PDA

View Full Version : Web host journey.




ChrisWB
Feb 26, 2006, 04:29 PM
I have been with Dreamhost for over a year. They have always provided me with good service, but recent horror stories started to worry me. I decided to switch to a different host in order to be proactive about ensuring my father's business website received reliable uptime. I've created this post just to share my little journey.

After days of research, I decided to go with MediaTemple. Their reputation is top-notch and I feel that, for the most part, that reputation is deserved. The transfer of my first domain to MediaTemple was easy. The second was quite a pain. MediaTemple does not provide an easy way of hosting multiple domains. They allow you to treat multiple domains as subdomains, but the setup is not at all elegant. They use a proprietary control panel which does the job, but is limited in functionality as compared to cPanel. I actually like the layout of their control panel. It was quite easy to use.

I would have been satisfied with MediaTemple's service, but when I started installing software I noticed that their installed software was outdated. This would have posed no immediate problem, but in the long term when I updated our mysql/php software to a newer version that requires at least version 4, I'd have been up a creek without a paddle.

It's important to note that their service was very, very fast in replying to me. I also had phone support at 2 AM CST. They are truly a premium host.

The combination of old software and rather difficult domain management made me decide to cancel my account with MediaTemple. I really wish I could have stayed with them, but the threat of outdated software limiting my father's website's growth bothered me too much.

After canceling with MediaTemple I decided to try A Small Orange. To make a long story short, their control panel is far better and adding domains is quite simple. I added reseller functionality so that I could continue as a reseller (I did this with Dreamhost, but stopped when I heard horror stories).

A little self advertisement: If anyone's looking for a host for a personal website and doesn't need a large amount of space, contact me. :)

A small orange's support staff is not as quick as MediaTemple's, but it is quite responsive. I received a reply within an hour each time I sent them an email. They are quite friendly, but it takes more than one email to fix a problem.

Over-all, I'm far more satisfied with A Small Orange. Their service allows me to do far more for my money. I can customize just about anything without having to deal with outdated software or an unfamiliar interface.



desenso
Feb 26, 2006, 06:49 PM
Interesting post. Right now I'm using both Spoonohost and A Small Orange. ASO's stats aren't as impressive but I like the reselling option and I think that they have a better idea of what they're doing. I'll probably keep both so that I'm not too reliant on just one host.

Those Dreamhost stats are tempting but I find the lack of cpanel / fantastico a bit of a letdown.

Anyways, interesting post.

ChrisWB
Feb 26, 2006, 10:07 PM
Thanks. I doubt I'll get many replies since it's so long.

What do you mean when you say ASO's stats aren't impressive? Do you mean their statistic programs, or what they give you with a plan?

The Dreamhost stats might as well be infinity. If you ever tried to use what they claim you have I'm sure they'd shut you down.

I think ASO knows what they're doing, though it takes a number of emails to the support staff to get things done whereas MediaTemple solved my problems on the first reply. Dreamhost would take about a day to respond, and the response would typically be worthless.

desenso
Feb 27, 2006, 12:58 AM
I meant that their package options aren't that impressive - they definitely are dwarfed by other hosts (including SpoonoHost (http://www.spoonohost.com)) - but I agree that I almost prefer it that way, which is why I said that I get the impression that they seem like a reliable company. Although I'd like to have access to it, I really don't want to share a server with someone who might be using 1TB of bandwidth.

At the end of the day, ASO's website is the best that I've seen. So simple and easy to use. I think that was a large part of what sold me (compounded, of course, by the overwhelmingly good reviews posted here).

And yes, ASO did get back to me within about 4 to 5 hours of a help request, and it was a good response. Spoonohost would typically get back to me within 12 hours, but also fixed the problem _every_ single time except for once, which means that I can't find fault there.

Either way, both are good hosts, and like I said, I plan to keep both at least for the time being.

ChrisWB
Feb 27, 2006, 08:36 PM
Just as an update - I've had a few problems with A Small Orange's domain management system. They use cPanel, which I like, but it causes errors when trying to create subdomains of addon domains. This is a problem when you want to host more than one domain on a single account and have subdomains for each domain. I haven't closed my MediaTemple account yet and I may end up switching back to them

In addition, while the A Small Orange staff is very responsive, some of the staff members are not very helpful. It takes a long time for an issue to be resolved.

williamw
Feb 27, 2006, 08:48 PM
I havent heard bad things about dream host, only good:rolleyes:

ChrisWB
Feb 28, 2006, 08:01 PM
William,

DreamHost was good to me too, but my site was growing and I didn't want to take any risks.

Here's an update: MediaTemple has a few quirks. Apparently if you host more than one domain on a plan, you can't send email from any domain but the main one. Meaning I can only send mail from my main website's domain, not the rest of them. MediaTemple is definitely not going to cut it. Back to searching.