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Webfaction, Hosting that Sucks

Webfaction, Hosting that Sucks

After 10 months of hosting Archon Digital with these guys, I’d have to say Webfaction Sucks because I cannot find anything negative to say about it. Go ahead and try to Google that keyword “Webfaction Sucks” as you’d find almost nothing negative being said about my current web host. That in itself is pretty self-explanatory and if you would try searching for “Bluehost Sucks” or “Dreamhost Sucks” or for any other host you’d find thousands of complaints from unhappy customers.

Not all hosting companies are perfect and the biggest problem I had with Webfaction, which lasted for a few days, was a routing issue I had where I could not connect via FTP to Webfaction’s data center (The Planet). It turns out my ISP was to blame for the routing problems. Which I believe got fixed when I sent e-mails directly to their engineers after doing a whois on the IP addresses and sending e-mails to the technical people concerned. Thank you tech guys at Smart for getting this sorted out as it would never have gotten sorted under normal circumstances. Again throughout this ordeal Webfaction’s support staff supported me all the way. This is even after the fact that they were aware that my problems were an external issue not related to them.

Another thing that makes Webfaction suck less than other hosting companies is that they are using a combination of Nginx and Apache, which for a year I was attempting to do by myself when Archon Digital was still under Slicehost. Moving Archon Digital to Webfaction took out the burden and stress of running my own bare server at a much lower cost and still achieve the configuration (nginx-apache) that I’ve always wanted to implement. Webfaction serves static content using Nginx and dynamic content using Apache. If you combine that with W3 Total Cache or WP Supercache where your content gets served by super fast Nginx as static content, you’d end up with a pretty fast loading site.

You can take a tour of Webfaction by watching the video clip below.

YouTube Preview Image

The control panel is different from the cpanel that is commonly found with shared hosting and it does take a bit of getting used to when you’re new to it. Following a few short tutorials anyone serious about hosting their site would be up to speed with the ins and outs of Webfaction’s control panel. There is no fantastico, which I never really cared to bother with before, but Webfaction has its own app installer which is pretty straightforward and easy to use.

Adding additional domains, applications, websites and tinkering with DNS overrides for MX records and TXT or CNAME changes is very easy and to the point. Those who are into getting their hands dirty can login via SSH and code away as if they are on a VPS account.

Servers are not full to the brim and Webfaction gives you the option of charging you for overages in case you go over your bandwidth limit. Most shared hosting companies would rather take down your account under such circumstances.

Lousy web hosts make more money off smaller hosting accounts which have low-traffic blogs that don’t ever get too much bandwidth usage. Webfaction sucks as it does not promise you unlimited this or unlimited that and it clearly defines what it offers without any surprises in fine print. They even provide a 60-day money-back guarantee if in case you are not satisfied at all.

Now if you are convinced that Webfaction doesn’t suck at all and would wish to sign up and help me out in the process, you can follow the affiliate link and help Archon Digital complete his goal of World Domination.

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Blame it on my ISP! Smart Bro

Blame it on my ISP! Smart Bro

It always made perfect sense to put the blame on my ISP every single time some problem comes up with my internet connection. The logic behind it is very simple, aside from our politicians, I don’t see anyone else better to blame than my Internet Service Provider,  Smart Bro. Read More »

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Firefox 3 Beta 4

Firefox 3 Beta 4

Just this morning I installed the latest beta from Mozilla Firefox. This is the first time I am installing the beta to give it a road test. Since I first started using it, I immediately noticed how faster the beta is as compared to the current version and it appears to not consume too much memory.

Here is a brief review some of the good points that Firefox 3 has to offer.

UPDATE 2008/06/18: Firefox 3 has been officially launched.

The following were observations made while using Firefox 3 for the first time. I refrained from writing about all the other technicalities as I saw that these were enough to convince me to switch from Firefox 2.

User Interface

It now gives you the ability to zoom the entire page or just the text, along with the much important quick reset shortcut (Ctrl+0). You wouldn’t believe how important this is to me when reading very tiny text used by some bloggers.

Smart Bookmarks.

A location bar and auto-bookmarker that is algorithm based, which provides better matches against your history and bookmarks for URLs and page titles. This makes surfing much more convenient for me.

Plenty of Performance Improvements

From what I read in the release notes, changes to the JavaScript engine and a profile guided optimization resulted in a dramatic improvement over the previous releases particularly when using web applications such as Google Mail, Google Apps and Zoho. I fired up my Google Apps and opened a few other sites and got convinced that indeed the new features are for real.

Improvements on memory usage was a big plus to me. I observed that Firefox 3 seems to actively cut usage of RAM whenever I it is idle. I kept task manager open for a while where I was able to observe how Firefox 3 drastically reduces the amount of memory being consumed when browsing.

Here is a full screenshot of how much memory it consumes while dropping on Entrecard.

Firefox 3 Beta 4
On this screenshot, I have three windows open, one for regular surfing and admin tasks (8 tabs), for dropping on Entrecard (9 tabs), iTunes (playing Richard Cheese) and my trusty ole’ Photoshop with it’s own set of open tasks. Before this same set of apps amounted to almost 380MB of RAM on Firefox 2. Version 3 uses only 123MB of RAM. Take note that I am not on a fast system (like in the office) as this is just the regular PC I let everyone else use at home.

Add-ons

Unfortunately, not everyone on my list of add-ons like Alexa’s Sparky, Google Toolbar and Linky were compatible with the latest beta. I felt a sign of relief as I was able to retain Web Developer toolbar, Fireshot and Stylish which are essential tools in my daily tasks.

Summary

The entire experience led me to realize that I was wasting too much of my resources on Firefox 2. Safari may seem faster than Firefox 2, but I don’t really think that Apple’s engineers were able to make it a very secure browser for Windows users.

I am not much of a GUI person when working on Windows and I keep every piece of eyecandy disabled and work with as minimum resources as possible. Anyway, there’s always the Mac Pro at work to give me all the Eyecandy I crave for.

This Firefox user (not much love for IE) can’t wait until the stable version is released.

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Posted in Browsers | Also tagged , , | Comments closed

Online at Home with Smart Bro

Online at Home with Smart Bro

Just had wireless internet installed at home. This means we’d be able to log on a lot more often and update the site. I am also about to re-design this site and you’ll see more of that in the next few weeks as I now have more time to be online. Read More »

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Posted in Internet | Also tagged , , | Comments closed
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