Get Help With Hosting

Over the past few months we’ve been having problems with the Media Temple DV server that hosts sites like this blog, ShopTalk, and Paravel. With each new post or show, we’d inevitably experience a wave of sluggish performance or downtime. This was frustrating. I think the tendency (for me at least) has been to incorrectly point a finger at Media Temple when the real issue was that we’re not experts at server optimization or management.

Thankfully for us, we got connected with the folks at W3 Edge who helped optimize our server and the sites that live there. With all the time we spend optimizing the sites we build, it’s foolish not to invest in having your server fine-tuned by people who know what they’re doing.

8 Responses

Leave a comment or contact me via Twitter @TrentWalton

  • Luke Jones

    It often surprises me that people overlook Rackspace Cloud Servers & Cloud Files for their hosting. I’ve been trying to spread the word since I switched to it just over a year and a half ago.

    I’ve never had any problems with it at all. It’s extremely fast, the prices are good and the support is excellent. You should seriously consider it in the future.

  • Trent

    @Luke Jones: Thanks! We’ve had a good experience with Rackspace as well. In this case, I’d say the lesson learned is that it’s not the just web host, but how the service is being used. And for the record, I’m really happy with our DV now that we’ve had help tuning it.

  • Travis

    Isn’t that Media Temples job? I mean, right? You don’t buy a new car and then hire somone to tune it up.

    Can you describe what is involved in tuning a server beyond what MT gives you?

  • Trent

    @Travis: Media Temple calls the DV a semi-managed product. When that dawned on me I realized what I needed to be responsible for. To stick with the car metaphor, I think that everything we do (CMS installs, database setups, caching, etc.) could be considered aftermarket. We got help in tuning Nginx, PHP, and MySQL as well as individual caching configurations for each hosted site.

  • Binyamin

    Rackspace Cloud Servers & CloudFlare would be the best match.

  • Gordon McLachlan

    I use the Media Temple Grid-Service for my personal blog and have mixed feelings towards them as a company. Although it seems to have settled down now, for a long time I experienced a lot of performance issues on my blog when under a modest load (1 or 2 thousands visits a day) and, overall, wasn’t particularly impressed with the service.

    I’ve used Rackspace a lot too for commercial sites and are excellent in comparison but a lot more costly, particularly if you go for any of their managed solutions.

    Currently we use Linode and they are excellent. However, you do need to do all of the sever configuration and maintenance by yourself in-house.

  • Charlie Foster

    I also use Media Temple. I’ve used their (gs) and (dv) products. @Gordon, the Grid-Service can handle a ton of traffic, but it struggles with a database-intensive site. You can have tens of thousands of concurrent visitors with (gs) and CloudFlare if you have a mostly static site. Throw in a DB and it will blow up though. Check out their MySQL Grid Containers if you haven’t yet. That might help you, depending on how much traffic you get to your blog.

    I switched from (gs) to (dv) when building a new CMS for my site. So I went from a static site to one that completely ran of a DB. I was really mad when it was timing out when there really weren’t that many people on the site. But just like @Trent, I had someone optimize my my.cnf file and that’s all that I needed.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think you’d have the same issues with Rackspace’s Cloud Server, which is about the same price as MT’s (dv). You still have to do most things yourself. You’d have to pay almost triple the price and get their Managed service to do these kind of things for you.

    All I did was pay MT $75 one time and they optimized everything for me. Although I don’t think they ever charged me :)

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