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  1. #1

    Thumbs up KnownHost Review (Shared Host/Cpanel User's 1st Exp w/ Dedicated Hosting)

    Background
    My experience is like many, I started a blog on a shared host (Bluehost), did what I could to optimize, installed WP-Cache then WP-Supercache, enabled FASTCGI, used minimal plugins and hard coded as much content as possible. The first 8 monthes my traffic continued to increase until December when it reached the 3200-4500k visitors and 15k-25k page views a day. At which point 1-3 times daily my site would be down for five minutes due to CPU Exceeds. Did some research, reviewed the logs and it just looked like I had out grown that solution. Particularly considering traffic was only continuing to increase and as I looked over the Bluehost Forums, the admins approach was pretty abusive/snotty to anyone asking for advice/help. That was pretty much the nail in the coffin for me.

    I researched several websites with reviews including these forums. My budget nor does my current traffic justify a dedicated server. A managed VPS seemed to be best available solution

    Experience
    I chose KnownHost primarly due to the good reviews on this site and else where. Their offerings of bandwidth, etc seemed realistic rather than just for show. Because my site is primarly a photoblog and gallery I use a lot more bandwidth than a normal blog but I still looked at the offerings of other Hosts of 2000gb of transfer on a $50 VPS as a overally optimistic.

    Their website had several selling points that helped close the deal for me.

    • They detailed what their managed service include.
    • They had more than just 2 or 3 packages but included a nice range of packages for growth.
    • They actually listed the prices and options for extra memory, bandwidth as well overage costs.


    So on News Years Day I pulled the trigger thinking that it was a holiday and I might not hear back until the next day. Within an hour I was setup with a new server.

    I chose the DirectAdmin / VPS XXLca. Which included these features
    • CPU = equal share
    • Min RAM = 448 MB
    • Burst RAM = 1536 MB
    • Disk space = 25 GB
    • Bandwidth = 650 GB
    • Dedicated = IP 2


    I chose DirectAdmin because I knew I was not ready for going without one and it was recommended as being the lightest on resources. My prior experience with my prior three websites had all been cPanel. I tried the demo and looked at the manual and looked pretty straight forward. Needless to say there were growing pains as I had never actually had to set up a domain and name servers before. After the third try (nothing like having finished your website install to realize you mispelled your domain! Duh, rinse, wash, repeat).

    I have been a needy user, I have opened up 8 tickets since 1/1. Every ticket was responded to in less than an hour and generally resolved shortly after. Their support has been fast, polite and effecient. All of my support needs were caused by my own experience but all have been addressed with speed and professionalism.

    I am waiting on my domain registration to transfer (again the delay was caused by me and no KH). So I will follow up after a week or two of traffic.

    But so far the experience has been great and I would recommend them. They make a soft landplace for a shared host user looking to move up.

    Rating
    Support: 10/10
    Uptime: Too soon to rate
    Features: 10/10
    Price: 10/10 (great Xmas deal until 1/9)

    P.S. While typing this review I put in a ticket to have eAccelerator installed on my server and it was done before I finished typing this. I opened a ticket with Bluehost to change my name servers last night at about 9 PM, they made one reply for identification verificaiton, I replied right away and now over 12 hours later nothing has happened. I am on the phone now. What a difference.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    64
    I have been with Knownhost for over a year now and they have been excellent. Glad to see that they are continuing to be a great provider.
    Andrew Borntreger
    Champion of Cinematic Disasters
    The Bad Movie Website
    www.badmovies.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Romeo, MI
    Posts
    26
    Well, I had the same issues with BlueHost. But let me give you two quick fixes. Know this, "fastphp.ini" causes more problems than it's worth.

    First, you will do well to do a fresh install of wordpress when your site grows that much. Not sure why this is... but creating an archive, deleting the install and starting over cleaned up so much of my site. I went from consistently using 10-15% of the CPU to 1%. (Think it has something to do with errors in the mysql db)

    Second, with Bluehost you can chose to upgrade to a plan that allows CPU overloads. I did this as preventative maint for my site. (I get more traffic than your blog on my production site.)This was $20/month total... a lot cheaper than VPS.

    Adam

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,528
    Quote Originally Posted by mclanea View Post
    First, you will do well to do a fresh install of wordpress when your site grows that much. Not sure why this is... but creating an archive, deleting the install and starting over cleaned up so much of my site. I went from consistently using 10-15% of the CPU to 1%. (Think it has something to do with errors in the mysql db)
    Just a thought, shouldn't you just optimise the tables/database??
    Antonis Adamakos @ FuzzFree :: Fully Managed Web Hosting, Development, Online Marketing

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    82
    I have been with knownhost for nearly one year now - support,uptime are nothing short of excellent. Just around the same time that you went through your order I ordered another VPS with a custom php setup (php compiled with java support) and got it as requested.

    I put a presales question to half a dozen other respectable hosts - and even ordered, then already had to cancel at one reputable host, 'coz i didnt get it as promised and they said it is not 'advisable or not supported or cantbe done on a VPS!' then some have got back to me with their replies late. (I am now happy for their miss

    These guys are professional & know their business. Too good to be believed, until you try for yourself. And........... VPSes are blazing fast!.

    regards
    sridhar

  6. #6
    BlakkJaKK, Badmovies, indy500,

    Thank you very much for the kind words. I will pass this around to the team so they can see too. They all work hard and are quite talented so it is good to see it pays off. All of us at KH wish you all the best in 2008. We hope to continue to do even more business with you next year too. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    Regards,
    KH Sales
    KnownHost Managed VPS Specialists
    Toll Free: (866)-332-9894
    Follow us on Twitter: @KnownHost
    Fully Managed VPS, Hybrid, and Dedicated Servers

  7. #7
    Good news!

    Quote Originally Posted by mclanea View Post
    Well, I had the same issues with BlueHost. But let me give you two quick fixes. Know this, "fastphp.ini" causes more problems than it's worth.

    First, you will do well to do a fresh install of wordpress when your site grows that much...

    Second, with Bluehost you can chose to upgrade to a plan that allows CPU overloads. I did this as preventative maint for my site. (I get more traffic than your blog on my production site.)This was $20/month total... a lot cheaper than VPS.

    Adam
    Regarding, Bluehost, I found the first level of FASTCGI worked well but anything beyond that caused problems.

    I optimize my DB regularly so I don't think a fresh install would benifit me.

    I was aware of their high CPU service and opted not do it for two reasons:

    1) The generall attitude of their forum admins is very abusive to people looking for help on how to optimize. That is just not a way to conduct business

    2) At some point I will outgrow that service so I wanted more growth options.

    3) They're great as long as you never needed Tech Support help. In which case it is always a sit and wait afair. I found that support tickets are nearly useless (I sitll have two tickets form August they have never been closed).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Romeo, MI
    Posts
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by BlaKKJaKK View Post
    Good news!


    Regarding, Bluehost, I found the first level of FASTCGI worked well but anything beyond that caused problems.

    I optimize my DB regularly so I don't think a fresh install would benifit me.

    I was aware of their high CPU service and opted not do it for two reasons:

    1) The generall attitude of their forum admins is very abusive to people looking for help on how to optimize. That is just not a way to conduct business

    2) At some point I will outgrow that service so I wanted more growth options.

    3) They're great as long as you never needed Tech Support help. In which case it is always a sit and wait afair. I found that support tickets are nearly useless (I sitll have two tickets form August they have never been closed).
    I dunno, I've never seen a company offer more services for the money in hosting.

    - The forums, who cares if they are nice or snarky or whatever? If I were them I'd kill their forums as they aren't for support they are for community.

    - I agree with you about their ticket system. That's why I suggested calling instead. It's always well worth it.

    I've had nothing but good experiences with BlueHost. Sure... they've made some terrible mistakes on my account. But they always fix things, go above and beyond where other hosts go (in my experience) and have always been responsive to me.

    Adam

  9. #9
    Lovely, then I suggest your write a review for them under shared hosting rather than threadjacking my review.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Romeo, MI
    Posts
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by BlaKKJaKK View Post
    Lovely, then I suggest your write a review for them under shared hosting rather than threadjacking my review.
    Hijacking your thread or discussing your review?

    If you didn't want discussion for your review perhaps you should have requested the thread closed?

    What if your review represents things which aren't true? Is there no room for discussion? Hmph.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,915
    Welcome aboard BlaKKJaKK! We appreciate the business. Anything I can do for you just let me know.

    -Jay
    KnownHost Managed VPS Specialists
    Toll Free: (866)-332-9894
    Fully Managed VPS, Hybrid, and Dedicated Servers

    RocketVPS.com - Premium Unmanaged VPS Hosting

  12. #12

    Thumbs up

    NP. Been kicking the tires all week. A bit too soon to give a definitive update but I will definitely update after a few weeks have gone by but after almost week with first impressions now that traffic is flowing.

    1) For shared host users with no dedicated experience, if you need to move your domain at the same time as your host, I would recommend doing that part yourself. You will self correct your mistakes much faster.

    2) About 3 days before I got my domain pointed at the KH I got listed on a hi-traffic link site. So the old host was crashing 3 times daily. As soon as the domain pointed to KH it was all smooth. Even with an extra 1000-1200 visitors daily bring my currently daily total to 4k+ visitors, 20+ page views, 5.3gb transfer, this VPS is pure grease lighting. Even the Wordpress Admin Panel is zippy. When a page expires in WP-Supercache and needs to be rebuilt its only a fraction slower than when its loading from static pages.

    NOTE: One note on the comment above, the stock VPS wasn't that fast. But their service offers a free install of eAccelerator (Xchace wasn't listed). After that it was very fast. I took a notch up and I am also using Neosmart's plugin for eAccelerator on WP.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    82
    Quote Originally Posted by BlaKKJaKK View Post

    NOTE: One note on the comment above, the stock VPS wasn't that fast. But their service offers a free install of eAccelerator (Xchace wasn't listed). After that it was very fast. I took a notch up and I am also using Neosmart's plugin for eAccelerator on WP.
    I just had to send in a support ticket to get xCache installed. Done with in 10 min of my support ticket.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Dublin, California
    Posts
    238
    Great review. I'm glad you enjoy KnownHost's vps's.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by indy500 View Post
    I just had to send in a support ticket to get xCache installed. Done with in 10 min of my support ticket.
    Interesting, I didn't think to ask. I saw that eAccelerator installs were listd as a supported on their page the deatils what is included in their managed service.

    Good to know.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    410
    Excellent review, thanks! Sounds like you're in much better hands now

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    394
    I've had experience with Knownhost as well and have nothing else to say other than that they are an excellent company. Support is very friendly and fast

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,915
    Quote Originally Posted by PaytonDesigns View Post
    I've had experience with Knownhost as well and have nothing else to say other than that they are an excellent company. Support is very friendly and fast
    We appreciate the kind words. Thanks again.

    -Jay
    KnownHost Managed VPS Specialists
    Toll Free: (866)-332-9894
    Fully Managed VPS, Hybrid, and Dedicated Servers

    RocketVPS.com - Premium Unmanaged VPS Hosting

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