Category Archives: WordPress technology

SiteGround WebHosting Review – UPDATED 2017

Honest SiteGround review after having tried several VPS hosts as well as dozens of regular shared hosting companies.

In about 2010, I moved to VPS and never looked back since I run a dozen serious websites with thousands of hits/day. I was very happy with Linode and never thought to go back to shared hosting.

Why no shared hosting? Because it’s slow, frequent down-times, poor SEO, and actually expensive when you try add every necessary features (dedicated IP, SSL, add-on domains) and still lacks many features like caching, compression, file_upload limits, CURL, etc. Back then, almost all shared hosting was eventually oversold and constantly went down. DreamHost, Lunarpages, 1and1, GoDaddy, ANhosting, Midphase, Bluehost, Hostgator, etc and etc…ALL the EIG companies…all of them had problems no matter how much they tried to promise the 99.9999% uptime.

So why did I take a chance on shared hosting again if I’m happy with my fancy 4-core VPS at Linode? Continue reading SiteGround WebHosting Review – UPDATED 2017

Linode – VPS Hosting Review – Updated 2017

I’m incredibly happy with Linode VPS Hosting for the past 5 years. I honestly don’t even like telling people about them because I don’t want this company to grow, get bought out, or decrease their quality of service like GoDaddy or any of the EIG hosting companies. Linode has 0% downtime or constant upgrade/migration issues and what not. It has been one of the best decisions of my life.

But they’re not just great on their own but also compared against others like Digital Ocean, Dreamhost, Lightsail, OVH, Ramnode, Scaleway, etc. Please go see for yourself. They’re consistently topping benchmark charts for performance everywhere and even their $10 VPS plans are out-performing $20 VPS plans from other companies. They have  better CPU, better features, better performance. Some people may complain about their GUI but I actually like it better.

In any case…here’s the one reason I feel they’re the best. Every person that I’ve hired to work on my server or website has ultimately switched over to Linode. It’s the funniest thing. Programmers, designers, sys admins….they’ll tinker around and then tell me they’ve decided to give Linode a try.

Anyway, if you’re interested to see why they’ve been the best for years, here’s my Linode referral link

 

———– My original review below ———

After having so many problems with VPS.net, I decided to go looking for a new VPS host. A lot of things had changed since I first got a VPS and so I had to read up a few guides. I had many concerns that ultimately lead me to choosing Linode.

 

VPS vs cloud

So there’s all this talk about cloud hosting. It’s unlimited, scalable, and has virtually 100% reliability. You only pay for what you use…but then that part scares me. I get constant spikes in traffic here and there, and I hear busy websites might end up paying more for cloud. The support guy at my old webhost told me VPS is faster than cloud. I was already happy with VPS service so I figured to leave it as is. I used VPS because it was fast and cheap, I never cared so much for root access or having complete control to my server.

Managed vs Unmanaged

Managed was having a support guy available whenever you need to make changes or configure your server, etc, etc. But I only need the server to run. I’m not hacking into it regularly and so un-managed made more sense (and was $100 cheaper per month).

Different Hosting Providers

The big names floating around were VPS.net, Amazon (cloud), Slicehost (now Rackspace), PRGMR, Linode. Amazon had cloud which I didn’t want. Rackspace only offered “managed VPS” solutions which started at $150/month — too high for me. VPS.net was shitty. PRGMR was ultra barebones which scared me a bit. Linode was the popular one and highly recommended. I also found many benchmarks where Linode performed well. After reading around, I decided to move my website to them and I’ve been very happy since. I hired a server admin to migrate my site over and was very glad to hear him say the new Linode VPS was much faster and more responsive than the old VPS.net server.

LINODE WINS. (goodbye VPS.net)

MY LINODE REFERRAL LINK

FREE Web Hosting Control Panel Review

This guide was intended to help beginner/non-experts find a good control panel for managing their websites and web servers. About myself…I’m extremely tech-savvy and know my way around many web technologies. Of the few things that I don’t do, programming and operating from the command line is one of them.

When it comes to finding the best web hosting control panel, I care about one thing only: CAN YOU DO IT WITHOUT BOTHERING YOUR SERVER GUY?

Most control panels are not good enough. Either you’ll have to bother your server guy, or you’ll have to learn. Learning is great if all you want to do is maintain web servers. But it’s horrible if you’ve got other things to do like RUN A PROFITABLE BUSINESS. If you’re running a business like me, it’s really hard to go away from anything but cPanel. But let’s try anyway… Continue reading FREE Web Hosting Control Panel Review

Open-Source vs Proprietary (closed-source)

Which is better?

The free-for-all community driven software or mature enterprise-grade production-ready commercial software?

Those supporting open-source software claim it has the obvious advantage of being free but more importantly, is developed by more community experts with more contributing hands. It’s likely to grow and fork faster into more exciting projects.

Those support proprietary software claim it’s more mature, secure, has more consistent support, and far more likely to stick around when there’s money in it to pay for top-level developers.

IMO, the answer is both. Having both open-source and proprietary around forces both of them to be better. They’ll compete and force each other to evolve faster. And both will steal the best from each other. Open-source will borrow from the most consistent and time-tested features of closed-source. And proprietary will take inspiration from the best of open-sources experimental features. For this reason, you’ll notice many companies with the freemium model.

VPS.net Hosting Sucks! – Bad Review

Here goes my bad review of VPS.net (owned by UK2 group). I use to be a shared hosting customer of ANhosting.com for several years — which I still am. They offered good service and good support which was far better than Dreamhost. ANhosting was my savior when one of my websites got popular and I matured to VPS.

Who better to trust than the company that offered me the best shared hosting I could find? And so I opened an account at VPS.net. I went with their un-managed VPS hosting (which was surprisingly affordable), purchasing 1 node at first and later upgraded to 3 nodes. After 18-20 months of terrible service, I decided to finally pull the plug and take my business elsewhere. Below is a series of events ultimately leading to total frustration.

  • July 2010 – bought new VPS. Setting up everything was fairly simple. I knew nothing about the command line but was able to get by following guides on the web. The server was awfully slow and the support said it was because I was running cPanel and so I upgraded to 2 nodes by their recommendation.
  • 2010 (constant issues) – The server would go down here and there without anybody telling me my site was down. Sometimes it would restart, other times it would be down for a whole day until I realized. Half of these times, I was able to restart the server and get it up and running. Other times it was completely unresponsive which they would explain to be issues with the server, or cloud, or SANS, or whatever other reason. Sometimes the support was fast and other times it took hours for a response. What I hated was that they never really explained anything, it was just, “Sorry for your trouble. It’s running now.” I figured it was a new service and they needed time but things would only get worse. I was a big fan of ANhosting and so I was loyal to the company.
  • 2011 (MAJOR issues) – Every month, the server would go down for hours. During the most critical moments, it would go down for 5-20 hours. Late in 2011, I had instances where the server went down for 20-30 hours. There was nothing I could do and the support never replied. The best explanation I got was an update on my support ticket the next day saying “everything working now”. They never offered to reimburse or anything.
  • 2011 (SHADY support) – there was a case where my server again went down. When I submitted a support ticket, they kept saying they were looking into it. But every support guy was simply rebooting the server and saying, “I just restarted the server, will keep you updated.” Next they said, I was running out of memory and needed to purchase more. I added more nodes and rebooted the server with no luck. Finally, the ticket escalated up to Level 3 support. The guy there said, “You have major problems with your server, you need to purchase on-demand ticket for instant support.” So I paid the $10 option, the guy there says “You need to buy the $50 option.” And so I did…with no refund for the $10 one. All I wanted was my site online, it was down for over 30 hours at that point with no end in sight. Keep in mind that I was never fooling around with anything; it just went down. Finally, my site comes back up. When I kept asking the support guys, they offered “Another customer on your server was hogging resources and took down the whole server. Your site is ok, no problem at all.” No refunds, no apologies, nothing.
  • 2012 (FINAL STRAW) – constant outages. After being hit with 2 major outages (both over 20 hours of downtime), I asked a knowledgeable friend to look through my setup and he told me, “Your server is way too slow for the amount of resources you have. It’s underpowered, etc, etc, etc.”

Don’t use VPS.net. They gave me bad advice, told me to spend more money, didn’t really fix my problem, and offered no explanation. I’m not knowledgeable at managing servers so I delayed the move for this long but I can’t take it anymore. I can understand server issues due to unforeseen circumstances, but I don’t want to deal with a company that lies to its customers.

Here are more bad reviews of VPS.net:

I found a new VPS host and never looked back. New article and review on them soon enough.

Where to buy cPanel licenses

So I went around looking for places to buy cPanel licenses last night. I found different rates and different options:

  • Directly from cPanel themselves – it’s the most costly option because they make you pay upfront for a yearly license. I also didn’t see any options for add-ons (Litespeed, Softaculous, etc)
  • cpaneldirect.net – a popular site using by many server owners. When I tried to check out their website hung on me, so I lost patience and went elsewhere.
  • BuycPanel.com – another very popular cPanel reseller. Nice site filled with many options and allows you to pay for a monthly license (instead of paying the yearly price). They will even install cPanel on your server for you free of charge!

BuycPanel wins. I wish I went here first but anyway I bought from them and I’m happy so far.