Switching hosts, again.

So here we go again – my 4th hosting company since I started this blog. Maybe I’ll have better luck this time? For those interested, here’s the rundown of which hosts I’ve used, and what I’m doing today.

Radical Vision** – Lasted 4 years**

Radical Vision was once a great host, though as time went on I had more than a few issues with them. I tried to give them a chance (several chances, actually). During the first year or so, they were great about updating software and keeping things on the cutting edge – by the end, they were using a known vulnerable version of PHP and behind updates on pretty much every major piece of software in use.

After broken promises and many unanswered support tickets, I decided to close my account, that’s when the worst came. It took me two months of emails, support tickets, phone calls, and even contacting the company that owned the data center they were located in before I was able to close my account.

As I was fighting to close my account they were bought out by another company, I hope things have gotten better since the buy-out.

HostingRails – Lasted 1 year

After being with a host that was so far behind, HostingRails was a breath of fresh air – everything was cutting edge, latest version of everything. Support was great, servers were nice & fast, really good host.

I was quite happy with them – with one exception: server load. Normally I would expect to see high loads on servers that are oversold, but I don’t think this was the case as the normal load was quite low. The spikes on the other hand, were anything but low – by the time I switched, it wasn’t uncommon to see load jumping to 20+ and on a few occasions the load exceeded 50!

It may have just been a matter of me being unlucky in having another person on the server that was abusing the system, but either way it was getting old. I’d like to do business with them again, though next time I’ll go VPS instead of shared.

Servage – Lasted 6 months

Servage provides budget hosting with a nice set of features, quick support, and a fairly impressive control panel. If you are looking for a low-cost hosting company with a few nice extras – Servage does quite well. Though soon after switching I ran into a familiar issue – server load. While it seems that their web servers are quite fast – the database servers are often bogged down.

After getting yet another database connection error, I decided it was time to look for another option.

DreamHost – Current

I’ve heard many good things about DreamHost – including from a few start-ups running their projects from the normal shared hosting package. If it’s good enough for them, should be more than enough for me.

These people have just completely wowed me so far – the best control panel I’ve used, the most features I’ve seen from a shared host (especially in this price range), extremely fast servers. The best for me, is the SSH access – as it seems fewer and fewer shared hosts are allowing this type of access.

For now, if you are looking for good, low-cost Linux hosting – DreamHost gets my vote.