And We’re Back With A New Host!

Why The Switch?

If you’re seeing this post than you’re viewing this blog from our new host, MediaTemple! For the past three years I have hosted this blog on Powweb’s service. They were an okay service, but a major issue was that whenever I would receive spikes in traffic, I would often see the site collapse and buckle under the heavy load.

I’ve been talking about making the switch for some time now, but the last straw came last week when we garnered major StumbleUpon traffic. In a span of two days, over 40,000+ unique visitors accessed the blog. That’s insane traffic and my host just couldn’t handle it. That site crashed twice and the blog had to be replaced with backups from the server. It’s a good thing that they (and I) had those back ups.

And so, with the recommendation of TCritic’s Karl Long, I decided to switch hosts from Powweb to MediaTemple. It costs twice as much to host at MediaTemple but I think it’s a fair trade-off for stability and speed. A major selling point for me is that MediaTemple is said to be able to handle intense bursts of web traffic quite efficiently and the WordPress database will automatically scale along with web traffic.

What Do I like So Far?

There’s a lot to like about MediaTemple.

  1. First thing that I noticed was that when I called Technical Support to help me set up a few things, the person that I spoke to was an English native speaker. Whenever I called Powweb technical support, I would get a non-native speaker which always complicated things.
  2. The MediaTemple knowledgebase was very useful in helping me accomplish the migration. Nearly every question I had could be answered by searching their knowledgebase.
  3. I already have noticed an reduction in load latency, meaning that the site is loading much faster than before. I will actually look at the load time statistics in the future to actually see the numbers, but so far it looks very promising.

What’s Next?

We’ll, host migration was the biggest thing that I’ve been wanting to check off my list of site improvements for the past year. Now that I’ve accomplished that, I will focus on:

  1. A new site design: the blog is starting to look a bit dated.
  2. More advertising opportunities: the single Project Wonderful ad isn’t cutting it for everyone. I’ve had various offers for ad placement over the last year and I think now is a good time tackle that issue.
  3. Implementation of categories: I’m quite good at tagging posts, but when it comes to categorizing posts, I suck! When the blog first started I blogged about a lot of other things than just T-Shirts. So instead of having different categories of T-Shirts (i.e. Humorous T-Shirts, Political T-Shirts, etc), I had just a generic T-Shirt category alongside more generic categories (i.e. Music, Movies, etc.). This obviously makes searching for specific categories of tees that much more difficult. This is the most tedious change because it will involve me editing each posts to classify the new category for that post.

So I guess now we wait to see what happens the next time one of my articles go viral on Stumpleupon, get ReTweeted like crazy on Twitter or gets posted on a major heavy traffic website. These will be the ultimate tests as to whether or not the switch was worth it.

In any case, I am pretty happy that I was able to do the host migration all by myself! I feel like a big boy now!

And what’s even more exciting than ALL of the above? MediaTemple has been known to send free T-Shirts to happy customers! Let’s see if MediaTemple will send me a tee!