Hosts – please, stop throttling staging environments

If you’ve worked on client sites, you’ll know the dread when you hear they are hosted on X, Y, or Z host and they don’t want to move because they’ve paid for a million years in advance.

The fact is, hosts have got better over the last few years and there are a lot more tools available which are meant to make development easier. One of these tools is ‘one click’ development and staging sites. A clone of your live site that you can do development work on. “Great!” we hear you exclaiming, and it is if the service works well.

However, lately we have come across a lot of hosts trying to cut costs, in our case, specifically GoDaddy and the usually excellent Kinsta, by ‘throttling’ the servers which staging or development sites live on. This means they lower the server resources significantly, which makes the whole process painfully slow. When we tried GoDaddy, we are talking seconds to load between admin pages – the inherited site was definitely sub optimal with a lot of plugins, but the live site still loaded in a reasonable time.

We’ve had much the same experience with Kinsta recently, which is even more disappointing given that this is a ‘premium’ host. Again, this was a very large website, but the live site runs at an acceptable speed, the dev site is deadly slow. What’s even more annoying with Kinsta is that there’s no way to opt out of having an available ‘live’ site to have a fast dev site (even by special request). You can clone to a new install as a workaround, but then you lose the ‘push live’ feature.

Sure, the dev and staging servers can’t always be expected the match the specification of live ones; this is unreasonable. They should, however, still operate at a speed that allows developers and content editors to do their job in a reasonable amount of time.

What can you do if this is happening? We think there’s two ways of tackling this;

  1. Developers and site owners – speak out, let your host know you’re unhappy.
  2. Move host, but there’s no guarantee that the new host won’t do this in the future.

Tl;dr – Hosts, please stop throttling dev sites to the point it makes them tedious to work on.

Have you experienced this? let us know in the comments.

If any of the above-mentioned hosts would like to comment, please get in touch or leave a comment below.