If your host runs their own servers, they probably install all the software and perform all the configurations necessary to make that server work well. Hardware is important for reliability and speed, but so is server software.
Once upon a time, I upgraded to a new version of WordPress. I did this on several sites on several different hosts. I immediately started getting error messages in my error logs on all the sites.
But only on one host did I get massive core dump files plopped into my main folder every few hours. The things were huge, so I had to manually delete them every few hours (even getting up in the middle of the night, for pete’s sake) to keep them from using all my disk space. I did a ton of research and learned that:
- Core dumps are debugging files for programmers
- If you don’t know how to use them, your host might
- There are usually better ways to sort out bugs, so they’re pretty much worthless
- Good hosts don’t dump them into your main folder.
I wrote my host and asked them if they could change the configuration so this would stop happening. I also assured them this was almost certainly a plugin issue with the updated WordPress, and I was working hard to find which plugin (it was hard, because there were no problems evident on the site, and nothing I tried seemed to generate a new error log, so all I could do was keep trying stuff).
Basically, they refused to change the configuration. They did offer to help me debug by using one of the core files, but these were the same guys who once installed an old backup for no apparent reason, so I was more than a little unsure of letting them try to debug something. I polled some potential new hosts – all of which explained why the core dump thing shouldn’t be happening and told me about a tiny line of script that would stop that from happening – and read some forum posts about my host. I came to the conclusion they just don’t quite grasp certain aspects of server configuration.
Lesson? Don’t take your hosts’ word for techie stuff. Talk to other hosting clients and other hosts to get a feel for whether what your host tells you is accurate, inaccurate or one opinion among many.