Now served with Slicehost

If you’re reading this, then my website is now being served from 100% tasty Slicehost goodness.

For the past year, I’ve been using the most basic WebFaction plan for a few of my personal sites as well as several projects. WebFaction is known for its one-click installers, which make it super simple to get an instance of WordPress, Django, Trac/SVN, and a number of other web applications running in a matter of minutes. The downside and upside is that it’s managed hosting, however. WebFaction served my prior needs well but, about a month ago, I decided to make the switch to Slicehost to offer two opportunities: continuing practice with server administration and greater control over the entire stack when I need it.

Another awesome advantage to Slicehost is that their documentation is absolutely superb. I started out with a vanilla Ubuntu Karmic Koala instance, ran through all of the basic configuration and necessities, and installed Nginx in front of Apache in less than an hour. It’s not the first time I’ve set one up, but whomever writes their articles would make landing a space shuttle a walk in the park. The biggest hassle, and this is why it’s taken me a month to finish up, is just ensuring each site migration goes smoothly. Now that this is complete, though, I can go back to building out my website as my personal hub and, eventually, personal data repository.

If you’d like to purchase a sturdy yet flexible virtual private server, tell Slicehost I sent you.


Stijn Debrouwere May 19, 2010 Reply

Yep, I love Slicehost and their tutorials too, even though I’m now on Linode because of their London datacenter.

I would cut Apache out of the picture entirely though. Just use PHP-FPM, which is a FastCGI thingie that allows you to serve PHP straight from NGINX. Might be a bit harder to get going than simply running apt-get apache, but it’s more elegant and has less overhead.


Daniel Bachhuber May 19, 2010 Reply

Ah, yes, I’ve played with Linode before but just briefly.

Did you have any trouble getting WordPress or other PHP applications to work with FastCGI? I vague remember looking into doing that with a prior site but finding there were issues with it not being fully supported.

Stijn Debrouwere May 20, 2010 Reply

Nah, should be entirely equivalent — PHP is PHP after all. I’m running quite a few WordPress installs on PHP-FPM (and APC for a little speed boost). The main trouble could be that you may have to actually compile PHP yourself, which can sometimes mean hunting down obscure dependencies and apt-getting those. They’re planning on integrating PHP-FPM into the official PHP distribution, but afaik a few months ago that was still experimental.

Anyway, may not be worth the hassle if you’re only running small sites on your slice, but if you’re trying to improve your sysadmin chops and have some free time on your hands, it might be worth a try 🙂

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