Finding a good web host is quite a tricky business these days, mainly due to the sheer scale of hosting plans on offer. I was completely sold on Go Daddy's 4G cloud hosting solution in European data centres.
When I first started to use this, I was blown away by the speed of the service, by the promise of a constant speed no matter what time of day it was.
Within a month, I had virtually all of my clients on this service, and for a few months all was happy...
Then the sweet apple revealed its rotton core, services started to fail, at peak times the service was just as slow as any other other web-service I have ever used. Every support mail I sent in was sent back with "unable to replicate error" and then a few days ago, service was down for hours and I picked up the phone to support.
"Woah, yeah" came back the grating US tone, more suited to a Hollywood movie "its just sittin' there and spinnin' fer me as well, just sit a spell and let me check it"
*cue worst music in holding music history*
"Yup, we have several nodes with a corrupted php service, very hard to spot unless you catch it, we will get it rebuilt, all will be well in 4 hours tops"
Two days later, things started to speed up.. and then back to the same crappy service, same response to emails, and a tech on the end of the phone who thought I was making it up when I said that php could be corrupted on one of their nodes like last time....
...and then I had a light bulb moment, why the hell was I tolerating web hosting services, when I build linux servers for a living. After a few days of relentless searching I found a dedicated server host I was happy with, data-centres with green policies I respected, node balancing, virtualised instances that I could clone and backup to my hearts content, migrate servers to datacenters in 6 major cities around the world for international clients.. and more.
I signed up for the most basic package, and built a Debian 6 Squeezebox. Configured as a LAMP server running all the latest software (an option not available on standard web-hosting as you get what you are given), wrote my own rules for the firewalls for purely web traffic only, configure MYSQL, installed a jailor program to stop dodgy attacks from IP's, and wrote some virtual hosts for my websites (no clients yet).
I uploaded an intensive photography site, pressed enter and bang, before I even reached the first number in the count the page was uploaded.. hmm methinks, cant be right. Cleared the cache, cleared all history tried again.. and boom, instantaneous access in less than a second.. tried the same site on GoDaddy, 4 seconds was the quickest, 12 the longest.
Needless to say, I created my own small server farm and waved bye bye to premium Go Daddy web hosting. As of today, MOLE Design is responsible for its own server builds... um.. with the exception of email, but that's a story for another day.
How have you found GoDaddy as a service provider? Share your thoughts below so that people can get more views than just my own