I no longer recommend Site5; see: The Sinking of Site5
: I’ve posted a follow up to this post – Site5 vs Media Temple, 1 month later
blogjunkie.net (and soon the rest of my sites) is now hosted on Site5. This was a tough decision to make, since it would involve migrating all of my sites but I felt that it was necessary because of the project that I’m launching in a few weeks. I didn’t want my members to have a poor site experience due to my web host, Media Temple.
Media Temple, I really wanted it to work out
I’ve been a customer of Media Temple for 2.5+ years. I was attracted to the benefits of their Grid Service because I had outgrown simple shared hosting but wasn’t smart enough to manage my own VPS. The Grid Service promised better scalability and reliability for USD20/month which I was happy to pay. However the Grid constantly had hiccups. In the beginning I decided to stick with Media Temple because of the hassle to switch web hosts and because of their great customer service.
Unfortunately things have deteriorated to the point where I can’t see the situation improving so I’m cutting my losses. In particular, the response times for the Grid Service is absolutely horrible. And lately their customer service ain’t that great either. I did my homework when planning where to move to and used Pingdom to monitor Media Temple’s uptime and response time. The Grid’s response time was consistently more than 2,000 ms, and regularly over 3,000 ms. Here’s the response time report for Jan 2011:
- If you’re curious, you can see the previous 3 month history at this link.
Site5 was one of the shortlisted web hosts while I was researching alternatives. I also monitored the uptime and response times of a site hosted on Site5 as a benchmark. The average response time for Site5 was only 730 ms – 4 times as fast as Media Temple!
Aside: For my monitoring methodology, I set the URL of my check to the WordPress login pages for theclickstarter.com and blog.blackshtef.org, a random site I found that was hosted on Site5. Since both checks are for the same page, the page weight should have been almost exactly the same.
So far, Site5 has been a worthy successor to Media Temple. I got the HostPro + Turbo plan, which has technology that separates each site into their own container, called MultiSite. Each site even has a separate control panel so if I ever host client sites on my hosting package, they will never have to share control panel access with me. My plan also comes with a dedicated IP which is nice.
Customer support has been awesome as well. I ran into trouble signing up but I just started a live chat and they resolved the issue in under 10 minutes. And.. they provide site migration for free, which will be handy for me to move all my sites over from Media Temple.
(I will be updating this post in a month with the uptime and response time report.)
Here’s hoping for the best
I’m pretty disappointed with Media Temple and I tried really hard to like them. They had loads of features that I really liked, but in the end it didn’t make sense when I was paying USD20/month for a site that was slow to load.
Since I started hosting my own websites, I’ve bounced around too many web hosts to remember – UltraUnix (wonder if they’re even still around), Exabytes, Dreamhost, Hostgator, Exabytes again and then Media Temple. I’m quite resigned to the fact that I will need to switch web hosts every few years once they begin to decline. Here’s hoping that Site5 will buck the trend.