We lasted nine months. That's right, for nine months we hosted our Drupal site with a shared hosting account. Last January, I knew we were taking a gamble but the monthly cost savings for hosting the site was just too tempting. In this end though, CMS Report was too busy and exceeded the shared hosting provider's CPU usage policy.
So, during the past few days I've been busy moving the site onto a Virtual Private/Dedicated Server. This time, I'm going with GoDaddy but as far as self-managed VPS/VDS goes there are a lot of good companies you can go with. Although I can do Web server administration in my sleep, I think I'm going to miss having someone else doing the server management for me. I know there are better hosting options for professional Drupal sites but I don't think I'm in need for a high-end hosting plan for this amateur site of mine.
One of the common mistakes website owners make is not recognizing the growth of their site. We all try to do things as cheap as possible and often fail to recognize the increasing size of our content management system or the increasing popularity of our site. In the Fall of 2007 I made this mistake. The hosting provider locked access to my site and I spent a stressful week getting my database from the hosting company and placed onto a new server.
This time around I'm happy to report that no disaster occurred. Although the shared hosting provider, AN Hosting/MidPhase, did lock my account out for a few hours they were professional and treated me professionally. Once contacted, in a matter of minutes they brought my site back online and trusted me to remedy the solution. After the second over CPU limit notice, I notified them that I would be taking my site off their server and they were very accommodating in helping me out while I transitioned onto the new server. I wish more shared hosting providers like AN Hosting recognized that just because their plans are cheap you don't have to treat your customers as such.
I tend to look at the bright side when change is required. Now that I'm back to hosting my site on a VPS...I have room to try new things. Can anyone say Drupal 7? Just as I did with Drupal 6, I plan to test Drupal 7 on CMSReport.com once it's the Beta / Release Candidate stage. When I say testing, I mean temporarily upgrading this site on the production server from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7. I'll of course do this on weekends and move back to Drupal 6 during the weekday. It's a nice way of showing the progress of Drupal 7 to others and one way to show how close Drupal 7 is ready for production.