(Posted on March 28, 2017)
A little word of caution, I paid and subscribed to SSD Nodes (https://www.ssdnodes.com/) a little more than a month ago (Feb 11 to be exact) when I decided to migrate my blog off of one of the service providers. I’m attached quite heavily to all my blog writings so as I went over each post during the migration (moving from non-WordPress platform to WordPress required some formatting adjustments along with tag/category changes), entire process has been rather an emotional journey. Thus my first impression of the service and how things have transpired are heavily based on non-tangible aspects. Then again, this is personal space on internet we’re talking about here and one should always take things from internet with (a lot of) grain of salt.
That said, for me, finding a web hosting service has been like buying a second home. Like home, I want it to be just perfect; it is not just about foundation/structure, size, cost, location, comfort, but rather is combination of aforementioned and so much more.
Thus the homework comes. Like one would survey the surrounding, learn about the neighbourhood, and collect the general feedback, I scan multiple online communities to read about what and how individuals feel about various service providers, and carefully assess patterns or consensus by cross referencing different sources. A single source of information is never enough to form proper judgement, especially on the internet. It never hurts to carefully walk over different discussions, comments or threads from multiple web sites. After all, we’re talking about hard earned cash spent to gain an access to the (hosting) service. I can’t just go about paying upfront and commit to a service without doing enough due diligence.
Within this enormous ocean of hosting service providers promising high quality, great uptime and low cost plans, I needed more hands on experience and feedback from actual users. Of more than handful, three: Low End Box, LowEndTalk and WebHosting talk, helped me most. I did have to be careful about what (not) to read however, as I can’t possibly digest vast amount of forum threads across aforementioned three. Not to mention, taking online comments with handful grain of salt is somewhat essential these days.
Then I reached three things that mattered most to me (not in any particular order): cost, customer service, and data centre location. Of three, quality of (customer) service was and still is most important to me. More specifically, I just had to see how well clients were treated, and how sincere/genuine individual support tickets/issues were handled. At the end of the day, feature sets tend to even out amongst service providers; what you get for the X amount of money happens to be very similar from services to services, so paying more attention to other aspects (in this case customer service) is only natural.
In short (without boring anyone further), SSD Nodes got my attention. I first came across of the company from an ad on Reddit and read more than handful positive interactions between clients/customers and Matt from the company. And these positive interactions (customer service/ticket handling) were what ultimately lead me to make the final call. From those threads, I felt comfortable enough to entrust SSD Nodes with providing me an excellent service. Due to my technical background, I might rarely require an assistance or support tickets, but the sheer assurance or thought of it was enough for me.
And I wasn’t wrong about my decision. Matt reached out to me almost immediately after the sign-up to hear how I ended up with SSD Nodes and that he and his team would be always available to help in case I needed one. I could sense the very attitude (open minded and willingness to help) that I felt earlier about him. I haven’t found much uses yet, but their how-to guides on blog (http://blog.ssdnodes.com/blog) is a big-plus. Matt and his team to this date still reach out to me every now and then to see how I’ve been doing and check if I need help or something.
Apart from my personal warm feelings (non-tangible), plans SSD Nodes offer are all quite competitive and offer great bang for the buck. The ample package provides a lot of breathing room for future expansions beyond simple blog; I used to run private servers over dedicated business internet lines so I could potentially look to revive some of earlier works eventually. SSD Nodes also offer zero down time upgrades in case higher plan/package is needed, which I’m sure will save a lot of grief, if I ever look to upgrade.
All in all, no complains so far. I didn’t anticipate one at the time of subscription, and I don’t anticipate one anytime soon. Of course, my basic/limited use of the service so far may not help you or others reading this; i.e. if you’re interested in knowing how service would fair under large application with high resource demands (CPU or disk IO intensive applications), then I won’t be able to offer anything useful. If however you’re looking to hear what an average joe has been feeling about the service he has paid and been using it, then here you have it. I quite like it.