About two weeks ago, I was having a chat with @deanvmc, and one of the things that we discussed was the setting up of a Hosted Exchange account for our email. At the time, I had POP3 and IMAP account for my gep13.co.uk and aberdeendevelopers.co.uk domains, and I was quite happy with them, I had never considered using anything else.
However, the conversation led me to investigate further, and I decided that I wanted a Hosted Exchange account for the gep13.co.uk. This would allow me to easily hook it up to my Windows Phone 7, as well as provide Outlook Web Access, and all the associated goodies such as Calendars, Contacts, Tasks, etc.
After looking around for a bit I went back to the original company that Dean had mentioned, a company called Blacknight. I decided their package a try, for a numbers of reasons:
- Reasonably well priced
- Geographically close (they are based in Ireland)
- Support for Exchange 2010
- 30 day money back guarantee is not satisfied
A couple emails to support later, as well as chatting to @blacknight on twitter, and my Hosted Exchange account was up and running. I had access to Webmail, I was connected to it via my Windows Phone 7, and I was connected to it via Outlook on my desktop. Things really did “just work”, and I really can’t recommend them enough!!
After a couple days, I was on the Blacknight website again, and I happened to look at their web hosting packages, and I was quite literally stunned!! Hosting for 30 domains, and 30 of each kind of database, or that price?!? I felt sure something must be wrong!!
So again, a couple emails to support to confirm a couple details, i.e. support for ASP.Net 4.0 and ASP.Net MVC 3, and I was sold!! My current hosting package runs out in May, but I thought I would grab the hosting package just now, and get everything set up, especially since there are discounts available.
The Blacknight control panel is very intuitive to use, and has access to just about everything that you need to get your websites up and running. I have to say that there were a couple things missing in the control panel compared to my old host, i.e. the ability to specify that the application pool is running under .Net 4.0, but with the speedy response that I have been getting from the support team, this really isn’t a problem.
I am happy to say that after a few initial small teething problems, my gep13.co.uk site is up and running (again, support were immense throughout this process, I won’t mention names as I don’t think I am “allowed” to, but they have all been very helpful!)
Now that gep13.co.uk is working, I will start the transition of the aberdeendevelopers.co.uk site on their servers as well, but I can’t see any reason why this again shouldn’t “just work”.
On top of the Exchange and Web Hosting, Blacknight also offer another interesting service called rss.me. I have joined the Beta program for this, and this blog post will actually be the first one which should automatically be picked up by it and posted to my twiiter feed, so fingers crossed!
As the title of this blog post states, I really can’t say enough good things about Blacknight, and if you are in the market for a new web host I would highly encourage you to check them out!! Keep up the good work guys!