It's hard to compare site hosts objectively, but I'll describe one objective measurement comparing iPowerWeb, Netmondo, and Lunarpages. I've been with iPowerWeb the longest with two sites on two different hosts there for more than three years. While I'm not about to give up on iPowerWeb yet, I have had two problems in the last semester. First, the sendmail program on the server I'm on won't send over five emails at a time, and second, the server won't restore a 1.7 backup of a course I'm teaching because it reaches a 50000 files limit. Like I said, we're working on those problems, and I haven't given up yet. I also have a site at Netmondo, and my newest site is at Lunarpages.
About a week ago, an iPowerWeb site and Lunarpages had Moodle 1.4.1 installed, and Netmondo had 1.3.1 installed, each Moodle installation basically the same. I wanted to restore a 1.7 MB backup of a class I am teaching, and as an experiment I decided to record the amount of time it took, even using a stopwatch. In each case, I set up an empty sixteen week class for the 1.7 MB class to go, so the restore process was "delete old class (empty in each case) and restore new one in its place."
The restore process took 11:16 minutes in Lunarpages, 22:38 minutes in iPowerWeb, and 23:54 in Netmondo.
My students enter Moodle during class periods, about 20 students at a time, but it's very hard to know whether iPowerWeb or Lunarpages is faster because the speed of our own school server is very inconsistent. It seems that Lunarpages may be a little faster. When I ask the students who are unaware of the site host differences, there are no clear cut differences in their perceptions either.
Question: Is the speed at which a backup restores a reliable indicator of the speed for the site user navigating a course? Thanks in advance.