Choosing a good host for your WordPress site is of paramount importance and it’s best if you get it right first time, because transferring your WordPress site is an unnecessary pain.
I went with a few bad hosts in the early days of my online life and paid the price for it. I finally hit the jackpot when I went with HostGator, who treated me well for so long.
However, there came a time (May 2012, to be precise), when their shared hosting plans just weren’t enough for my ever-growing site. I decided it was time to move up to a Virtual Private Server (VPS). There’s no set time limit on when this action will be necessary, but if you want more control over your site and you want to really optimise your server specifically for your site, then that’s a good time to look for a VPS.
So I started asking around for recommendations, and it wasn’t long before one of my good friends, Oli Dale, recommended ServInt as a VPS provider. I looked at what they had to offer and was suitably impressed to at least try them out.
As standard, all plans come with at least the following features:
- RAID 10 Hardware
- A choice of CentOS 5 or 6, 32-bit or 64-bit
- 4 dedicated IP addresses
- Free cPanel or Plesk
- Unlimited domains and user accounts
- Free daily off-server backups
The plans (at the time of writing) start at $49/mo which will get you 60GB of disk space, 1TB of bandwidth and 768MB Guaranteed / 1.5GB Burst RAM. It’s the plan I chose and it was more than adequate for my sites (especially if you’re using a CDN), so I’ve been suitably impressed with it.
When you go for a VPS, there’s a very important distinction to be aware of. Some VPS plans are managed, and some are unmanaged. Unmanaged means that you rent the server and that’s literally it; you’re in charge of all the maintenance, installing software and performing upgrades.
Managed plans have a technical support team to help you do all that stuff. I’m pretty knowledgeable technically, but having those guys there has been immensely useful; they’ve provided insight to help me tweak my site and loading times and performed routine maintenance. All I have to do is ask and in a matter of hours, it’s handled.
I’m not one to stick around for bad customer service. When I’m paying someone for a service, I expect them to do it, and to do it well. After all, I’m paying them to do it because they ought to be better at it than me. Fortunately, with ServInt, they really are excellent at what they do. They’re very responsive, helpful, courteous and most importantly, extremely knowledgeable about server administration, which is an area that I haven’t really dabbled in too much.
To get you started, they’ll even transfer your entire site automatically, provided that you use cPanel on your existing host. That makes the initial transfer a whole lot less stressful.
My site is not nearly as busy as some other sites out there, so right now, the basic VPS plans are adequate for me. However, if everything goes to plan, I’m going to need to up my hosting package as more traffic starts coming in. The nice thing with ServInt is that you can move up through an entire family of hosting packages with ease and they’ll even handle the transfer for you, so they’ll grow with you, which removes the headaches of needing to move servers. ServInt have everything you need, and if you move out of the realm of a VPS and need a dedicated server, they can also handle that for you.
I’ve only been with them for a couple of months, but I can already tell that I’m going to be with ServInt for the long haul. They rock!