A Quick Round-up of Linode and Slicehost

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Getting the right web application hosting service is not only very important, it's difficult, and it can be quite tricky at times. So, I thought a brief comparison of Linode and Slicehost would help the folks in making the right choice between two of the best hosting service providers.

Choices for Web Hosting

There are several choices on the offer, while choosing a hosting service, so you need to decide whether you need -

  • managed or unmanaged,

  • dedicated or VPS,
  • OpenVZ or XEN or something else (type of virtualization), and so on.

Moving over from one host to another is a tedious and expensive task; so, you'll have to ensure that you select the right host right away rather than taking the pain of moving over your website, and web apps. Linode and Slicehost are two of the best Xen-based Virtual Private Server hosting providers today - so, the million dollar question that rightly pop-ups, is of course - which one would make a better choice, and why... What features have to be considered when selecting them? So, let's start off with Slicehost.

The First Impressions

Slicehost is a very easy hosting service to get started with, especially for the newbies. The sign-up can be done effortlessly and you are bound to be impressed with the ease of using a VPS with just a bit of Linux background.

With an intuitive and clear dashboard, it also comes integrated with mobile apps, allowing you to restart your Slice from your iPhone if the need be.

You can select from a range of operating systems right from Debian Lenny (5.0) and Ubuntu 9.10 to Fedora and CentOS. However, one of the noticeable downsides is that it offers only 64-bit installations.

The first impression of Linode is not as appealing as that of Slicehost. Signing up is definitely as easy as Slicehost; the plethora of operating systems also match-up to its rival's offering. However, it is more beneficial as it offers both 32-bit and 64-bit installations. If you are going with the 32-bits, you can save up to around 50% of your RAM with Debian Lenny installation in idle mode.

Support and Community

All the basic procedures like setting up IP-tables, setting up your slice, installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache is well documented in the Slicehost article depository. The instructions guide you through everything; so, there aren't any chances of going wrong. But, forums designed using Vanilla Forums software is not at par, and not really of great help. But, looking at the brighter side, the support offered by the team is quick and prompt.

Speaking about Linode, its article repository is not very remarkable when compared to that of Slicehost. But, its dashboard is excellently designed and excels over that of Slicehost; it is easy for even beginners to get along with this dashboard. The support team is equally prompt and professional.

Both of these hosts are unique and excel in their own ways, and have very few downsides, unlike the other VPS offerings.

In a nutshell, I'd declare Linode to the winner considering aspects like value for money and performance, but that doesn't mean Slicehost is a bad choice (it does excel in terms of responsive support)- it's just that Linode is superior in most of the aspects that a common-man looks out for. Well, and that's again a personal choice, so I'm sure there are thousands of webmasters out there, who'd find Slicehost to be a better match for their requirements.

And, for those who're looking for a domain registrar, there's no second thought that GoDaddy, the largest domain registrar that currently boasts of 50 million registered domains, is one of the best options!
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