Why choosing a cheap virtual private server is not a good idea
It saddens me to have to write this post because in no way am I the type to simply bad mouth a company. However I feel this post is necessary because many people may make the same assumptions and mistake I did in regards to choosing a Bluehost VPS. In light of my commitment to keep you all well informed I have to write this and let you know about my experience of using a Bluehost VPS (Virtual Private Server).
Firstly don’t get me wrong, Bluehost is fantastic at shared hosting, arguably one of the best. This is also why I still offer Bluehost rebate coupons for their service because they still are excellent when it comes to shared servers.
However when you want that little bit extra server power and reliability you are more than likely going to consider a VPS hosting option, which Bluehost launched in June 2013. I feel Bluehost have a lot to learn from their competitors (I will provide my recommendation below) in terms of what VPS clients want.
Let me tell you my Bluehost VPS story
I decided to make the move to a VPS after going through a series of steps to improve my website speed. In conversations that I had with my developer he advised me that moving away from shared hosting and getting a VPS would offer significant improvements in page load times. So I decided to make the jump away from shared hosting after all of these years. My choice was Bluehost because it was a fairly cheap virtual server and I felt it offered a good combination of value for money and power.
Little did I know what that decision would mean
My first warning bell rang when Bluehost didn’t offer to migrate my website from my previous hosting provider. This is a normal and common courtesy that most hosting companies will always provide. Instead they wanted to charge me $99 or somewhere in that vicinity. Eventually I just got my developer to do this quickly for me.
Once this migration was completed I did indeed see improvements in page load times and other factors, which I was very pleased about however I was having a few “niggles”.
Very frequently I would get notifications from Pingdom that my website was down, 5 minutes here, 30 minutes there and then one day over 55 hours! This was the turning point for me when I decided I needed to do some research into Bluehost and other VPS options.
What made me do this?
- Frequent outages of my website
- Most importantly: A lack of the normal level of support I expect from Bluehost
The key aspect of any VPS purchasing decision should always be support. I came from a shared hosting provider where I received live chat, email and telephone support. I was very used to going online talking to a consultant live and getting any issues that arose with my website fixed quickly.
However no such luck with Bluehost and their VPS as it became clear to me that Bluehost expects YOU to manage and monitor your VPS. Now this assumption is completely impractical for most people unless you are a server administrator or you as a business owner hires one.
I wish Bluehost made this more clear on their website as the impression that I got was that I would receive the support that I was used to when using a shared host. However with a shared host, any company such as Bluehost has a greater obligation to fix any issues much quicker, because an issue you have could affect others on the same shared server. When you make the move to a VPS, any issues you have only affect you and not anybody else and Bluehost expect you to manage and monitor it.
So when my website went down at 3AM, I was blissfully unaware in “lala” land and losing out of all the visitors I normally receive. When I contacted Bluehost only then did they have a look at the issue for me and took their sweet time too (over 55 hours!) before resolved. This would never be the case on a shared host and on a fully managed VPS.
That was the key!
I realised after my experiences with Bluehost that this is actually the way many web hosting companies work in regards to a VPS. They provide some support to you but they do indeed expect you to manage and monitor the server yourself.
So if you are not that way inclined, your only other option apart from hiring a server admin is to get a fully managed VPS.
So don’t make my mistake and simply choose the cheapest VPS, rather pay a little bit more, because your time is infinitely more valuable than saving a few dollars and getting loads more grey hairs. Trust me on this one!
If however you are a developer and know your way around a server admin console then that’s no problem for you.
So after a lot of research into VPS companies I made the move to Wired Tree.
They offer in my opinion the best combination of value, support and powerful and fast VPS options.
Specifically they offer
- Fully managed VPS server
- 8+CPU Intel Dual Xeon Servers!!!
- SSD storage – Lightning quick page load times
- Free migration service
- Great prices starting from $49 p/m
So all in all the above was the deal clincher for me and I’m very happy I found Wired Tree. I even tested their support email this morning and got a reply in 20 minutes, which is great!
If you buy using the link below and then enter the coupon code “MAKETHETRANSITION” you will get a 50% discount off your first two months of service with WiredTree.
- Plus if you sign up using the link above I will give you a FREE premium WordPress template from Elegant Themes worth $39. Just email your receipt to support (at) paultherond.com to claim the bonus.