Tag Archives: website

Review: South West Broadband – VPS Hosting

If you’ve been following my tweets lately, you’ll know that I recently moved GEEK! to a brand new VPS server. I did this for many reasons – but primarily because I felt that I was ready to move on from shared hosting and onto something where I’ll learn a little more about how webservers work. GEEK!’s been running well over three years now – and I’ve been through many web hosting providers during that time. I was beginning to get tired of hoping other people on shared servers wouldn’t jeopardize your uptime stats – there always seemed to be some kind of resource hog!

Nonetheless, I went on the hunt for a cheap-ish yet good quality VPS provider (I might have stayed with my old provider HostParcel as, in fairness, they were pretty good – but sadly they don’t offer VPS services) and was pointed to South West Broadband. They seem to be pretty new in VPS services, but I was interested in their good value and seemingly honest services.

So I signed up to their lowest price package to see what was what. For £8 a month, I was given a VPS with 256MB RAM (although I’m told this will soon become 512MB), 10GB storage, 300GB bandwidth and a Linux flavour of my choice (I was recommended to Debian). Pretty neat, I thought – and very good value nonetheless! They also offer a 12 month prepayment discount – giving you 12 months for the price of 10, if you’re happy to commit.

And to be totally honest, so far I’m really impressed. The customer support is superb – better than I’ve ever seen in a hosting provider. You get access to online support via Skype or a ticketing system – as well as an emergency telephone number which isn’t premium rate (this is something I really like to see).

The server they assigned me seems to work very well. You get full SSH access (which you’d expect) and you are allowed access to all the controls and commands that you’ll ever need. Response times from the server are incredible – from my college in Oxford I can get a response from the server just outside London in just 4ms – pretty darn good!

As for value for money – I’ve never seen such value. I’d always considered VPS services very expensive – but £8 a month is hardly expensive for the system you get.

So really I haven’t got many (if any) complaints. For decent value, high performance VPS servers with decent customer support, I couldn’t think of anywhere else to recommend you!

Oh, by the way – SWB aren’t actually offering their VPS packages on their website yet. However, if you contact them via twitter they seem to be happy to sort you out with a package. They also offer a decent range of shared and reseller packages, so if a VPS isn’t your thing, they’re bound to have something that is.

Mininova torrent site tracked down and destroyed!

Mininova, one of the biggest file sharing torrent sites, has recently been broken down by various legal agencies.

Following a court procedure, the owners of the Mininova website have been ordered to take down all trackers that are related to any copyrighted content or face a multi million euro fine.

Mininova has followed this procedure and has removed all illegal content. Just to make sure, I did a search through their site for various CDs to see if the rumours were really true. They are. Everything is gone, and the admins of Mininova say it is now a “content distribution” service.

If you want my honest opinion, this is a good day for many companies and vendors. This will have eaten into a large proportion of file sharing piracy, which is great, because I have always been against it. I find it really depressing that people don’t want to support the artists that make their music.

Anyway let’s not go onto a miserable topic about P2P and illegal file sharing…

Hopefully this is the start of the future. I really hope that eventually we can minimize piracy because it’s an awful thing. It’s exactly the same as shoplifting – and would you have the courage to do that?

Sadly, I don’t think piracy can ever be truly stopped, but the more we can close down on it, the better.

Can you run a normal website using WordPress?

Since, over the last few months, I have become a massive fan of the well-known blogging platform WordPress, it begs the question could you run a normal website using WordPress?

Well, I am quite confident in saying yes. I am now designing and setting up websites for a small range of people, and with all of them I’ve set them up using WordPress.

WordPress was originally designed as a platform for blogging. It is used by millions at wordpress.com, and you can also run it on your own site by installing the package at wordpress.org.

I love using WordPress with GEEK!. I have used it even since it was launched back in September 2008. It’s a great platform that not only blogs well, but has really neat features and great expansion capabilities.

And I believe that WordPress can be used for websites and not just blogs. Frankly, it beats many web design software packages available, both free and paid. The community that has accumulated with WordPress is also unbelievable. People are now producing fantastic plugins and themes that can be used for free on any site. Even the theme that I use on GEEK! is used with thanks to the people at jide.fr who produced the fantastic ‘Freshy 2’ theme.

So, if you are thinking of building a website any time soon, take a look at WordPress. It is quite obviously designed for blogs, but if you’ve got the time to play around with it a bit, you can get a perfectly good website going in a few hours. In my opinion, it’s better than any freeware or commercial product around.