My webhosting company and I have always been a committed pair, but now gypsy jazz has me all hot and bothered, and wondering what I’m missing.
Pair.com has been there for me for for almost a decade. They host all of our personal websites & e-mail. There have been a few rough patches, but overall, they’ve been very solid. I’ve considered looking elsewhere save some money, but as Anthony pointed out, it seems foolish to turn away from a good thing.
The thing about Pair is that they are very conservative. They are still running Apache 1.3.x, PHP4.1 & MySQL4.1. They don’t offer one touch installs of anything, and no dice on running anything that requires a long running process, like Django, or Ruby on Rails. This was fine with me for a long time, but now I’m getting itchy.
I want to set up a “planet” (a site that aggregates and republishes selected RSS feeds), and I haven’t been thrilled with the PHP options I’ve found. I played with using Drupal tonight, but I don’t like the behavior of either the built in aggregator, or the third-party module I tried. The built in aggregator doesn’t preserve authors or categories on imported RSS items. Leech, the third party module I tried, doesn’t preserve authors, and while it is supposed to preserve categories, I couldn’t figure out how to get it to work. I’ve also considered WordPress (which I use to publish this blog) + a 3rd party feed aggregator plug-in that to preserve both categories and authors, but I would have to hack to get it to display just an excerprt of full-text feeds .
That led me to Feedjack, which is built using Django. Feedjack already appears to do everything I want and if it doesn’t I already know enough about both Django and the Universal Feed Parser to customize things to my liking. Plus, having someplace I can deploy Django apps also eliminates a hurdle to finishing (and starting) another little project I’ve been toying with.
Right now I’m considering A Small Orange and Web Faction. A Small Orange (ASO) seems to have a decent reputation and they represent the cheapest cost of entry. They have a plan that can apparently run Django for as little as $25 a year. Web Faction starts at $9.50 a month (with discounts for paying for one or two years at a time), but they offer 2x the storage and almost 10x the bandwidth of the $10 plan at ASO. Plus they offer Postgres in addition to MySQL, and will let you run memcached in addition to Django on their base plan.
All this has me wondering about my commitment to Pair. I could run my wordpress blogs just fine on ASO or Webfaction. I could even migrate my e-mail over. We’ll see, but what I might do is leave my e-mail on Pair, because reliable e-mail is really important to me, and downgrade to their cheapest plan.