Grid ServerSeveral months back I covered a new hosting service called Grid Server by Media Temple that I learned about via TechCrunch. I signed up for an account and played around with it for a few of our sites.

Today we cancelled the account. For our purposes it just wasn’t worth it. We’re going to continue using Dreamhost for all our hosting.

The Grid Server service is just not fully baked yet in my opinion. There were a few planned outages, the speed was not any better in our testing, and the back-end (while slick-looking) was just too confusing.

Here is a screenshot of the main admin page:

media temple grid server admin

24 different links with no clear organizational hierarchy! Plus even some of the links are not what you would expect them to be. Setting multiple websites was a pain. The descriptions were not clear, the choices were not explained very well – after a while I just gave up because the whole back-end was just way too confusing.

They claim they are still making changes to the service, but I don’t want to be paying $20/mo. for what I consider to be a beta product.

For our projects I’ll stick with Dreamhost. If your site is setup properly and your cache is working, you should be able to handle Digg spikes and loads of traffic with a decent shared account.

Conclusion: I much prefer my $7/mo. Dreamhost account to the confusing $20/mo. Grid Server system. If only have one site and are expecting to create extraordinarily demanding apps, then maybe Grid-Server would work for you, but in our testing, it didn’t seem like it was worth it.

P.S. This is a good reminder not to drink the TechCrunch koolaid – even when Michael Arrington disclaims a relationship (and potential conflict of interest), like he did for the grid server post, any article that’s hyping a related company’s product launch with such a glowing review should be taken with a grain of salt.

P.P.S. Since we switched to full RSS feeds, you’ll now be seeing this Dreamhost promo at the bottom of each post: Get $40 off Hosting. Since Dreamhost has a pretty nice affiliate program, AND I’m a fan of their service, it’s our only type of “advertising” at the moment.