Everyone knows “Cloud Hosting” is extremely cool so of course as a tech savvy guy it’s something I want to have, just because I can. This post is about how things went wrong with my current host, how I moved to VPS.Net cloud hosting and why I moved back to Webfaction after only 3 days.
As I said, a week ago I experienced some serious problems with my webhost Webfaction, the site became immensely slow and very regularly my site showed “Error establishing database connection”. Though support was pretty responsive it seems that for days they weren’t able to really solve the problem. I was pretty much pissed because I just made a post about boosting WordPress performance and now my site was the joke of the Internet. So talking with Joost (Yoast) I decided to move to the same webhost he uses: VPS.net. They offer cloud hosting for only $20 per month and seemed to me like a very professional organization.
Personally I’m not so interested in panels but I must say I’m not a big fan of Cpanel as used by VPS.net. It was buggy in terms of adding domains and subdomains and thus I started with all kinds of problems with basic things. But I read on the site VPS.net does FREE incoming migrations so I decided to make use of that service. As this would be a fairly simple WordPress migration I expected everything to be working just fine the next day. This expectation was encouraged by this tweet (mirror) of vps.net, working 24×7. However, after communicating with several techie guys my hope and trust in this company slowly but surely faded. Having tweeted some frustrated messages to VPS.net an Italian guy called Matteo contacted me telling me he just lost his years old entire blog (great blog title btw: BestYouNeverHad) thanks to VPS.net.
- Not managing customers expectations
- At times extreme slow response resulting in even bigger customer frustration.
Of course I got worried and questioned myself again whether this would work and in fact be an improvement. I was still sure the infrastructure of VPS.net Cloud Hosting outperforms most other webhosts but hey, for $ 68 per month they better be. Yes people $68 per month because I had to upgrade my disk space from 5GB to 25GB (using less than 6GB) and all of a sudden the price jumped to $68 per month.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the techie guys of VPS.net weren’t able to do a fairly simple migration in an acceptable time window and my confidence dropped rock bottom so I decided to cancel my account. This also because I noticed that response times of the websites that were up were not as good as hoped for and quite frankly not an improvement. And during a WordPress to Dropbox backup the site became completely unreachable indicating a lack of processor capacity or an extremely slow database. Whatever it was I decided to keep my word to VPS.net and cancel my account.
Since Joost (Yoast.com) referred me to VPS.net I told him what happened and it seemed he wasn’t too pleased at the moment as well since he had to find out his website had been hacked.
Now this post can easily be interpreted as a bash post of VPS.net but it’s not intended like that. I still believe they have a great setup and many have great experiences with them. This is a post about sharing my experiences and it’s up to the reader to make up their mind. Personally I think this was on one hand a classic situation of Murphy’s Law, when things go wrong everything goes wrong and it just so happened to be that exactly at that time I opened an account.
But I do think that the level of the techie guys was below the limit. Questions like “what’s ur IP” when they’re the one assigning an IP or saying nothing is wrong with the site but neglecting to check if the hostname is in fact resolving to the right IP, are clear signals the level is not up to standards. It might be that VPS.net has a hard time keeping up with their success, if that’s so they are in a dangerous place. Many companies in the past died because of their success and I surely hope this won’t happen to VPS.net. For all customers of VPS.net, there was one techie guy that definitely knows his business, his name is Manzoor and he should get a salary raise.
In the end I received an email from the management which shows understanding and good intentions but too bad they didn’t respond to my 2 messages to them earlier but waited till it was too late.
Unfortunately the problems with my long-time host keep re-occurring but that’s nice material for a next post which promises to be a spicy one.
UPDATE: Check the post by Alessandro Manfredi showing VPS.NET has some serious structural problems.