Web Hosting Review: Media Temple Rocks, Dreamhost Does Not

This Media Temple hosting review was originally posted on the drupal.org website.

It is republished here for the purposes of showing the screenshot graphic below that was pulled from my Google Webmaster account.

right click on image and select 'view image' to enlarge

graphic of interest is bottom one in red
titled "Time spent downloading a page"

screenshot pulled from Google Webmaster on 9/17/08

migration from Dreamhost to Media Temple completed on 8/19-20/08

Media Temple Hosting Review as posted on Drupal.org

Posted 17 Sep 17 2008 by John Kenney

I am just seeing this forum has been deprecated, so perhaps there is another place to put this comment now.

Anyway, I want to voice my extremely positive feedback about Media Temple, my new hosting provider. And to bash Dreamhost, my old provider, which did not perform well for my needs.

With help of a very qualified technical guy, I worked for several months trying to make DH shared hosting work for my needs. I was initially attracted to DH's low price and the ability to host unlimited domains and MySQL databases.

But despite our best efforts, we kept experiencing very slow page loads - like absurdly, unusably slow times even though my sites are small, low traffic, and not complex.

We consulted DH tech support several times. They once acknowledged a problem with a heavy load on my server, made some adjustments, and we got a nice pop for a short time. But within a day or so, performance sagged back down and DH basically was not able (or prepared) to do anything about it again. Not completely sure the technical issues, but some combination of bandwidth loads, server loads, and use of separate servers for hosting mysql.

We tweaked every Drupal performance setting we could. We installed Boost module (which didn't work on DH, as I recall). We trimmed down image sizes, tried to optimize CSS/JS, etc. Nothing worked.

All this even though my sites are pretty darn simple static sites - see example here: www.CallingMumbai.com. If DH shared services can't run a simple site like this, I'm not sure what they can run.

So we explored other options, including brief trial run on Bluehost courtesy of my brother's account there. That didn't work either due to some issues with the way they configure their file system.

So we went over to Media Temple and bought a Dedicated Virtual package there (so I realize this isn't a totally fair apples to apples). While we didn't really need performance-based features of the DV package, but rather we needed it in order to host a lot of sites and DBs (meaning I run a lot of small sites each requiring own DB).

The change in performance since MT migration has been extraordinary. Google Webmaster regularly flagged one or all of my sites for slow pages loads (which hurt my google SERP placement). Since the MT switchover, not a single complaint from Google. And for users, page loads are noticeably and consistently faster.

I tried to attach a screenshot here of my Webmaster account which vividly shows the change once on MT. If you want to see that graphic, please visit: http://www.callingguides.com/review-media-temple-rocks-dreamhost-does-not. Screenshot pulled 9/17/08, about a month after switch to MT in 3rd week of August, 2008. The timing of changeover is obvious in the graphic.

As mentioned, I realize that above comments are not totally fair in that DH was a shared hosting plan and MT is a dedicated virtual plan. But I guess the point is that DH, while 'cheaper', was a poor use of money - their service basically did not deliver acceptable performance, so the money was effectively wasted. As well, many people may achieve similar performance gains while using the MT shared hosting option. MT shared hosting is still more than DH, but on a performance basis, the increased cost is well worth it.

If anyone reading this is interested to try Media Temple, I would be grateful if you would use me as a reference by citing CallingGuides.com in the Referral Domain field during sign up. Or use this link which pre-populates that field.

Media Temple hosting service


Many thanks. Please let me know if any questions.

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