for a long time i’ve been looking for a green hosting solution for all of our sites and the sites that we maintain. with the wordpress 2.9 update, i discovered my blog suddenly had an out of memory error. memory issues on 1and1 is something that have been known and blogged/posted about for a long time. they institute a hard limit on how much memory a php script/web-based application can use and it can’t be changed (you can increase it to as much as 20MB, but you’re stuck beyond that). in most cases, the cap they put on memory usage is workable. there’s a few tricks to learn — a modified .htaccess file and learning to reduce the size of images to a max of 990px or so wide. which is doable, albeit annoying.
however, i’m using — or i was using until yesterday — a plugin called SEO pager, which creates page numbers at the bottom of the page for navigation through the archives. this is particularly useful for sites/blogs with a long history, and i’ve been blogging for 6 years, and have imported posts from various different incarnations of this site throughout that history, so there’s a fair amount of archives (several hundred posts). everything was fine and dandy until i upgraded wordpress — suddenly my SEO pager was just pushing the site over the edge for memory usage (because the plugin needs to do a database query to determine the number of pages) and it killed not only the page numbers but also the sidebar and footer (since the navigation links were above the sidebar and footer in the code). i had recently discovered DreamHost’s carbon neutral policy, and i have, in the past, talked with1and1 about green hosting options (they aren’t able to pursue it because of limitations in the area around where their datacenters are located). this new memory issue puts me one step closer to wanting to move our sites somewhere else. I know some people have complained about DreamHost, but in working with sites for clients, I’ve only experienced really fast servers with minimal downtime, and a relatively easy-to-use backend.
i’ve been keeping an eye out for over a year now, and looked at a lot of different hosts without much to really pique my interest, so DreamHost is at the top of my list. if you’ve got any other suggestions for green/carbon neutral hosting for unlimited domains, feel free to leave me a comment. i’m open to suggestions.