Sunday, November 30, 2008

New URLs and Hosting Changeover

After many years sharing a colocated server hosted by Silicon Valley Colocation (formerly part of, I have unfortunately had to switch over to a shared managed server hosted by Webfaction. This was not my choice, but the server was once shared by four paying contributors, and the last one decided to opt-out a month ago, leaving me responsible for a $200/month bill which, since my web sites earn no money, I couldn't really afford, despite that being a great price for great service.

I will miss SVcolo and the server itself, but so far the transition to Webfaction has been very smooth, and their prices are very reasonable for the services provided. My only complaint so-far, besides only being able to afford a shared server (my problem, not theirs), is that SFTP transfers are very flaky and unreliable, and that DNS override changes take a while to propagate even into WF's own DNS servers. I've also not yet heard back to my support request about SFTP (and one about e-mail services), but have heard back in less than 24 hours for the other four or five support requests I've made, which is a very good response rate for a shared server account at any company.

Because DNS changes are trivial using Webfaction's server control panel, I've done some things I'd been too lazy to until now, including pointing at this blog, and to The Feral Government. While I'm not thrilled about losing the freedom associated with a colocated server, the upside is that what little system administration (which I was sick of doing years ago) I have to do for my own sites is trivial, and everything else is Webfaction's responsibility. Downtime due to someone else's code run amok on the server is a real concern, but it's a risk I have to take at this point due to the economics of the situation. Hopefully things at Webfaction will be as trouble-free in the long-term as they have been over the last few days.