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A little behind-the-scenes of IFO. I started the Web site in 2003 after my son Devin urged me to support the growing community of Apple retail store enthusiasts in the San Francisco Bay Area, sparked by several stores openings. So I researched Web hosting and came up with Verio Inc. and their shared hosting plan. Well, it lasted about three months before my site's popularity prompted a phone call from Verio: Switch to a virtual private server and we'll waive the $800 in bandwidth charges you've racked up. Yikes! So I switched to their mid-range VPS plan, which was called Bronze-level back then, I believe. No bandwidth limit, 40 Gb disk space, 512 Mb memory, FreeBSD O/S. I had root access and could tweak and adjust the system—limited by my knowledge of Apache, MySQL, php, etc. Verio generally served me well for the next nine years. But my site was subject to wild swings in activity—there would be a few thousand pageviews a day, and then one specific story would generate nearly 10,000 pageviews within a few hours. And, as the pageviews spiked, so did my server, slowing down or even refusing to display pages. So all during 2012 I researched other Web hosts. I had used Media Temple to host a temporary site when I did my May 2011 anniversary road trip. I had heard lots of good stories from other Webmasters about Rackspace. After investigating these two and others, I finally pulled the trigger last October. I moved all my static HTML files to a new Rackspace Cloud Sites account, installed Wordpress, transferred the MySQL story database, and made DNS changes at Network Solutions. Now I'm using their Cloud Sites to host IFO and a second Web site, both at the same price as the original Verio IFO site. My bandwidth and disk space limits are much more than I need, and more to the point, I'm well within the "compute cycles" allocation, leaving room for future blockbuster stories and the traffic they might generate. Rackspace has been very responsive to my newbie questions about Cloud Sites, the system seems stable, and Google Analytics shows that Web page display times are about the same. Bottom line: It was a trouble-free transfer to modern technology that will carry IFO along for at least the next nine years. [P.S.–Verio has just got around to its Cloudn service, which isn't turnkey enough for me. I'm trying to work less on Web site management, and and focus more on the writing!]
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