I recently shifted ShoutMeLoud to KnownHost from Hostgator, and in today’s post I am going to share with you my personal KnownHost review after having used it for nearly a year.
There are many pros and cons of KnownHost’s VPS (Virtual Private Server) which will be discussed later in this article. A VPS hosting environment is like a dedicated server within a shared hosting environment. In short, KnownHost is one of the top fully managed VPS services I have encountered. While shopping for a VPS for my site, I came across many new hosting companies like Wiredtree, VPS.net, Media temple, Linode and KnownHost.
After seeing lots of feedback and suggestions from WebHostingtalk forum and from fellow bloggers, I decided to make a move to KnownHost VS3 managed VPS package.
Before moving, my site was on Hostgator’s shared hosting, where I was paying less than $10/month. With KnownHost I’m paying around $50/month, nearly five times what I was paying, but quality always comes with a price tag.
Honestly, the migration and setup was not very smooth, as I had to make many changes including add-ons to further optimize my site for speed. Here is result after migration:
It’s great to see “A” page speed grade, and I have yet to implement many options such as working on optimizing ads or implementing CDN (MaxCDN or Cloudflare) which will help me to further optimize my site loading time.
My experience with Knownhost VPS so far:
I use KnownHost VPS to host my WordPress site, so kindly keep that point in mind while reading this KnownHost VPS review.
I signed up for a VS3 package with cPanel/WHM add-on. Here are the resources included with this package:
- RAM: 2560 MB
- Bandwidth: 6000GB
- Disk space : 70GB (RAID 10)
- 2 dedicated I.P addresses
- Custom username (Ns1.shoutmeloud.com, ns2.shoutmeloud.com)
- Free backups
- Free site migration
- Fully managed server
I’m not going to get into more technical details regarding these features, as you can read further on their resource page.
After I bought the package it took a couple of hours to set up my VPS machine and get the WHM and other login details. I had to register my own nameserver (which is easy), and their support team will guide you for the same. I also Reduced the TTL value to a small value (300 seconds) in the DNS zone file for ShoutMeLoud, which helped in faster replication. You can always use an Internic Nameserver check tool to see the status of your private nameserver registration. Here is a detailed FAQ regarding site migration to KnownHost:
When can I put the request for migration from Hostgator to KnownHost?
Migration can be performed at the current time. Please provide us with the following details to start the migration:
- URL to access the c-panel account in source server.
- Correct Login details for the c-panel account in source server.
However, to reduce the downtime for the transferring of accounts, take the following steps:
- Reduce the TTL value to a small value such as 300 seconds in the DNS zone file for the sites in the source server. You have to do this in the 24-48 hour time frame before the migration.
- Once the migration is complete, change the A record for the domains in the source server to the KnownHost IP address.
- Also change the nameservers of the domains to the nameservers of KnownHost VPS. Do this after the migration.
How much time for migration ?
The time will be based on the size of the c-panel domain that is to be transferred. (Took less than 2 hrs in ShoutMeLoud’s case.)
How much time it will take to update the name server?
Normally it will take around 24 to 48 hrs to update the nameserver changes throughout the internet. By taking the steps mentioned above, it will take only the time mentioned in the TTL for update. For example, for TTL 300sec, it will take 5min to update the nameserver throughout the Internet.
Continuing with the KnownHost review…
I usually follow my own WordPress site migration guide to change hostings, but this time I accepted the help of their free site migration feature. They moved my entire site from Hostgator to KnownHost in less than 2 hrs, and I tested this by changing my host’s file.
To put in ta migration request, simply login to your KnownHost help support portal, open a ticket, and give details for your KnownHost login and your previous host login. Once I was certain of the successful migration, I updated the name servers and pointed them to the KnownHost VPS server.
After migration, I faced a couple of permission issues. For example, I could not take a backup from the dashboard and I could not install plugins and themes from the dashboard. However, all I needed to do was to raise a ticket and asked them to make the changes.
To scale my performance and ensure the smooth functioning of my site, I made the following changes and integrated many new modules which will help further: (Again, keep in mind that this is for WordPress. You can ask them to make any other tweaks which may help in faster loading and improved performance of your site as well.)
- Removed Wp Super cache and added W3 Total cache
- Implemented Google Page Speed module (very useful)
- Integrated SuEXEC to install plugins and themes from the WordPress dashboard
- Implemented FCgi php handler, but later disabled it and changed the script handler to suPHP
- Increased MaxProcessCount from 500 to 1000
That is basically all I have done, and since my first day of downtime due to the many missing modules noted above, I faced little down time. Once the site was running very smoothly, I installed many other WordPress plugins which I could not install earlier due to a lack of server resources.
Pros and cons of KnownHost’s fully managed VPS:
This KnownHost review would be incomplete without a discussion of both the positive and negative sides of their hosting package.
I would love to rate KnownHost as 5/5 for their excellent server optimization and resources and support. However, at the same time they lack a couple of important features such as live chat support and phone support. I will say, though, that they do offer a speedy and thorough email response which is very helpful indeed. In addition, all of the technicians have displayed excellence in managing KnownHost’s fully managed VPS servers, and they are very helpful and friendly.
You can set a different priority level for your support ticket and expect a reply accordingly. Any ticket marked with critical priority gets an instant response (my best was 3 minutes and worst was 14 minutes).
Also, if you compare the pricing of KnownHost’s fully managed VPS to other alternative options, you will find the price to be reasonable. I used the KnownHost coupon: KH15LIFE to get a 15% discount for lifetime. If you are buying dedicated hosting, use KnownHost’s coupon code KHDEDI2014 which will wave your setup fees.
Over all, if your WordPress site is growing and you need to add more resources, a fully managed VPS is your best bet. If you are capable of managing your own server, I would recommend Linode unmanged VPS, which is cheaper. But, for a normal blogger with limited technical skills, KnownHost’s server is a solid choice.
I hope this KnownHost review of the VS3 package will help you to make a decision for your site.
If you have any questions or thoughts to contribute, please do so using the comments section below.
Subscribe on Youtube