WebFaction is great

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Shameless plug alert!

After becoming completely fed up with GoDaddy and its complete lack of options for “power users” (if you can call my web dabblings that), I sent them some angry feedback (I wish I’d saved it, it was quite good), cancelled my hosting, and decided to look for alternates.

Having recently started dabbling in Django, a key factor in my search was that the hosting should support running Django applications (something which GoDaddy failed at, incidentally). It didn’t take long for me to stumble across WebFaction. Their plans, while slightly more expensive than GoDaddy’s (in the order of ~$2 more per month), appeared to offer far more than I was getting with my old hosting.

And so I elected to sign up and give them a shot! And so far it’s not a decision that I regret in the slightest! Some reasons I like WebFaction:

  • Their control panel is actually usable, does exactly what you’d expect of it, and offers a great level of control. Setting up new domains and “applications” (the name WebFaction gives to individual server daemons) is completely intuitive, I could jump straight in and set up everything that I needed.
  • The data and bandwidth allowances are well and truly enough for the couple low-volume websites that I run. Performance is fine (aside from the odd hiccup, pages are generally very fast to load).
  • It might as well be a VPS for the freedoms they give you; you can create as many shell accounts as you want, and install/run what you like on them from your home directory. You’re only limited by memory. The configurability that having shell access affords, is of course invaluable.
  • One-click installers for applications and databases had my Django instance up and running in around 10 minutes. That’s pretty much unprecedented, it took significantly longer for me on my own development machine to manually configure Python/Apache/etc.

All in all, if you’re a power user, and you’re prepared to pay the extra $1-2 over budget hosting, you won’t regret it!