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You may have seen the announcement on twitter (if not then shame on you, you should be following us). WebDevNews has moved to new hosting. As Xavisys Web Development (the company that owns/operates this site) has been growing, we’ve been trying to find just the right company to partner with in order to offer high quality hosting to our clients. Mosso Cloud Hosting is that company. We tried quite a few ranging from Bluehost to Host Gator to Rackspace. We were not looking for cheap hosting, we were looking for the best hosting we could find for our specific needs. While some were better than others, Mosso was the best.
In order to test out the hosting, we moved a couple sites to Mosso. We didn’t want to move any really big complex sites, but didn’t exactly want to test with my wife’s blog either. Instead, we moved both WebDevNews and Attackr. Both are WordPress (database driven) sites, and combined they average about 650 pageviews a day. While it’s not a lot of traffic, we thought it would give us a good idea of how Mosso would perform.
We hit a few snags along the way. The architecture of the Mosso cloud caused WP-Super-Cache (a popular WordPress plugin) to fail. Believe it or not, I was pretty happy about that. See, sometimes you go months without any problems on a host and by the time you have a problem you’re already pretty committed to using them (all your sites are there, etc). The truth is, you will eventually have problems, and I wanted to see how they handled it. I contacted them via the live support chat link in my admin section and got a person within seconds (this seems to be pretty average there). A ticket was filed and they went to work on it. I worked with them, testing, allowing them to modify my .htaccess, etc. As it turned out, there were actually a couple problems. The first was a problem with the rewrite rules and the second was a problem with cleaning up the files. Both are now fixed, and the technicians really went above and beyond in order to fix the problem. I even got calls from them with updates!
While the two sites aren’t huge, they aren’t small either. According to the statistics I could host roughly 18 similar sites for the base rate of $100/month before I would need to start paying overages. Considering the network they offer and the quality of their service, that’s an amazing price!
Sounds like it’s all roses right? Well, there are some drawbacks. For one, they don’t offer Java/Tomcat or ColdFusion. I don’t use those, so that didn’t bother me at all (and they do offer Windows or Linux, PHP, ASP, .Net, Perl, Python, etc). However, I use SSH constantly, and they don’t offer that. I’m adjusting. The best things about SSH is that I could use wget to pull files directly to the server and then uncompress them quickly. For now I’m settling for uploading the file via FTP and uncompressing with their admin panel. Now if they could just find a way to let me use wget!
So in the end, why did we choose them? First and foremost is their service. Of all the companies we tried, Rackspace and Mosso (a wholly owned Rackspace subsidiary) had the best service by far. With Rackspace a human answers the phone and immediately puts you through to a knowledgeable technician. With Mosso, you get a recording and have to press 1 to get a technician. While I’d rather have a human answer the phone, at least you can get through to a knowledgeable person in seconds.
Second, they have great reliability. I’ve worked with Rackspace for a while now, and I know their data-centers are extremely reliable. Since Mosso uses those same data-centers, they get the same great reliability and connectivity.
Additionally, they scale very easily. With Rackspace, you need to scale in chunks, adding a new server each time. With Mosso we can scale smoothly, which is more cost-effective.
Lastly, they offer some nice little extras. For a little extra per customer per month, they will extend their 24×7 support to my clients. We don’t want to be a hosting company, we just want to be able offer reliable hosting to our clients that need it. Additionally, if you aren’t set up to take recurring payments (or maybe you don’t even accept credit card?!?), they will bill your clients and deposit the money into your account.
If you’re looking for high-quality hosting, either for your sites or to offer to your clients, take a look at Mosso Cloud Hosting. If you enter the code REF-XAVISYS when you sign up, you’ll get $100 off your second month!
WebDevNews is happy to announce the official launch of it’s new sister site, Get Free Web Designs. Get Free Web Designs, is the result of collaboration between the people behind Xavisys and Blogging Rock Star and offers high-quality open source templates completely free! You can find open source templates in a number of great designs, and use them to create professional web sites that stand alone or integrate with popular CMS platforms.
Get Free Web Designs, or GFWD, currently has 167 open source templates for free download available on the site, and they are all valid XHTML! The designs can be viewed by author as well as being searchable by validation (XHTML 1.0 Transitional, XHTML 1.0 Strict, XHTML 1.1), license (Public Domain, GNU GPL, Creative Commons), contrast, width (fixed or fluid), number of columns, and color. If you would like to get regular information on updates and the addition of new themes to the site, subscribe to the RSS feed at: http://feeds.feedburner.com/GFWD-Design-Feed.
GFWD is open to designers who would like to list their themes and templates on the site for hosting and download. It’s excellent exposure for new designers and it’s a great way for seasoned designers to give back to the community. If you would like to register to submit designs, visit the Get Free Web Designs Registration Page now to get started!
Thanks go out to Wolfram Fiedler for the amazing design which helps to truly showcase each of the designs submitted to the site. Also, Sean of Blogging Rockstar for the site layout, search engine optimization, and user interfaces, all of which I’m sure you’ll appreciate whether you are contributing designs, looking for designs, or both! Lastly, Aaron with Xavisys Web Development for the back end coding which allows the site to be responsive and reliable, allows the searching to be robust and intuitive, and also makes things like the statistics page possible.
We want Get Free Web Designs to be an amazing resource for you, so if you have any ideas or suggestions, please contact us. Also, stay tuned and watch the Get Free Web Designs blog! We’ll keep you updated as new features and functionality are added to the site.
Please feel free to check out the free XHTML and CSS designs on Get Free Web Designs. If you’re overwhelmed or aren’t sure where to start, hopefully some of these will help (pulled from the current statistics)