Had to take a quick mental break – and grab some cheese and pretzels. Partner Rob at OutsideRaleigh.com is chomping at the bit for a new website, but cheese and pretzels won’t be an undue delay.. Besides, if it saves me from being unduly grouchy as well, it’s probably a fair tradeoff.
Figured I’d check to see what came in the email while I was heads down for the last 4 hours. Interesting little review from the folks over at WPMU.org. Interesting that they do provide a backlink reference back to WordPress.org – since Google seems to LOVE that people link to those that already ARE big – that goes to the whole “authority site” thing in terms of SEO. So that annoyance notwithstanding – I really found this paragraph amusing as to how WordPress.org goes about selecting the companies that they recommend to provide hosting.
I’ve been down on BlueHost for a while – as is the WPMU reviewer – so I’m not surprised. My comment whenever I see someone coming to me for web work with their site on BlueHost? “You need to get a REAL host…”
WordPress.org recommends three hosts – Bluehost, DreamHost and Laughing Squid – but it’s best to be mindful when signing up for plans with these companies that their listing is completely arbitrary and includes an interesting array of criteria: contributions to WordPress.org, size of customer base, ease of WordPress auto-install and auto-upgrades, bundling “sane” themes and plugins, avoiding GPL violations, design, tone, presence in forums, historical perception, using the correct logo, capitalizing WordPress correctly, not blaming WordPress.org for security issues and having up-to-date system software.
I personally don’t find the GoDaddy (which they also review in there) set up any sort of delight to use though many DO use it. It’s unnecessarily complicated to even get around their interface. Add on to that all the “add on to thats” that they want to push at you, and you’ve got a recipe for “WTF do I do HERE?” situations. I actually HAVE a hosting account over there but found it SO painfully slow to do anything with (as well as confusing) that I just gave up and chalked the money up to experience. Seriously? It takes 30 or 40 minutes (or more) to get a MySQL database setup for WordPress? After THAT little experience, I decided to eat the money that I spent for the annual hosting package over there and chalk it up to that experience thing. I can deploy and LAUNCH a full site on my big metal, errrr… big CLOUD as below in under 10 minutes – not wait 30+ minutes to just get a database set up.
So what do WE recommend and use? Actually big CLOUD – a serious VPS with dedicated quad-core Xeon proc tanking 8 GB of RAM with redundant network connections for failover on ixWebHosting Cloud. That and a nice little CPanel. Takes some getting used to, but once you’ve got it figured out, there’s nothing easier – and it doesn’t change from day today. I like simple and reliable. AND STRONG! And when you need something like that fixed? Well, at least a physical one – Call Lizardwebs for Raleigh computer repair!
We also use Rackspace Cloud Sites for the security of knowing that everything is reasonable safe up there in the cloud. At one point we thought Rackspace Cloud to be the bomb. Unfortunately, after comparing it to experiences on other hosts, it actually was just that – a bomb. Their performance? Sluggish at best. If I have anything more than a simple WordPress website, get ready for timeouts on heavy processes like full backups. Also deploying there – pretty rocky with the BackupBuddy solution that I so love – a lot of deployments require several tries to get it to fully process. Even then manually uploading all files is the only way to complete the process. Very poor – will never use them again. Moved my biggest client off there the other day, the rest of my sites WILL follow. For the 149/month that they charge for the Cloud Sites hosting, I can get a pretty decent cloud VPS over at IX.
And then there’s the ixWebHosting SEO hosting – those actually are on shared hosting and DO provide better performance and service than Rackspace. THey’re not cloud though so regular backups are a must and a hardware failure will take them offline. Backups are a must anywhere, but when there’s no cloud… even more imperative. As well, it only costs me for a whole YEAR of SEO hosting at ixWebHosting (with BETTER performance) what it costs me for a month at Rackspace. As soon as I can get all those sites OFF Rackspace, I will…
I’m not saying, I’m just sayin’