HelioHost is a US-based company that offers free web hosting service. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The company was founded by Ashoat Tevosyan in 2005. Run primarily by volunteers and the community of users, HelioHost prides itself on being a very feature rich web host without a price tag<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>. Technical support for HelioHost is provided for users through the Internet forum Template:URL by the HelioHost community. HelioHost owns all of its server hardware which reduces operating costs and helps keep their service free.
(2005-2008) Early Days
In late January 2005 Ashoat Tevosyan, the founder of Helio Networks, purchased a cPanel reseller plan. The HelioNet forums were launched prior to the HelioHost web hosting service on February 4, 2005.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> On February 11th, 2005<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> the domain Template:URL was registered and went live. On March 2, 2005<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> the Template:URL domain was registered and shortly after the cPanel based free web-hosting was launched. HelioHost has always offered free subdomains of the form domain.heliohost.org or users can host any paid domains that they have registered. HelioHost has also always been fully funded by donations and advertising revenue, but in the early days there was also a free plan that required forum posting to keep your site active. Each post earned you one "Helion"<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> and it took 25 non-spam posts to keep your website active. Starting on March 27, 2005<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> users could choose to have ads placed on their sites<ref>Template:Cite news</ref> using mod_layout, and this quickly became the most popular type of hosting plan. In late 2005 Helio Networks purchased a VPS to host their services. Then a few years later on March 25, 2007<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> they moved to a rented dedicated server.
(2008-2010) Stevie Era
A little over a year after that on July 21, 2008<ref name="helionet_37408">Template:Cite web</ref> HelioHost purchased their first server, and named it Stevie. This was an important time for HelioHost because the purchase vastly reduced their bills, and greatly improved their profitability. Also on July 21, 2008 HelioHost launched their Java/JSP service.<ref name="helionet_37408"/> In order to reduce the frustration of users, increase the ease of use, and expand the number of users<ref>Template:Cite book</ref> the free hosting plan which required forum posts was dropped in late 2009. On December 4, 2010<ref name="helionet_56347">Template:Cite web</ref> HelioHost ceased monitoring bandwidth, and began providing all free user accounts unlimited<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> uploading and downloading.
(2010-2016) Charlie Era
Also on December 4, 2010<ref name="helionet_56347"/> Helio Networks purchased a second server, and named it Charlie. VMware ESXI was installed on this new server so that it could host a couple virtual machines. The first VM created was named Cody, and it went live on February 8, 2011.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> This server was designed to separate Helio Networks main websites, helionet.org and heliohost.org, from the user content, and provide DNS nameserver service. On March 25, 2011<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> the second VM on Charlie was released, which was named Johnny. Shortly after this ASP.NET, Java/JSP, and Ruby on Rails was removed from the Stevie server to reduce load, and only offered on Johnny. From this point onwards the Heliohost administrators have made it a priority to keep Stevie with as high of uptime as possible. Only a few months in the last 5 years has Stevie had less than 99% uptime.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> On June 26, 2015<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> HelioNet reached the milestone 100,000 post mark just a few months after the free hosting service reached it's 10th anniversary.
(2016-2017) Eddie Era
On January 26, 2016 Helio Networks purchased their third server, named Eddie, and placed it in their server cabinet on March 4, 2016. Like Charlie, Eddie has VMware ESXI installed on it. The Heliohost admins created a new Cody virtual machine and began transferring the main websites, helionet.org and heliohost.org, over to the new server in order to isolate them from the high load and instability of the Johnny server.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> On April 16, 2016 the phone number 1-802-88-HELIO (1-802-884-3546) was set up so that support could be conducted via voicemail and SMS text messages.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> On August 11, 2016 Tommy, the flagship virtual server of the HelioHost fleet, was announced and a public closed beta period began.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Beta invites in the form of special emailed links were sent out randomly to help test the new features on Tommy. Anyone who made a donation of any size was also sent a Tommy invitation. On August 12, 2016 the firstname.lastname@example.org email address was unveiled.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> This allowed users to get support for their free hosting account via email. Since the correspondence received by this email address is posted on the forums anyone in the community can help the sender of the email without publicly disclosing their address. On September 29, 2016 heliohost.org revealed their new homepage which is hosted on the new Eddie server. The previous homepage, which can now be seen at heliohost.org/classic, had seen little changes in over 8 years, and the new site was completely rebuilt from the ground up.
(2016-2017) Hardware Failure
Starting on June 28, 2016 the Charlie server, which hosts the virtual machine Johnny, began showing signs of hard disk drive failure. On November 30, 2016 the Stevie server also began showing signs of hard drive failure<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> which eventually lead to a full system crash. The administrators were able to access most of the data on the hard drives, and made it available for download.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> On March 9, 2017 the Stevie server and the Charlie server were both officially verified as having bad hard drives, and the failing equipment was replaced. Johnny was quickly rebuilt<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> so that HelioHost would be able to offer more than just one server choice during signup, and free signups were made available on March 9, 2017. The Stevie server was rebuilt with ESXi as the operating system, and a new virtual machine named Ricky was created. Free signups on the new Ricky server were made available on May 12, 2017.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
- .php - PHP 7.1, 7.0, 5.6, 5.5, and 5.4.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
- .aspx - .NET framework 3.5 and 4.6.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
- .jsp/.war - Tomcat Java 7.0 and 8.5.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
- Ruby on Rails - Rails Gem 2.3.18.
- MySQL - version 5.6.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
- PostgreSQL - version 9.2.18<ref>Ramstedt, Pirjo. "Verkkokaupan Tietokantapohjainen Käyttöliittymä Ja Asiakkaan Tilausjärjestelmä". Degree Program in Information Technology helsinki.fi, February 2011, Thesis Paper
- Sqlite - version 3.6.20.
- Django - version 1.10.5<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
- Python - Python 2.6.6, 2.7.5, 3.6.0<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
- Perl - Perl 5.10.1, 5.16.3, 5.24.1
- Ruby - Ruby 1.8.7, 2.0.0
- Cron - Cron allows users to run commands at certain times.
- FTP - FTP/SFTP allows users to transfer files to the servers.
- Email - HelioHost provides custom @yourdomain.com addresses.