Reliable Web Hosting in China

07 Sep 2005

Anyone who lives in China and maintains a website knows that it can be difficult. Websites are frequently blocked and unblocked for no discernible reason. Maintaining your website from China may become extremely difficult (if not impossible) if it is blocked in China. With this in mind, choosing a hosting service for your website can be tricky.

This article assumes you are looking for professional hosting which offers ample online disk space, reasonable bandwidth limits, MySQL databases, e-mail accounts, etc. MySQL databases (or some form of database) are necessary to run advanced blogging software like WordPress or Movable Type.


Question 1: Servers Inside or Outside China?

Some people opt to go with a Chinese hosting plan. The obvious advantages are that your website is much less likely to be blocked (although there is no guarantee), and the site should load much faster for anyone in China.

Hosting your website in China has some big problems, however. First, you need to be aware that your website content is subject to censorship. Hosting in China means your freedom of speech is limited. Failure to respect this could result in loss of hosting or worse. Second, hosting in China will likely involve more paperwork than you’d like, and it may very well all be in Chinese. Third, your site may be very slow for visitors outside of China.

A possible compromise between hosting in mainland China and hosting overseas is hosting in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s website hosting packages are typically much more expensive than deals to be had elsewhere, however.

Let your content and audience dictate where you find your hosting. If your primary readership will be overseas, go with an overseas host. I would really only recommend a Chinese host for a completely uncontroversial Chinese language website.

The other option is finding website hosting outside of China. Hosting plans of companies based in the U.S. are typically the cheapest you’ll find anywhere, and they come loaded with features — typically way more than the average small-time webmaster needs. Furthermore, the servers can be very fast, even in China. The rest of this article will deal with American hosting companies.

Question 2: Which Host is the Best?

First I should mention that due to the capricious nature of the Great Firewall of China, the situation will change. That is inevitable. What I recommend today may be completely accessible in mainland China tomorrow. I can only base my recommendations on what I have observed and experienced up to this point.

My first host in China was iPowerWeb. This host was fine as long as nothing went wrong. As things tend to go wrong in China, however, this turned into a disaster. My site became inaccessible under this host, and support was extremely unhelpful. Getting my site off of iPowerWeb’s servers was quite a headache. (More detailed complaints)

Next I moved to Webmasters.com. I was very happy with Webmasters for a time, but then my site slowed down to the point of being virtually inaccessible in Shanghai (although, reportedly, it was accessible in other parts of China). Webmasters was sympathetic, but there was nothing they could do about a problem on the China side. I was forced to move yet again.

I briefly tried Surpass Hosting. Surpass was extremely cheap, but also suffered from extreme slowdown soon after I signed up with them. Not their fault, but again, unusable. I had to move again.

After considering DreamHost, I finally settled on HostGator. I went with HostGator because they offered a solid, affordable package, and decent speed in China. I have been using HostGator for over a year with no major issues. My hosting package has been repeatedly expanded at no extra cost. Support has always been helpful and very quick to respond. A responsive support team is extremely important.

I have heard from quite a few other China bloggers that DreamHost is an excellent choice for webmasters based in China. Over the years, DreamHost has proved its reliability. DreamHost offers plans similarly priced to HostGator’s, with similar features.

In the end, I would recommend either HostGator or DreamHost.

Question 3: HostGator or DreamHost?

If you have accepted my advice this far, you still have to decide between Hostgator and Dreamhost. Let me break it down for you to help you decide.

Disk Space, Bandwidth, Extras

– Both HostGator and DreamHost offer excellent packages with plenty of disk space and bandwidth, and all the tools and options necessary for a modern website.
– Even with the hosts’ cheapest options (well under $10 per month), most modest websites will have more than adequate disk space and bandwidth.

Control Panel

The “control panel” is the interface the hosting company gives you. It is through the control panel that you can create e-mail addresses, monitor your bandwidth usage, password protect directories, etc.

HostGator uses cPanel, which is widely known for its power and ease of use. After using several different systems, I really like cPanel and view it as a big plus.
DreamHost uses its own custom control panel. I have heard both positive and negative reviews. Even if it is not the most intuitive, however, it offers extensive control.

Payment Options

Obviously, both companies accept payment by credit card. What I find important is the option to pay on a month by month basis. This is important because if your host’s servers ever become inaccessible in China, the most you’ll ever lose is a month of service. Some hosts (like Webmasters) will actually refund you the months you don’t use if you have to cancel, but experience has taught me that it’s safest just to pay as I go.

HostGator offers monthly payments, automatically charged to your credit card. There is no setup fee. I really like this system.
DreamHost offers monthly payments in theory, but in order to take advantage of that option, you have to pay a rather hefty one-time setup fee. This encourages people to opt for the yearly payment plan, which waives the setup fee.

Referral Program

HostGator has an “Affiliates” program whereby referrals to HostGator can earn the referrer money. It is not heavily promoted by HostGator, however.
DreamHost heavily promotes its “rewards” program. Many longtime users of DreamHost not only pay nothing for their hosting because they have made numerous referrals, but they actually make money every month.

I can confidently recommend both HostGator and DreamHost to the serious webmaster that lives in or plans to live in China. The situation could change, but at the moment these two stand out.

HostGatorDreamHost

If you found this review helped you decide to use one of the above hosting companies’ services, please click on the above links when you order so that I get credit for referring you.

NOTE: My time spent in China has been limited to Hangzhou and Shanghai. The Great Firewall of China is not entirely uniform, so I cannot accurately speak for all of China with regards to server speed. To my knowledge, neither HostGator nor Dreamhost have any history of being blocked anywhere in China.

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. Somewhat recently added to the list of websites blocked for no apparent reason was one of my favorites: Paltalk. 🙁

  2. Because you wrote this well-thought piece on “HOSTING IN CHINA,” Hostgator should credit you for a YEAR on them.

    I just might switch up from ONESTOP to HOSTGATOR.

  3. I’m using host department They are cheap, work in China, have all the features and most important for me, they accept pay pal! So money I make selling Chinese stuff on ebay goes to pay for my hosting. Very useful if you are here without a credit card.

  4. Wilson,

    Well, if people are kind enough to use the links I provided, I will get my reward.

  5. Adam P,

    I checked out Host Department’s offerings, and while they may be adequate for many sites, you really could be getting far more for your money in terms of disk space and bandwidth. Host Department’s offerings don’t really compare to either HostGator’s or DreamHost’s. I suppose Host Department is a little cheaper, though.

    Comparison of the cheaper plans:

    • Host Department: $5.95/month ($4.46/month if paid yearly), 1 GB disk space, 15 GB monthly bandwidth
    • HostGator: $6.95/month (must pay yearly), 3.5 GB disk space, 50 GB monthly bandwidth
    • DreamHost: $7.95/month, 4.8 GB disk space, 120 GB monthly bandwidth

    Clearly, HostGator and DreamHost offer better value. All of them strongly encourage yearly payments (or, in HostGator’s case, require it) for their lowest-priced hosting packages. Still, Host Depertment looks like a decent option if you want to pay is little as possible and don’t need all the space/bandwidth that the others offer.

    HostGator also allows payment by PayPal, and literally responded to my inquiry within 2 minutes. Still waiting on DreamHost’s response.

    Update: DreamHost also accepts payment via PayPal (but they took half a day to respond).

  6. I the dollar — um, stable like a rock.

    Another nice feature of Dreamhost is that, like GMail, they increase your amount of available disk space every week. I’ve got an assload of usable space now, which is handy since I’m increasingly using my server to transfre files between my work computer and my office computer.

  7. (Um…not sure what occasioned the moderation there. The <strike> tag?

    Oh — crap. The <3, which apparently got mistaken for an HTML tag. Drat.

    Anyway, I like Dreamhost.

  8. I use Bluehost, which is comparable to DreamHost (4 Gigs space/100 Gigs bandwidth), but uses cPanel, and has a starter price of $6.95/month. It connects pretty well here, especially during FTP transfers of large files.

  9. Matthew,

    Thanks for the tip. Bluehost does indeed sound like a great host.

  10. Dreamhost is the best. I got a new account and a year’s worth of hosting (through a token, which I can easily give out to others) for ~US$22, including a new domain registration, and they just gave me another year of hosting for free due to being a hurricane victim. Their speeds aren’t as fast here in China as my previous host, but I love their service. 🙂

  11. I know the discussion is about webhosting, but if anyone needs a dedicated server, they are actually much cheaper in China. Adsotrans has one which runs about 800 RMB/month, and comes with a 2.4Gh processor, 2 Gb of memory, unlimited bandwidth on a shared 100Mbps line, 80 GB (IDE) harddrive. Anyone interested in the company details can email me.

    One big issue is that if you’re looking for hosting at the bottom end of the market, you’re pretty much stuck with IIS. It took ages to find a company capable of installing Linux, and then you’re basically stuck patching it on your own.

  12. I got all excited for a minute, and then read back up and saw that the two hosts are in America. I wish someone would find a good mainland-based host. I need the speed. Tried hosting it in Hong Kong for a month, and my users were giving up because 12k/s wasn’t going to cut it. I have a host, cnool.net, but it offers zero services for 500RMB/year. No scripts, no logs, no nothing, not even email. They even tried to tell me it wasn’t possible for them to host my DNS unless I registered the domain through them…good thing I used to be a DNS admin and called them on it, cold.

    Who cares about the censorship thing…I got my ICP certificiate just like everyone else.

  13. thank-you! I will try HostGator or DreamHost. I had used so many web hostings from USA. but my members from china either have slow connection or not able to connect to my site. I trying to find a web hosting that can provide the same fast speed connection for the members in china and any other counties. I have even think about to use the host inside of china, but now china have this new policy they required all the website owner registered with governement offers. ( need to provide all kind of information. faint). the wosrt things is they can shut down your side whenever they want without any explanations. like Jon said means your freedom of speech is limited. Failure to respect this could result in loss of hosting or worse.

  14. I’m currently hosted by PowWeb.com. I’ve been with them for about 10 months, 99% uptime, and I’ve only experienced a 9 hour downtime since I became a member. Also there’s a large support community with them. As for seeing your site from China, we’ve had several discussion topics on that issue. (one had over 300 posts) As far as I know, webmasters in China have a tough time seeing Powweb hosted sites (we think the Chinese Censorship blocked us). Your little background info on iPowerWeb was very helpful =), I never knew they are a Chinese webhosting company.

    I’m currently considering a second webhosting plan for $5-$6 a month with paypal/credit card support. I also need a mySQL database and at least 120 gigs of bandwidth, got any suggestions?

  15. I can’t recommend hostgator to anyone. I went with their service due to the good things I’ve seen here, but it turned out my blog was blocked anyway. Much worse is that the hostgator has wrecked my page twice. Being on a shared server, they won’t give me shell access. That’s a bummer, but fairly common. The big problem is being put on a shared database MySQL database which is still set to swedish_latin1_ci character set defaults.

    Hostgator has totally wrecked all of the Chinese in my site doing routine operations twice. The first time, I tried out their back-up feature. When I restored from a back-up snapshot, all the Chinese characters in my site were messed up. They seemed to having a hard time understanding that there were problems associated with their mysql daemon. In the end, I had to re-enter all the Chinese on my own. The second problem was today. I got them to copy my account from one of their servers to another to try to get my site unblocked in China. It should have been a simple copy, but due to their database settings, all of the Chinese in my site got corrupted again. There’s simply no excuse for that happening with what should be a simple cp -r. I also lost FTP access temporarily. I sent them an email about those two problems, and they got back to me about the FTP access part but apparently ignored the bit about all of my site’s non-western characters being corrupted. Effectively, I’ve had 2.5 days of downtime in barely two weeks of service.

  16. Mark,

    Wow, your experience is wholly different from mine. Thank you for sharing. I think it may be time to reevaluate these hosting options pretty soon.

  17. Yeah, it’s been nuts. Untill a few hours ago, they kept insisting that the transfer of my site had been an “exact” copy. I finally sent screen shots of the site on gator48 vs gator50, at which point they admitted there was a problem. Their responses have been really sluggish though, and they haven’t had any solutions though. I guess I’ll be up re-inputting my site. And from now on, I won’t be relying on any of their DB backups. I’ll be keeping copies the source code (if you can call HTML “code”) of every post in a database on my own computer from now on.

  18. Hi we have website – online research panel started up in Shanghai, China recently but the hosting is within Australia.

    Can someone advice by return email any information on Chinese government regulations requiring internal hosting (within China). Does the ICP certificate, presumably from Shanghai Communications Administration enough?

    Alternatively would setting up mirror servers in China suffice? Any other advice or alternative approaches advised would be appreciated.

    Cheers!
    Vincent

  19. Hi,

    It seems my website http://www.axiusdesign.com is blocked in China. I am using Bluehost. Bluehost is willing to move my site to another server but then again nothing is certain.

    How do you mirror a site…

    Cheers,

    Anthony

  20. I have Bluehost and I have nothing bad to say about them. I had problems in china and they moved it to a new server. I am still looking for a better back up plan.
    best regards
    cole

  21. I work for Jump Web Services, we’re a small host based in Hong Kong and even we sometimes have issues between HK and parts of China – there is no guarantee that your site will be accessible everywhere in China no matter where it is hosted. I’m currently looking at a way of mirroring services so between HK and China.

  22. what? bh? Says: August 15, 2006 at 8:56 pm

    bluehost ftp uploads 1k per 2 second.

  23. I started out with Network Solutions after a recommendation from a friend in the states and was unable to connect to my server. The service was appalling (days to answer questions; inappropriate automated answers; increasingly irriating tag line to each automated email: Thank you for choosing Network Solutions. We are committed to providing you with the solutions, services, and support to help you succeed online). In the end i got so nowhere i phoned and spent 15 minutes trying to get the idea of limited access from china – before he disconnected me.

    To top it all they refused to refund my money and i steamed at the ears for a few weeks till i came across this site and found bluehost.

    I have to say – it was only after signing up with bluehost that i realised just how bad network solutions were. Bluehost turn around time for questions is just a few hours (compared to days) – are non-automated and actually useful. And so far i’ve not had any problems with accessing my site.

  24. This is a great article and I thought that this would be a great forum to get a straight forward answer to my question.

    I am based in the US, but work with a few small firms in China that do gaming powerleveling for accounts on US and EU servers. Is there a reliable server proxy or service that they could use that has minimal downtime or server connection issues?

  25. I am currently building a community portal that I would like to launch in China. This is custom built and requires a dedicated server with lots of bandwidth,storage, and very reliable uptime. Basically I need a top quality hosting company based in China with speeds that are great for Chinese users and is never blocked. I am willing to pay for the quality. I am based in North America and worry that hosting it here will result in slowness and blocking issues. If anyone has recommendations for a top professional Chinese host or a US hosting company highly optimized for China, I would appreciate it very much. Thanks for the topic and suggestions.

  26. I’m looking for a Linux hosting plan. I sent 50,000 emails per day to my own database of opt-in suscription. I use SendStudio 2004.

    Do you know an apropiate hosting plan.

    Thanks,
    –orlando

  27. Joe Thong Says: October 15, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    After switching more than 5 hosts in China I could safely conclude that hosts in China are all a bunch of retards who do not know how to run webhosting businesses. My piece of advice, do not get a hosting account in China. Even if you manage to find a good host, you will have to scratch your heads over the problem of serving equally fast content to both China Telecom and Netcom web visitors. In China, when you buy a web space, they usually place your account on a server that is either linked to the Netcom or CN telecom backbone. Having your server hosted on the Netcom backbone means that CN telecom visitors to your site will experience incredibly slow site access and vice versa. Although some hosting companies have tried to solve this problem by connecting the servers to both backbones but to my knowledge and experiences it does NOT solve the problem at all.

    There are a lot of good hosting companies in the US but just make sure that you get a dedicated IP and protect it from getting banned by the Chinese Govt. I once ordered an account with hostgator but once its setup I couldn’t access it at all because the IP that hosts my website had been banned by the chinese govt. If you need more control over your servers but not willing to buy a dedicated server, go for a VPS account. Good vps providers out there are spry.com, powervps.com, liquidweb.com, and servint.com. I’ve tried liquidweb.com, powervps.com and spry.com, they all provide very good customer service.

    However, there’s one problem with US hosting companies; the speed are relatively slow compared to Chinese hosts when accessed in China due to the geographical distance.

    That leads to another solution… After months of researching and trial and error my conclusion is, get a hosting company in Asia (hk, singapore, malaysia), that will solve the speed problem (US hosting companies) and poor customer service (Chinese hosting companies) for good.

    I spent too much time choosing a good hosting company for our website and now I could easily write an article on this whole thing in a blink of an eye. I could be reached at joethong at gmail com should you need more information. I’m glad to share my findings with anyone because if you try this yourself you will see thousands of dollars going down the drain.

    And BTW, our website is currently hosted in HK, but I prefer not to put their name in here yet because I’m new with them so I’m going to host with them for another few months before putting up recommendations here.

    Joe

  28. i am hosting a website for client in china, and also facing bunch of difficulties. There is not much unix server around, no cpanel… i choosed lunarpages at last as a backup, but the speed still slow…

    maybe starting a linux hosting service in china is a good idea.

  29. I use Beijing IDC to host our site. All things considered, it at least works inside China.

    IDC tel: 87732520

  30. Cancel that last message! It’s down!!

  31. I teach English as a 2nd language and I want to concentrate on the Chinese market so having a site that is “visable” in China is very important.

    Does anyone know of a Western Hosting Co that have servers in China. I did have the details of one but I lost the address!

  32. hello,

    thanks very much for your comments above. i have been using hostgator to create a few sites. i am currently based in shanghai. i was not sure what was happening, and i was happily creating multiple websites. They were all downloading quite fast of the net and then suddenly nothing. I just now cannot access my sites at all so, any help would be appreciated.

    i was beginning to believe that there was something wrong with hostgator, so i was most surprised when i heard you talking about the issue of the sites getting blocked.

  33. I’ve seen ads on telephone booths offering hosting with China Telecom: Details here: http://www.shaidc.com/

    “Customer First, Service Foremost” Anyone have any idea how it really is?

  34. In China/Mainland, you can not find a decent UNIX/LINUX+PHP+MYSql hosting. Period. Everything is about IIS and ASP. Sign

    To Doctor: ‘Customer First, Service Foremost” should be “顾客第一,服务第一”.

  35. Yes, well. I signed up to bluehost for two years. and one day later have it suspended. Because of al lthings, my credit card details are Australian and my connection address is China. Well fancy that. Who would have thought that someone would be working in another country. Can’t even imagine it myself… so what happens. I am asked to send copies of BOTH sides of my credit card and drivers liscence to them as proof that I am not the Pope. And is all well. Of course not. I ring the hotline after all this, and guess what. “Sorry we are all away for christmas holidays. Or 24/7 service is actually only for those times when we are working.” like maybe between 9 and 5, 5 days a week.
    Pity too, because the speed was good while it lasted, and an impressive hosting service. But come on guys… we don’t all live in the good old USA. Some of actually work and live in very different places. Just too parochial me thinks. Next step? Well as it’s Christmas i wont’ reverse my creditcard yet. I’ll give them a few hours. Meantime – my radio station is off-air, along with God knows how much revenue. Serves me right for thinking someone had got it right finally. What a world.

  36. Hmmm, well, to continue the saga if anyone still reads this site – I switched to Hostgator. But the troubles have only just begun … Hostgator – or at least the IP block I am on has been blocked in Beijing. A neoTrace from here – Shanghai, to my assigned IP stops dead in Beijing.
    So that’s Bluehost and Hostgator now out of the loop. What to do next I wonder. Maybe I’ll just put my own Server here and build on that.

  37. thanks for your comments robert and i actively read this page. well i have an account with hostgator and it was blocked and now it is unblocked. So i do not know if this will happen for you.

    i note peoples comments about a dedicated ip address being perhaps better. is there any evidence that we can protect a dedicated ip address from being blocked if we are prepared to pay for it?

  38. the problem is that sometimes entire ip blocks are blocked from China, and also that the infrastructure and even connections between cities within China are so bad. Our servers are based in Hong Kong, we offer great connectivity with China 99% of the time but the problem is that everyone wants great connectivity 100% of the time! My suggestion is to use a Hong Kong company (like mine!) for hosting and if the connection goes down try connecting via a proxy server or even just rebooting your router/modem.

  39. I even noticed http://www.networksolutions.com is blocked here in China. My website is hoted by http://www.interxstream.com. I cannot access interxstream.com but I can my website (thank goodness).

    I was about to order hostgator but then someone mentioned problem with Chinese on their website from backups. Has that been fixed? I will have a lot – not only in website but A LOT in database.

    Thanks!

    Are there any web hosting “TRUE” reviewers of HK based hosters? So we can see which ones are good?

  40. 33Link is an excellent choice for Dedicated/Business Hosting in Mainland China.

  41. I switched to hostgator a few days ago and it seems that now it is blocked in China. I cannot even have ftp access anymore. Damn it.

  42. Looks like this is a long standing problem that everyone is facing with hosting in China.

    We decided to take this problem head on by launch 59Box, our own Web Hosting service based in Shanghai China. Drop by our Blog.

    • Ken
  43. I have run into a kind of odd problem. I have a site hosted with hostmonster.com. Regular http/https access is no problem, and fairly speedy. However, I cannot directly access the site via ftp. I can’t figure it out.

    Has anyone run into this before?

  44. Jeff,

    I think I once had a similar problem. Try using the IP address instead of the alpha URL (like 180.134.1.250 instead of http://ftp.hostingserver.com).

  45. John,

    Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, I already tried that with no luck… It’s strange that port 21 would be blocked to my site but not ports 80 and 443.

    Any other ideas?

  46. I currently use services from RTG (Asia) Network.

    They have both chinese and english speaking staff, hence no problem at communication at all. They also offer 24×7 phone support and QQ (a chat software popular in china).

    Their admins and mods are always online, so support wise, its never an issue.

    While China has very limited bandwidth to the rest of the world, anyone with Asian Clients should consider RTG, who have servers in the States and Hong Kong. And the best part is, they are one of the few Asian providers who offers Cpanel and knows Cpanel.

    You may visit their site at http://www.rtgasia.us or http://www.rtgasia.biz for more information.

  47. I wouldn’t use hostgator, they have now been blocked big time it seems.

  48. Richard Eaton Says: July 17, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Brag is a Good Dog but He barks tooo Much.

    Don’t be surprised if Gator is next. You make it look as though it has special treatment….

  49. I left a message here in 2005. I am looking for good hosting again!

    2 years agp, I tried so many hosts in usa. Nothing really works for the clients in China. Trust me on this!

    So I finally moved to HOST in China. I through I finally get over the headaces.

    Then I heard that china is really force to control the internet

    there is a new law coming out, if you are running a message board or forum. all registrant need to use real name! and admins need to provide their phone to the gov’t so they can reach you anytime. sigh!!!

    internet in china is not virtual!!!! they want everything real!

    anyway, I am back to square one looking for a host in anywhere but china.

    P.S. thanks kangsky for sharing. I want to test kangsky

  50. As spoken earlier months ago its seems their asian clients are growing by the numbers as China introduces new laws. My site is still hosted on their servers and uptime have been good not forgetting the speed I am getting.

    They have good connection to the mainland on their Hong Kong servers so these would be the packages you should be looking for if most of your clients are from within China or Asia.

    Again, thir main site is ww.rtgasia.net

  51. I am a bit a newbie here.
    I my website and email are hosted by hostcolor but it is just too slow.

    I am trying to understand the offers from rtasia.net. Do you get emails address in their plan?
    Also their talking about features. What is it?

    Could somebody enlighten me?

  52. Although this article was helpful, and looking at the comment response, has helped a lot of people, the title is misleading.

    I was actually looking for information on web hosts IN China. As this is a requirement for a site I am creating. You previously mentioned this, but then went on to US hosting, which is not relevant.

    Perhaps ‘Reliable Web Hosting for China’ would be a more appropriate title.

  53. by website http://pakistanbusiness.net is been blocked at china. i have bought the domain from go daddy and hosting from http://hostingchannel.net

    i must show the website in china to our clients … What is the Cheapest way to do this. i can be happy with 10-Mbs of disk space.

    please tell me where to buy the hosting and domain cheaper for china.

  54. Eckhard Goessl Says: September 13, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    bluehost direct access is blocked but most c-panel are working.
    However bluehost is little helping the problem. If they allow illegal content, they should make a deal and close such sites and keep the biggest market open. Clean server policy.

  55. Hi, my name is Adrian, i live in China now but i am from Romania.
    I have some websites for example http://www.joshuatrading.com (in same days will befinish) and i made and use allready email adress for this website. ex adrian@joshuatrading.com.
    My http://www.joshuatrading.com the server host is in Romania.
    Everything nice untill now…BUT
    Jesus, when i receive one e-mail on the outlook i stay 50 minutes for 5 megabyte (i check the emails on my laptop using Microsoft Outlook 2007 with a ADSL connection China Telecom)
    Normaly this conection is not oau (i mean huge speed) but it work ok when i download from yahoo email and hotmail attachments.
    So what to do?
    To host my website’s in one server in USA??? better that Romania?
    It will work good thinking that i use in China? (i mean the speed of download)
    Please help me and send me some opinions on joshuatrading@yahoo.com

  56. I am looking for a very good hostign company in china. need to download/upload large files there. any help on the best company in china? my manufacturers in china need to use the site. thanks;

  57. Hi,
    i let the server in Romania, is mutch better like this.
    Please delete my post from your website becouse when i search in google joshuatrading comes out my post from your website and some information that i provide in this post are confidetial for me and if you will delete i will be more protect from my competitors in Europe.
    Thank you and best regards…

  58. Check out these guys, they are based in Shanghai and provide both Chinese and overseas hosting services:
    http://www.sinohosting.net

  59. Another article about hosting in China that is worth reading (for business sites):
    http://blog.sinohosting.net/hosting-in-china-or-overseas-making-the-best-choice-for-your-business/

  60. Its really not a good idea at all to host your sites in china due to their many ridiculous requirements.

    I had my site in China and was shut down as I cannot get approval from the authorities.

    A friend of mine recommended me to RTG (Asia) which he have been using for a year or so and I have signup with them for a VPS in Hong Kong. very good speed compared to those in China and my chinese clients are not complaining at all.

    Give them a try at http://www.rtgasia.net, phone support and responsive staff.

  61. I am trying to do an update of this guide to hosting blogs for China.

  62. Trying to e-mail someone in Chongqing and I keep getting back host server not found… I have @yeah.nep Has anyone ever heard of it?

  63. My site http://bodgers-lair.com is hosted on powweb.com and although cheep at $3.88 per month for 1500 Gb web space it was being blocked by the Great China Firewall.
    I registered another site in the UK with free hoisting for a few pennies and put it on permanent re-direct to the powweb site. This seems to have worked a treat as I now get a steady stream of visitors from China.

  64. HI,
    Thanks a lot for all this shared experience.
    I personally use http://www.canaca.com with a dedicated ip for the past 3 years without any problem. (http://www.visionrouge.com)
    I used to have one in China, but, even if the speed was perfect for China, i can’t connect when i was back in Europe.
    i have tried infomaniak.ch, but very poor connection from China.
    I tried also one in singapore: SINGHOST.NET but have a weird problem about uploading file more than 100 mo from China on my ftp, They were very nice and we also tried another bay, but did not work either, they finally refund me totally! Nice Nice.
    Another try with mailclub.fr in France, work for 5 month and lock down from China, move to other bay, still lock, so moved to http://www.lunarpages.com waiting another one closer, perhaps hk…

    I will let you know asap.
    Jean

  65. Dexter Go Says: July 19, 2008 at 11:54 am

    You should be credited by HOSTGATOR. I’m going to check them out.

    Do you have an affiliate link to them so I will click that.

    You made a good article that will save people money and especially time and effort.

  66. Do you know which Web Hosting companies in China work best with WordPress? I want to run a WordPress site from the US, and have it function in China with proper China running speed and I figure using a Chinese web hosting company. Does anyone know which ones work best with WordPress?

    Thanks!

  67. Dear All,
    Some news about my hosting.
    I finally took one small account (100Mo) at Jump HK, with server located in HK to test it.
    The service is absolutely poor, and so slow, but the internet access very fast, in two month they where down 1 days, and he took 5 email to get an answer. But so far it’s the fastest and safest web company i found, (English speaker staff)
    Now, my main web is still at canaca, but all my big file as video are on jump.
    you can have a view from china here and compare those two link
    http://http://203.194.220.70/visionrouge.swf/visionrouge.swf (jump)
    and
    http://www.visionrouge.com/visionrouge.swf (canaca)
    So, i took 500 extra mo only for my big video project file transfer/upload.
    One funky trick, i asked for a fixed ip only, and it’s not possible, the need a domain to link to the hosting… as i justed wanted to test, i insisted (10 email, + one phone call), and they finally manage to provide me 203.194.220.70 without domain name. My mail box is still at canaca, only the ftp/http hosting has been partially moved.

    Another experience interesting with one another website i design.
    http://www.commealamaisonlemag.com It’s a on line magazine domain name and hosting at http://www.mailclub.fr in France, but, it’s mainly a lifestyle Shanghai magazine, with article in French for Shanghai Francophone audience.
    One day, the Chinese Government decided to shut down, we try to move to another IP, not working… they shutdown http://www.commealamaisonlemag.com BUT NOT http://commealamaisonlemag.com and all the potential sub domain.
    So, if one day, your client can’t from china, simply thy by removing the http://www... To finish, they gave back the website 2 weeks later, without any explanation.
    Hope that will help!

  68. Christopher Su Says: August 13, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    A lot of the BlueHost and HostGator IPs are now blocked in China. Run a Google Search with “HostGator China” and see all the threads in their support forum complaining about the censorship!

  69. Tim Holmes Says: August 29, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    I recently switched over to Bluehost from Hostgator. In my logs, I just got my first record of a hit from China.

    I also just read on Bluehost forums that bluehost.com was blocked, but not the websites they host. They told their customers to log directly into their company’s cpanel rather than bluehost.com. We’ll see what happens with my ip address…

  70. I am kind of a patient guy… but reading Mr Joe thongs reply, I simply have to admit that he has a point there. Service is high until you paid rmbees. Then it drops like a stone.
    Example:
    SSBG – IT Solutions. SSBG – IT Problems would be a better name. I got tech questions answered by sales people … 4 days later. The company has no experience with linux although it wants to sell these hosting services…. far above market prices.
    Good advice: stay away from them.

  71. Okay, hopefully it’s appropriate to mention our hosting service here?

    (Sorry if it’s! It’s not my intention to spam or anything, it just seems the information may be of use to some readers here.)

    An American Webhost In China has servers in Hong Kong (fast access for mainland China). Yet support and service are US-flavor: always in English, 1 hour support response guaranteed, standard US server software, etc. (Yes, WordPress will live happily on our servers.) We also have automatic migration of websites when censorship blocked.

    http://www.americanwebhostinchina.com

  72. Lily Therese Says: September 26, 2008 at 1:39 am

    Will getting a dedicated ip address solve the problem of getting blocked, irregardless of hosting company?

  73. Lily Therese, a dedicated IP will prevent DNS blocking that occurs because you are sharing an IP with a frowned-upon website. For instance, if several sites share an IP address and one site attracts negative attention, the Great Firewall may block that IP — knocking out all sites sharing that IP. So if you having your own IP would help you in that case.

    Having your own IP will not help you if they decide it is your site and IP that should be DNS blocked!

    And it will not help you if they block a whole range of IP addresses, and your dedicated IP happens to be in that range.

    And it will not help you if they take the more specific action of blocking your domain name or content on your domain.

    (FYI, my hosting company migrates sites on a blocked IP to a new unblocked IP, which will solve the first three types of blocking I just described.)

  74. If you decide to host in China, you might check us: http://www.sinohosting.net . An ICP registration is required though.

    We also have US hosting on multiple location (mostly west coast, california and texas, with good connectivity to China), and accounts can be moved from a server to another within 30mn. In fact over 30% of our China based clients host there just fine.

    We had Singapore hosting before but it was often blocked. We will offer Hong Kong hosting around year end.

  75. It is frustrating to see a website shutdown or blocked for no reasons and couldn’t even find anyone to complain or argue about it. I am a hosting support engineer and we own servers both in and outside china. When we got clients who run business in China but website was blocked, we will help them to move their sites to some other servers. TGF makes me works harder.

  76. Thanks to all of you for providing such helpful information!!! I feel much more confident that I will find success with china’s audience now.

    Wish I could say something that would help you all out as much as you’ve helped me. Special thanks to Vision Rogue, Ray Martin and Raja! Good info—thanks! —-Jamie

  77. Hi John,

    Any chance you could provide an update on this topic?

    In my case, I’m looking to setup a blog for a mainland Chinese audience, but would probably like to avoid mainland hosting because of the hassle of getting an ICP license. What would you recommend? How fast is Dreamhost in China? Heard any good things about Sinohosting?

    Thanks!
    D

  78. Hi Guys…

    Any update about which host to use?
    I am in Main land China, and I want to host my company web site in foreign country (as my customers are mainly abroad china). I tried with godaddy, but it has been a total disaster… I can’t access the server from China…
    My domain name is with godaddy as well (that part works).

    Are Dreamhost and host gator still the best option by now ?

    Thanks

  79. If you want foreign expertise (sorely needed when it comes to Linux) then look no further than my humble startup! 😉

    http://www.candisgroup,com

    But in general – buy your .cn from Network Solutions and NOT a China or HK registrar as you will only have problems. And second if you need to reach people, then host inside China. Further to that if you need to reach students, then you need a connection to Jiao Yu Wang (Education network) as the universities are segregated. Then there is the CNC/CT issue and other tier 2 providers that don’t peer that you need an IDC or hoster that will process backchannel traffic.

    All up good hosting in China is not cheap compared to outside. But shared hosting is always the cheapest.

  80. Forgot to mention that we also do global load balancing over our China, HK and US “Cloud” that means that visitors always get the best response times and you can also have you site be in China – but appear to be elsewhere which is great for ICP or dodgy business registration reasons.. 😉

  81. Sorry – I can’t spell… http://www.candisgroup.com 😉

  82. If you’re looking for a Hong Kong-based hoster, I highly recommend ICDSoft (http://www.icdsoft.com/ or http://www.icdsoft.com.hk/). We’ve been using them for over 4 years now and their service is absolutely the best. They guarantee a response within 1 hour 24/7/365 and on over a dozen times they delivered on that. Most times they have responded within 5 minutes. In Dec 2008 we discovered that our site was being blocked by the Great China Firewall and within 30 minutes they had successfully migrated our site (including our MySQL databases) to another (unblocked) server. They have a fantastic support ticketing system that keeps track of all back-and-forth correspondence. They have data centers in Hong Kong (iAdvantage), US (SAVVIS), and Germany (Equinix). We’ve been using their Hong Kong data center and iAdvantage is IMO the best commercial ISP in Hong Kong. I have no affiliation with ICDSoft (and iAdvantage) other than being an extremely satisfied customer. Note that their .hk site is only in Chinese but you can go to their .com site for English and their support emails and responses via the ticketing system are in perfect English. Our regional website http://www.bbdoasia.com is hosted by them. Hope this is helpful.

  83. Gator has a terrible untrained customer support. Finally I register a domain name on Dreamhost.

  84. We’re working on partnering with various hosts around the world to bring fast reliable clustered hosting to market at an affordable price.

    We actually use the hosts before we even consider partnering with them. So far we’ve used almost every host and have only found one that was suitable in terms of products offered, time to problem resolution, experience, honesty, courtesy, reliability, data speed and cost. Of course we don’t want them to all be in the same place and locating where a hosting company really is isn’t as obvious as it initially seems….

    We’re still looking but I can tell you that you’ll be able to evaluate at least the hosting company’s claims of “fast” at internetsupervision.com, alertra.com and hyperspin.com for the incredibly reasonable price of absolutely free!

    Also, I’d recommend that if you opt for a free domain from a hosting company, make it one you don’t really want because you can’t take it with you if you change hosting companies. That’s why it’s free.

    Good luck!

    Cookie

  85. You must try out http://www.GenerousWebHosting.com

    way better than host gator and dreamhost. The support team is great and the prices are the best.

  86. Hostgator sites have been blocked this week…all my sites for my links with my clients have gone offline, except if using a proxy. It is SO unpredictable here in China – VERY DIFFICULT to do business.

    • I’ve heard Quadranet, in Los Angeles, California, offers China-based clients a VPN? Can anyone explain how this works and why it would combat IP blocking? Thank you.

  87. http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/quadranetcom-c291880.html

    If that’s true, Chinese will block quickly. Besides of that one doesn’t want to get involved into ‘Israeli-Russian mob’ activities…

  88. I am dealing with a client in China right now where we discovered their host will not allow FTP connections from the US. I don’t know yet if this is a hard security measure put in place but the hosting provider or if this block can be turned off by the client in the control panel. We have to use another web host that does not block FTP from the US, then the client downloads the files from there and the uploads them to the other host.

  89. Hi, I just want to report it was a wrong port number my client was providing. So if web hosts in China do in fact block FTP connections from the US, I can’t confirm that it actually happens. This was suggested by my client, but it appears to have not been the case with this particular host.

  90. I was in trouble as icp lisence, i find more online web host service, but i think this service can be better than other :http://hostinginchina.com/
    Many chinese web hosting are block.

  91. Any upadates with the problems of hosting in China?

  92. Any updates? I’m wondering if Host Gator is still the way to go.

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