Finally Cut the Cord to Leaseweb

Published at 20:12 on 23 October 2021

The subject says it all. Yesterday, I finally cut the cord to Leaseweb. I had moved off their servers some months ago, but were still using their DNS resolution services. As of yesterday, no more.

Leaseweb is neither no better nor no worse than most shared hosting services. It shares the same obnoxious feature of all of them, namely, a laughably (as in at least five and typically closer to ten years behind the state of the art) obsolete software platform. Unless you want to run the most vanilla PHP-based frameworks (and even those typically plead with you to upgrade, which you can’t, because you don’t control that aspect of your service), forget it.

In my experience, if you want the freedom to be the least bit creative, you really need at least your own virtual host, i.e. bare metal or emulated bare metal where you have absolute control over all software from the operating system on up. Anything else leaves you hostage to someone else’s ambition, or should I say the lack of it. Why should they upgrade anything merely for your sake?

So long as their creaky old shared hosts can run a semi-recent version of WordPress, they don’t care. And apparently, neither do most of their customers. Most of them are probably only faintly aware that Python or Java frameworks, or newer PHP frameworks, even exist.

It is made all the worse by how painful (and thus costly to the service provider) it can be to upgrade Linux by a major revision. The last time I tried, doing that, the upgrader made such a mess of things that I ended up wiping it all and starting again from a blank slate.

For all these reasons, shared hosting just seems to inevitably trend downmarket.

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