The very fact that you’re reading this means that the site is now live on a server operated by Lightning Base. In the past I’ve used a shared host and couple of different VPS providers. In point of fact the site was at UnmeteredVPS.net for over two years.
I have nothing but nice things to say about UnmeteredVPS.net. That service is excellent, but it wasn’t exactly a perfect fit. It was an unmanaged VPS, which meant that I was responsible for everything.
Every few weeks I would need to update some aspect of the OS or supporting software. Some updates were trivial. Some, like major Apache or MySQL updates, were a bit scary. Despite five years running this site I’m no Linux guru.
Still, for over two years the site ran in the CentOS VPS at UnmeteredVPS.net and I took care of things. The experience was pretty good, but there was some down-time and I wasn’t always able to determine why.
If I was to move the site again my plan was to move it to a managed host, off-loading the admin tasks to someone who truly knew that game. Then a few months ago I stumbled upon Lightning Base, a small relatively new company dedicated to providing managed WordPress hosting.
Beyond merely being WordPress-specific, Lightning Base is interesting because of the hardware architecture that they have developed. They offer semi-virtualized WordPress installations on hardware that leverages RAID 10 arrays of solid state disk storage (SSD) for performance. They also provide a global content delivery network (CDN) at no extra charge.
A managed service, they handle all the software updates, file system backups and other tasks that were becoming a distraction to me. It’s a lot less DIY. Better yet, they do this very affordably.
I Googled around for references about the company. The company is young so there wasn’t much to find. What I did read was all positive. So, faced with upgrading to WordPress v3.5 and thinking that it would nice for an experienced system admin to “have my back,” I decided to move the site to Lightning Base.
While Lightning Base is head-quartered near Minneapolis MN, I’m told that the my site is running from a co-location facility in Las Vegas, NV. They have also established a presence in Frankfurt Germany.
The company offers to perform site migration for new customers.Once my account was established I was contacted by Chris Piepho, the founder of the company, who offered to get the process underway. That was nice, since I’d done that move several times myself, but it’s been a while and I was already pretty busy at work.
Within 24 hours he sent instructions for the DNS changes that would take the new server live. I made those changes the evening of Sunday, December 16th. Once the site has been live for a couple of days I’ll go about making the changes necessary to leverage the CDN offering.
I see that SSD-based VPS are fast becoming the new fashion in hosting. That’s nice, but using a managed hosting solution I look forward to fewer distractions arising from the technology, which ultimately means more time to devote to content.