Time for an update, sensation-seekers. The biggest CWOB-related news is that I’ll be moving the site to a new host soon. Page load times degenerated to such a point where I practically dreaded doing anything that would encourage people to, you know, actually visit Ihnatko.com. Every time I’d go on Twitter and post a link to a new article, I could count on a flurry of replies in which the word “borked” featured prominently.
That said…I couldn’t be happier about my current webhost.
Last year, a friend of mine was kind enough to offer me a directory on his own server so that I could install a bunch of different content systems, pick a winner, and learn the system. It was a very generous offer and allowed me to really take my time choosing a winning horse (which is what I have here with WordPress).
Obviously, he’s not set up as a webhost and so when bottlenecks and other various problems cropped up, my banging on doors for a fix was simply not the best way to show my gratitude for his kindness. Instead, I kept pulling Scrabble tiles out of a bag at random, hoping that a solution would present itself. Lo and behold, the letters spelled out “Pay for real hosting, you cheap, pathetic bastard.”
(No, there aren’t any punctuation tiles in Scrabble. But I pulled out blank pieces after the G and the D and I; the Fates may be fickle, but don’t claim they don’t know the rules of Scrabble.)
One of the (many) benefits of my job is that minor annoyances can become fodder for good columns, and the problem of choosing a webhost is no different. And I have an awesome resource helping me out: the 7,000 people following my Tweets. I’d already surveyed the landscape of webhosts by the time I put out a query on Twitter, but over the next couple of days the opinions, details, and character assassinations that were put before me were invaluable.
At this point, I think I’ve homed in on three candidates: Pair, Media Temple, and A2Hosting. I’ve come to casually think of them as “Rock-solid hosting maintained by steely-eyed missile men,” “Lots of online hosting tools that I can actually understand, even as static screenshots” and “The folks who have been responding to my emails quickly and in great detail.”
These are all good things. Negotiations are still underway and I don’t really know which way I’ll go. At this stage, one of the most compelling arguments for any of these hosts is “Well, Merlin Mann uses A2 for 43 Folders…I mean, if it’s good enough for him…“
I’m in sort of a funny niche as a consumer. Ihnatko.com was just building up when the server melted down, but even so, it was getting way too many hits to entrust it to a basic, consumer-level webhost. And while I’ve no (concrete) plans to create the next HotButteredNurses.com, I could be quite happy with a couple hundred thousand unique visitors per month…and I’m optimistic enough to be choosing a host that can support that kind of traffic.
So at some point in the next couple of weeks, Ihnatko.com will be at a new host and we can put any previous ugliness behind us.