I’ve been using Dreamhost as my hosting provider since 2000, mostly happily. But last year I began receiving enough traffic that I could no longer rely on shared hosting. Last Fall, I switched all of my domains to a virtual private server at Dreamhost – an easy upgrade that doubled my hosting bill but promised all the performance I would need. Sadly, this was not the case.
Dreamhost never could get their flexible resource provisioning control panel to work right with my server, and their support staff was only slightly responsive. I limped along for three months, waiting for them to get everything working right and suffering through two unexplained multi-hour server outages. After losing my server for an hour and a half yesterday without any response or explanation whatsoever from Dreamhost support, I decided that enough was enough. After nine years as a customer, I am moving my sites elsewhere.
I looked around for a rock-solid Xen VPS/Linux provider with high performance and affordable prices. After checking into many that were recommended, I narrowed my search to two: Linode and Slicehost. Both differ from Dreamhost in that they offer unconfigured servers rather than point-and-click convenience and management. But after almost 20 years in UNIX administration, I figured I was up to the job.
After examining the two, I decided that Slicehost, which was recently acquired by Rackspace, offered the best solution for me. One deciding factor was Linode’s failure to offer backup services of any kind – that’s just bizarre! When all is done, I will be spending just $5 more per month than my Dreamhost VPS cost, and will hopefully get much better performance and stability.
If you’re interested in setting up a web site as outlined here, I recommend Slicehost. They’re not the cheapest, but their VPS servers are fast and reliable.
So I spent much of Friday evening setting up Ubuntu on my slice, copying data, configuring DNS, and installing lighttpd, php, MySQL, WordPress, Mediawiki, and the rest. After some teething issues, I believe that everything is now up and running properly on my new host! Please let me know (by clicking the “Email Me” link in the upper left corner) if you see any errors or issues!