Blacknight VPS Hosting Review

* Updates at the end.

I’d been with the same shared hosting company since I went commercial with my small web design business around 2005 and I can’t really fault the service from them. I continue to use them for my clients sites and I’m happy enough. However, there comes a time when you need to expand!

I’d heard of dedicated website hosting and liked the idea. I’d always been a loner anyway so the idea of having a computer all to myself to do what I wanted with was exiting! Of course physical dedicated hosting was and is prohibitively expensive so when this whole cloud computing revolution came upon us and companies started offering ‘virtual’ dedicated hosting with all of the benefits of physical dedicated hosting but at a much more reasonable rate, I got interested. My internet presence was also growing and couldn’t be accommodated effectively by the old host.

I’m a regular reader of PC Live magazine where Blacknight have regular adds and that where I first noticed their VPS service so after a pile of questions to their support and CEO (who conveniently hangs out on twitter a lot!), I was ready to commit.

Basically VPS hosting lets you manage your own virtual operating system on which you can install whatever software you wish and configure the system from the ground up. Typically VPS servers are not quite as powerful performance wise as shared servers but because you’re not sharing with hundreds if not thousands of other sites, the performance evens out.

The beauty of a VPS system is that you can control everything from apache configuration to adding new websites to server wide spam control and all from a pretty easy to use interface (presuming your subscription includes control panel access as mine does). The downside is that the buck stops with you. You are responsible for whatever happens (or doesn’t happen in my case!) on your server and theres no-one there to bail you out if you mess up. I found that you can have a little TOO much control sometimes!

The stand out feature for me is probably the (pretty much) one-click installation of web applications on any domain/site you have. New applications can be made available by uploading distribution packages from www.apsstandard.org/app. This at least saves me the hassle of uploading massive installation files on a shit broadband speed.

I must also say that Blacknight support and in particular Tara, have been fantastic in explaining some of the basic concepts and pointing me in the right direction for some tasks I just couldn’t figure out. Perhaps because their service is new enough, the Knowledge Base and Forum are not that well populated yet so some email support was required on startup.

I’m on the Linux VPS Basic (Debian 4.0) + Plesk 8 option which costs about €52 per month.

Check out www.blacknightvps.com

Leon

* UPDATE – things didn’t work out with Blacknight in the end. Problems developed and no-one knew how to fix em! I’m happily with LetsHost.ie VPS now.

*UPDATE 2 – VPS hosting sucks. There’s never any support, performance is poor (especially with multiple WordPress sites), too much downtime, too much configuration and cost is too much! I’ve gone back to shared and it’s absolutely fine.

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Published by

Leon Quinn

Multimedia Design company in Leitrim, Ireland specializing in WordPress Website Design, Photoshop and Graphics. www.reverbstudios.ie

10 thoughts on “Blacknight VPS Hosting Review”

  1. I had always liked Blacknight that is until what they did to me recently.

    I have several domains, which I will be transferring when their time is up. What happened was that one of my domains was up for renewal, and I didn’t pay because I didn’t want the site anymore. But instead of suspending that domain and host, they suspended all my accounts, which had no relation to that package.
    I receive no warning and only happened by chance to come across my own site, and notice it was not working. That when I discovered I had to pay for a domain, unless I had done that my website could have been down for weeks, it might have already been so, I am not sure.
    So I asked them why, through a support ticket, and explained I no longer wanted the domain. No response, I just noticed a few hours later that all sites had been restated and the other domain had disappeared. As of yet I still have had no response from them.

    No warnings, nothing, I am not an F****** computer, I am human being, please have the decency to reply to me as one. Sadly, Its clear they just want my money and don’t want any contact with me!

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  2. Leon,
    Thanks for this post. I was taking a look at Blacknight, basically because of the much self-promotion that they do in the ilug list. They publish all incidences in blacknightstatus.com and you can easily see that they have serious problems managing their virtual infrastructure.
    Would be nice to know how these last months have worked out with LetsHost. Sounds like a serious candidate for Irish hosting.
    Cheers,
    Sean

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    1. Sean, the trouble with Blacknight VPS and all others actually is that they are unmanaged/unsupported. There really should be at least some management and support if VPS is to become mainstream.

      LetsHost have been great since, even helped me move all my files over for free. I’ve had nearly 100% uptime and all my sites are way faster than with Blacknight.

      I never did get to the bottom of the Blacknight problem I had. I even emailed them when I left to tell them that the same sites worked fine on a different host but they didn’t seem bothered in double checking to see if the problem was their end. I suspect it was a clash between WordPress and their hosting software.

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  3. * UPDATE My sites have gone down a lot more than with any other hosting since I signed up with Blacknight. Support keeps telling me its up to me to manage the server and figure out problems but I havn’t a clue where to start!

    Quote from them today:

    “All our VPS are unmanaged, it is up the the customer to make sure that the services on the VPS are running as they should.

    We make sure that the VPS is working and any underlying hardware issues are fixed asap.”

    Just bare this in mind if you’re moving to Blacknight VPS!

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    1. *UPDATE Sadly, I have had to cancel my Blacknight VPS account. It just became very slow and was constantly dying and causing me all sorts of grief. Blacknight were unable to help me find the root of the problem and their diagnosis/suggestion that it was caused by WordPress Plugins seems to be unfounded since all is now working fine with my new VPS host LetsHost. Perhaps I messed up my server or maybe Blacknight’s VPS is no good…who knows.

      Leon

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