It’s no secret that the 8BIT Network is a big fan of Media Temple. In fact, I’ve even passed through the Media Temple gates in my own string of hosting providers, though my experience was on Media Temple’s Grid-Service (gs) (rather than our Dedicated-Virtual (dv) service).
My “laundry list” of hosts have been, in order of appearance, WebHost4Life, DreamHost, HostMySite (now Hosting), and Media Temple. Each one has been “good at the time”, but eventually, each has left me wanting “more” from a shared hosting provider.
So my seemingly never-ending quest for a “the perfect host” has most recently led me to WebFaction. So why WebFaction? What do they bring to the table that’s different or better?
A comment that Tom made in the latest 8BIT Podcast led me to share my experiences with WebFaction thus far, and they have been simply amazing! One might even say unmatched in the shared hosting arena. In addition to WebFaction’s own reasons, here is what stands out to me…
Features & Price
They offer all the typical features you’d expect from a host these days: Unlimited hosted websites, SSL support, statistics, unlimited emails (they also have a nice Python script to setup Google Apps integration), unlimited databases, full shell with SSH and SFTP access, etc.
Paired with the available technologies, they are unbeatable at $9.50 a month. At first, the only things that worried me were the disk space and bandwidth, but I haven’t come close to either. If anything, I will run out of disk space first, but with things like Amazon S3 and such, it should be a non-issue.
Being a developer, I am always wanting to dabble in the latest technologies. There is usually a bit of “lag time” between when new services are publicly available and when they are made available by shared hosts, for various reasons (namely stability).
WebFaction makes no excuses about offering cutting edge services. They will let you run pretty much anything your brain can cook up in any language / platform / service you’re wanting to work in.
Shown above is their latest list with many versions / variations of each. Notable is the Phusion Passenger that was referenced in the 8BIT Podcast as a “must have” for rails development. And their extensive custom API is certainly developer-worthy!
WebFaction also makes no excuses about their control panel. It’s not fancy. It’s not flashy. It’s simple and to the point.
If you’re used to cPanel or Media Temple’s control panel will probably need some time to get used to the bareness. But you may find its simplicity really refreshing. Personally, I think their approach really allows a developer to take advantage of several different technologies all within the same “website”.
These guys at WebFaction are developers, too. Their support is a sharp as they come and they are quick to pull the trigger on replying back to any questions you may have.
We’d also love to hear your experiences with them in the comments below! Feel free to ask me any other questions you may have about them and I’ll try and answer them.