I have divorced Hostgator without chance of ever coming back. A relationship of 13 years is over and no, we are not getting back together. It is over. I am now dating MediaTemple.
I have used several hosting providers over the last 20 years. I have been with Godaddy, Pressable, Page.ly, Hostgator and now MediaTemple. This is not to mention that my undergrad is in computer science with an emphasis on networking. I know what to expect is what I am saying.
The first issue that someone has to overcome is that there is no migration service. It has become standard today for web hosting companies to offer free or low cost migration to their company as part of the sign up process. This is not true with MediaTemple. They want $150 per website. I have a total of 12 websites so that is like $1,800 to move. That alone will make people think twice.
Besides that, you have the typical stuff of getting a new hosting provider. You have to sign up and then they want you to email them a copy of the credit card and passport to make sure you really was the one doing the order. This is standard for all the hosting providers though.
Where my MediaTemple Challenge begins
I saved myself $1,800 by moving the websites myself using a WordPress plugin that is free called Duplicator. It does take a little work to use but it is well worth it if you are moving WordPress websites.
The challenge started when I was trying to find where some basic things are on the dashboard. It is not very friendly at all and it was just hard to find things. In fact, a few important functions that would normally be there just is not there at all.
After a lot of fighting with it, I did not get it all figured out and did get the websites loaded. It took a lot of google searches and some Youtube tutorials to find things. I would really feel sorry for someone that is not a person with a computer science background trying to move to MediaTemple!
One website is not WordPress so I had to move the files themselves. I load it to MediaTemple using their confusing file manager only to figure out there is no way to extract the files. I will have to re-load them via FTP again soon.
Setting the email account for the websites was not easy, either. It was more finding hidden pages and you have to actually turn on email ability at another hard to find page into the dashboard as well. What should have been a 5 minute job became a little over an hour thing.
I am not saying that everything has to be so easy my 84 year old grandma can do it. I am not even saying that everything has to be done using Cpanel (the standard for web hosting). I am just saying they are not user friendly and basically moving to MediaTemple is a pain in the @$$.
What about using their Support?
They do have it and it is free (surprisingly). They charge for every little thing but did not go the Applecare way of paid support. The problem is the support is worthless. Every answer is something that is completely unhelpful or just a link to some community tutorial. I question the support is really the blonde girl from the American Pie movie like she looked. It is probably just a script giving automated responses.
This is not to mention the chat kept getting disconnected and having to start them over. In the few chats I had with them, I got nowhere of value and it seems they are people hired from the local village in Pune, India or from the basketball court in the local villages of Manila, Philippines. Little to no technical expertise to speak of!
To be fair, I have not used their phone support (which should be American) because they have to fill out a form and they will call you. I do not know when I would have time to just sit and wait for them to buzz me. This is especially true when I am traveling. I can not speak of their support in that area but if you can, let me know.
A look at their “statement of support” lets you know of the things they won’t help you with. In that list are some really basic things that someone that is not a programmer might ask help for. These include applications installed (WordPress included), SSL certificates, email configuration, data backups, name servers, and browser compatibility.
My Initial Impressions could be wrong
Out the gate, the company has made me some what jaded about their service. It could be because they are owned by Godaddy, the world’s worst web hosting provider. The services that they offer and the services that have put behind a payment is really silly. The industry is moving toward offering more services for free, not making more services for payment.
To be honest, I felt very much on my own setting up everything on their servers. I got no real help from their support and I have to lean on my background in networking and of course Youtube to make it happen. This would not be good for my grandma just trying to upload her website about cooking classics from the farm. (She really does not have a website but you get the point!)
As I see it, MediaTemple is not a cheap hosting company. They are a premium service but the support and the backend is not premium at all. Once you get into the $20 a month for a basic plan range, the expectations of the provider have rose quite a bit as well.
I will do an updated article in a month about what has been my experience and if I am staying with them for a while. As it looks now, I will be looking towards WP Engine come this time next month.