Over the years, I’ve used a lot of different web hosts, including Dreamhost, GoDaddy and – since 2008 – Media Temple, who I’ve found to be the best by far.
For a bit of background, here’s a quick comparison of MT compared with the two other most recent hosting companies I’ve used, GoDaddy and Dreamhost.
GoDaddy shared hosting doesn’t provide the resources needed for large websites, and their dedicated server option (which I tried for three months) has a clunky admin panel that leaves you to do all the security updates and maintain the server.
That’s not something I want to spend time doing. I’d rather create content than turn into a systems administrator.
Before my short stay with GoDaddy, I was a happy customer of Dreamhost for several years. Then the problems began.
One of the sites I co-own became so popular that it started to run slowly when it had a lot of visitors. Dreamhost support advised me to upgrade to their more powerful Virtual Private Server to fix the problem.
To cut a long and frustrating story short, that didn’t work – the site started to crash daily. It was routinely offline for an hour or more during peak times, losing me AdSense revenue and the remainder of what I jokingly call my hair.
The advice from Dreamhost “support” was to scale up the server memory to a point where the bill would have been over $350 a month.
Nice try, but no thanks.
So I switched to Media Temple.
I just checked my support history. Since 2008, I’ve only needed to contact them six times. Of those, three are regarding actual problems with the service, two are “how to” questions and one is about an admin change to the account.
I’m trying hard to think of something negative to say about them, in the name of a balanced review but I’m stuck. It’s not that things don’t go wrong. They do. But it’s much rarer than with other companies I’ve used and it tends to get fixed quickly.
The only major gripe I have is that managing domains bought through their system is a pain. They need to sort that out (that was one of my support requests).
Other reasons I recommend Media Temple
No web host can keep your site online 100% of the time but they have the best uptime I’ve seen. Total downtime last month was 1 minute and 34 seconds. Downtime so far this month is a nice fat zero.
Open 24 hours, 7 days a week and I’ve never had to wait more than a couple of minutes to talk to someone on the phone.
Tip: if you have a pressing problem, call them rather than use email support as there’s often quite a waiting time for an email response.
3. Hosting Power
The combined page views for all the sites running on my account is not far off a million page views per month. But the account is still only using about one half of its allotted server usage – even though some of the sites send out a lot of image and audio files.
That gives me plenty of room to grow the sites before I need to think about an upgrade.
By the way, I have a standard Grid Server package – not the more expensive dedicated server option. Comparable packages at GoDaddy and Dreamhost don’t even get close.
With Grid Server you’re getting the standard PHP, Perl, Python, & MySQL technologies and as well as One-Click install options for WordPress, Drupal, ZenCart and other open-source platforms.
4. Free Content Distribution Service (CDN)
By storing temporary copies of your site at various locations across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, a content distribution network sends visitors the copy nearest their location. This means much faster loading sites for both visitors and search engines.
Because of that, every site I’ve added to the network has gone up a notch or two in Google results within a month.
Media Temple offers a free and paid version of the CloudFlare content distribution network to customers. The paid version doesn’t offer any features I need, so I’ve always stayed with the free version.
The Grid Server package I use costs $20 a month and since I’m also getting a content distribution network that usually costs $20 thrown in, I’m a happy camper.
Unanswered questions? Let me know in the comments and I’ll answer as best I can.
Update: I’ve grabbed a discount for you. Use this coupon code – mtaffiliate – and you’ll get 10% off all MT services (gs, dv, and ve). This is a recurring coupon, so it applies every month.