Update from 2013-05-10: Linode doubled what you get in each plan, so now I have a 1.5GB VPS for $30/month. Whee! Plenty of space to run lots of nginx workers, Emacs, and maybe even a Ruby development environment… I might downsize to 1GB ($20/month) if I can’t find productive ways to use the extra memory and processing power, but I’m sure I can think of something! ;)
I moved my website from Rackspace Cloud to Linode in order to take advantage of Linode’s cheaper rates. A virtual private server on Rackspace Cloud cost me around USD 26 per month for a 512MB slice and data transfer. Linode promised USD 20/month for a 512MB slice. There’s a 15% discount if you prepay for 2 years, and they emphasize that this isn’t a contract – if you change your mind and leave, they’ll credit a pro-rated amount.
It took me about five hours to switch over. Most of that was spent backing up and double-checking my settings. I also fiddled around with Rails so that I could get that up and running again, too. (I haven’t quite gotten the hang of rvm, so I had to deal with version annoyances.) Now my site’s up, and things are pretty sweet.
I spend a little extra on virtual private hosting instead of shared hosting because virtual private hosting gives me more flexibility. I really like being able to SSH in and manage my own server, even though it means I’m also responsible for configuration and optimization. I can run other tools on it too, such as my weekly library renewal script. (Yes, I have a script that renews our books and tells us which ones we need to return.) It’s convenient being able to manage a few sites without paying extra for each, and to be able to mix PHP, Rails, the occasional Emacs session.
My Linode account has been up for only a short while, so we’ll see how it works out. Everything’s back in working order, though.
Update from 2012-06-10: So far, so awesome. I eventually upgraded my Linode slice to the 768MB slice (USD 29.95/month) because I was running quite a few things on it that I haven’t yet optimized for memory. The process of upgrading was painless. Haven’t had any network issues on their side. My site has occasionally been down, but those were entirely my fault. =) I like the service, and I really enjoy having a virtual server I can ssh into and tweak.