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Hosting Made for PHP Developers

Out Of Date Warning

Languages change. Perspectives are different. Ideas move on. This article was published on November 11, 2008 which is more than two years ago. It may be out of date. You should verify that technical information in this article is still current before relying upon it for your own purposes.

NOTE: I no longer feel strongly that Slicehost is a good provider. I presently use ServerGrove for my hosting. This post remains as an archived piece, but no longer reflects my views.

A few months ago I switched over to Slicehost for web hosting. I have to say, I don’t think I could have made a better choice.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but what I got was pretty amazing. Slicehost works by offering virtual servers for each account – that is, for each account they offer, you get your own box.

They don’t give you a whole lot to start with. The box is a clean, basic installation of your chosen operating system (they offer Ubuntu Hardy or Intrepid, Gentoo, Fedora, Debian, CentOS, and Arch). You’re responsible for putting anything on it you want.

And that’s where the fun starts: you really can put anything you want on it.

Need a database server? No problem. Want a web server? Go for it. You can build a full LAMP stack or create a load-balanced full server setup yourself, from scrach, with whatever settings you want. You can create a VPN server, a file server, an Subversion server…if it runs on Linux you can run it on Slicehost. Period.

And it all starts at $20 a month.

I’ve got four slices under management for a number of clients, as well as for BrandonSavage.net and I’ve got to say I’ve never been happier. Upgrades happen when I want, I have full root access, and I get to decide how to build my server.

Sure, it’s not for everyone. You’ve got to enjoy managing a server, and be willing to shell out some money for some of the higher-end options (a 512 MB server runs you $38/mo and a 1GB server is $70/mo). But, given the other options out there, Slicehost has served me well, and it will serve you well too.

Tell ‘em I sent you.

Note: I am not an employee nor do I get a kickback from Slicehost of any kind for my review. Though they offer an affiliate program, it only applies if you provide a contact’s email address.

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Brandon Savage (@brandonsavage) wrote at 11/19/2008 11:47 am:

The specs are a bit better. My draw to Slicehost was I’m a developer, not a sysadmin, so I didn’t have a whole lot of experience. Their customer service was fantastic. I might switch clients over to yours in the future.

At any rate thanks for the feedback! I do appreciate hearing about new options.

eno wrote at 11/19/2008 11:28 pm:

I looked at Slicehost but ultimately decided to stay with Linode. I, too, am a developer mostly these days but I have plenty of sys admin experience too. Linode have more options as far as distros go and their screen-based serial console and AJAX console is very cool.

You can also migrate your virtual servers to any of their data centers, so having redundant servers on the east and west coast is easy.

Brandon Savage (@brandonsavage) wrote at 11/20/2008 3:53 pm:

That is a particularly cool feature…worth considering for my higher traffic sites.