adventures in web hosting

If you can read this, I've successfully managed to move my website to new hosting. For the second time this year.

I've used shared web hosting for many many years now, with rarely any problems.  When I went back to uni and became very poor, my sites ended up on a friend's reseller account, costing me nothing.  And, er, they stayed there.  Service got progressively worse,  lots of downtime with no explanation etc

Not ideal, even if you aren't paying :P  Not being able to complain directly was getting a bit annoying (not that their customer support were that helpful anyway), and work has got me far too used to having (root) ssh access to servers and poking about with the command line.

So in February I moved onto a (very) cheap VPS. £6 a month for an entire pretend server? hah! General idea was to see how I got on with running my own server for a few months.  Predictably, it's going well :)

But el cheapo VPS provider were crap.  It didn't start well when the initial disk image didn't install SSH, meaning I had to use their horrific java console to log in. Applets on websites, how last century - I didn't even have a java plugin installed!

Last week my server fell over.  Admittedly, it was after I did some poking -  installed updates, and it requested a reboot.  So I did, and mysql did something silly.  Fiddled more stuff, rebooted again.. and it didn't come back up.  Ooops.

The management website did give me 'start', 'stop', and 'force stop' buttons, but that's not much use when they don't do anything! Time to test out their customer support.

First email reply confirmed that the server actually had shut down (management website at this point still claiming it was running, with the 'start' button greyed out).  Sever came back up, but still wasn't working and I couldn't log in.  Even with crappy java console.  grr. 
Reply number two (several hours later) "oh, it might need a disk check, I'll look into it for you".  Eventually (after a day of downtime total I think?),  it all sprang back to life.  At that point, I decided I'd had enough.

Long story short - now I've got a Linode instead. Bit more expensive (but still cheap in the grand scheme of things!) but we use them at work so I know they're good.  Fingers crossed...!


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