Why NEVER to use WestHost

November 15, 2007

A couple years back I needed to move to a new web server and I had some specific criteria. First off I needed a Virtual Private Server (VPS) so I could have full control of my system. I also needed to have root access and be able to install any program I felt like. I wanted to be able to use the space any way I wanted, files, email, domains, etc. So I shopped around and I found WestHost. They sounded pretty good. They even provide a custom control panel with many prepackaged programs available. So I emailed them with a large list of questions, high up on the list was that I wanted full control over my host, and I wanted the Operating System (OS) install all to myself. I was assured of this and much more.

So I signed up. Because of all the assurances I felt confident in my choice and did two years. That was the two worst years of hosting I have ever seen. For starters the “VPS” was not a full OS installed just for me. It was a chroot with a very limited toolset, and I could not install most of the programs that I wanted. The connections after a few months became very very laggy, and timeouts would occur on a regular basis. The control panel was terrible! Just to move to a new page would cause a few minute wait. The email system was just horrendous. I could add more domains, but email was ridiculously limited. If I wanted to make a contact@bleah.com email account for a client I was locked out of ever using ‘contact’ again. Any account that I created worked for all domains. contact@bleah.com and contact@yomotha.com were both the same account! Highly aggravating. The tech support was terrible too. I had a domain suddenly just stop working. I traced the issue back to the webserver so I submited a ticket. After a couple back and forth messages I got fed up and logged into the server to do some extra testing. Sure enough I had it fixed in about 5 minutes. It was not something that I should have had to figure out though. WestHost should have known what was going on. That is what managed hosting is for right? They take care of your issues.

Well that was the last straw. I started looking for new web hosts. A guy I work with recommended MediaTemple. He has had an account for years and loves it. Plus they started this new service called Grid. It is a cluster of servers all hooked together. It assures you constant uptime, and if your load goes up it will spread the load across servers. MediaTemple did not give me a VPS, but they are very up front and have not hidden anything. I am able to ssh into the server to do things myself, and I can install any programs I want. The real clincher for me though was their control panel. All custom made in house and it works beautiful. Super easy to setup new client accounts, and email account are on a per domain basis just like they should be. I highly recommend MediaTemple if you want a simple hosting solution that is easy to setup and maintain. Of course I also have my own private dedicated server elsewhere that I have absolute control over, but MediaTemple makes it so easy and convenient to get clients up and running I think I will keep it around for a while.

Do not, I repeat DO NOT EVER use WestHost under ANY circumstances.