Disappointed with VPS.net Hosting, Loving MediaTemple
I’ve been running my own websites for over 10 years now. And like most others, I’ve been using a hosting company. The first company I started with was called CrystalTech.com. I was attracted to their offering based partly on price and based partly on their expertise with Microsoft based software i.e. IIS. For many years they provided great service and support. I eventually got to the point where I had 25+ sites hosted by them. Not too long ago I decided to move away from CrystalTech because my sites were primarily WordPress-based and I was getting tired of dealing with the workarounds required by IIS to use all of WordPres’s functionality. And while CrystalTech does offer Linux-based hosting, I felt I would need more WordPress specific support than they could offer, so I switched. What a mistake that was.
Picking a new host was hard because I couldn’t find an independent authority that rated different hosts. So, being a fan of Joost de Valk and his site Yoast.com I felt pretty comfortable taking Joost’s recommendation to sign up with VPS.net. And yes I know that Joost gets a commission for every sale, but regardless of that I felt that he must be pretty confident with VPS.net to associate his name with them over any number of other hosts that would love to have his endorsement. Sadly, Joost must get special treatment or something because my server has been nothing but trouble.
I pay about $250 a month for good server performance and technical support when I need it. Since signing up its felt like my server has been unreliable and the VPS support staff, while responsive and knowledgeable, have done nothing to address the underlying cause of repeated server downtime. Here’s how a typical support ticket conversation goes (paraphrased for brevity):
Me: My server is down again and rebooting doesn’t seem to be fixing the problem.
VPS: Your server has entered read-only mode. It requires a disk check which only we can perform to correct the issue.
Me: Read-only mode? How did it go into that mode?
VPS: A server will go into read-only mode due to a few things 1) improper shut own 2) hardware failure or 3) kernel errors.
Me: I didn’t shut the server down. How can hardware be failing so regularly? What would cause kernel errors?
VPS: Your server is back up.
Me: Thanks. But what can I do to prevent future downtime? Oh, and by the way my server is down again.
VPS: We’re running the file system check to correct the problem.
Me: OK. Is there anything I can do to keep my server from going down so often?
VPS: You’re server is back up.
Seriously? Why won’t they answer my question? Is it because there is nothing that can be done? Am I really the only one having these problems? If so, can’t they replicate what they’re doing for others with my server? If not, shouldn’t they be looking into this problem since it’s not just me?
Anyway, after weeks of this back and forth with no real answers (my server has been down for 24+ hours as I write this by the way), I’ve decided to switch away from VPS.net.
This time around I chose MediaTemple and their Dedicated Virtual Server offering. I went from cPanel to Plesk. It took me a while to get a handle on the interface, but after 10 or so hours I had managed to migrate everything. Before switching over the nameserver information I decided to check my sites at VPS. Guess what? Yep, still down.
P.S. I’m not an affiliate of either VPS.net or MediaTemple. I’m not receiving any compensation for the above post nor will I benefit if you sign up with either hosting company.