Choosing Media Temples Dedicated-Virtual (dv) Service as Our New Host

Media Temple is one of the more popular premium web hosting services out there. Media Temple is also pretty divisive – some swear by its quality, others claim it’s nothing but overpriced style-over-performance. Regardless, you can’t deny that it’s used by some big websites and bloggers like Gary Vaynerchuk, Sony, Starbucks, Toyota, Adobe, CSS-Tricks, and most recently, our site, Speckyboy Design Magazine.

Up until recently we had been using Media Temples standard Grid-Service (gs), which is perfectly fine for most sites, but as our page-views have been slowly creeping up to a stones throw away from the two million mark we felt we needed a service that gave us better performance, improved control and complete autonomy to install all of the applications we needed (few new site features coming soon, keep an eye out for them!) to push Speckyboy forward. After a few weeks of scouting about we opted for Media Temples Dedicated-Virtual (dv) service. It was the perfect fit for us.

Now I am sure, just like us, the thought of transferring your site from one service to another seems very, very daunting. In actual fact, with the correct preparation, it can be very easy and super-smooth. So, we thought we would share some of the resources and documents we used for our transfer and give you an overview of Media Temples service, highlight some noteworthy features on why you could consider the (dv), and also share some getting started guides that we used while we were transferring our site.

Overview of Media Temples (dv) Service


Media Temple (dv) is a business virtual private server solution for web hosting. A virtual private server, or VPS, is a virtual machine that’s used exclusively by you. Or in plain English, a VPS is like having a dedicated server for your web hosting without paying the really expensive price for an actual dedicated server.

Your (dv) virtual machine is sharing a server with others, but it’s much less people – to the point of it not really being like shared hosting (the standard $5-10/month or so hosting plans). Think of it as sharing a dedicated server with a small group of people, and you split the cost of owning it – like having roommates in a flat or apartment.

The (dv) is a happy medium between standard shared hosting and full-on dedicated hosting. You get the big performance gain during traffic spikes and complete control—you can install anything you want on your (dv)—without needing to go all out and pay the full price of expensive dedicated hosting.

Speaking of price, the cost for (dv) starts at $50/month for 512MB memory, 30GB disk space (for storage), and 1TB monthly transfer (ie. bandwidth, for your web traffic) – the cost goes up the more space you need.

(dv) Features and Benefits

To avoid rattling off an unnecessarily long list of features you don’t care about, here’s an overview of a few noteworthy features of Media Temple (dv):

Plesk Control Panel


(dv) features the Plesk Control Panel, which is a web-based interface designed for web hosting, server automation, and access to and easy installation of business applications (see next feature). Plesk also has a completely integrated provisioning, billing and content management system.

Basically, you have an easy-to-use interface to do all of your web hosting stuff. No confusing menus or cumbersome application installation or anything.

Business Applications


(dv) includes over 140 applications that are ready to install with a few clicks. No messy downloading of files, uploading them, and going through installation screens. Just choose the application that you need, click a few buttons, and your website is rockin’ it right away.

Some of the more popular applications are content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, eCommerce software like Magento and os Commerce, forum software like phpBB, and wiki software like MediaWiki.

For the complete list of applications, click here.

Install Anything

(dv) means you get a virtual server that’s your own, so you can install any Linux-based application, server software, or operating system you want on it. You’re not limited to what a hosting package offers – you get full root level access to your virtual server, so you can customize it to fit your website.

A (dv) server comes standard with modern versions of PHP, MySQL, Perl, Python, Ruby and more pre-installed.

Resell Hosting

A nice little bonus, this one. Not using all of your hosting? You can resell hosting on your (dv).

You can use the Plesk Control Panel to allocate separate resources for each client and run your own private nameservers. Each of your clients will have separate access to their own control panel. You can also brand the control panel with your own identity – useful if you’re presenting your hosting as a company and want to appear professional. And using Plesk, you can manage all of your clients from one top level view.

Getting Started with Media Temple (dv)

Okay, so you decided to give (dv) a try. If you want a simple getting started guide, check out this simple guide that walks you through what you’re getting with (dv). It familiarizes you with (dv), including:

• the Plesk Control Panel
• Snapshot backups
• overview of phone and online support you’ll get
• the (mt) AccountCenter

It also offers troubleshooting resources in case you run into any snags while using your (dv).

Migrating to (dv)?


If you’re migrating from another (dv), or from an earlier version of your (dv), then check out this guide to using the Plesk Migration Manager. It walks you through each step to easily migrate your website from one (dv) to another.

If you’re migrating from Media Temple’s (gs) Grid-Service to (dv), then check out this guide to migrating from (gs) to (dv). It walks you through each step, including:

• backing up your content on the (gs)
• adding your domain to your (dv)
• uploading your content
• creating your MySQL databases
• moving over your email accounts and messages
• testing your site
• closing the (gs) service

Using one of these two guides, you should be able to pretty painlessly migrate your Media Temple-hosted websites to your new (dv).

What Do You Think of Media Temple (dv)?

Your turn: do you use Media Temple (dv)? Or have you used it and switched to another solution? Feel free to share your positive or negative experiences with (dv) in the comments section below.

Author: (621 Posts)

Paul Andrew is the editor and founder of Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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