Introduction

Hi all,

I've started this forum as a replacement for the following threads in the WebFaction forum:

Godaddy Buyout
WebFaction joins forces with GoDaddy

Eventually, the WebFaction forums will go away. When they do, we will still be able to discuss things here.

If you're experimenting with a different company, feel free to announce it in this thread, and then create a separate thread for it so we can follow your (mis)adventures.

Cheers,
-Ken

Comments

  • Great idea to start this forum thread. Wondering when Webfaction will send out that letter letting everyone know. I have quite a few clients and former clients for whom I recommended WebFaction -- most of which I haven't even addressed yet. Still trying to get my hosted clients migrated.

    Currently I'm using Hostiso's managed VPS and experimenting further with Cloudways, running side-by-side speed comparisons. Very different solutions but happy with both so far.

  • edited January 2

    I tested three: ServerPilot, Cloudways and RunCloud (using DO and Vultr)

    1. ServerPilot
      There is a panel where you can manage your cloud. It has an intuitive interface, but the price goes according to the amount of applications.

    2. Cloudways
      They already have an integrated plan with DO and Vultr and an attractive dashboard. The big problem is that since I have applications still in PHP 5.6, I do not have the possibility to define the version of PHP per application and yes by the operating system. This is bad for me. Another big problem is that I have applications that make use of port 3306 for database access (written in delphi) and they do not release

    3. RoundCloud
      Similar to ServerPilot, however it has a fixed price. The panel has more details and I can set the PHP version by application. Just like enabling free SSL with a single click. I can release port 3306 through the panel. Support so far is being fast and helpful

    In this issue as none have emails I am thinking of acquiring a GSuite plan

  • I had a bunch of low-traffic personal sites on shared hosting. Since they're all static I've moved them to GitHub Pages. Anything else is now containerised, but I haven't settled on a forever-home for them yet. But the nice thing about containerised apps is that you can stick them anywhere.

  • I want to go with DigitalOcean and somehow use it to run my 20 highly low-traffic sites without a control panel. But I getting LetsEncrypt in command line is going to be an issue.

  • edited January 3

    I'm currently lookin at FastComet.com. Does anyone have experience with them? Their managed SpeedUp plan comes with 35GB SSD, "unmetered" traffic, 6 CPU cores (2.5 Ghz intel 5xxx something) and 6GB RAM with only $9.95/mo and cPanel. I have about a dozen small-traffic personal sites, some static and some wordpress or python, so it seems quite good for me. Only downside is that they only support mysql databases. https://www.fastcomet.com/compare-shared-package

  • Currently all my sites are on Hostiso. I haven't used FastComet. I've been looking at Squidix and Hostwinds. I'm also keeping my Cloudways account active (tested DO and Vultr) as I might host some higher traffic sites there while I'm doing some side-by-side comparisons with Hostiso.

    I've tested RunCloud but prefer Cloudways pricing structure and control panel.

  • I looked at Hostiso, FastComet, Hostwinds, and experimented with Cloudways and Linode. Right now, I'm trying out Gandi, and I'll post my thoughts in a separate thread.

  • Thanks for setting up the forum. I just learned about the GoDaddy buyout with an email today that said, "As you know, WebFaction has joined forces with GoDaddy to bring you a
    hosting company with even more brawn." No, I didn't know, they didn't tell me before now, unless they sent an email disguised as spam. The messages on the webfaction forums confirmed my fears.

    I refuse to pay GoDaddy, they are disreputable in so many ways. Anyone else trying to move a Django site? Webfaction had the best django hosting.

  • They sent out a very spammy email a couple months ago. I'm sure many people didn't receive it. Yes, Godaddy is incredibly unethical and just a horrible business in general.

    This latest email contradicts what a few of us were told weeks ago. That WebFaction is deprecated and at some point the login screen will force migration to Godaddy cPanel hosting.

  • @ndjensen said:
    Thanks for setting up the forum. I just learned about the GoDaddy buyout with an email today that said, "As you know, WebFaction has joined forces with GoDaddy to bring you a
    hosting company with even more brawn." No, I didn't know, they didn't tell me before now, unless they sent an email disguised as spam. The messages on the webfaction forums confirmed my fears.

    I refuse to pay GoDaddy, they are disreputable in so many ways. Anyone else trying to move a Django site? Webfaction had the best django hosting.

    This is me as well. I have a dozen low traffic/placeholder sites and I've been with WF almost a decade. I use the email for a couple clients. I point my DNS servers to WebFaction and handle all the DNS config there. I use the LetsEncrypt SSL for all my sites. I'm just using the bare bones $10 a month plan. It's never failed me. I feel like I'm losing an old friend. And I'm seriously not ready to deal with all of this. Tragic.

    I jumped to name.com a couple years ago when a buddy of mine was working there and I'm okay with them for domains. I've also used namecheap a couple of times. My wife is currently doing all her domains with Google. We still have a couple ignored domains sitting on GoDaddy that I have been meaning to transfer out of there.

    And then I got this news.

    So in addition to recommendations on hosting I'd also be interested in who is most trusted as a registrar.

    Thanks for starting this up. I appreciate the community effect that drew us to WF in the first place. That shit just worked, and no bullshit. Sad sad day.

  • Also, as I've been reading through all the threads I'm gonna ask a stupid question.

    I see a lot of you are looking for VPS options. It sounds like @ericxob77 had a similar use case to me: hosting a bunch of domains, using emails and SSL. I was on the most basic shared server product.

    Maybe I don't need to worry about VPS options, but I doubt I'll bump up to that anytime soon. I just don't use it for that.

    But maybe I'm an idiot. What's the main distinction between VPS and Shared Hosting that would impact the decision to move to a new host, in the opinions here?

    Thanks!

  • @geoster said:
    Also, as I've been reading through all the threads I'm gonna ask a stupid question.

    I see a lot of you are looking for VPS options. It sounds like @ericxob77 had a similar use case to me: hosting a bunch of domains, using emails and SSL. I was on the most basic shared server product.

    Maybe I don't need to worry about VPS options, but I doubt I'll bump up to that anytime soon. I just don't use it for that.

    But maybe I'm an idiot. What's the main distinction between VPS and Shared Hosting that would impact the decision to move to a new host, in the opinions here?

    Thanks!

    At first glance A2's shared plans look to be essentially identical to what I used with WF. I am going to sign up for one and see how it drives and start a topic on A2 as WebFaction Shared Hosting Alternative - test drive.

    I'm looking here at there plans https://www.a2hosting.com/web-hosting/compare and figure I'll test the Turbo plan. Well, the Swift and Turbo are fairly similar. Sadly, they only offer a discount on first purchase so unless I get it for 1 or 2 year terms it isn't going to be as cheap as WF was.

    I'm going to have a chat with their sales folks and see what they say and report back.

  • Yeah I joined webfaction in 2008 and enjoyed the simplicity of the control panel plus the power of ssh access. Sad times now. A2 seems to be where people are leaning or trying out. I use Dynadot for my domains and have always been happy with them. They offer free domain privacy now. On to your question... (short version farther down)

    With shared hosting they put your site on a server with a bunch of other sites, and all the sites share the server's resources (CPU, RAM, etc). How much CPU and RAM your site really needs is dependent on how it's written/what frameworks you use and how much traffic you get. Shared hosting is best for low traffic sites so no single site is hogging all the server's resources. The idea is that not all the sites on that server are going to be hit by lots of traffic at the same time, so a single server can serve up multiple sites at the same time. That's what generally makes it cheaper, because the hosting provider can serve multiple customers with one server. Your site may get slower if other sites on the server are using a lot of resources at the same time, either because they're inefficient or they're receiving a high volume of traffic. A good hosting provider will balance sites out so you don't notice the load/slowness, and they might possibly request that a client upgrade to a VPS or cloud solution if they are hogging too many resources.

    VPS is Virtual Private Server. I've never actually used one, but you get a virtual machine with dedicated resources. With a virtual machine, you typically have your own operating system with root ssh access, meaning you can do whatever you want with it, provided you stay within the hosting provider's terms. You'll still be sharing a physical server with other websites, but with modern technology the provider can basically carve out a set of resources into a virtual machine. So for example you're guaranteed 1 GB of RAM. So no matter how much some other site starts using up resources, if they bought 1 GB of RAM, that's all the RAM they get and their site will slow down without affecting yours.

    Another important distinction is managed hosting. Shared hosting is usually managed hosting, while VPS hosting is usually unmanaged hosting. Managed generally means they provide you with a nice website interface to handle everything, you just click on what you want and their services set everything up for you. Unmanaged means you usually don't have much of a control panel, you're supposed to ssh into your server on the command line and you can do whatever you want with your server. This requires you to know what you're doing with Linux, and you have to set up all the basics such as serving content with apache httpd or nginx services, installing the databases, etc.

    Webfaction was great in that it was semi-managed. The control panel could automatically install an application for you, and then later they added the Let's Encrypt button for https support. Stuff like that is managed but you could also ssh into your server and tweak some settings or do more advanced things (that don't require root access). A simple example on Webfaction is that I used the control panel to install Django, and then later I sshed into my server to set it up to run memcached so the site would load faster. So they managed some things for you, but gave you some freedom to customize your server on the command line if you know what you're doing (or followed their guides).

    In my opinion you should consider managed vs unmanaged before deciding shared vs VPS. How comfortable are you with the command line and setting up a system?

    Anyone else please feel free to correct me or add to the explanation if you have better experience or can explain it better.

    Short version...your original question: "What's the main distinction between VPS and Shared Hosting that would impact the decision to move to a new host?" VPS is usually more expensive since they're setting aside server resources for your site(s) and your site(s) alone. You would need to move to VPS at some point eventually if your traffic got consistently high enough.

    I'm surprised A2 has such cheap VPS, it says "prices starting at" so maybe they raise the price after a period of time??? Any prices you see you should try to figure out the renewal price, some hosting providers are like cable companies, giving you a great deal for 6 months and then the price rises to a not so great deal, with the company hoping you'll silently take it because you don't want to deal with the headache of moving the site again.

  • For my site, I'm going to try and get more specific information from A2 Hosting, Get Lark, and TMD Hosting about their services and what services are managed vs unmanaged.

  • A2 and TMD got back to me. They require a VPS account for Django. Both are unmanaged VPS, and I don't really want to deal with OS security updates and the like, so I'm hesitant to go that way. Looks like most hosts require VPS accounts for Python. Cheapest managed VPS I've seen so far is Hostwinds.

  • @geoster said:

    I'm looking here at there plans https://www.a2hosting.com/web-hosting/compare and figure I'll test the Turbo plan. Well, the Swift and Turbo are fairly similar. Sadly, they only offer a discount on first purchase so unless I get it for 1 or 2 year terms it isn't going to be as cheap as WF was.

    I just chatted with their sales department and if you extend your plan within the first thirty days, they will extend the discount. They also offer prorated refunds if you are unhappy. I'm going to bite.

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