I’m just going to be blunt: do yourself a huge favor and avoid Mediatemple’s hosting services at all costs.
When I first switched over to MT around seven years ago, I had nothing but praise for their customer support, speeds, and pricing. I even had written a glowing review on this very blog stating how happy I was that I had made the transition. One of their employees even found the blog and thanked me for writing such kind words about them. Then GoDaddy bought them out because (according to one of the MT’s employees) they were doing things “right” and GoDaddy wanted to see how their internal operations went. Supposedly, GoDaddy wouldn’t interfere with Mediatemple.
Over the years, I noticed they continued to raise their prices and attempted to sell unsuspecting customers on new offerings. For example, their Grid Service was notoriously slow – a simple Google search for “Mediatemple Grid Slow” will pull up plenty of links to keep you entertained for hours, if not days. Instead of fixing the core issues underlying their Grid Service in relations to PHP/MySQL, they would rather redirect you to some of their help articles which more or less “tells” you that the “PROBLEM IS YOU,” and “NOT Mediatemple.” And that’s the big problem with their response. They are not owning up to poor performance issues on the Grid Service especially regarding WordPress Hosting. I’ve had numerous blogs hosted by WP over the years (I even set up my own servers), and none have had the poor performance and speed issues that they have. After numerous complaints going back several years ago, MT magically came up with a “new” service that seemed too coincidentally timed called “MediaTemple’s Managed WordPress Hosting” that they want to charge you more money for, and you’ll no longer have unlimited domains that can be hosted there.
To be somewhat fair, webhosts everywhere have been spending a lot of time these past 10 years troubleshooting poor WordPress performance and issues. Most of the time it is user-related and nothing to do with the web hosts. However, when you’ve been other hosts, have been coding websites, and creating blogs for over 15 years – I think after a certain point they ought to stop denying the underlying issues and take a closer look as to why WP has so many speed issues on the Grid.
Their level of customer support in my opinion has also decreased – longer wait times, shorter replies, tech that’s less willing to go the extra mile to answer your questions, and a lack of general answers. Just the past two days, I’ve finally found the time to complain to their customer support that I’ve been receiving hundreds of spam every day. The spam coming through their servers have risen drastically. I maybe used to get a few dozen whereas now it’s not uncommon to receive 500 in a single day. Keep in mind, they have their own internal (and outdated I may add) spam filtering system that they seem so proud of and refuse to give up for whatever reason. They told me to raise my “spam score” to a higher level such as “4” – the big issue is that I’ve done that in the past and it’s completely prevented numerous valid emails from getting through (false positives.) I’ve told them this was an unacceptable answer and that the fix seems to be pointing on their end. Again, numerous MT customers have complained about the increasing amount of spam they seem to be getting bombarded with. A search for “Mediatemple Grid Spam” will show you what I’m talking about.
Last but not least, the past winter I was stuck shoveling out record-breaking snow and a little too busy to be briefly monitoring my Grid CPUs (they charge overages if bandwidth/CPU cycles get too high.) Out of the blue, I get hit with this $1,000 bill from them. Keep in mind, my hosting was at one point around $20/month. So you can imagine my utter terror and shock when I received this bill. No real warning aside from them “informing” me that it was the customer’s responsibility to monitor the overages. The fact that they can create such an elaborate system, yet don’t bother writing a script that triggers and emails the users that their Grid Service is getting hammered/taxed within only a matter of a few hours is beyond me. In fact, I argued that it was an intentional oversight on their part. After all, they stand to make loads of money on people not paying attention. Long gone are the days of old when they actually used to look out for you. I would say that someone in upper management realizes that this is a subtle strategy to shake the piggy bank for all that it’s worth, but perhaps they went a little too far in this instance.
In the end, I complained to the Attorney General in California and explained the situation. Mediatemple actually went ahead and dropped the charges stating that they were doing this as a “one time courtesy that they almost never do.” You can make what you want out of it – I personally think it’s shady gouging practices.
I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Mediatemple has seen a mass exodus of employees after their acquisition. People that really knew how to run the show and were probably worth their weight in gold were let go or quit. Most likely new upper management stepped in and called the wrong shots. Others got greedy. I’ve seen it happen time and time again and it’s an unsustainable practice. Customer service, fair prices, and listening to what their customers wanted or needed is what made them great and why I had recommended them a long time ago. Now I can no longer say anything positive about their services.
When I have time, I’ll have to move my sites over to a new website hosting company. I don’t know who that is going to be right now, but I’ll definitely let everyone know when I get there. If anyone has any suggestions for a better yet still inexpensive host (I really don’t feel like paying for a dedicated server…), I’d be more than happy to hear about your experiences.