Waiting for the Page Load{6}

Waiting for page load

It’s been about a week since I made the host/server change. Things seem to be running smoothly, at least from my vantage point.

This is the first time I’ve had to move my WordPress blog and the ZenCart shop. I’d previously had the enjoyment of converting my Blogger blog to WordPress but this was a different procedure. The Blogger conversion had the trifecta of learning/installing WordPress, setting up on a new server, and of course the transfer of all the content from Blogger. It took a lot of time, but it really wasn’t that bad in the end.

This move, as I stated before, was done out of the necessity to finding a more reliable and faster host. So far so good in that respect. I took a different approach this time and instead of going with one of the large, well known economy hosts I decided to try an option that I had seen offered on a site I frequent.

RT Cunningham of Untwisted Vortex Retired Kano fame had recently decided to offer very reasonably priced server space from his VPS (virtual private server) service. His main selling points are (but go to his article to get the full story):

My service. I’m going to be the only person administering your hosting account. I’ll be the guy that checks to make sure the server is running properly, which is something I do everyday already. I’ll be the guy that sets it up or closes it off, whatever the case may be.

No Shutdown. I’m not going to shut you down for using too many resources because you’ve been hit by a popular post at Digg or some other social network. It’s a dedicated VPS, closed off from any shared resources except on the VPS itself. (I may yell and scream and tell you to fix it, but that’s about as far as it needs to go.) The server is optimized in every which way but loose, so I’m not too worried about it — I did it myself.

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I wasn’t worried about the shutdown from my previous host. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever have to worry about getting a popular post on Digg. I was concerned about the performance issues I was experiencing and didn’t want to go from host to host to find one that worked. I also could not afford to buy a VPS or dedicated server plan. As much as I hate to admit it, my blog and shop just don’t justify the cost at this time.

So how did it go? The move took a little more than a day to complete but most of that was due to the time difference with RT (but I’m not sure he ever sleeps), and the fact that I was corresponding initially from an email account that was directed to my old server. As soon as I moved my nameservers I lost contact with RT. Took me a few hours to figure that out. The rest of the work consisted of fixing some paths and permissions. That was easy and quick.

I can’t say enough about RT’s service and communication during this move. He was right on top of every issue that came up and not only fixed them promptly, he was very knowledgeable about it all. He walked me through the whole process, before and during, and gave the type of personal service that you are unlikely to find with the large economy hosts.

So to summarize:

  • I’m very happy with the speed of the server
  • The cost, especially the yearly plan, can’t be beat for VPS
  • The service is exceptional

If you are looking for something along this line I’d suggest you give RT a shout. For the sake of transparency, this was an unsolicited article/review. No reimbursement was asked for or given. I didn’t even tell RT I was writing this, so I hope I didn’t misrepresent anything :-)