Two of the most popular hosting services provided by MediaTemple are their Grid Server (GS) hosting, as well as their Dedicated Virtual (DV) VPS hosting. I’ve had the opportunity to experience both to varying degrees through working with clients, therefore I thought I’d write an overdue review about my experience. Don’t worry, it’ll be short and straight to the point.
The GS hosting sounds great. While it costs more than other bargain / lower-end hosting packages, people expect great things, as it’s still a service that is being offered by MediaTemple, a very reputable hosting provider. They’ve earned that status through many great years of service that they continue to provide to their clients.
Here’s MT’s description for the GS hosting:
Optimized for WordPress
1,000 email accounts
Host up to 100 websites
1TB bandwidth that scales
24/7/365 live support
NEW PHP 5.3.27 with FastCGI
NEW Updated LAMP stack
120 seconds of CPU time
99MB of RAM usage
36 processes per node
300 seconds of execution time (for PHP only)
With a PHP max memory limit of 99.
It sounds great. And for a basic website it is (especially if it’s static). However, it does not scale well.
If you get an ok flow of visitors, have WordPress installed, and have a decent bit of plugins running, then things will begin to shape badly. The website will run slow, occasional PHP memory errors may pop up, and things may just act downright strange.
You can combat this with optimizing the PHP (or even using plain text instead of a PHP function in some cases), caching, increasing WordPress / PHP’s memory limits to max capacity, etc. But there’s a limit to what you can do.
Speaking of caching, some odd caching issues popped up that ultimately had mobile versions of the website being served to non-mobile devices randomly.
Then enters center stage, the DV server.
Moving a bogged down website from the GS to the DV will make things run fantastic (or at least did in my scenario). It was night and day.
The DV servers all run well in comparison and provide much greater flexibility. Moving from a GS to a DV isn’t very difficult either, even with a website utilizing WordPress (but that’s an article for another day).
Moral of the story — don’t cheap out on hosting (at least with the GridServer). I’ve had more luck with HostGator when it comes to cheap hosting, but that too required upgrading eventually.
(Note: This was just my personal experience. Take it with a grain of salt. Not all websites run as efficiently as others, nor do all websites get the same amount of traffic!)
Update 1/27/2015: Just an update (in case anyone wanted one). The grid hosting is still terrible. Do not use it. Here’s the type of problem I’ve encountered time after time with it ~ the website begins timing out for a long period of time. It cannot be visited, WP Admin is inaccessible, and the website becomes even inaccessible through MediaTemple’s Admin area.