Archive for January, 2006

Moving to VPS

My company, Prise Design Group, is a Web development firm in Portland, Oregon. We’ve been maintaining our own servers in a colo in downtown Portland for many years now. However, as the sole server administrator, I’m tired of running them. Oh, and they’re windows boxes as well. Quite down everyone!
I’m wanting to move away from Windows for so many reasons (I won’t go into them here). But more importantly, I’m looking at VPS or Virtual Private Servers as the way for me. Why? Well 1) I want control but 2) don’t want to pay for a dedicated server. Enter VPS as a nice mid-way point.

So what about VPS hosts? There are a million of them. Here’s a just a few:

  • ProHosters
    Seemed like a good company. Reliable and whatnot, but I found better prices elsewhere.
  • unixshell
    Great feature list. Ability to install a different distro at the push of a button! Wow. Also you can take a “snapshot” image of your VPS and restore it in minutes. That’s nice if an upgrade goes awry. But they’re very hands-off and I have the feeling you’re on your own. I’m not there yet … maybe in a couple years.
  • BurstNet
    Looked good, but they’re in Pennsylvania. I also hate cPanel as it’s ugly as hell.
  • midPhase
    I wanted to sign up with these guys to test them out, but when you click order a page telling you “we’re not accepting orders due to high demand” pops up. That’s not good. I mean, better they not over sell it, but still.

    * Note: I’ve read way too many negative reports for these guys, so I’ve nixed them from the pool.
  • WestHost
    This one is the most promising. They’re, you guessed it, on the west side of the country (Utah) and they are a good size. An employee told me “40+” which isn’t too small or too big for my tastes. They have good prices and I’ve read mostly good things about their service and support.

The features I desire the most are:

  • Fair price
  • Mid-sized company
  • On the West coast
  • Good support

WestHost seems to provide those things for me. I looked at local Portland hosters and they are just too small to compete price-wise. Seattle faired a little better, but not much. I spoke via “Live Chat” to a couple people at WestHost last night and they were nice and helpful. They have a 30-day money back guarantee so I think I’ll give them a try.

Can anyone out there give me some advice?

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Macromedia Contribute, webdav, and SSI

Long story short: Contribute 3 destroys SSI directives when publishing via webdav. Can someone prove me wrong?

So I’m messing around with Macromedia Contribute 3 and webdav on my dev linux box. This is my first time using Contribute, and it’s my first time using webdav. The one-two punch of cluelessness. Since every Web site that’s more than 4 pages should use SSI, that’s what I was trying to do. Well, whenever I editted a page in Contribute that used includes strange things happened.

Contribute was pulling the contents of the SSI out, and plopping them in place of the SSI directive. Thus, breaking my SSIs by statically placing the data into the file I was editting. Needless to say, this pissed me off.

I read everywhere that Contribute and SSI do in fact get along. I’ll spare you the boring tales of all the things I tried in order to locate the issue. I thought perhaps webdav was the problem. I switched to using SFTP and *poof* that did it. I can now edit shtml files with Contribute. I hope this saved some others some grief!

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