Bluehost + cpanel vs OVH + plesk

I’ve used Bluehost as domain registrar and hosting provider for many years now.  A few years ago, when I started supporting more domains, I moved my domain registration over to hover.com since they off whois privacy for free.

With more domains, I decided to upgrade to a VPS at bluehost.  At first it seemed to go well as everything was transferred over.  Then I wanted to enable SSL on all of the domains since Let’s Encrypt provides the certs for free.  This is where things started going downhill…

Bluehost requires dedicated for each IPs to enable ssl, which you have to pay for.  This is a very antiquated policy as apache has supported SNI (host multiple SSL sites with a single IP) for awhile now.  So at first, I started pursuing that option with bluehost.  But then they told me I had to install a new cpanel for each domain.  The support they provided was helpful, but it took me 3 or 4 support chats to get through the process.  Overall, it was getting harder and harder to get anything done.

But now I finally had a VPS I had root access and full control.  But bluehost support warned me that if I broke something, the only option is to do a re-image of the entire server and start over.  So I was afraid to use root for much of anything.

Then I went to install wordpress via cpanel, which didn’t work.  Apparently this had been broken for weeks and support gave me the manual instructions for installing at wordpress.  This is when I decided there must be a better way.  Even though installing wordpress from scratch is pretty easy (a few steps), I was going to setting up staging sites for each domain and I needed a better approach.

Then I remembered OVH.  About a year ago, I had a client who was going to need help hosting a java application.  I had started looking into OVH and really liked it, but then the client took a different approach which no longer required java.

OVH has been great.  The major improvements are:

  1. Much faster OVH VPS for the same money I was paying with bluehost
  2. SNI support, supports multlple SSL sites on one IP
  3. Ability to take a snapshot of the VM.  This is invaluable.  Take a snapshot, log in as root and go crazy.  Didn’t work out?  Just restore the snapshot with the push of button from the admin panel
  4. I chose to try out Plesk instead of cpanel.  Plesk is awesome!  The Let’s Encrypt plugin alone is worth the move, it configures SSL automatically and gets the cert
  5. Plesk interface is modern and makes it very easy to install and manage wordpress instances.
  6. Everything that needs to be done can be accomplished on your own.  Either through the OVH control panel or the plesk control panel.  No more support calls for common tasks.  Even uncommon tasks like installing a different OS with cpanel or plesk is fully automated through the OVH control panel.

I’m paying a little less than I was for bluehost and I am so much more productive.  While there is a bit of learning curve with Plesk, the forums are a great source of information, and overall, things work very well.

Please let your thoughts and comments below.  I’ll be happy to go into more detail about my setup if there is interest.

 

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