Okay, so it’s not shared hosting but you know what they say: You get what you pay for. With Media Temple, however, sometimes you get a little more than you pay for. I’ve had all of my websites, as well as websites for friends, hosted with them for longer than I can remember.
Where Media Temple Shines
I have to admit that sometimes the customer support is not as good as it could be and usually it’s because I can’t explain the problem in a way that the customer support representatives can understand. The rest of the time, the responses are usually quick and concise and frankly, I haven’t submitted very many tickets considering how long I’ve been with them. There are tons of resources available through their forums and such, which usually solve any problem I happen to come across.
This isn’t where Media Temple shines, however. What makes them shine is their constant maintenance and uptime. Of course, I’m spoiled in that I have a VE server and control almost everything on the server. One thing I can tell you, they don’t have problems with spammers squatting on their servers. I never come across 403 or 500 errors that originate at a Media Temple IP address.
A while back, when I first started using a VE server vs. a DV server, I opted for 2 gigabytes of RAM at $100 per month. Sometime in 2012, I spent some time optimizing the PHP-FPM configuration as well as the MySQL configuration and managed to get everything to constantly run within about 600 megabytes of RAM, with the load usually keeping it nearer to 500 than 600. Once I was confident of all my configurations, I reduced my server to 1 gigabyte of RAM at $50 per month.
I recently received a message from Media Temple that they would be doubling the RAM for both VE and DV servers, starting on January 14, 2013 and during regular maintenance cycles, for absolutely no cost. That means I’ll be back to 2 gigabytes of RAM for the same $50 I’m spending per month now.
Virtual Private Servers vs. Shared Hosting
Is it worth it to deal with the headaches of shared hosting? I don’t think so, even if it is ultra cheap. After dealing with multiple shared hosting companies, with some that like to disable hosting for a bunch of different reasons, working with virtual private servers has been relatively painless for me for quite some time. A VPS is just like a virtual OS on a PC (using something like VirtualBox) but on a server, so the only possible bottleneck is going to be with connections for the entire server, not an individual VPS.
Like most shared hosting accounts, you can have multiple websites on one VPS account. The difference is that you know how many there are with your own VPS, so you can monitor and find which one is causing problems. Not so with shared hosting, where only the web hosting provider knows what websites are on your server. Anyway…
There are so many reasons to use a VPS vs. shared hosting for any serious website, I can’t even list them all. Once you’ve moved to a VPS, you’ll understand why you wouldn’t want to ever go back to shared hosting.