So I’ve been having a ridiculously ridiculous experience with my HostGator Level 3 VPS since January. One of my clients needed super duper email capabilities, and I thought to myself, “Hey, why don’t I just go ahead and own a VPS?” Nice thought. Terrible idea.

HostGator VPS Issues

It was issue after issue. Stuff that I never once had to deal with when running on HostGator’s shared hosting. wget isn’t enabled. Create support ticket. 24 hours later, it’s enabled. Apache crashes. Create support ticket. “We don’t see anything wrong.” Apache crashes again.

Rinse. Lather. Motherf*&*ing repeat.

I can’t count on twenty hands the number of times the web server (Apache) crashed in the last three months. The only way to guarantee my clients’ sites’ stability was to manually go check that they were still up every half hour. Ridiculous.

HostGator’s Incompetent Support

So I sent HostGator ticket after ticket: “Do I need to upgrade my VPS for 10 WordPress sites?” The response was unanimously, “No, the Level 3 should be fine for what you’re running.” Finally, after Apache crash number 40, I was told, “You should enable caching and disable the WP_CRON and enable a server cron in its stead.” You got it.

Did exactly what they said. Five minutes later, OH MY GOD! The sites are so fast and responsive! And… Apache crashes again. Site’s are down. Potential clients are asking, “Is my site going to go up and down like the staging site version is?” Not if I have anything to do with it. I’m not paying $53.25 (VPS) + $5 (WHMCS – customer support ticket software) + $2 (unique IP’s for SSL) = $60 a month, for an unstable, ridiculous service that’s scaring clients away.

A Change is Gonna Come

I searched, and searched, and searched. What was I to do?

I even considered running a Parallels VM instance of CentOS on a Mac Mini, and having the server located somewhere here in San Antonio, just so I could be in charge of making sure nothing fails. I also found a couple of places that let you ship a Mac mini to them (colocation), and they maintain/power/network it for you. Pretty awesome.

In the end, I realized that relying on a residential internet connection (and power lines) is just not gonna cut it, especially when Jess and I will soon be living in the middle of BFE in our Tiny House. There’s no way I’ll be running a server on Verizon’s LTE, even if that WOULD be the coolest thing in the world.

Solution to Hosting Woes

I like the idea of a VPS. I like being able to control everything that goes on within the server, and I like to be able to create new accounts in seconds. However, I hate HostGator’s VPS. Enter Linode.

You pick where you want your VPS physically located first, from their list of datacenters. AWESOME. Next, you get to choose what Linux distro you want on your VM, and you install it instantly. Brilliant.

It’s all specific preference setup from there, but come on. I can do that ish. No more cpanel and WHM for me; I’m gonna be a bona fide command line only *nix dude.

Headed to the library to get a book on Linux Server Administration. 🙂

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