for the whole year!

The servers were fast and there was always somebody available via online chat. Everything seemed very professional. (despite having no company info, history etc)

And there came a thing I didn’t like. When I checked my Paypal, I noticed that the recipient had a Gmail account. That knocked all of my remaining confidence off. How can I trust a web hosting company that doesn’t have its own email address/domain? I then checked their Trustpilot and found very unprofessional responses to reviewers.

I contacted them to terminate my account. The person on the chat (probably the owner) was very friendly and he refunded me instantly. ( I offered him some advice too)

UPDATE: The person listened to my advice and now, the website has basic company info and location in their website.

Then I found Asura hosting. The true reason I broke up with infinityfree. The cheapest package costs £0.82 per month where you can host up to 15 websites, 15 email addresses with a generous 12GB of SSD storage, free SSL and a bunch of other things. I had a promo code (2OFF) which gave me a recurring16 per cent off on the top, bringing down the cost from £9.84 to £8.20 for the whole year. Their website also promises no price hike on renewal. Most providers offer a cheap deal for a year and then hike their price Like Namecheap would have cost me £3.77 per month from September onwards. This is a very bad practice, It isn’t easy to transfer hosting if you have a big website, And on top of that some providers charge you to transfer the site.

Going back to Asura, at first, I was a bit reluctant about their service. But I took a chance (and advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee) and purchased their cheapest plan. Then I added my domain and went to install WordPress. It was blazing fast. I transferred my two websites (500+Mb and 200+Mb) almost instantly and within an hour, everything was running smoothly.

So far, I am very happy with the speed and service. If I have some issues, I will update it here. But for the time being, if you are looking for super-fast web hosting without costing an arm and a leg, asurahosting is definitely worth considering. They have a lot of options, and optional extras- like £39.35 per year for unlimited hosting with a free domain, or a dedicated IP address for £1.23/month.

This is my story, web history to be precise. I feel like I have travelled a lot, starting with 128kbps to 100plus Mbps (and still occasionally complaining about speed)

And there is something I miss about. It is the sound of the modem dialling. Check it below.

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Author: Sunil Karki

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