Taking the plunge: Going VPS
Earlier this week, I learnt that my hosting provider, (MT) has been sold to GoDaddy. While they assured their customers that they would be independent, and that GoDaddy was trying to change their reputation, I know that it was just a matter of time before the douchebaggery of GoDaddy infected the ethos of MediaTemple.
I had used a shared hosting account that worked remarkably well. I have 9 domains and 5 active sites (and two test bed sites) on there, and have been pretty satisfied with performance, and extremely satisfied with their support. But I have gotten to a scale where being constrained by a normal hosting account was an annoyance. Several times I investigated the process to move to a VPS (virtual private server), and never took the plunge. Just too much effort.
The changes earlier this week pushed me over the edge. I have opened a VPS account at a smaller, highly recommended web host, A Small Orange. I am in the process of moving my main site, and getting all the bits and pieces set up the way I like. A few teething problems (like the DNS changes taking insanely long to propagate), and some incompatibilities in the PHP setup that I need to overcome, but in general I am satisfied.
Of course, I am a bit rusty on my unix mad skillz, so I am boning up on how to manage and configure a linux system. Fortunately out of the box, they set it up well, and it is pretty secure, so I am glad to inherit that state. The VPS uses the cPanel and WHM services to manage the bits and pieces, which is pretty standard, but foreign to me, so I am learning how to wrangle these tools (they are pretty damn slick though).
My goal for this weekend is to move my main site (which currently has a module that barfs, so I have to figure that out), and to get all the bits and pieces lined up. Should be fun. And I expect that performance will be better in the long run (or at least completely under my own control).