WHY I SWITCHED HOSTING COMPANIES

In this article I will give you an overview in details, why i switched hosting companies.

I think one of the most stressful things that bloggers have to deal with is changing hosting companies. Since moving to WordPress in 2010, I’ve been with three hosting companies as well as several upgrades to different types of servers with Hostgator. Just last month, I moved to LiquidWeb from Hostgator and let’s just say I’m glad it’s over with. I hate having to move, but I felt I had no choice this time. Let me explain.

I left FatCow and moved onto a shared server with Hostgator. I was fine for a few months and then when I was away at a blogging conference, they shut my site down for “using too many resources”. 

I had to jump through a bunch of hoops disabling plugins, etc for them to turn my site back on. This happened to me at least every few weeks and was annoying. 

my RSS feed stopped working and Hostgator said I had outgrown shared hosting and suggested I move to VPS. So I did. I had nothing but issues on VPS. In the summer of 2011, my site was down almost every day and it cost me a lot of money to hire a tech person to help me figure out the problem. 

In the end, Hostgator said my site was too big for VPS and I would continue to have issues until I moved to a dedicated server. I moved to the dedicated server at a whopping $279/month.

My site was making money at this point so I could afford it, but that’s still a large cost to pay each month. Thankfully it was all a tax write-off!

I liked being on the dedicated server up until about 5 months ago. I never had any issues and my site was always fast and responsive.

What changed everything for me was when Hostgator emailed me about an “upgrade” where they would be moving my server to their Provo, UT data center. 

I noticed a big difference in performance after that move. There were times that I couldn’t even navigate my dashboard because it took 5 minutes to load one page. At $279 a month, I should not have been having these issues. It only happened in the early mornings too which was strange.

When I complained to Hostgator, they told me to “optimize my database”. My database was already optimized! I have that done every month. 

It took me threatening to leave Hostgator for them to even escalate to a higher-tech person. I still didn’t get any answers. One thing I notice about my experience with Hostgator is that it’s always your fault. 

Even though my issues only started after the move to Provo, it was still my fault and they wouldn’t even acknowledge it could be them.

Then there were the brute force attacks at the Provo datacenter. This seemed to happen to Provo a lot! Remember August 2nd? That was the day Hostgator, BlueHost and other EIG owned sites went down. 

My site was down the whole day and I even got a message from Google Webmaster Tools telling me the Google bots were not able to crawl my site.

I didn’t realize that Hostgator had been bought out by EIG until that happened. I decided then to start looking at other hosting options.

I ended up finding LiquidWeb and going back and forth via email with questions about hosting. LiquidWeb went into my server on Hostgator to look at the resources I was using now so they could recommend a plan that would fit me. 

What they found shocked the pants off me. Hostgator had been storing all my backups on my server which was making it ENORMOUS. It was no wonder that I required a dedicated server. LiquidWeb said they store backups of your site so it doesn’t take up room.

They recommended I get a Hybrid Server with Litespeed which was going to cost me $119/month. That’s $160 a month savings for me! That was enough to push me to finally leave Hostgator. 

LiquidWeb took care of the transfer at no cost and kept me up-to-date throughout the transition. They excluded those backup folders from the move so the actual size of my site was much, much smaller.

Since moving to Wired Tree, I’ve noticed a few things:

1. Scheduled posts post when they are supposed to.

 In my last few months on Hostgator, I would have to manually post my posts. 

My scheduled posts missed their schedule daily. The problem was solved when I left Hostgator.

2. Spam galore is gone.

 My Akismet never worked right on Hostgator since the move to Provo. It would always say Akismet has detected a problem… and then I would spend at least an hour every day deleting all the spam. It was never even picked up as spam so I had to watch comments very carefully. I haven’t had that warning once since moving to Wired Tree.

3. Dashboard slowness is gone.

 Remember me saying that it would take me 5 minutes to load a page in my dashboard? That issue was fixed when I left Hostgator.

4. Less downtime. 

No downtime yet since the move (knock on wood). I’m on Pingdom which tracks when my site is down. Here’s my downtime report from the last year.

One thing positive about the whole mess on August 2nd with Hostgator was a personal phone call I received from one of their executives. 

He apologized for the downtime and gave me a month free hosting. I appreciated his call, but in the end, I decided to still make the switch to save myself some money and hope that my site issues would resolve.

Another thing I wanted to mention….if you are with Hostgator and they are suggesting an upgrade, make sure you ask a lot of questions first. 

Find out about your backups and where they are storing them. I even had a tech person back then different than who I use now and they never said anything about that to me.

If you are thinking of moving, check out LiquidWeb. They don’t offer shared hosting plans (I dislike those anyways). They have VPS servers, Hybrid Servers, and Dedicated Servers. Contact their sales and ask them to recommend a package to you. I’m extremely pleased with them and hopefully, this will be my last migration!

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