Help Me Pick a New Host

I’m finally getting serious about moving away from I’m not sure who to host with though. Minimum requirements are:

  • WordPress support (i.e. I can install it; they don’t have to provide it though it’s cool if they do).
  • Full root access to WordPress: I can install my own themes and plugins and do my own database dumps.
  • No fixed bandwidth, storage, transfer, or CPU time quotas (I’m willing to pay for more as I go up in usage, but I need to be able to handle spikes without the ISP turning off my site.)
  • Hosted under my own domain name.
  • Regular, reliable backups

The more I think about it, the more I suspect I don’t even want a shell account. I really want a managed WordPress account, preferably hosted in at least three data centers on different continents with hot switching. (Is that even possible? ) Who offers this?

Larry Aronson recommended BlueHost. They’re cheaper than Pair, but they still have CPU quotas, and I couldn’t find out what those were. (I asked but either they wouldn’t tell me or their chat system logged me off before I read the answer.)

MediaTemple advertises “Hosting that’s ready for traffic spikes. Start your new blog on a clustered hosting platform that’s ready for you to hit the big time. Whether you reach the front page of Digg or get an unexpected shout-out on Oprah, your blog will always be available. Get started right-away with our WordPress one-click installer and enough high-speed storage and bandwidth to run a blogging empire.” Their grid service sounds pretty spot on, though pricing for overages is somewhat opaque. That sounds about right. Has anyone used them?

Another possibility is running WordPress on top of Amazon EC2+S3/RDS. That’s a little bleeding edge, and may involve more server administration than I want to do, but it’s at least plausible and it does give me a really efficient model for spiky traffic and easy scalability.

One Response to “Help Me Pick a New Host”

  1. David Wenk Says:

    Hi Rusty,

    I would also recommend BlueHost, have had good service and support from them so far. Right now I’m working on a client’s WordPress install on an account hosted by Pair and am having a bit of hassle with CHMOD/permissions.

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