Veerotech hosting review

Veerotech hosting review

Updated: 17/03/2019.

Here I’ll give my experience with Veerotech hosting company (affiliate link). I’ll try to provide performance metrics and be as objective as possible. A separate post offers explanation of all the metrics and how to compare hosting offers. Since I am currently using that hosting, this post is a “work in progress” – new metrics and experience will be updated as time goes by. All the provided knowledge is “to the best of my knowledge and experience”. This review is not approved, endorsed, nor in any way supported by Veerotech company.

Contents:

  1. Veerotech company info
  2. How I came to Veerotech?
  3. Website migration to Veerotech
  4. Available resources
  5. Metrics – first test results
    5.1. Testing reseller sub-account resource separation
    5.2. Monitoring resource load
  6. Technical support
  7. Uptime and speed stats
    7.1. Uptime
    7.2. Average page load time
  8. Personal (subjective) impression
  9. Problem with e-mails
    9.1. The end of the e-mail problem and a conclusion on that
  10. BackWPup plugin problem


1. Veerotech company info

Today, February 24th 2019, Veerotech is a privately owned company without any outside, or other company capital (leverage).

They were founded in 2010, with headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina (USA).

They own and maintain all of their hosting equipment (no leasing).

Types of hosting offered: shared, reseller and (KVM, both managed and unmanaged) VPS.


2. How I came to Veerotech?

In the spring/summer of 2018 I started having problems with BikeGremlin website. I admit, mostly because of poor website optimization. However, along with figuring out how to optimize, I also started reading and enquiring about hosting providers. I concluded that the current provider (Justhost – my review) is not the best one.

Who’s interested, based on that research, here are my hosting recommendations.

Veerotech got good reviews and user experiences written on WebHostingTalk forum. Also, since I realized that I should seek reseller hosting, owner of digitalFAQ, a lot more experienced in this field than I am (I’m a novice – take all the info here as is), said that he can recommend MDDhosting and Veerotech for reseller hosting (though, he was open and honest to note that his information and experience with these has not been updated very recently).

At the time, my website worked fine (though not “lightning fast”, in spite of all the optimizations done), so I wasn’t in a rush to change hosting. Then I saw that Veerotech’s cheapest reseller package costs just 12 $ and, based on my needs, it would suffice. On top of that, there was a 50% discount for the first month. I could try the hosting for just 6 dollars – see how reseller works, setting up separate cPanels, users – the offer was too good to turn down. 🙂


3. Website migration to Veerotech

It was February 2nd of 2019. For days before I was in bed with over 39 °C temperature. I had just got a little better, needed to put my brain to work again, without it being too exhausting. “OK, I’ll test this reseller a bit”.

So, on that day, I “bought” a new hosting and tried moving a test website there. It was a steep learning curve for me. Couldn’t make it work on the first day. Nor on the second (few hours work per day, still feeling weak).

In time I got the hang of it (and wrote myself a website migration tutorial, so that I don’t have to bang my head next time). First I migrated a test site, then a new one (without traffic) and finally, in February 11th 2019, BikeGremlin was moved to Veerotech hosting.

Using Cloudflare helped a lot with this. I didn’t have to wait for a change of nameservers to propagate to all the DNS-s (hours, or days), but could just change server IP address in Cloudflare’s DNS and it was propagated momentarily.

Of course, it took some testing and tuning – primarily LiteSpeed caching. Problems were with the search option (spying glass in the top right corner) and with AMP implementation. Both problems were solved with fine tuning LiteSpeed caching plugin. Didn’t even realize it wasn’t working properly at first (note to self: check AMP validation and search option functioning when migrating a website 🙂 ).

Starting with 15th of February 2019, it can be said that BikeGremlin is working properly on the new hosting. Hooray! 🙂


4. Available resources

I took the cheapest reseller package: “SSD VR-10 Reseller“. Below is the list of resources that came with it at the time of writing this post. I also made an explanation what each hosting resource means – including “unlimited” and “unmetered“.

Total for the whole hosting account:

  • Disk space: 15 GB
  • cPanels (total reseller accounts): 10 (main + 9)
  • Bandwidth: unmetered – 1 TB per cPanel

Each cPanel, i.e. reseller (sub)account gets:

  • CPU: 1 core (virtual, of course)
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • I/O: 5 Mb/s
  • IOPS: 5,000
  • Entry Processes: 20
  • iNodes: 300,000
  • Bandwidth: 1 TB
  • SSL / TLS: yes, by Let’s Encrypt
  • SPAM filtering: yes, by SpamExperts
  • FTP and E-mail accounts: unlimited
  • Domain, subdomains and parked domains: unlimited
  • Databases: unlimited

Additional features:

  • Backups: yes, using R1Soft, made daily, kept for the last 15 days, downloadable. “Backup Wizzard” included in cPanel.
  • Cloudflare integration through cPanel, including (in the price) Railgun integration (good if visitors are on another continent from where the hosting server is located). Getting this service directly through Cloudflare costs a lot (I think it’s provided starting with Business plan, from 200$ per month).
  • Softaculous.
  • SSD storage.
  • LiteSpeed server.
  • MariaDB database server.
  • CloudLinux is installed and resources per cPanel are limited/guaranteed using that “tool”.

If planning to use their hosting, It’s not bad to get acquainted with Veerotech’s TOS, (where SLA is also defined), AUP and service support scope.


5. Metrics – first test results

I wrote in detail on website performance measurement in the post: Measuring performance.

First thing I noticed, in HetrixTools (affiliate link) uptime monitor, was average page load time change, after moving from Justhost to Veerotech hosting:

Average page load time according to HetrixTools
Average page load time according to HetrixTools
Picture 1

Of course, it was still early for any conclusions. Waited a few days for some, “preliminary” Google Analytics stats of website visitors:

"Preliminary" Google Analytics average page load time stats
“Preliminary” Google Analytics average page load time stats
Picture 2

It all looks fine for the start, but I’ll be monitoring the situation in the following month, or two and then have some better, comparable data.

5.1. Testing reseller sub-account resource separation

I was curious whether I’m really getting the listed resources (chapter 4) for each cPanel, or will load of one website cause the others to perform slower, so I set up an experiment. 🙂

English and Serbocroatian website versions (bike.bikegremlin.com and bikegremlin.com) are implemented using two separate WordPress installations. They are practically two separate websites.

With Veerotech I installed them to two separate cPanels. With a third, “control” test website on a third cPanel.

Then I set up a test with Load Impact, to simulate 50 simultaneous english website (bike.bikegremlin.com) visitors for 5 minutes (more is not allowed with the free version). I deleted all the cache from Chrome browser.

After having started the Load Impact test, I started randomly opening pages on all the three websites (English, Serbocroatian and control site) – alternately. The idea was to see if any of the websites will start performing slowly.

Simultaneously I had opened cPanels of each website and followed real-time reports of CPU, RAM and other resources, to see if they will increase for all, or for just the “loaded” website.

Before, during and after tests I used GTmetrix and Dotcom-Tools to check and compare results.

Results?

I had failed to measure any performance drop – with either the “loaded” website, or the others. Nor could I get any of the test tools to show a performance drop, both before, during and after the tests. No noticeable / measurable slowing down in page load speed on any of the websites.

Repeated the test several times, on two different days. Always got similar results.

With previous hosting, 20 virtual visitors from Load Impact would cause the site to load noticeably much slower, while 30 would cause it to crash (“Error 500…”). With Veerotech? 50 virtual visitors at the same time and not even noticeable change. I am aware that these are not some enormous numbers of visits, but the difference from the previous hosting is noticeable.

The only thing that could be measured was higher CPU load during the load tests, only on the loaded website. Picture 3 shows CPU and RAM usage charts taken for exactly the same time period from the English and Serbocroatian websites:

Stats for CPU and RAM usage of (loaded) bike.bikegremlin.com (1) and bikegremlin.com (2)
Stats for CPU and RAM usage of (loaded) bike.bikegremlin.com (1) and bikegremlin.com (2)
Picture 3

The third, control website, also didn’t show any increase in resource use.

Conclusion:

Veerotech has properly implemented resource division (CloudLinux). It works exactly as promised: each cPanel gets its resources, and different cPanels don’t affect each other (in a measurable way).

5.2. Monitoring resource load

In time I have been checking resource monitors. Most of the time, the load is below 20%. CPU is the most used (occasionally gets even over 50 % load), then RAM (gets to about 40 %), while other resources are almost all the time not used with more than 20 % load.

Exception are larger edits in WordPress. It is probably not the most optimised application. Picture 4 shows CPU and RAM usage growth while one by one post is edited and some new post categories are added:

CPU and RAM load while WordPress posts are edited
CPU and RAM load while WordPress posts are edited
Picture 4


6. Technical support

An important aspect – tech. support. Veerotech uses a ticket system. As far as I know, this system enables relatively low cost (it is paid by the customers after all), with a relatively good level of service. In my experience, if a technician doesn’t know the answer, or can’t solve the problem, rephrase the question so that it can easily be conveyed to a third person (colleague) who might be able to help you – no one knows everything. Back to the topic – Veerotech tech. (ch 🙂 ) support:

There is a knowledge base, with lots of information, instructions and answers to frequently asked questions. So You can solve most “standard” problems without bothering anyone else.

If You do open a ticket and ask for support, reply time is usually below 8 minutes. First reply (which most often solves/answers the topic) is often received within 5 minutes. Both for technical questions and for billing and service terms ones. System notifies You via e-mail when a ticket is answered, but it’s often so fast that You needn’t get away from the computer (it isn’t chat though, of course).

Tech. support ladies and gentlemen are very polite, professional and patient. No complaints for now.


7. Uptime and speed stats

So far no downtime, but I’ll be updating this, along with speed stats, as the time goes by.


7.1. Uptime

  • February 2019: 100%

Total measured average: 100%


7.2. Average page load time

Stats are for real visitors, taken from Google analytics. I’ll provide stats for both Serbocroatian and English website version. Both version have practically the same contents (except the language, of course), same plugins used, same setup, everything. However, the English version has visitors from all around the globe, much less uniform visitor sample (in terms of location, Internet connection speed etc). Stats for the English version have always been “worse”, and with more random fluctuations, while the “Serbocroatian stats” have closely correlated with any website optimizations, server upgrades/downgrades etc. Now that’s explained, stats per month, for both website versions:

February 2019

Average page load time for Serbocroatian webstite. February 2019
Average page load time for Serbocroatian webstite.
February 2019
Average page load time for English website. February 2019
Average page load time for English website.
February 2019

This is more than twice as fast, compared to previous, JustHost hosting.


8. Personal (subjective) impression

Note: if metrics results differ from subjective impression when visiting a website, I always check both my computers and the metrics methods and tools. What can be deceptive?

  • Slow, poorly set up computer and/or slow Internet connection can cause slow website page loads, even though metrics show it’s good.
  • Fast computer, or/and located close to the server and/or browser full of cached website pages can cause (deceptively) fast website page loads, even though metrics show otherwise.
  • “Normal computer”, with deleted browser cache, shows results that differ from metrics – check the tools and setup for measuring, something is probably off.

OK, after a brief digression, first impressions: It’s all nice and fast. A lot faster than before the migration.

Menus on provider’s website and cPanel look professional and nice – “clear”, easy to navigate.

Quite good for now. 🙂


9. Problem with e-mails

25th February 2019. I realized that e-mails sent to visitors when they subscribe to the website (for confirmation and password setup) don’t reach the visitors. After going through the knowledge base, doing all as suggested I had managed to get this (English) website to work, but Serbocroatian one (bikegremlin.com) still didn’t send confirmation e-mails.

After some two hours, I finally decided to ask the tech. support for help. I explained that a sub-domain site works (bike.bikegremlin.com), while the main domain site doesn’t (bikegremlin.com), but they are both setup exactly the same. Told them I use Cloudflare (DNS). Told them of the updates I made to Cloudflare records:

MX bikegremlin.com mail handled by mx.spamexperts.com – priority 10
MX bikegremlin.com mail handled by fallbackmx.spamexperts.eu – priority 20
MX bikegremlin.com mail handled by lastmx.spamexperts.net – priority 30

These changes made the English website start working.

They suggested I check SPF records in DNS. I checked that, saw it was off, along with domainkey record. They explained where to look within the cPanel which values to put there. So I did it.

The problem was still present (with Serbocroatian website only, not with this one!). Then they confirmed that their SPAM filter (SpamExperts) was blocking the e-mails. I asked how come English website confirmation e-mails don’t have problems. They said it could be the different language – the reason why SPAM filter “thinks” they are SPAM and suggested I alter the confirmation e-mail contents, adding an “unsubscribe” link.

This made little sense to me, for all I know and can reason:

  • There are thousands of WordPress websites using the same form of confirmation e-mail, and I don’t know that changing their contents is “a must”.
  • It has worked fine on the two previous hosting servers (providers).
  • I would have to edit functions.php (most probably), or install another plugin, just for this function of changing e-mail contents. Just seems like an “overkill”, standard confirmation e-mail is something that I shouldn’t have to worry about (I think, with all I know for now).

They unblocked the blocked e-mails and suggested I wait a few hours and try again to see if it’s all fine now. If it doesn’t to let them know and they’ll check with SpamExperts how to solve it.

It’s been some 5 hours writing tickets back and forth. After the first two hours I had informed them I set all the Cloudflare DNS records correctly. Then it was down to them to fix their SPAM filter from what I could understand. They were patient, polite, explaining everything and not “giving up on me”. 🙂

26th February 2019. Next day, still not working. I tried using webmail and writing a custom e-mail, with no links, to my gmail account, from both websites’ webmails, in plain English. This didn’t work from either website. 🙂 I informed tech support of all this and asked them to see with SpamExperts whether the problem can be solved.

I had set up the reseller account with bikegremlin.com domain, but later, for ease of website setup and (potential) migration, I registered a “working” domain and asked Veerotech to “transfer” the main reseller account to that domain. That was all done before migrating any website. However, perhaps it takes some more changes in the “SPAM filter”, don’t know. I reminded the tech support of that fact, as a possible problem cause – couldn’t think of anything else.

Testing using a third website, ivetamakeup.com to see if the problem exists there as well (separate cPanel, clean WP install). Same – not working.

It then occurs to me that Veerotech offers Cloudflare Railgun integration. I also remembered that, of the three websites, bike.bikegremlin.com couldn’t get that integration, since Cloudflare couldn’t register a subdomain through the cPanel (Railgun is active for the entire bikegremlin.com domain, as tested, just bike.bikegremlin.com doesn’t have the cPanel integration enabled), nor could I “explain” to it that it’s the subdomain of bikegremlin.com and that it’s all nicely set up with the Cloudflare DNS. That is bike.bikegremlin.com is not connected with Cloudflare through cPanel at all.

So I decided to make a test: disabled Railgun integration for ivetamakeup.com. It didn’t help. Bottom line: bike.bikegremlin.com is the only one without a cPanel “connected” with Cloudflare and the only one that works.

I relay all this info to the tech support. They reply they have sent the report to the SpamExperts and are waiting for their report. Said the problems are not connected and they are domain dependant. We’re waiting to hear what the SpamExperts will say.

27th February 2019. Webmail got working! 🙂 But only if writing in English – writing in Serbian gets the mails blocked. User registration e-mails still not working. 🙁

Did some more tests with ivetamakeup.com – it too was still not working. Decided to open a ticket for that (as I was instructed – separate ticket for each domain). Again, tech support suggested it could be a language problem, triggering the SPAM filter. For this website, it was not a problem to “switch” it to English, so I did that. Tested – it worked! Switched back to “Serbian” – again, blocked.

Now we are waiting for a reply from SpamExperts to see if they can fix/solve this. I am curious to find out if this is a “systematic” problem with SpamExperts for all the mail in Serbo-croatian (or perhaps all the “third world” languages), or just my bad luck?

Same day afternoon: I got an e-mail notification of a new visitor successfully setting their password. Literally minutes after that, tech support is asking me to test again. It all works! 🙂 They didn’t give up on trying to help me and persisted in communication with SpamExperts in order to get it all to work. And they fixed it. 🙂

I’ll try to set up another domain with a “Serbian” website to see if it will have the same problems. This is important info for business websites that need e-mail communication (e-stores etc.).

EDIT: I was early to cheer – before having set up another test site, problems reappeared on the old ones. 🙁 No confirmation and even plain e-mail sent from webmail gets blocked (no links inside, ordinary correspondence). Back to the drawing board…

Still not sure whether it’s a SpamExperts problem so I should expect this of any host that uses SpamExperts, or it is both hosting provider and SpamExperts related. Not sure how all that works.

In my experience with computers, it happens not rarely enough that something you don’t even check and “it is understood” to work can create headache and take time to fix. This is a typical example in my opinion.

28th February 2019. Still not working. I’ve contacted SpamExperts directly, using their website contact form, explaining my situation and asking for any info/explanation. Provided a link to this page for full list of how it went on, hoping they might figure a way to sort it out.

Related topic on WebHostingTalk forum, where I also asked for help.

Afternoon – receiving “ordinary” (plain text) e-mails has started working normally.

2nd March 2019. I tested a few solutions for “avoiding” the outgoing SPAM filter, using applications and “outside” IP addresses and delivery services. Tested solutions that worked nicely:

  • SendGrid – requires additional DNS setings in order to work properly (offers several other methods as well). Free for up to 100 e-mails per day, later it requires paying, at reasonable prices. The fact that domain gets “verified” using DNS makes me think that e-mails will be delivered more reliably and with less chance of ending up in the recipient’s SPAM box.
  • Sendinblue – simpler setup. Offers up to 300 daily e-mails for free, but for more e-mails, prices are roughly double compared to SendGrid ones. Looks like a better option for over 100 and below 300 daily e-mails for those on a tight budget.

In the meantime, it seems that it’s all started working fine. 🙂 That is: works fine without having to use the above noted services. Hope it stays that way now. Will be monitoring the situation in the following days to confirm it is all OK.

9.1. The end of the e-mail problem and a conclusion on that

There’s lots of spam and people sending it. What can a hosting provider do?

  • They can make their outgoing e-mail filters to be “lenient”. In that case, problems like I’ve had would not happen very likely. However: a (bad) customer could send out lots of SPAM, which would cause the provider’s IP address to be blacklisted as a SPAM source. This would result in other customers (using the same IP address – shared hosting) having problems with the delivery of their e-mails – they would get blocked by recipients’ incoming SPAM filters.
  • Other option is to be strict with outgoing filters. This policy has caused my problems. However, that is something that can be worked out with the provider (and SpamExperts), while getting a once blacklisted IP off that list is much more problematic and You depend on third persons to do so.

There is no perfect solution. On top of that, when sending e-mails, sender has little control of how they are relayed, have they arrived and when exactly – that’s how the “e-mail technology” (protocol) is.

Trying to be as objective as possible: the Veerotech e-mail policy is a justified one. You can go to another provider who isn’t as strict, with all the consequences that brings (as explained above). Choose what is the lesser evil for you.

The reason for writing this review (it will get updated) is for personal reference and helping others. Likewise, the 9th chapter wasn’t written to make the provider look bad – if one reads it objectively and has ever experienced a (computer) problem that is “elusive” to put it that way. Tech. support did their job and fixed the problem – even though it, apparently, took a lot of time and (I presume) some effort. Claiming these things don’t happen regularly.

All in all – above I’ve provided links with explanations of alternate solutions should one ever run into similar problems. One can also choose to avoid hosting providers that use SpamExperts (again, with all the noted pros and cons of that choice).


10. BackWPup plugin problem

I noticed that BackWPup backup plugin won’t work. Reports an error that it runs out of memory. This plugin does put some load on the server, while it packs and copies files. I had thought it was somehow “disabled” on purpose. I asked tech. support.

  • First they suggested I increase memory limits in PHP options. Didn’t help.
  • Then they said that from their testing, the plugin won’t work with PHP 7.2, but does with 7.3, so I switched to that. It stopped reporting errors, but didn’t save wp-content directory.
  • They directed me to use cPanel backup option. Tested it, that works. However, BackWPup was convenient for doing “incremental backups” – saving the database, root and current year file uploads. That is not possible using cPanel and it is faster, creating much smaller files to download and upload.
  • I asked if there is a way to enable BackWPup plugin to work. They told me to see with the plugin vendor, since the plugin was not made by them, nor provided, so it is not their responsibility to make it work.
  • Plugin vendor supposes it is a hosting server problem – plugin support forum link.

Hosting works stably and fast. I suppose one of the reasons is disabling plugins like this – that put extra load on the server. If considering this hosting, expect “strict rules” in terms of what you can do and use. Similar to SpamExperts problem, this too is a double edged sword, so each should choose for themselves what is a “lesser evil”: more freedom, or better performance (or a VPS to choose for yourself, but at a higher price).


If You found this post (or website) helpful and want to sign up with Veerotech hosting, You can do so using my Veerotech affiliate link and support this website by doing so.

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