Python Webhosting
May 26, 2014 2:48 PM   Subscribe

HostGator's business plan, while attractive in just about every way, is unfriendly to the Python developer. Having gone around in circles about getting lxml installed* I'm ready to bail. Are there any recommendations from the Python developer crowd for a friendly web host?

They support Ruby Gems, PHP Pears, and Perl Modules via CPanel plugins but not Python Eggs. They enable easy_install() but block access to gcc. Tier I and II can go no better than, "it's policy." RAGE!
posted by Fezboy! to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
WebFaction? It's an idiosyncratic hosting model, but it's pretty decent if you want to build and install your own stuff but don't want a VPS.
posted by holgate at 3:08 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

posted by djb at 3:15 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I second Webfaction.
posted by COD at 3:26 PM on May 26, 2014

3rding webfaction. It's been the easiest python hosting i've utilized.
posted by cgg at 3:31 PM on May 26, 2014

Heroku also works.
posted by Tobu at 4:10 PM on May 26, 2014

In re the idiosyncratic hosting model for WebFaction: is this a reference to what appears to be a lot of home-grown UI/management tools instead of just running CPanel or is there something deeper? It kind of gives off the vibe of Cornerhost which I absolutely loved up until the proprietor decided he couldn't make a living at it and the whole thing bumped along the bottom on some sort of indifferent autopilot.
posted by Fezboy! at 6:45 PM on May 26, 2014

The idiosyncrasy is deeper: you don't get the conventional "public_html" webroot per VHost to dump your stuff along with whatever custom configuration you need. Instead, you create distinct webapps with distinct configurations and then map them to sites, or to subdirectories of sites, then map domains to those sites, and it's all served up with a slightly different frontend/backend server config depending on what framework you're using. So it's shared hosting with some VPS-like features, decent privilege separation but also the ability to build and execute custom stuff from your home directory. But it's not quite as abstracted as Heroku or Google App Engine or Azure or other PaaS stuff.

WebFaction is a not a one-person operation; CPanel is terrible.
posted by holgate at 7:48 PM on May 26, 2014

I used WebFaction to host python apps 6 years ago. It was a bit odd, but I had no trouble getting things up and running. I ended up ditching it because I decided to consolidate my PHP hosting from and my python hosting on a Linode VPS and never looked back.

That said, I'd still suggest WebFaction if you want flexibility, but not quite as much flexibility and responsibility as you get with a VPS.

If you go for a VPS, I can recommend Linode. They aren't budging from their minimum $20/month price-point, but the guaranteed resources you get at that price are ample (2GB RAM, 48GB of SSD storage, 3TB monthly transfer, 250mbps peak outgoing bandwidth, 2cores).
posted by Good Brain at 10:32 PM on May 26, 2014

Webfaction +1
posted by humboldt32 at 12:34 AM on May 27, 2014

I have even installed lxml on a webfaction box.
posted by rockindata at 4:16 AM on May 27, 2014

I use WebFaction a lot and generally find it pretty nice.
posted by Zarkonnen at 6:26 AM on May 27, 2014

With the free trial, I think I'm going to give WebFaction a thorough going over. The idiosyncratic label seems justified but it also feels like less work overall than VPS or the platform as service options. Adding on to get the storage I'm using now brings the price comparable to what I'm paying HostGator for their "unlimited" storage. Overall it seems to be similar functionality at a similar price with greater flexibility in terms of a Python dev environment.

Thanks for everyone's insight on this question...and, yes, CPanel is sub-optimal.
posted by Fezboy! at 9:09 AM on May 27, 2014

A final contribution to this thread: while investigating WebFaction I chanced upon the right escalation point at HostGator. Their live chat support had opened a ticket and I argued each denial because, frankly, they were either incorrect or not congruent with their advertising or how their policy was enacted with other scripting languages.

After many cycles of this they accommodated my request. I figured they'd eventually get tired of it and just close the ticket. They did let me know just how much an aberration this was for them. Still, my immediate technical needs have been addressed and I can continue with my project.

I'm going to keep looking at migrating to WebFaction however it's no longer my top priority. I wanted to let any future person who sees this thread--despite Google's best efforts--know that HostGator wasn't quite as intransigent as I painted them in the original question.
posted by Fezboy! at 12:27 PM on May 28, 2014

I've had a vps at wiredtree for a long time now and would definitely recommend them. Great support. I was hosting php initially but I recently deployed a website that uses both django and solr so deploying python isn't a problem with them. But that's assuming your open to a vps.
posted by degreefox at 12:37 PM on April 6, 2015

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