Slapped in the Face!
So, a couple days ago I wrote about flirting with new hosting providers. For reasons that are hazy, I thought DreamHost would be a good provider to check-out and compare to the service I’m currently receiving from TextDrive. At first blush, I was very happy with what I saw from DH, including a very complete web admin console. I was able to set-up domains/users/email easily. There were tabs for managing your billing, DNS, 1-click installs and other goodies. I was impressed.
These feelings rapidly vanished over the course of the next 2-3 days. My main impetus for obtaining a new hosting provider was to set-up a hosting environment for briancartenuto.com, the website of a buddy of mine who is an executive chef. He’s currently slumming on a cheapo GoDaddy host, and I wanted to set-up a Mephisto CMS for him to better manage his on-line presence.
I then spent the better part of 2 days trying to get Mephisto (and later Typo 4) trying to run on DH using FastCGI. First of all, Apache+FastCGI isn’t even the best option for Rails deployment (see Lighttpd, Mongrel, etc), but it’s all they “offered” so I’ll take it. Despite following every possible set of instructions for getting things set-up properly, I failed to get either application up-and-running. I submitted a support ticket, waited 24 hours plus, and nothing. I am by no means a newbie when it comes to *nix/Apache/Ruby/etc and I simply couldn’t get things to work. So long Dreamhost, it was nice knowing you.
All of which has made me appreciate TextDrive a great deal more. TextDrive is in the process of re-defining a new set of hosting plans in conjunction with bundling services from their sister companies Joyent and Strongspace. It’s possible that some of these improvements might alleviate some of the limitations/problems I’ve had, so we’ll have to wait-and-see. Thanks to Adam Lindsay for cluing me in to some excellent forum scuttlebut referring to the future of TextDrive and their plans.
Still, I am very much in the market for alternative hosts, even if all my TxD issues were to be resolved. I don’t like the idea of putting all my eggs in any one basket. An email to the RubyDC elicited the following suggestions that I will be checking out: