Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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:: 536 words

webfaction tech-life meta

A few months back, my current web host WebFaction announced they had been purchased by GoDaddy, which was worrying. Back then they hadn’t announced any details other than there would be some account migrations and single sign on, so it wasn’t a big deal yet.

I initially joined WebFaction back in 2008 because they were a Python-friendly and developer-friendly host that had some reasonable budget options, allowing me some space to host this blog and any side projects I wanted to deploy. At that time I was learning Django, so I needed the Python support that normal hosts don’t provide. I didn’t know much about cloud servers back then and the WebFaction account let me try out so much stuff despite it being shared hosting. The news above is worrying because GoDaddy does not have a good reputation and is not especially known for being developer-friendly. They are a mass-market, “lowest common denominator” kind of host, so I would prefer not to have them as my web host.

This week, they said in an announcement that they were moving forward with a technical evaluation of migrating everyone to GoDaddy, which kind of spells doom for the WebFaction services I’m using. Even though their email promised that “you won’t lose any of your current features or services”, but according to a recent thread on their support forums:

One again, zero information about exactly when WebFaction services will be completely shut down.

The exact date hasn’t been defined yet but it is estimated to be on August 2019.

Does this mean that WebFaction's current features and services will remain the same AFTER the migration?

No, WebFaction’s control panel, servers and other features and services will shut down after the migration is done. The plan is to stay up and running until then.

While they say the technical evaluation is still ongoing, in all likelihood that’s it for WebFaction. For me, at least. And I’m not interested in migrating to GoDaddy. I still have a few months before I need to transition, but I guess I need to start prepping by:

  • looking for a new host. Any recommendations? I have a bit more experience this time with managing servers, so I’m open to a VPS instead of shared hosting, might be fun to try out for a while. Currently looking at just getting a cheap ($5/mo) droplet over at Digital Ocean. Alternatively, I could just move this blog over to netlify and any other apps I have (like TriviaStorm) over to something like Heroku, but that seems like it would cost me more money.
  • see if I can refund my current balance with them, since I prepaid a bit last year. I already asked on the forums and they say we’ll have more info on refund options later after their technical evaluation, maybe around Mayish.

In any case, I had a good run with WebFaction, a bit over 10 years now. But time moves on and things change and small businesses get eaten up by large businesses, such is the way of capitalism. They were very developer-friendly and had pretty good customer support in my opinion, so they will be missed. Hopefully I’m able to find a good alternative.

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roytang.net is a personal site; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.