I recently migrated this site to Media Temple’s managed WordPress hosting plan. For a number of years I had been running a dedicated server through CoreNetworks, which I have been extremely happy with. More recently however I have come to realize I no longer have the need for dedicated server and began researching cheaper managed hosting alternatives, which brought me to Media Temple. Over the years I have heard a lot of good things about this company so when I found out about their WordPress plans, I decided to make the plunge and migrate carnaghan.com to its new home. So far my experiences have been relatively positive.
Hosting Features (Thumbs up)
Media Temple actually offer four managed WordPress hosting plans; Personal, Studio, Agency, and Enterprise. Because these plans are geared towards WordPress users, they come with a number of benefits including built in caching and optimization and a number of other features. Since I was just interested in hosting carnaghan.com and didn’t need any of the advanced features of their more feature-rich plans, I opted for the Personal plan, which costs $200 a year. For your $200 you get 30Gb of SSD storage, up to 400k monthly visitors (12.9k visitors per day) bandwidth. The personal plan also lets you host up to two WordPress sites.
Ease of Use (Thumbs up)
One of the nice things that struck me right away was their intuitive administration area for managing your WordPress sites. This was not only extremely easy to use on first visit, but it nicely integrates into other services such as Google Analytics, which displays visitor information directly in the admin screens. There is also a very nice set of features for managing your themes and other services purchased from Media Temple. Another plus is their easy-to-setup staging site functionality. From the administration area you can easily provision staging sites to test new features and site changes prior to deployment. This is a big plus when performing an major site enhancements, which you want to easily test ahead of time. If you are a cPanel or Plesk user, you may be disappointing with the lack of features, however I see this as a plus. I have used convoluted control panels for years and while they offer greater control, it somewhat defeats the purpose of ‘managed’ hosting, especially with regard to a focus on WordPress. For people who simple want to run a site and not get caught down in the details, this is a perfect setup.
Support (Thumbs down)
Media Temple offer a number of different support options including an online chat, ticketing system, support knowledge-base, and telephone support. Unfortunately my first few interactions have been less than impressive. I originally ordered an SSL certificate on April 30th and when I realized there seemed to be a problem with the verification system I submitted a chat session requesting help. It was quickly apparent the chat support person couldn’t help when they directed me to submit a support ticket. After I submitted a ticket, it took over 26 hours to receive a ‘canned’ response pointing me to instructions on how to order and manage an SSL certificate. It was obvious my original request wasn’t even read thoroughly. I received an apology for this, however I am still waiting for my certificate. Regardless of this, anything above a 24 hour wait time for support tickets should be unacceptable in this day and age. I am hoping this initial set of interactions are a one-off and that future contact with support will be more positive (and responsive). Overall though, with these types of plans, support contact should be at a minimum as you are given everything you need via their administration area and knowledge-base.
Media Temple = GoDaddy
One thing I found out after I had already signed up is that Media Temple = GoDaddy! This came to me as a surprise and I honestly think if I had known this before I would have passed by without even considering them for hosting. I won’t bore you with my rants about this company except to say that I would not have ‘knowingly’ given them my business. In a way however I am glad I found out about the GoDaddy acquisition later on because overall I am very happy with Media Temple and I am glad this didn’t factor into my decision. From what I have read, although GoDaddy now owns Media Temple, they treat this as a separate business, which is a good thing. I also didn’t notice any mention of GoDaddy throughout Media Temple’s website, I am sure this is deliberate.
Apart from my initial impressions of their support services, I would recommend Media Temple as a solid web hosting service. Although I have only been with them a few days I have already seen first hand the advantages of having a managed service which is both optimized and extremely easy to use. My site is extremely speedy and responsive thanks to their caching system and I have piece of mind with their easy to use backup retrieval system. If you prefer more control over your environment, managed is not for you. Instead I would check out their Grid services or Virtual Private Server offerings. I have been managing my own server for so long, it is honestly refreshing to not have to worry about all the details underneath and instead focus on running my site. If you are looking for managed WordPress hosting, give them a try.