I have been hosting this site at www.redwoodvirtual.com. The offer some inexpensive virtual private servers and most of the time everything runs well. Unfortunately their server decided that I had gone over my 40 GB of monthly bandwidth and throttled everything down to a very low level. Pages were taking 30 to 120 seconds to load. Redwood’s support is only through email and they seem to check it every 48 hours. The biggest problem is the fact that if they ask you for information in resolving the problem, you’ll have to wait another 48 hours for them to read your reply, so conversations look something like this:
Me: Something is wrong with the bandwidth. Can you please fix it? If you need info from me to fix it, please call me so we don’t have to wait several days for each exchange.
[Wait 48 hours]
Redwood (via email): Hmm… it looks like your bandwidth is being throttled. Do you think you went over 40 Gigs?
Me: No. According to my logs I’ve used only about 12 GB this month. I’m willing to pay more to get things up and running immediately because I can’t afford to have my site down. Can you turn it back on right away?
[Still Waiting for a response]
I went ahead and signed up for an account with www.hostforweb.com. I’m on a shared server, but I figure there is safety in numbers. If their server goes down and I’m not around to tell them, someone else will say something. The also offer ssh access which makes it a lot easier to test scripts, move files around, etc. I’m looking at their virtual private server plans, but I think the shared server may meet all of my needs.
I think my ideal setup would be to use a company like Redwood Virtual to run nightly jobs that upload their results to a shared server site. That way I’d get the flexibility of having root access, but with better reliability for my public pages.