Few days back I shifted ShoutMeLoud to Knownhost from Hostgator and I believe it’s a good idea to share my personal Knownhost review after using it for a while. This is not the first time, I’m using Knownhost VPS as I have used them for almost an year earlier. There are many pros and cons of Knownhost which we will discus later in this article but in short it’s one of the top fully managed VPS which I have seen. While shopping for VPS server 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 other Bloggers friend, I decided to make a move to Knownhost VS3 managed VPS package. Before moving I was on Hostgator shared hosting, where I was paying less than $10/month and with Knownhost I’m paying around $50/month. Which is almost equal to 5X of what I was paying, but again quality always comes with a price tag. Honestly, the migration and setup was not very smooth as I had to make many changes including adding addons to further optimize my site for speed and here is result after migration:
It’s great to see “A” page speed grade and I’m yet to implement many things like working on optimizing ads, implementing CDN (MaxCDN or Cloudflare) which will help me further to 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 addon. Here are resources which I got with this package:
- RAM: 2560 MB
- Bandwidth: 6000GB
- Disk space : 70GB (RAID 10)
- 2 dedicated I.P address
- 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, as you can see it on their resource page. So, I bought the package and it took 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 Internic Nameserver check tool to see the status of your private nameserver registration. Here is a detail FAQ regarding site migration to Knownhost:
When can I put the request for migration from Hostgator to Knownhost?
Migration can be performed at this current time itself. Please provide us with the following details to start the migartion
- URL to access the cpanel account in source server.
- Correct Login details for the cpanel account in source server.
However, to reduce the downtime for the transferring accounts do 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 hours time frame before the migration.
- Once the migration is completed 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 upon the size of the cpanel domain that to be transfered. (Took less than 2 hr in ShoutMeLoud case)
How much time it will take to update Name server?
Normally it will take around 24 to 48 hr for updating the nameserver changes throughout the internet. By doing the above mentioned steps, 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 Knownhost Review:
Usually, I follow my own WordPress site migration guide to change hostings, but this time I took help of their free site migration feature. They moved my entire site from Hostgator to Knownhost in less than 2 hrs and I tested the same by changing my hosts file. To put the migration request, simply login to your Knownhost help support portal and open a ticket and give details for your Knownhost login and earlier host login. Once, I was sure about successful migration I updated the Name servers and pointed them to Knownhost VPS server.
After migration, I faced few permission issues like: I can’t take backup from dashboard, can’t install plugins and themes from dashboard and here are some of the things which I implemented. All, I needed to do is raise a ticket and asked them to make changes. To scale my performance and for smooth functioning of my site, I made following changes and integrated many new modules, which will help further. Again, keep in mind this is for WordPress and you can ask them to make any other tweak which may help in faster loading and improved performance of your site:
- Removed Wp Super cache and added W3 Total cache
- Implemented Google Page_Speed module (Very useful)
- Integrated SuEXEC to install plugin and themes from WP dashboard
- Implemented FCgi php handlerm but later disabled it and changed the script handler to suPHP
- Increased MaxProcessCount from 500 to 1000
So pretty much that’s all I have done and after first day downtime due to many missing above modules, I faced little down time but after that site is running very smoothly and I installed many other WordPress plugins which I couldn’t install earlier due to lack of server resources.
Pros and cons of Knownhost Fully Managed VPS:
Now, this Knownhost review will be incomplete without showing good and bad side of their hosting package. I would love to rate Knownhost as 5/5 for their excellent server optimization and resources and support. Though, at the same time they lack few things like Live chat support, Phone support. But, again with the speedy Email support they cover it. More over, all the technicians are one of the best in managing knownhost fully managed VPS servers and they are helpful and friendly.
You can set different priority level for support ticket and expect a reply accordingly. Any ticket marked with critical priority get Instant response (Best was 3 minutes and worse was 14).
Also, if you compare the pricing of Knownhost fully managed VPS from other alternative options, you will find the price to be reasonable. I used Knownhost Coupon: KH15LIFE to get 15% discount for life-time. If you are buying dedicated hosting, use Knownhost coupon code KHDEDI2014 which will wave off 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 good with managing your own server, I would recommend Linode unamanged VPS, which is cheaper. But, for a normal blogger with limited Technical skills, Knownhost server is a good pick.
I hope this Knownhost review (VS3 package) will help you to make a decision. But, if you have additional queries, do let me know via comment.