Category Archives: Hosting

Web Hosting Ratings

I had always wanted to create a site related to my experiences finding a web host. Doing something like Web Hosting Rating would have been really fun. I had even bought a domain, found a great partner to work with, but was sidetracked with everything else on my plate.

Web Hosting Rating looks like they are going to do everything I had original set out to do. The main thing that people are looking for beyond just the “who is the best?” are web hosting tutorials, tips and tricks, as well as the normal personal reviews by clients that have liked and disliked the service provided.

Despite not having many hosts within the directory yet, they have already set up a web hosting awards section, where they will hopefully continue to update which hosts are the absolute best for various specific needs as hosts change in service, price and quality.

Overall, I really enjoyed the article section the best, as it extends through many pages (thirty-two pages of web hosting artices to be exact). The biggest issue with it though is that they don’t interlink their articles very well, and seem to almost assume that you have read all of their previous posts, referencing topics they have discussed before. Without a link, I had to search for a few things, and that was a little frustrating.

In the end, directories like these will fail or succeed based on how may hosts they talk about, how trust worthy of a brand they can build up, and the secondary/extra features they employ. I think Web Hosting Ratings is on the right path by working so hard on an article section which after reading, could easily be turned into some compiled e-book guides on various levels of hosting.

I currently use a Managed VPS, and would love to know more about the industry, equipment needed, staff experience and requirements per server, and whatnot as those types of things really interest me.

I really hope the owners do a great job with this, as I believe that there is no such thing as a niche that is over saturated. If you have passion to succeed, it doesn’t matter the topic.

Mosso: Amazing Support and Outreach

So, I recently wrote a post on this blog complaining about the issue with Mosso hosting, and how frustrating it was, and within twenty-four hours of publishing that article, I was contacted by Mosso. They genuinely wanted to help me fix the problem I was having, despite the fact that I wasn’t the primary account holder.

Jeremy and Robert were both amazing at keeping e-mail communication open. Robert even took time out of his day to talk to me over the phone in hopes of resolving this all as quickly as possible.

Robert was both knowledgeable and funny. I could hear him trying to do everything he could to figure out how he could optimize the site on his end so that I would have a better experience.

Even better, he explained some of the basic elements of their architecture, as well as opening up with minor issues that they had been experiencing, which showed to me that he was well-informed, and that they were attempting to not only be proactive, but not fall into the PEBKAC experience that I have received from other hosting companies. You know the ones, where you call in and it is all your fault. “Why did you install WordPress? Are you using plugins? Did you edit a file? Must be your fault!” I hate those types of hosting companies, and I have to admit, I was very defensive in e-mail communication because I didn’t want them to treat me with the same type of handholding that some of their customers might need.

I don’t think I can communicate in writing how absolutely impressed I am with Mosso right now. Their immediate communication with me, their brand awareness online, and their constant assistance in trying to quickly and easily resolve this problem for me immediately turns around any negative feelings I had about them, and makes me ten times more likely to recommend them in the future.

+1 to Mosso

My Linux-fu is Rusty

Between yesterday and today I realized how rusty my ability with Linux has become. While in College, I was actually near the head of my class in Linux, but over the last two days, I have been struggling to install the necessary packages just to get a single web application to run properly.

I have never felt so defeated in my whole life, and even worse, the work I am doing is for a client, and not myself, making it all feel like a waste of time and effort.

Over the last few years, I have become more and more used to Windows Vista and its quirks, as well as OS X on my mac. Everything is fairly easy on those two machines, and installing software doesn’t require a strong understanding of dependencies.

Even my normal Linux experience has been a breeze with tools like Apt-get, Yum and other “quick” install tools now available, but when working on a web server that you didn’t set up yourself and co-locate somewhere, it can almost be like sailing unknown waters.

I have worked hard to get everything to work, but had to give in and contact support for assistance. I wanted them to blow away the operating system and start over after the mess I made, but they seem confident that they can undo the damage that my usage has caused.

What a day…

My Process: Moving to a New Webhost – Part 3

In my last post, I mentioned that I was moving the DNS over to my new host, and if you are reading this, then you are seeing the newly hosted site on WiredTree rather than Host Gator.

I want to say again, that Host Gator has been, and continues to be really great to me, but I wanted to move all my hosting under one account for me to manage better.

Mistake in Moving the WordPress Blog

One of the biggest mistakes I made in moving this site to its new hosting was getting overly excited about setting it up via Subversion. Instead of moving the site over from Host Gator to WiredTree and then setting it up to be able to be upgraded through SVN, I downloaded the latest stable release of WordPress through SVN and then had to deal with the situation I had made.

I imported the posts, moved over my themes and plugins folder, but of course all of the settings that were in the database, were not exported from the old site, and I had to set up all of my plugins once again.

Not that big of a problem, but a bit annoying. It did allow me to audit my plugins, and only activate those that I really needed.

FTP Issues

Another issue I had, which seems to be something on my end, rather than my hosting is my inability to transfer everything I had for the site in one fell swoop. I had to uploaded only a few folders at a time or it would time out. It was very frustrating.

File Ownership and Permissions

One other side effect of using Subversion the way that I did was that I was root when I installed the blog via the tool, and that meant that all files were owned and grouped under root. This meant that when I logged in using the normal user name and password I had, I wasn’t able to overwrite files or folders at all. A quick chown and chgrp fixed this, but I have definitely learned my lesson.

DNS Issues

One of the cooler things of having a VPS with WiredTree is that I have my own domain name server address. This also created a small issue for me as I wasn’t used to setting it up. I wanted ns1.xfep.com, but Xfep.com wasn’t pointed to my new IP address yet. Thankfully, I was able to figure it out with a quick bit of support from WiredTree, and adjusted my Godaddy information as needed.

This means that when dealing with the rest of my domains, they will all point to the name servers that I have created, which, to me, is very cool.

The Next Steps

Now that this blog is set up correctly, and there doesn’t seem to be any huge issues I have to iron out, I can work on streamlining the process and move all of the other sites I currently have over to my VPS.

Hopefully, I can get all of this done by the end of this month, and start canceling all of my other hosting.

My Process: Moving to a New Webhost – Part 2

So, I have finally changed the DNS over, and I plan on writing a much longer post soon about the steps I have taken between the first article and the DNS switch, but I wanted to put up a post saying that if you see this post, you are looking at the new hosting. Hopefully, it will be faster, stronger, better.

If you notice anything strange, please let me know as I made some mistakes in how I moved the site, but I think I worked them all out.