If you are a discerning reader of my posts, you would have noticed a very “disturbing” change on my blog. I have put a link in my footer that I didn’t need to, and which almost smacks of affiliate marketing. Worry not, my gentle reader. It is just that I am that excited about the move to Leanservers.
One reason is that I was becoming wary of the unlimited resources that A2 hosting was promising to everybody. Who are they fooling?
Most importantly, I wanted to move to a host that provided Nginx (say it with me – Engine X; N – gin – X). There is a small trickle of knowledge that has burst above ground recently – unless you are a big IT setup running enterprise applications on big iron IBM servers, Nginx serves your needs quite well.
Apache‘s HTTPD is a great server in its own right. I cut my teeth on it when learning web development. But over the years, Apache has become for Linux what IIS has become for Windows. Web servers like Nginx and Lighttpd are providing a welcome challenge to this unintended lock-in. The tag-along benefits are also welcome – better performance on virtual machines, easier configuration, cleaner config files and faster releases.
However, Nginx does not offer per directory configuration like Apache. Quite a few apps need Apache’s .htaccess file to reach 100% functionality. Some are implemented, inadvertently, to run only on Apache. I suppose this happens because the developer was trying to offer an ability to simply extract and run – think of WordPress’s famous five-minute install. Nginx’s increasing popularity is now changing the way web developers write their apps.
That being said, there are very few hosting providers for Nginx. This is, in part, due to its configuration limitations and maybe because most Nginx users are good enough at their job to put it on a VPS. I did not want the hassle of a VPS for my personal blogs – that would be repeating earlier mistakes.
Leanservers came to the rescue! No promise of unlimited resources (just like a proper VPS provider) and reasonable rates. I was a sceptic initially, but the guys at Leanservers (a huge shout out to Mr Unai Rodriguez) patiently answered my queries – yes, I can use Nginx the way I wanted to on a shared host. There were a few hiccups, but I have moved both blogs to Leanservers.
I am getting good scores on Y Slow and Pagespeed. The site is responsive. I unleashed Xenu’s Link Sleuth on Walk Alone and it performed at least 50% better than when A2 was hosting it. Of course, this is the honeymoon and things can go haywire later on. But I am hopeful. And did I say, excited?