Recently I needed new hosting. I was paying way too much over at HostGator (who later ripped me off!), so I quit and began the search for new hosting.
At first I tried to get a VPS (virtual private server), which is basically a chunk of a real server. This was great until some idiot on my server kept doing SOMETHING that brought the server (including my sites) to its knees.
After that I realized that I didn't want to have to worry about anyone else screwing up my sites. If they were going to be screwed up, I'd be the guy to do it.
I looked high and low for cheap dedicated servers. Most cheap ones were $60 or so from companies that had just sprung up last month. Reliable companies seemed to have them for $100-300.
Then I found Server A Day. They're part of OLM.net, who has been hosting for a LONG time. Over 10 years. Every day they offer one configuration at a fantastic price.
How fantastic? Here's my server:
18gb SCSI hard drive x2 (one for backups)
2500gb bandwidth per month
This isn't a high end server by any means, but it is many times faster and better than shared hosting like dreamhost.com. I also have full control over it and can even run my own nameservers (nerd stuff).
This deal is significantly better than the daily deals ever are. Here's how to get the best deal:
The one caveat is that these are unmanaged servers. That means that you have to do EVERYTHING yourself. I'm not a linux guru or anything, and I was able to figure it all out by searching around online. Then again I'm pretty technically inclined and I enjoy stuff like that.
If you order one, tell them Tynan sent you. They jumped through a few hoops for me and I appreciate it.
Tynan, you are right about slhost.
I had a VPS at SLHost too, payed 6 months in advance and used just 4.
The support at slhost is good until you do not need them.
I had several problems (weeks ...) cause DOS attacks at they central IP, and support was not able to correct the issue.
After several days having a poor support was forced to move to another host.
That is so weird. I have a completely opposite experience. I've ran that benchmarking tool myself every 3 hours for a week straight (cron) and averaged out the numbers and they were amazing.
And support had fixed some pretty complex problems for me a few times. And I consider myself an advanced user, I know linux pretty well and I just couldn't figure certain things out, and they did it for me without questions asked.
Actually I had a VPS at SLHost first. Overall it was much slower than my server, and several times it went down totally because someone else on the server had pegged the CPU. After this happened three times, I decided to go dedicated.
Their support was also totally useless to me. I had some questions that should have been very basic to anyone who has configured a server (now that I've done it I could answer the questions within a few seconds), but they kept giving me dumb stock answers.
Control panels do make things easier, but I personally prefer not having one. They don't do things quite as cleanly as could be done if you do it manually.
And another benefit of VPS is that it's much easier to "upgrade" the hardware on them. If lets say you are outgrowing the setup, all the hosting provider needs to do is just allocate more RAM/space for you. If there is no more space on the server, they can simply move your entire VPS in minutes to another server. Eventually you might even have just your VPS taking up entire server.
I think low end hardware servers are overrated these days. If you are going to spend this much, then you might as well opt-in for a VPS. You get the same full control, except that you get burstable hardware which is of a much higher grade than what you got.
Check out slhost.com - you get a dedicated VPS, but it's also managed for you if you need help. E.g. you can't figure something out and don't have time - shoot an email. I've emailed at all times of day and night, and got personal resposnes in 10 minutes EVERY time. I have 3 accounts with them.
Check WebHostingTalk.com for VPS benchmark thread and compare to other VPS.
They also have deals posted on WHT forums.
And notice that their servers come with control panels as well. Especially my fav - Plesk :)
I love my American Express card. I have the platinum one thanks to Todd, which has a lot of cool benefits like being able to go into airport lounges and such.
However, they always seem to freeze my account when I travel. Last year, when I went to Tokyo, Todd and I ate at a baller Kobe beef restaurant in Kobe. We went to pay and both of our Amexes got declined. Ouch.
We called from a payphone across from the restaurant and they finally fixed it.
I just wanted to write a quick review about Linode VPS Hosting. I have never been so pleased in my life with a web host. I've been hosting websites for over fifteen years so I feel like I know what I'm saying. I don't need support or any other frills, all I need is consistency and good documentation, and with Linode not only do they have incredible, step-by-step instructions built on a custom platform, but even on their lowest plan my website has never ran faster and been more reliable. They are nothing short of perfection.
I've tried a number of hosting providers, GoDaddy, 1and1, MediaTemple being the latest and none come close to Linode's high end VPS hosting. In my opinion Linode is the next best thing (in many cases better) than having your own hardware in a collocation center. If you're looking for security, one-click installs for OS's, fast, FAST servers, and the ability to be the root user, then head over and sign up now. Before you do know that this is for technical, Linux beginner to advanced users. They provide the environment with very easy tools to create your VPS, install your OS, & apps, but it is your responsibly to build out the servers. This gives you full flexibility and power.
I boot-strapped a complete Ubuntu 10.10 system and every time I get to use it I'm like a kid in a candy store. The best part was choosing my data center, which happened to be in Dallas where I live. Love it!
They have great support, very reliable and a very stable environment. They have a library of documentation that someone very savvy put together that if directions are followed, works every time. Their support forums are also excellent and a great source of information.
I can't recommend them enough!