Casey and I are in the middle of getting a new blogging project off the ground for her. I’m her web/blogging guy by default, so I’ve been slowly getting things setup for her on the technical end. One of tasks was finding a good website hosting company, something that seems easy, but is actually pretty complicated.
There are an almost unlimited number of hosting companies on the internet, but it’s difficult separating the good from the bad, and the bad from the really bad. I did quite a bit of searching on the web and reading on WebHostingTalk, and came away with a range of opinions. At one point I was leaning heavily toward a cheap one called Host Monster, but found out they’re famous for over selling their shared servers, which increases the likelihood of a bad neighbor causing problems for everyone else on the same machine. So, the search continued…
As the title has probably already revealed for you, I ended up going with Media Temple, the choice of a lot of web design professionals and companies like Nike, Starbucks, and Sony. They just released a new product called (gs), or Grid-Server, replacing its (ss) Shared-server offering. Instead of your account being located on just one machine, GS spreads it available across a range of servers that respond to spikes in demand and pretty much guarantees uptime.
Sure, that seems a little overkill for a blog, but it’s nice to know the you’re on a stable system and have room to grow in the future. Plus, with the ability to host up to 100 sites on the account, I’ll be able to consolidate this and any other sites I have up my sleeve into one killer web host.
And, to let you know I’m not kidding about Media Temple, I just finished moving a couple of our business sites at work over to the Grid-Server too. We had been hosting with TextDrive since May, and I really, really wanted to like them, but the shared server we were put on was killing us. It seemed like there was constant downtime and reboots, and we just couldn’t trust our business to a flaky server. Now, we’ll have plenty of room for the future, and a safe and easy way to run Ruby on Rails apps like the one I’m developing now.
So, if you’re in the market for a really good web hosting company, I suggest you take a look at Media Temple. They’re doing almost everything right. I wish they’d have the Zend Optimizer available for commercial PHP applications, but other than that, I’m extremely happy with them.