New Host

02 Dec 2009

I haven’t been posting much lately, but I’ve still been working on this site. I finally chose a new web host so that I can leave DreamHost. The new host is WebFaction, and so far it’s excellent. It’s not quite that simple, though.

WebFaction is excellent because:

– It allows for easy hosting of multiple websites
– It makes its policies on application memory usage completely clear to users (this is the major sin of DreamHost and its ilk)
– It’s fast
– It has affordable dedicated IP solutions (important in case you get blocked by sheer bad luck)
– I wrote the support team on three separate occasions at different times, and each time, they got back to me within 5 minutes. (These weren’t very difficult questions, but still… that’s amazing, coming from DreamHost, which responded in a few hours on good days, in a day on typical days, and NEVER on bad days)

WebFaction is maybe not great for everyone because:

– The control panel seems quite rudimentary after using DreamHost’s, seeing Media Temple’s, and seeing a few others. It really seems quite bare bones. (A few features I asked about were “in development,” but they had other somewhat techy workarounds.)
– The company uses its own unintuitive system for installing “Applications” and pairing them with domains. (I use the word “application” in quotes because not only web apps like WordPress, but also even things like static directories for hosting files count as “applications.”)

The system is actually kind of cool once you get used to it, but it’s definitely not for someone who just wants one simple website. I’ll probably write more about it once I’m fully moved over.

The other way I’ve been spending time on Sinosplice is with a long-overdue redesign. The whole site! More on that later…

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. I’d never come across WebFaction before, but I am intrigued by the way they use Applications. It’s not often you come across something different like this. Will take a closer look.

  2. We’ve been quite pleased with Webfaction hosting (which we discovered via the folks at Paper Republic) — we got booted from our old provider because our MovableType install was chewing up CPU resources, but on Webfaction, it’s just a static application whose predominant memory usage (Apache instances) doesn’t even count against the quota.

  3. Whaaat, all this time I could have just asked you or Brendan or Jeremy to find out about WebFaction?? D’oh… (Or were you guys trying to keep it secret??)

    I actually heard about it first through a friend in the States.

  4. wow no wonder the site seems really fast now

  5. Oops, sorry. Someone had already suggested it in the earlier thread by the time I visited. We also had one minor issue with blockages, which was one of your complaints about another host. When Danwei first got blocked last July, the solution they offered was for us to purchase a unique IP address rather than simply swapping servers for us as our former host (ICDSoft) had done. That worked, but for the fact that the block is based on the URL rather than the IP address. Still, the simplicity of hosting multiple sites on one account means that the danwei.tv mirror was pretty easy to throw together, and it’s accessible because of the new IP address we bought.

  6. I think I may follow you over to WebFaction.

  7. Thanks for the suggestion, John. My site is in desperate need of an upgrade and I think I’ll give WebFaction a try.

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