London Bloggers Event – July 1st

You may have noticed we’ve been at more events, meetups and conferences over the past year or so. We’re written about several on our blog and often use and update our social media channels while we’re at the event itself. And last night we celebrated our partnership with by attending and sponsoring  their July event.

Our partnership with LondonBloggers is one on several levels. Our main priority is to provide members of the LondonBloggers meetup group and social influence sphere with options for reliable and secure WordPress hosting. These are two of the most common complaints we see online from WordPress webmasters, and the team at LondonBloggers underlined this by confirming it is frequently asked question by members of the group.

Bloggers looking to use WordPress and host their blog generally have several options. For novice or less tech savvy bloggers, the starting point is often For more advanced bloggers, or blogs that have developed over time, a fully fledged hosting package is usually a better option. Self-hosted WordPress, such as the package we provide with LondonBloggers, is more powerful and infinitely more customisable. You can also use your own domain at a sensible cost; is very expensive for domain registration.

The package we’ve developed in conjunction with LondonBloggers includes WordPress pre-installed and ready to go. You also get a fully working hosting account (supporting email, ftp, databases and more) and is ideal for small and mid-sized blogs.

So in addition to the WordPress hosting package, we’re also becoming involved in the meetup events. This gives us a chance to meet bloggers from all walks of life, answer questions about the best hosting platforms for WordPress, answer questions on what bloggers would like to make their lives easier and become a closer part of the WordPress and blogger community. We hate the idea of being a faceless, unapproachable and non-communicative web host and love the idea of being closely involved with our customers and potential customers – to both of our benefit.

Last night’s event was held at an informal venue; a Kings Cross pub. We took over the function room and I, along with some other speakers, participated in a Q&A session


We fielded a lot of questions about SEO, WordPress plugins, hosting and some misc blogging questions. One of them was on the Ghost blogging platform.

It’s only fair I give a mention to Judith Lewis of who fielded the majority of the questions from the audience. We knew SEO would be popular; bribing the audience with delicious chocolate only furthered this! In general, it was a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours and we’re looking forward to be part of the community and group moving forward.

The last part of our sponsorship is sponsoring LBM’s podcasts. I believe a blog post will go live on this over at, so I’ll save news about this for later.

Compare dedicated servers – with our new comparison page

We’ve been making a lot of noise about our new UK dedicated servers of late. And there’s a reason behind it. No one else is offering such a great value combination of server price, enterprise server hardware, a super-fast network backed by Jolt’s award winning support.

To give you an idea of just how good our new servers are, we’ve built a dedicated server comparison page that stacks us against some of our competition in the UK. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised just how well we do compare against some of the big names in UK hosting. And we hope that this server comparison will help you decide which dedicated server to order. We’ll add more competitors to the comparison page in future.

We’re also working on an extended datacentre tour to show off our Tier 3+ Midlands datacentre in which these servers are housed. Stay tuned for this. And also be sure to check out our recently re-designed server pages based on some early feedback we’ve faced from you.

Our 50% off first month dedicated server offer is continuing through May, so now is the time to act and get a great deal on of your dedicated hosting.

Installing our new uk dedicated servers – in pictures

You may have seen us recently launch our brand new range of UK dedicated servers at Jolt dedicated servers range. We took pictures of the first batch of dedicated servers arriving onsite at our UK datacentre and us installing the servers in our colocation space. Pictures to tell the story are below…


Servers arriving onsite
Servers arriving onsite
Raritan server PDU
Raritan PDUs providing full metered power control to each server
Gigabit network switches
Top of rack gigabit switches (Cisco, HP)


Recycle server boxes
We recycle all datacentre waste, including server boxes
rack servers
Here are the first set of servers being installed into the rack
good server rack
A neatly cabled server rack is important for airflow. We’re proud of our handiwork here 🙂
Dedicated server close up
Close up of the servers showing public and private network links. Each server has 2 network connections.


In the last pictures you see our approach to rack cabling. For us, rack cabling HAS to be tidy. It means the airflow throughout the rack and servers remains good and helps keep the servers running cool. It also means identifying any particular server is much easier, and for this reason we also colour code the cables / wiring. The orange cables are power cables, the blue are public network and the red are private network. We’re offering a private network connection between servers for customers that run multiple dedicated servers or need a cluster. We do not charge for bandwidth / traffic costs between the servers, making it very cost effective for backups. And lastly, we use the private network connection for server initialisation. This reduces time to deploy, and we can setup servers same day (business hours)  for all new orders and generally sub < 2 hours!

We’ll take some more pictures as we deploy the second batch of servers.




Carbon neutral green hosting. Yep, that’s us!

A few weeks ago I blogged about our partnership with the Woodland Trust and how this is driving our green and environmental efforts moving forward. They sent us a calendar, some swag but also this certificate. We’re proud of our efforts to reduce our environmental impact and will display this certificate in our office and on our website.

green hosting, carbon neutral hosting
Certificate of our support for the Carbon Trust


If you care about the environment and host with a different hosting provider that claims to be green, do ask for proof. If they can’t provide it then think about moving to the green side…

An update on the power issues faced with UKRS5 and some other servers

Sometimes web hosts can have a bad day. We had one yesterday. We had a series of abnormal issues with one of our UK servers, UKRS5, over the duration of just over a week. The server would randomly reboot itself with no instruction from us from the command line,no instruction from us from the ILO card, no instruction from us at PDU level.


We’re very experienced at handling server issues; hardware, software, upstream network, etc. The hardware that we choose is always the best which minimises potential hardware issues (and maximises our credit card bills…) but it pays off in the stability and performance it offers.

In the UK specifically, we use HP and Supermicro exclusively. Around half our servers are HP Gen7 Xeon E3s and half are Supermicro Xeon E3s/E5s. All kitted out with tons of RAM, 4 x hard drives in RAID 10, RAID card, remote access card, etc. We really leave nothing to chance on hardware and we stock extensive spares just to be on the safe side.


So going back to UKRs5. The first port of call for a random reboot issue is the PDU, or power distribution unit. We use managed Raritan PDUs in our UK datacentre, giving full remote reboot capabilities and basically a fall back to reboot a server should the command line and the ILO / IPMI card be unavailable  Unlikely, but redundancy is key. The Raritans have a great reputation and have caused us no issues elsewhere, and we could see nothing in the logs to suggest this particular one was powering the server down.

But just to be sure, we swapped the server to the B PDU in the rack (all racks run A + B PDUs).

So the next thing to check was the PSU, or power supply unit, in the server itself. We swapped the PSU overnight last week to a brand new PSU.

Same issue.

Next up, we did a complete system replacement. This is actually the cause of the extended downtime incident as we took the 4 hard drives from the old UKRS5 server to a brand new UKRS5 server. We keep spare servers of exactly the same specification (motherboard, RAM configuration, network card) so there are no driver compatibility issues. Even with a clean shutdown of the old UKRS5, we had to do a filesystem check and RAID rebuild in the new server and this took quite some time. This caused the downtime witnessed by some of you and we made the mistake of underestimating how long this would take.

Fast forward to today. The server rebooted itself again. Huge frustration in our team as other than underestimating the length of time for the RAID rebuild, we did everything by the book. Despite us being sure of the server’s health, the PSU’s health and the PDU’s health, the UPS (battery backup health), as a precaution we decided to bring in yet another PDU and connected to yet another power feed. So in effect, this is a C PDU connected to a 3rd UPS (PDU A is connected to UPS A, PDU B is connected to UPS B, etc). So far, things have been stable but we continue to monitor the situation closely. I actually travelled to be onsite at the datacentre to oversee the build out of the C phase / C PDU and the connecting of the server to this. I snapped a quick picture of the one of the power room A (holding the UPS and power switch gear for the A side UPS) while I was there. It’s only camera phone quality though.

UPS UK Datacentre
UPS Room A – UK datacentre

So why this blog post? We got some very constructive feedback that customers want more information on what’s being done to rectify the issue and what happens behind the scenes. We’ve taken this on board and will post as much information as we have during any maintenance (scheduled or emergency) and do our level best to post a follow up / post-mortem like this afterwards.