I’ve been hosting with Media Temple for three years, and this past weekend I finally upgraded from the (gs) Grid Server to a (dv) Dedicated Virtual server.
The (gs) gets a lot of flack, but in my experience it has been a good service. It’s inexpensive, easy to set up, and will keep your site ticking through moments of extreme traffic. In the three years I’ve been on the Grid my site never had a problem being Fireballed or other similar link-tos.
I have been wanting to upgrade to the (dv) for a while. For one, a (dv) is actually cheaper than my (gs) hosting because of some memory upgrades I added on to my Grid’s database. Secondly, the (dv) is just a better hosting environment than the (gs).
In spite of the fact I should have migrated I kept putting it off. Why? Because I am not a developer — working with databases, ssh commands, and nameservers makes my palms sweaty. However, as of a few months ago the traffic on this site has outgrown what the (gs) is meant for. So I had to migrate.
All in all the migration was not as difficult as I had feared, and chances are most visitors to the site never even noticed. There were only a few hiccups I encountered. The biggest was that the
/etc/hosts file needed editing to work properly with
wp_cron.php and the Super Cache plugin (so far as I can tell this is a very common edit that most WordPress installs have to make to work properly on a default (dv) server from Media Temple). Also I encountered an error when importing my Mint database and after troubleshooting ended up losing about 36 hours worth of incoming traffic data.
Some articles and references I used:
- Backing up and restoring a MySQL database
- Editing the /etc/hosts file for WordPress
- How to flush your local DNS Cache
- Media Temple’s step-by-step instructions for Migrating to a (dv) server
Now that things are settled I am so glad I upgraded and only wish I had migrated sooner. I’ve quickly learned my way around Plesk (the hosting control panel for the (dv)). I’ve always liked Media Temple’s account center dashboard for the (gs) — it’s nice and simple — but there is significantly more power and flexibility with the (dv) and Plesk than I ever had on the (gs).
And the speed. It is instantly noticeable when navigating this site. The (dv) is loading uncached pages at least 3 times as fast as the (gs) did, and in some cases it’s 14 times faster (these are unofficial benchmarks based on statistics from the WP Super Cache Plugin).
Finally, I cannot say enough good things about Media Temple’s customer support. I exchanged emails or spoke on the phone with TJ, Ryan, Jason, Paul, and Chris. They were all extremely friendly and brilliantly helpful.
If you’re looking for hosting, I recommend Media Temple. I don’t have a partnership with them, but if you set up your new service using this link I will get a small kickback.