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.

19 thoughts on “Wakey-Wakey…

  1. CB

    Don’t go with A2 Hosting. We did and we are really sorry we did. I too thought “if Merlin is hosted by them, then …” Hmm, wrong choice. Our site was down for a week during one of their maintenance/upgrade periods. They could have cared less. It seems like they only have one engineer there who knows what she’s doing. Not so great service.

  2. butters

    Who or what is your current host provider? How do I find this information when I go to websites, view the source code?

  3. Stian Engen

    Hi Andy,
    you should really check out WP Super Cache @ http://ocaoimh.ie/wp-super-cache/
    No matter how much bandwidth and CPU your server has, Word Press will make it kneel under minuscule load. WP Super Cache generates plain html of your site at timed intervals so that the PHP does have to run for every person visiting your site.
    Best of luck!
    – Stian

  4. david

    I was going to suggest WP-Super Cache (or the older WP-Cache), but Stain already has. So consider this a second of that recommendation. Whether or not you get a new host, it’s good way to reduce your number of database queries, which is generally the reason that WordPress is slow.

  5. Diego

    Yeah! CWOB is still alive! Would have thought you’d gone dormant if not for the twitter updates.

  6. Pupdog

    Andy, you’re supposed to set up a linkfarm page before you drop a googlebomb like that. Not that I actually was looking for nurses, but just in case someone does, you know…

  7. Garrett Albright

    Yes, part of the problem is probably WordPress itself. Much like Windows, WordPress’s popularity is undeserved given the quality of its code. Why the heck does it not have caching built in?

    You can’t say we didn’t try to warn you…

  8. Canyon

    Allow me to contradict what CB has said. I have been using A2 Hosting for almost 2 years and have never had an issue. They have always been very responsive and any problems I had were quickly found to be my own doing. I found the site from 43folders and have since recommended them to several friends, even moving the website for my daughters school to them.

    Good luck in your search, I hope that your migration is painless and your caching expeditious.

  9. Ted Stevko

    Just for a note of comparison, I’ve been using Pair for the last 8 years or so, never had a problem. Their customer support is good — not in the, “I’m polite” good way, but in the “No, you’re doing that wrong. That perl script is about 3 lines too long and you missed a variable.” good way.

  10. Andres Lucero

    Dreamhost is okay for the price, but you may as well host your blog on Twitter for the amount of downtime you’ll experience. Best host I’ve used in the past was The Planet (probably overkill for Inhatko.com alone).

    I only clicked through from Google Reader to drop you a note about WP-Cache, which you may have heard about by now…

  11. Bill Watkins

    I’m going to give another thumbs down for a2hosting. I have been with them for less than a month and have been down numerous times for up to 8 hours at a time. They have finally gotten sick of me complaining about the down time and are now telling me they are going to shut me down completely because I am in violation of their rules. If you dig into the terms and services you will see they have a clause about no streaming media of any kind. That’s right, no video, no audio and no Flash of any kind.

    Some of us in the 21st century may find this a bit crippling. What’s extra frustrating is that if you call sales and ask if you can serve video they tell you it’s fine. But that’s a lie, here’s the quote from their terms.

    “A2 Web Hosting does not provide hosting services for streaming media. Hosting of streaming video, audio, or other media is not allowed on A2 Web Hosting’s servers.”

    Maybe the secret is to never complain about all the missing emails and nights the server is gone but being kicked off for what I had cleared in advance sucks big time.

    In summary A2hosting sucks. But they are very polite about it.

    The only reason Merlin Mann seems to be pimping it is for the commissions, a recommendation from a graphics guy for a webhost that doesn’t allow media is deceptive in my book. Shame on you Merlin.

  12. eric

    For those saying a2hosting sucks, I really feel bad for you. The team there has been nothing but kind and gracious to me. They recently went over a huge site overhaul and updated their Terms and Conditions. About the streaming media, they seem to be much more flexible about it now. I loves me some a2 hosting

  13. Daisuke

    I think there are just too many ‘that’s a good host…’ or ‘that host sucks big time…’ posts all over the internet. It’s either the poster is pimping the web host company for his/her own good (commissions) or their competition wants to wipe them out of the universe. Shared hosting will always have its ups and downs. VPS could also be either good and bad. There are dozens of web hosting sites around and it doesn’t take rocket science to pick one that’s good. The best hosting solution is one that you do on your own–home servers! I will not endorse or criticize any hosting company with this post. My tip: don’t be fooled by all the ‘top websites’ kind of ranking or review for choosing a web host. Go to their websites, check out their hosting plans, read the fine print and TOS, check the company’s ‘about us’ page to see who are the people behind the company. I will not trust hosting companies who never mention about the people managing the business. Bad hosting companies should be able to improve their services or go eat dirt while the better ones should also be on their toes in giving quality and trouble free services.

  14. nomad

    So if Merlin Mann says don’t wipe your ass you’re not going to do it ? LOL
    Merlin Mann is a retard I wouldn’t follow anything he says.

Comments are closed.