An open letter to Media Temple

Dear MediaTemple,

Today is Day 5 of server outages, latency in load times, ftp problems, time outs and 403 and 404 errors. You have been excellent with updating both the status blog with the *issues aforementioned that are affecting Cluster 4 Segment 1 which is where my blog is hosted with you and in updating my private support ticket right from the beginning. And you were very kind with that offer you DM’ed me on Twitter, however I’m reluctant to accept it as this downtime has made me feel threatened to continue hosting with you… to be honest.

I’m not a bandwidth hog nor do I even use your email services and the latter being a choice I’m glad I made as your email services seem to be most affected with these most recent outages. But what if… I needed email? I am paying for that service right?

Two days ago when I thought cluster 4 Segment 1 got the green light I began working and updated my WordPress blogging software to 2.9.1 to keep my blog secure and lost all the text based widgets from my sidebar. I’ve never had an issue with updating WordPress before and have never lost any sidebar widgets during an update until two days ago. It looks like I don’t buy handmade, have an Etsy shop or belong to 9rules with the middle one being the most important as that little art shop supports me financially and was the most clicked on image on this blog.

My hosting is set to expire with you in a couple of weeks. And sadly, I don’t know what to do because I’m not a tech person but an artist who simply enjoys creating content and sharing that content with her readers. If I can’t share I’m not happy and neither are my readers.

I’m feeling angry, sad and disillusioned about you. I’m not sure how to proceed.

Perhaps you could place my logo on the front page of, alongside your coprorate clientele and show how much you appreciate my business and let your future clients see the human side of MT. You can grab my logo (which under normal circumstances is **located in my sidebar) right here within this post. How about that! And maybe you could place two other business logos chosen from the affected Cluster 4 Segment 1 and put them up there to.

You could even go so far as to begin getting to know your smaller business clientele who in reality are the backbone of your company on a monthly basis by interviewing a few of us and publishing that interview to your blog. Get to know us and help us grow and in turn you’ll grow to because we’ll need bigger services from you :)

Because at the moment we little one’s are talking on twitter and we don’t seem to be too happy.

I’m a business owner and deal with the same things you are dealing with right now. Do the right thing MT.

Thank you for reading.

Jessica Doyle

*issues have been occurring during the last year, however this one has gone into record breaking overtime
**please read paragraph 3

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35 thoughts on “An open letter to Media Temple

  1. A friend of mine (and his customers and site visitors) have been affected by this as well. In 2010, this kind of lengthy outage is absolutely unacceptable. This is the kind of thing you expected by in the 20th century. Now, with so many options out there that are far more reliable, I can’t see any reason to stay with them unless you have no idea where to go.

    A while back, I started a list of hosts web designers use and you can check that out here:

    I have started a brand new thread in the hopes we can get some new suggestions:

    Best of luck,

  2. Hi Jessica,

    We really appreciate your letter and your frustrations. We understand these outages have a real impact and are unacceptable. Again, your patience and tact is very appreciated.

    Your idea is actually very inline with our new community goal of offering a greater voice for our clients, many of whom are amazing artists and designers. We plan on launching a community site, focusing on new artists and designers on a weekly if not daily basis.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible for us at the time to put your logo up, our efforts are focused on fixing the issues at hand right now.

    Best regards,
    Jason McVearry
    Community Director
    (mt) Media Temple

  3. Jessica –

    I feel your pain and I admire your approach. My website,, also on your cluster, is suffering greatly right now. I run a small business and being without e-mail during the first week of the new year has had literal and tangible negative effects – on Tuesday I lost a job that represented multiple thousands of dollars in revenue because I didn’t respond to an e-mail that I never even knew I’d received. I really don’t know where to go from here because I’ve been so impressed with MediaTemple otherwise, but this week has left me angry beyond belief and not sure where to turn. Let’s hope they can get everything together soon, as I have NEVER heard of an outage this long. And you can bet I along with everyone else will be demanding to see some incident logs when this is solved so we can start to understand what caused this disaster, and who can be held accountable.

    Dan Berk
    Executive Producer
    Last Pictures

  4. Sweety pie, before you installed the updated version, did you back up your database and download a copy of your site to your hard drive, as it should be possible to restore it all.

    By, I have been looking at the customisation possibilities of Thesis and it’s popularity. From a purely asthetic design point of’s pretty dull, there are others, which have more portential and better features. I am curious why you have not installed a gallery plug in, as a portfolio element to your Blog for you is pretty indispensable.

  5. Been reading quite a few reviews of Media Temple online. Interesting, people don’t fault the package, but their seems to be a lot of issues with downtime and poor support. Real mixed bag of reviews. I did a check of top ten hosting companies and checked about ten different sites that rate hosting. Media Temple didn’t appear in any of them.

  6. Dear Lorrie,

    Typically our reviews are relatively positive and we offer 24/7 365 Los Angeles based Customer Support. You typically wont find us in those “Top Web Host” links as those are usually paid placement services that we do not subscribe to.

    Scott DeSmet
    (mt) Media Temple

  7. Hi,

    Just thought I’d put in a word for, I have been with them for a year and their service have been spotless but then again, my blog is nowhere as popular as yours so some downtime may have gone unnoticed…

    I like their honesty (They do post about their clients on their blog once in a while too) but what appeals the most to me is the almost total access to the server (through ssh) you get with even the most basic plan. There is still a web based control panel if the unix console is not your cup of tea, but I am sure you know a few people who are proficient in this arcane art. This access opens up a whole world of possibilities, but what you could be most interested in would be the capacity to get *insert geeky friend* to program automated backups for you or a mechanism that transfers the web hosting temporarily to your computer.

    The only downside is that their servers are located in Texas; this can mean a lot or nothing, but my friend wordpress blog which is hosted along with mine does not load as fast as yours. With mine, its difficult to tell because its using a different software.

    I will have to disagree with Ben Collins on outages being unacceptable in 2010. Computers and their software are getting increasingly complex which goes in par with a decrease in reliability and predictability. The bottom line is: unless you are willing to pay (obviously more than a one-person business can afford) for high availability web-hosting, you are pretty much stuck with shared hosting companies and variable up-times .

    Good luck!

  8. Well there I was thinking it was my internet connection or I installed ExpressionEngine wrong somehow when a site I was working on wouldn’t load, kept timing out and spat SQL errors left right and center.

    But I’m intrigued to see this new community site @ Jason speaks of…

    Hope this gets fixed soon.

  9. Thanks for stopping in and reading my letter Jason. I’m looking forward to the community pages. And I’ll keep an eye out for my logo on the MT front page 😉

  10. Lorrie – aesthetically Thesis is one of the best themes out there if not the best. The most widely read websites online today are simple and clean in both their design and architecture underneath and thesis meets these important requirements. And above all their support is wonderful as is the support team at Media Temple. I chose both these companies for that reason. When I have an issue or need help they tend to respond rather quickly to it.

    I want people to read the content and not look at the design of the site and thesis does that quite well. It’s also very SEO friendly 😉

  11. Scott – thanks for the hosting suggestion. I don’t think they would work for what I need as I average about 500 visitors a day and that hosting company albeit nice seems to host only static websites that are not regularly updated like a blog is.

  12. Antoine – Thanks for recommending webfaction to me and for stopping by my blog. I am planning to stay with MediaTemple. Someday I’ll be able to afford something more than shared hosting. I’ll make that a goal for next year in 2011.

    JB – I’m looking forward to the community site as well! The web is changing rapidly to a more social one and it’ll be nice to be hosted with MT as it seems to be moving in this direction to.

  13. Hi there Jess..

    I did not mean to come across as offensive, or arrogant, or a ‘know it all’, I really was just trying to be helpful. I appreciate what you like about Thesis, and yes, it’s a popular theme, particularly for being SEO friendly. However, it’s NOT one of the most popular WordPress themes. Believe me, I did some considerable research on this (on the WordPress site) as I was going to offer you my web design services as a friend, free of charge I might add 😉 as I have done so for many others, and am still happy to do lend a hand and within this theme. I do still think it’s dull and to be honest, despite the white space, every Thesis lay out I have ever looked at looks to me…cluttered. I also appreciate what you say about content being more important than design. However, you are not an IT Tech, or an Engineer, but an artist, a creative person, and I do think it crucial that your site reflect that. I think it of the utmost imporance that your site look as elegant, eyecatching and unique as your art.

    Regarding my comments about Media Temple. Again, I spent some considerable time reading reviews, forum posts and blogs of users and former users, and as I stated the consensus was divided. Most people agree that overall Media Temple offer a good package, but there appeared to be a dispropornate amount of dissatisfaction.

    Anyway, as I said. I was just trying to help.


  14. Right…have done a lot more research since I wrote this. It’s not a free theme, which makes a big difference. Lots of very good reviews of it, but overall it would appear design wise, it’s hard to customise, and some php knowledge is required particularly when using ‘hooks’. It’s meant to be stripped down and clean, and I think from reading the background info, was originally intended for professionals who just wanted a clean blog.

    Right..I shall go away now. 😀

  15. Hey Lorrie – I hope you didn’t take my response as being negative sweetie! You are a friend and while I do appreciate your offer I will decline as I do truly enjoy the Thesis theme and all the possibilities that it could potentially turn into. There support (via forum) and user manual is unprecedented as far as WordPress themes go.

    I currently have someone living with me who is a programmer. He’ll be helping me customize Thesis to turn this site into what I want it to be. Check out the Thesis Showcase.

  16. humans everywhere…………..problem or not donn know exactly just because everybody run crazy you don’t have to do the same. I host with mediatemple also (dv) never had problems…………… can change hosting company problems will be there also………humans everywhere…….problem or not donn know exactly…………

  17. Hi Jessica. I appreciate your blog entry – I’m an illustrator, and I was thinking of going with MT. I’ve been completely happy with my hosts (5quidhost – 99% uptime, ultra-quick friendly support, often within 1/4 hour, and cheap. They even do a free package to try them out with.) I was only thinking of moving as I’d heard such great things of MT and I thought they might be better for a business site. I think I’ll carry on hunting. I will watch with interest to see whether you switch or not.
    Good Luck.

  18. Jessica,
    Your blog raises a lot of valid concerns and issues with Media Temple. Their customer service will respond nd call you on the phone, they are very persuasive however actions speak louder than weords. The truth is, they have far too many outages. One a week is actually on a good week.
    They have caused invaluable and intangible waste for small businesses. As a small business, you need a partner that can make your general work easier by taking complete ownership of their part and executing without excuse after excuse. Media Temple is an expert with excuses. How about just stop with the excuses and perform per your advertisement and assurances.

  19. Hi, Jessica. I’m considering MT for WP hosting and am curious how the MT experience has been for you since January? Thanks!

  20. Hi Jessica,

    Curious as to why you are still with Media Temple? Have you had any additional outages?



  21. Media Temple are a terrible host…. I know, I have been with them for years

    Couldn’t be bothered to switch but now have.

    They are friendly but the worst for reliability.

    I hope the truth gets out about them. Twitter is entertaining though… the amount of negative tweets every other day!

  22. Definitely terrible. For me, their inability to seriously address these problems since 2006 means it’s time to leave and shout loudly.

  23. I am really confused in which company i will host my site. So i asked my friends they gave me the option for am really happy while working with them.

  24. I’ve been using MediaTemple for a few years now, and I must say I’m very disappointed with the service. Security flaws, slow load times, and over-priced back ups have lead me to shift to HostGator, which doesn’t look as pretty as MediaTemple, but works far better….

  25. I was also on Cluster 4 segment. I finally had to let Media Temple go after a year with them. I just have a WordPress blog and the extra monthly charges my site accrued (due to what they claimed were high GPU usage) were far and above the base rate I was paying. One month they were 4 times higher than what I was told I would be paying when I signed up. And then the latest couple of rounds of outages and days of 403 errors was the final straw. I feel your frustration. I’m now with InMotion and only paying a fraction of what I was with MT – and much happier.

    They all seem like nice people, but the service should be much better for the prices they charge. Wish I had seen your post before I signed up initially.

  26. Aaron, This post is from last year in January 2010. I’ve since solved the issues with MediaTemple and am very happy to have them as a host now.

    I installed a W3 Super Cache here on the blog and also upgraded my hosting with MT to include a MySQL Grid Container. Even with the basic settings for W3 my blog runs faster and since upgrading my hosting with MT my uptime hovers around 99.70% which I’m super happy with! :)

    Two employees at MT, Migel Parez and Sara (can’t remember her last name) were instrumental in helping me with the databases issues I was having.

  27. I have been using media temple for about 6 months now, I don’t use a mysql container at the moment, although I have done previously. I find that up time has improved on my cluster significantly.  I track it and got between 100% and 99.98% I find this acceptable for my needs. I love the uControl for e-mail management and find e-mail performance is greatly improved. I know they have been working on this though.

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