Goodbye WPWebHost, hello LiquidWeb

First I apologize for underwhelming amount of posts lately and really poor blog performance. No thanks to my, now previous, hosting provider and no thanks to me being occupied with weather change headaches more than with my blog.

Anyway I spent last evening dragging blog to new host and here is overview of things of past and things to come in that department.


Quite a name in WordPress community by now, with massive marketing promotions and contests. As regular readers might remember my WordPress story won me two years free hosting with them and shortly after I moved there from my starter local hosting provider.

Now I feel like I cheerfully walked into minefield.

Right after moving I was badly hacked and from fallout it seems that server was compromised for weeks.That should have rung a warning bell.

After cleaning that up and some minor dumbfounding support experiences it got calm… Until winter. Which greeted my blog with extreme slowdowns, monthly downtimes and support failing at not even fixing, but even finding the issue.

It took two tickets, two months and pile of email constant Pingdom logs submissions (hours of downtime and even more of as bad slowdowns) to make host do something. By the end of February I was seriously pissed and burned out. Issue turned out to be WordPress-specific – loops of scheduler processes that exhausted server resources. Ironic or what?

While troubleshooting I also requested information on my resource consumption and turned out I was barely fitting in CPU quota (3.33%). With my modest amount of traffic this is crazy. Mild increase and I would get asked to cash in for expensive plan.

Overall WPWebHost seems like a nice cheerful bunch that loves WordPress.

Only caveat – as hosting provider they suck.


Choosing new host, while spiked on nerves, is no fun. I got through way more marketing bullshit and contradicting reviews and testimonials than I wanted to.

LiquidWeb caught my attention with good feedback from Ipstenu in thread about WordPress and hosting I started at WPTavern, confirmed by Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today and testimonials I googled up.

Absolutely most of it was variation of expensive, but worth it. As for me this is very practical praise that says a lot about company.

Their offer:

  • more expensive than average (starting at $15 a month for shared hosting);
  • quotas smaller than average (from 1GB space, 120GB bandwidth);
  • generous 15% CPU limit;
  • three own datacenters;
  • on-site US-based support;
  • extras like SFTP, SSH, shared SSL and free domain names included by default.

Order was smooth. I got confirmation call in minutes and had my setup instructions in under half of an hour. Responses on two support tickets, I opened so far, were pleasantly fast and very precise.

It gives good first impression, will see how it goes.


If you are reading this then your DNS had updated and you are looking at new host. There are some still missing pages and images here and there plus I need to redo optimization tweaks. Please tell if anything is not working as it should.

Other than that I will try to get back on track with posts flow.

Related Posts


  • kelltic #

    Looks like everything is working. Page came up quick and easy today. Of course, it is the 5th of March here, so I am looking at yesterday's blog but that is an old issue for me. Glad you survived and resolved your troubles :)
  • Rarst #

    @kelltic You are still getting issue with posts showing up delayed?? That is weird. Had you got decent browser yet? :) And how glad I am... It's a bliss coming home without dreadful feeling that blog is most probably down as it was they day before.
  • Vincent #

    Looks like your uptime is much worse than mine. WPWebHost did a pretty good job to attract new customers by sponsoring large design blogs, but they forgot that retaining their customers is equally important. Good luck on your new host. I'm pretty sure it will perform way better than WPWebHost. I'm just paying 10 bucks per month for HostGator and they deliver what they promised. 99.93% uptime at 632.41 ms response time, both are my best records (comparing to WPWebHost).
  • Rarst #

    @Vincent Yeah, server I was on had crazy bad performance for months. Uptime only tells part of the story. Page that takes two minutes to load doesn't show up as downtime but is just as unusable. Single failed query because of overloaded MySQL server can give visitor 404 instead of content. It would be hard to underperform that. :) I hope I will be able to stay with LiquidWeb for along and happy time, content with their shared hosting and moving on to their more serious plans if this blog grows to demand it. Internet teaches me too love free software and loathe free promotional services.
  • Vincent #

    If you need a feedback, your blog is now loading REAL fast from Malaysia :)
  • Rarst #

    @Vincent Which cost me evening of my life yesterday. :) I changed caching plugin to W3 total cache, redid compression setup (crazy issues as usual) and removed slideshow in header - it wasted even more resources on new host and it's time to let it go after all. Will need to code new featured area for new theme.
  • Vincent #

    What caching plugin you were using before this? I'm using WP Super Cache and am wondering if W3 total cache is a better choice. Would appreciate if you can review it :)
  • JeeMan #

    Funny, when your blog was slow to load (or not loading at all), I thought the problem was on my end; I thought it was my internet connection that was slow. But everything looks ok for now! So now that you've changed your host, when are you going to do that makeover you promised us? ;)
  • Rarst #

    @Vincent I had briefly tried Super Cache but chose Hyper Cache over it at that time - worked fine for me and was easier to set up. I like W3 Total Cache but it was bit of a pain to set up. It offers advanced functions so it all depends if you need them. If you only need page cache and nothing else then it will not be much different from every other cache plugin. @JeeMan We trust in sites stability too much... Being on other end of stick you see that they are hardly as reliable as they seem to visitors. New theme was promised by the end of second year. :) I still have all of spring and chunk of summer to work on it. For now it depends on how quickly will I be done with diploma project on programming courses, which I intend to do on vacation in April.
  • JeeMan #

    I totally agree, your diploma should come first. Good luck with that!
  • Rarst #

    @JeeMan My diploma topic is "Spam filtering extension for WordPress content management system" :) Might make a killer blog post. And I missed posts in two days again. :( It's not really about quantity but about being properly organized.
  • Jonny #

    Not sure where you get the time from Rarst! You own a time machine? I am posting around once a week at the mo which is terrible and no diploma.... :~)
  • BlueHost - WordPress Tavern Forum #

    [...] and walked out after half a year recently. I had posted writeup in WP and hosting topic and at my blog after I moved. Rarst.net - cynical thoughts on software and web (and sometimes WP) | [...]
  • Rarst #

    @Jonny It doesn't take much time to write a post. :) Kicking myself to do that is usually longer. What I lack is nice spans of few hours straight for more complex stuff. :(
  • Ishan@ILoveFreeSoftware #

    Oh man.. I am glad I came across this post. I was recently planning to move over to WPwebhost, because of your rave reviews earlier :) I guess I will stay away from them, look for something else.
  • Rarst #

    @Ishan Well, I was bit scared I was too rave about them in the past, but looking back I did say
    Will see how it goes over time, for now I am pleased with technical side and naturally even more pleased with it being free.
    Note that I strictly reserved my coverage to initial impressions at that time. I have strong CYA instincts. :) It's a pity - they have such a nice marketing for WP community. If only they were half that good with actual hosting. I won't be fast to make judgments on LiquidWeb, but at least they manage to keep blog up so far.
  • Ishan@ILoveFreeSoftware #

    Yea, I will take feedback about Liquidweb from you in a month or so. That will be the time I will decide about changing hosting. Did you think about MT? I think they also charge almost same as what Liquidweb is doing.
  • Rarst #

    @Ishan As in Media Temple? No first hand experience. Somehow every time I hear about them it is negative (poor performance, security issues, etc). I think that more complex virtualized hosting solutions are bit more than I need at moment. I think Freeware Genius is hosted with them, will ask Samer how it works for him.
  • Jason H #

    Oh yeah, stay away from MediaTemple. I just moved from there after being on for about 9 months, I couldn't wait the other 3 months. The downtime was atrocious. They had a debacle where they were storing passwords in plaintext in the database (which "may" have been accessed by someone malicious) so they changed everybody's passwords. It wasn't 3 days after I switched that they had another major incident that had many sites down for hours. I switched to WiredTree and am very pleased. http://www.wiredtree.com/282-7-1-24.html
  • Rarst #

    @Jason Thanks for providing hands-on info about that! And welcome to blog by the way. :) I see your posts at Freeware Genius all the time, but don't think I saw you dropping by here in the past. By the way is that affiliate link (looks like one)? I don't mind (mostly) but I'd appreciate disclosure of such.
  • Jason H #

    Oh yeah, that's the affiliate link. I just grabbed the one from my site as the quickest way. www.wiredtree.com if you want non-affiliated.
  • Jason H #

    Long time reader, first time writer. I just put your link into my blogroll today. :) Cheers!
  • Rarst #

    @Jason No problem with link, just so we are clear for other readers. Glad to have you and it's always a pleasure to have long time reader un-lurk and comment. :)
  • Ryan #

    Looks good. It seems to be loading much faster on our side. My friend also said that liquidweb has faster servers than wpwebhost. Good luck!
  • Rarst #

    @Ryan Actually as for raw server power wpwebhost packs more (8 cores vs 2, etc). Another issue entirely that they aren't capable of properly monitoring and supporting their servers. Which LiquidWeb is excellent at so far.
  • Chandra Wijaya #

    WpWebHost really suck these days. Dont know what happen with that host, these 3 days, my sites on their semi dedicated server always down. Really is there any good hosting out there?
  • Rarst #

    @Chandra Wijaya Well, shared will always have its limitations. And WpWebHost's semi-dedicated is just a fancy and misleading name for less crowded sharing server. By the way I vaguely remember it was 10 accounts per server in the past, but now it became 20-30 according to their specs. Everyone who needs seriously reliable hosting moves on to VPS or dedicated servers sooner or later.
  • Chandra Wijaya #

    @Rarst Do you have any recommendation of good VPS or dedicated servers with "affordable" price? I am sick of every time their host down.
  • Rarst #

    @Chandra Wijaya Well, since I am still on shared I am not highly qualified to make recommendations for those. LiquidWeb has plenty of VPS and dedicated options between their core offers and newer StormOnDemand project. Try to start from there and then look around, considering your hardware needs and budget.
  • JenniferP #

    @Rarst Do you only host this domain? If not, what does LiquidWeb offer for a control panel? I am using Innohosting Reseller edition (non-vps), and to be honest, I am ready to spur for a VPS somewhere. $15 a month seems close to what I am paying now without a VPS. One thing I will miss with Innohosting is their discount Domains and they make them private for free (godaddy charges 10 bucks a year).
  • Rarst #

    @JenniferP Yep, only one site (for now). Control panel is cpanel (with a lot of customization, not a generic drop-in with all defaults). I am not sure I understand you right, but $15 is not VPS it is shared. LiquidWeb prices for VPS start at ~$60 as far as I remember.
  • Loy #

    WP Web Host is suffering from a lot of downtime nowadays. Almost everyday, my sites go down for about an hour or so. I'm now thinking of moving to another web hosting company.
  • Rarst #

    @Loy Sorry to hear that. I wish you to find a good host, it saves a lot of nerves when you are confident your site is sufficiently stable and you can get solid support when you need it.
  • Loy #

    @Rarst I'm going back to Hostgator. Never mind if I have to pay extra, as long as my sites don't go down several times each day for a few hours. This sucks so bad. I have 9 websites on this shared hosting account. They're only using little resources since most of them are static sites and my sites only have a few hundred visitors a day in total. I still have about 3 months left before my hosting expires. I'm not going to renew, even if they offer me a 99% discount.
  • Rarst #

    @Loy Hadn't used Hostgator myself, but out of larger hosting companies they seem to have mostly positive feedback. Myself I am still on LiquidWeb shared. Really want to try out their VPS, but traffic is not large enough to bother with that. :)