Among the problems in my life that I’d like to do something about sooner or later is server performance for Subtraction.com and the various domains that I host along with it, including A Brief Message. These are all hosted over at DreamHost which, as I and many people have mentioned before, is less than ideal; it’s slow, slow and slow.
I’m told, though, that the performance I get from DreamHost is unfortunately about the level of performance I should realistically expect from any shared hosting plan. It’s consumer hosting, after all, and even if I move up-market a bit and pony up more money, consumer-grade hosting is never going to be as responsive as my fondest daydreams hope it can be.
It’s Not Nice to Share
Friends much more knowledgeable than me, then, are pushing me towards a virtual private server plan. It’s a kind of intermediate level between consumer and dedicated hosting in which I am afforded a partitioned slice of a physical server that, for most intents and purposes, acts as if I had a server entirely of my own.
That option sounds just right, and some quick comparison shopping shows that a VPS plan is even in the price range I’m considering. There’s one major stumbling block, though: I clearly don’t have the technical chops to handle the configuration or ongoing maintenance. The relatively dumbed down level of do-it-yourself management implicit in shared hosting is just the right sort of hand-holding for me. I’m loathe to take on anything more technically challenging, both out of lack of time and simple ignorance.
Running to Stand Still
On the other hand, given the time investment and complication of switching to a new host provider, I wonder if such a switch is what I really need after all. Maybe I’m better off sticking with DreamHost — where, speed problems aside, the features and configuration are very agreeable to me — and moving away from Movable Type, instead? It’s not implausible to guess that most of the slowness that irks me can be laid at the feet of that publishing software, and not my host. Perhaps a switch to WordPress or Expression Engine is a better use of my time.
Anyway, the point of all this is: help! I’m eager for whatever insight and recommendations readers might be able to share. I’ve looked at a few potential vendors such as Pair, Host My Site and Slicehost, and I have to admit, neither the brands nor the technical details are resonating with me. Show me the way out of this wilderness, please!