After struggling with our last host for about 6 months, I finally decided to switch to a new host for our site and blog. I guess you probably have noticed, but the blog has been S-L-O-W. It seems that the problem was that we are approaching 1,000 posts and it was too much for the shared hosting plan that we were on.
Another problem was that the admin section was so slow that it was becoming impossible to write new posts. I had to click and then go and do something else for a while. It was not fun.
Even worse was that the blog got infected by a virus 4 times in the last 6 months. I got to learn how to fix every php file on the site. Having quite a bit of experience with computers I understand that this kind of thing happens. But the attitude of the tech support people was not OK. They blamed me for the infection, even though thousands of other customers had their blogs hacked at the exact same time.
The interesting thing about this whole hosting problem is that you don’t have to guess anymore. After doing just about 15 minutes of research on the internet, I found several highly rated companies. I always like to call the company and ask some stupid questions. That gives me immediate feedback about how responsive the technical support is, and the attitude of the people that I will be dealing with.
I called bluehost and they answered immediately. I asked how to transfer my blog, and the person told me. The important piece of information that I got out of the interaction is that the person I talked to actually cared about helping, even though I was not even a customer. To me, the attitude of the tech support people is one of the biggest predictors of how well the service will work out.
In the last few days, I contacted their tech support 7 times (I ask a lot of questions!). 6 were by phone and one by chat. I did not have to wait on hold at all. The person I talked to was knowledgeable enough to answer the question. And, they actually cared that I got the site working.
Overall, my experience has been excellent. I was concerned that the blog would go down for 24 hours or more. It turns out that it did not go down at all.
Another interesting thing about bluehost is that after every customer service interaction there is a survey. It is super easy and literally takes 5 seconds. How smart is that? Do you think that any company that cared about customer satisfaction would implement such a system? I do.
The only area of improvement that I have identified so far is that the control panel seems a bit slow. Hopefully it will get faster.
Anyway, that’s the story of getting rid of the terrible old internet hosting and getting a new, highly rated one. It will be interesting to see how it works out.