Hosting Considerations and Policy

Hosting is one of the most variable and volatile parts of having a website. Every host that we’ve ever worked with has had problems of one sort or another. As a result, our policy is that we do not endorse any hosting company. What we will do is consult with you and determine a recommendation based on your particular needs, matched with our understanding of the recent hosting landscape. This is NOT an official endorsement, or in any way a claim that you will not have problems with the hosting company. It’s our best guess based on our extensive knowledge of the current hosting landscape and the hosts we’ve worked with or know by reputation. It could change tomorrow. It could have changed yesterday and we haven’t heard yet.

Hosting Recommendation Policy

Recommendations on hosting are based on our best knowledge at any given point, and are provided as a courtesy to our clients with no warranty of any kind. Medium Rare Interactive assumes no responsibility for the services of third party service providers. Clients are encouraged to do their own research, and bear sole responsibility for the selection of a hosting provider.

Pantheon

Pantheon offers hosting optimized for WordPress and Drupal. We’ve heard very good things about them from people who do this kind of work. We’re leaning towards moving to their servers for the bulk of our clients, since they’re almost exclusively on WordPress or Drupal. Pantheon also makes it very easy for developers to do what we do, with sophisticated developer tools built into the system. That means less overhead for us, which gets passed on to our clients.

WPEngine

WPEngine is part of a new breed of dedicated WordPress hosts. Since WordPress makes up such a large portion of the sites on the internet, there is a lot of reason for a hosting company to pay extra attention to it. And there’s lots of reasons to choose a host that is optimized for

Rackspace

High end managed hosting for clients with demanding support needs, mission critical sites and big budgets. Managed hosting for Cloud Servers starts at $190/month. They also offer lower end non-managed hosting, but seem to have some premiums attached to the price based on their general reputation as high end providers.

A note regarding the scalability of Rackspace Cloud

Many of the major companies offering “cloud” hosting have a process where you can add and remove resources on the fly, making it possible to scale up or down as needed with relative ease. Rackspace’s marketing material indicates that they offer this type of service, but in working with them, what we’ve discovered is that it’s anything but “on the fly.” You have to request an upgrade, they migrate you over to a new setup, then reroute your traffic. With other services like VPS.net and Amazon EC2, you simply allocate more power via a control panel, and voila, you get more power. So if you’re going into a setup where you will actually need to quickly scale up and/or down, it’s worth considering other options.

Dreamhost

Budget hosting option. They provide good, stable performance for lower end needs. We run several of our clients’ sites on Dreamhost’s shared hosting and VPS solutions. Support-wise, you get what you pay for: minimal phone support options, and decent live chat support, spotty documentation. They also have a WordPress optimized service called DreamPress. We’ve used it, but find that if you’re going to pay the premium for WordPress optimized service, you may as well go with Pantheon or WPEngine.

Hosting.com

Formerly hostmysite.com (they still have hostmysite as a service). Wide range of services, generally decent support, including phone support with quick answer times. We had a dedicated server with them for a long time, and had mostly good results. We left them when we got out of the sub-hosting business. One of our clients was using them pretty happily for a while and decided to move to VPS.net to save a few dollars. They wished they had stayed put.

BlueHost

Another budget provider. These guys have a good reputation, but we have no direct experience with them.

HostGator

Another budget provider. These guys have a good reputation, but we have no direct experience with them.

Hosts we actively steer people away from:

  • Hostway
  • Media Temple