Site Migration

If you can't tell by the dates of recent posts, I have been neglecting my blog
recently. I had a goal of writing 4 posts per month and obviously I did not make
that. Still, I was able to do some project work and I have done a couple cool
things that I will probably document here shortly. What brought me back? Well, I
got a little email from my hosting provider, A Small Orange, that my
domain name was coming up for renewal. This seemed like a good opportunity to
review my hosting and domain situation.

For the last 2 years, I have been hosting this site and registering this domain
through A Small Orange. They have been really good to me. Their customer service
is quick and their uptime is fantastic. The problem was not them, it was me. I
had outgrown their shared hosting plans. I wanted to be able to run projects
like my irc bots from my hosting account and a shared host just could not
do that. I needed a VPS. I was not really willing to pay for a VPS on one of the
main stream hosting providers though. Linode, RackSpace, and A Small Orange
were all asking for $20 or more per month. That is quite an increase from
the $3 per month that I was paying for my shared hosting account.

I had heard on reddit about a newer VPS service called Digital Ocean, so I
tried them out. They were $5 per month for a respectable isntance that included
SSD storage. The price was right and the specs were decent. I gave them a try by
running a beta of my web page on a subdomain and ran my IRC bots from there for
months. They were pretty good to me and I had no problems except for a couple
service interruptions. The problem was that I had heard a great many other
people complaining about security and performance. While some of these issues
have been addressed and I never personally had any problems, I just felt more
comfortable with another provider.

Looking around, I settled on RamNode(referral link). They had
consistenly good reviews and a similar price point while also providing much
better specs on their VPS. Additionally, tests seem to indicate that their real
world performance is closer to the numbers that are promised. I am paying
roughly $6 per month for a VPS with 512MB RAM, 120GB SSD-Cached storage, and 2TB
of bandwidth. I have transitioned my site and my projects over to RamNode.

Complaints so far:

  • The Client area and VM control panel have different log in credentials.
  • The Client area has 2 factor authentication, but the control panel does not.
  • It does not seem possible to change your user name for the control panel,
    which defaults to ramnodeuser******.

I definitely liked Digital Ocean's site better, but I am going to give RamNode a
couple months of testing before I really make a judgement. At worst, I boot up
my DO droplet again and change my DNS records. It is one of the beauties of the
VPS-- the internals are basically the same.