Need a new web host

Ok, this blog is currently hosted by 1and1.com, and I think that needs to change, which is sad, because up until recently, I’ve been pretty happy with the performance. However, I recently had an issue, and some things came to light about my package that I wasn’t aware of.

First of all, the maximum time a process can run is about 6 seconds. Second of all, the maximum number of processes you can have running at once is 12. When I asked if this was a limitation of my *package*, the answer I got was that it was a limitation of all shared hosting accounts.

This blog started throwing 500 errors some time yesterday. I called support late last night and some lady said that she was running a tool that should fix my issue, and to call back in 30 minutes if the problem persists. Well, I’m sick as a dog, and it was late, so I went to bed. This morning, the problem was still there. I called support 3 times today, got cut off twice, and the third one was the charm — he told me that I was over the process number limit. Of course, he was looking at the error log.

Oh yeah, third of all, I don’t have access to the error log. This is also true of all shared hosting packages.

So, in a nutshell, this is what I need:

  • Access to the access and error logs
  • SSH access to the server
  • A bigger process limit, and perhaps a longer per-process runtime limit.
  • PHP and MySQL
  • email *and* phone support (1and1 only has phone support)
  • ability to host at least 10 domains from the account

Since I’ll likely be moving anyway, I’ll add that I’d also very much like to move to a host that has *REAL SUPPORT* for running Python-powered web sites. Python has truly inspired me to *want* to program, and to write more interesting programs. It’s an empowering language, and I’d like to use it on the web in addition to the work I do with it for my various clients, which is almost 100% systems work. I have yet to write anything in Python that has any kind of graphical interface on it.

All of that said, do not misconstrue that to mean that I’ll go without PHP. I won’t. WordPress uses PHP, and I like wordpress (so sue me). I also do some PHP/MySQL work, and I’d really rather not use more than one web host if I can help it. Well… actually… I already use more than one web host — but I don’t want to increase that number if I can help it.

If you’re using a web host you like that meets these requirements, FIRST verify the error log and process number limitations, and then let me know. Thanks!

Before everyone goes nuts, I WILL NOT use a VPS. I have had clients where I’ve had to work on VPS systems, and I have tons of friends who’ve tried it, and plenty who are still using them. The ones who left had lots of stories, I have lots of my own stories, and the ones still using them will likely not be using them for too much longer, because they’re collecting their own stories as they go along. The bottom line is that they’re more money for less. One VPS I used promised all kinds of great system resources, and I used them only to find that at least half of them were used by the provider to monitor and manage the VPS. The system’s configuration was a nightmare, mish-mosh of convoluted, non-standard nonsense, and although I had a root account, severe limitations were put on what I could do with the VPS. Disgusting. I won’t do it to myself.

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  • Doug Napoleone
  • Doug Napoleone

    http://www.webfaction.com. (thats better)

  • http://www.mechanicalcat.net/richard Richard Jones

    WebFaction are OK but their restrictions will feel quite familiar. IIRC they run shared systems.

    PyWeek.org is hosted by the fine folk at tummy.com (pycon sponsors and all-around nice people).

  • http://www.livinglightphotography.com.au/ Josh Marshall

    Yep, I second WebFaction. I’ve only been using them for a few months, but originally heard of them as one of the first sites to support Python and Django in shared hosting. The pricing is very reasonable.

    To tick your boxes;
    - Access to the logs is provided; they are rotated every 24 hours.
    - I use SSH and SFTP
    - You can have unlimited persistent processes (I think), only your RAM usage is capped.
    - PHP & MySQL included – I run WordPress too.
    - I have only used support via the ticket system and forums.
    - I have 6 domains, but I don’t think there is a limit.

  • http://www.luckydonkey.com/ dazza

    yep, +1 for WebFaction. I run http://www.luckydonkey.com off of them and I’ve never had a problem. Good luck,

  • Jay Parlar

    I’ll second Doug, Webfaction is the way to go. They’re currently the top rated shared-host at djangofriendly.com, so other people think they’re great too. I can’t recall their process limit though.

  • http://unbracketed.org/ Brian Luft

    +1 on webfaction

    Otherwise, make your own choice based on reviews at http://djangofriendly.com/

    Cheers
    -Brian

  • Ian Sparks

    I second Doug. Webfaction could be a good choice for you. They no longer have process limits but they do have CPU and RAM limits and if you persisently go over them you’ll have to work something out. The good news there is that you’re working with sysadmins who know software/web development and who are willing to work with you rather than petty bureaucrats working from a script.

    I don’t believe they offer phone support but their ticketing system is excellent and email/web-based.

    You get access to your logs, cron, SSH, fantastic Python support (Turbogears, Django, Pylons, Zope, Plone you name it), Rails, PHP, easy-install of WordPress and other popular systems, unlimited domains, unlimited databases (mySQL or Postgresql). Well, you can read about their plans here http://www.webfaction.com/services/hosting.

    No hosting provider is perfect but the pricipals of WebFaction are good guys doing a good job for a fair price. I recommend them.

  • http://www.ironpythoninaction.com MIchael Foord

    Another +1 for Webfaction. They’re great. :-)

  • Akio Ito

    http://www.slicehost.com/.
    All that I wanted, good support information. Very speedy.

  • Mike

    I am very happy on Webfaction.

  • Anon

    What do you mean by “real support” for Python? Are you talking about mod_python, or just being able to install your own Python in $HOME?

  • Jessica

    I recommend Server Evolution http://www.serverevo.com
    They provide vps with django 1.0, svn and apache+mod_python pre-installed. The support has been great