I recently moved hosts away from my dedicated server which served me well for over a year. The reason for moving from the power house of a dedicated box was simple, I no longer needed that kind of power.
When looking for a new host I decided to give Media Temple a try, I heard a read a lot of mixed reviews about them. Some people I know and trust swear by them and others say they are over priced and not worth it. I been with a number of hosts over the years so what was the harm in trying them out with a few of my smaller sites and a development domain I use when building sites for clients.
After been with Media Temple for 6 months now I decided it was time to move everything over to “The Grid” and shut down my dedicated box. That was when I really noticed the power of the Media Temple grid service.
It wasn’t until I moved some of my bigger, more important sites like this one and some large clients that I realised with a properly optimised site Media Temple’s Grid was faster then my dedicated box in terms of page load times. Now this is probably to do with a number of things that The Grid does differently like SSD based MySQL servers and the power of clustering. I have not looked into this in enough detail to say for sure but it is a definite improvement.
As for support this is an area hotly debated in other reviews online and I have to say my experience is one of the best, if you call them, live chat or bounce them a tweet with in 20 minutes you have an answer and a solution in place. I had a problem adding some new .UK domains to my account because the control panel doesn’t support all of the new TLDs released recently. It only took me 5 mins on chat with support to get these added to my account.
Now Media Temple are not the cheapest shared host around running at $20 a month for 100 domains (inc subdomains) 100GB of disk space and 1TB of bandwidth but I have found the servers are not overloaded and you always get really good and constant performance. Which as a freelance web developer that charges for hosting I need to be able to promise my clients good performance at a low price and Media Temple have given me the confidence to offer that without the expense of my own dedicated server.
If you have used any type of shared hosting in the past you may know a lot of companies doesn’t like you storing non-essential files like zipped site backups on their servers or running large databases (often as small as 500MB). Media Temple are very flexible on this, you pay for 100GB of disk space and you can use that however you like. I currently have over 2 GB of backups stored in zip files (also copied to Amazon S3 for off site redundancy) and a database currently pushing up on 10GB and after speaking with support before moving that site over they really don’t mind.
Now moving a 10GB database is going to be difficult when phpMyAdmin on Media Temple only allows 10MiB uploads, but this was not a problem it took 1 live chat with support and then kindly exported the database on my dedicated server and imported on to their servers for me at no charge.
I had been with Hostgator in the past and loved them, only having to move to a dedicated box when a large ecommerce platform I built almost brought Hostgator to their knees. Now that site is no longer online however I decided to upload a copy to Media Temple to see how they performed I have to say they handled it very well. The only thing that would stop that site been hosted on The Grid is GPUs.
So what at GPUs, Media Temple call these Grid Processing Units. It is a way of measuring how much of The Grid you are using and you get 2000 GPUs a month included for your $20 and additional units are charged at $0.10 each. This keeps The Grid usable by everyone and ensures 1 person is not abusing the service and effecting others on The Grid.
During my testing with The Clearance Zone I use using about 2GPUs an hour. although I would not of gone over 2000 in a month at this rate however I was the only person using the site (standard uploading products, monitoring a few real time auctions typical daily stuff we saw when the site was live in it’s full form) This is the type of site that is not suitable for shared hosting I know however this is the type of stuff I would normally develop on my shared environment before moving to a dedicated server closer to launch. With Media Temple I do have the ability to do that and not have them shout at me as Hostgator did.
if you host more then 100 sites as I do then you can purchase an additional grid package and manage both of them from the same account. This is something I like about Media Temple, they have limits stopping 1 person hosting 300 sites on 1 package slowing down everyone else’s sites.
So overall am I happy with Media Temple, yes. I can see them serving me well for the next couple of years at least I will be adding my second Grid package on there in the next few months as I continue to move all my sites over.
Update: For a limited time get your first months Media Temple hosting for just $5 with code “FALL5” at checkout