when I mention $$$, its USD, as the standard seems to be USD on the internet
So, I’ve been hosted at the same company (sort of) for over 2 years now. The reason that I went with Friendlier.com as my website host is because of the uptime reported for their service (independently) and the reasonable price for the service. In a world where the price for average shared web hosting is between $2.99 and $8.99 a month, I found one that charged $4.95 per month. Plus, I could transfer my domain name to them and get it included in the price. All in all,it appeared to be a good deal.
It was. So, I transferred my domain away from DNBuy.com to Friendlier.com and life was good. I dropped the $8.97/year fee for the domain and went upon my way. I must say that transferring away from this company was not without its issue. The owners of DNBuy took forever to respond to my request for an EPP code so that I could begin the transfer process. In fact, as I remember it,they didn’t actually respond to my emails (and there were lots of them). I ended up looking up their contact number on their own Whois records (as they didn’t have a working number printed on their website) and calling them. I got someone out of bed (at 11am) and left a pleasant but insistent instruction for them to comply with my request. I got my EPP key.
Now, the hosting with Friendlier.com was great. They emailed me twice when they were going to have to take the site down, due to a need for a computer reboot. The outages were planned and around 10 minutes each. They were even receptive when I asked them to compile Xcache into PHP so that WordPress and other PHP-based sites would take less strain on the server.
As is often the case, good things can come to an end. Friendlier.com was bought by Vivahost.com. The management was remote before and that didn’t change, as the ownership of the company left the USA for Bulgaria. Through the magic of the internet, my website can be hosted in Dallas, Texas while the host is being administered from Gabrovo, BG and I can wok my site from Eastern Canada. Cool.
The problem is that there was some down time. My site went “dark” a few times without explanation for hours at a time. Once it was down for over a day. On that occasion, I finally got the explanation that my site was the source of spamming. This was news to me (and to anyone who’s been reading my drivel), as I hate the practice and actively work to prevent it. After further investigation, the admin agreed that the source wasn’t my directory after all and they turned my account back on. By turning back on, I mean recreated my account, as they’d deleted it. So, I took my recent back up and restored my site.
This happened again two more times. Obviously, the server wasn’t being paid close enough attention. Because my site is the most developed one on the server, I must have been the first choice. Anyway, I got this resolved and most of the troubles were past. Then, they wouldn’t acknowledge that they took my money. I believe that this was a confusion between the billing software and the sales staff, as the human beings that answered my tickets (by the way, Friendlier.com had a live chat that Vivahost had removed for a long period) insisted that they were aware of my payment but the billing software kept emailing me threats. After about a month, this issue was finally resolved.
All of this didn’t sit well with me, as I’d had a hard time in the past with hosting reliability and I thought that this one was going to be stable. Compared to others, it is, I guess. So, I decided to transfer my domain away from this host, partly for the power that I have with my current registrar and partly because I am a bit nervous about a continued business relationship with this host and my domain name, which happens to be my name. I didn’t want to have it held for ransom (and I wouldn’t have – I’d have let it go and re-registered it after the redemption period was up – 45 days without a site name is worth it).
After much foot dragging and a little bit of “fishy” business, I got my domain transferred away from my web host. I will remain hosted here as long as I continue to have reliable uptime but I want the “safety” of having my domain and my hosting with different companies again. Plus, its easier to keep track, as I have more than one domain.
All of my business with web hosting and domain registration has been done with small “mom and pop” businesses. I know that the industry is competitive and its hard to make a decent living at it while providing a great experience for your clients. So, I am doing this “with my eyes open” and realize that I may have to accommodate for someone else’s bad business decision down the road.
The “cool” part is the back end of the new WordPress 3.0 beta 1. I’ve been running stable code here for a while and decided to contribute to some bug hunting again. I think that anyone with a WordPress site will be impressed with the features that are about to be unleashed. I’m not so sure that this release should be called “beta”, as its still got some breakages, but they seem to be UI related. Let me know, though, if the site’s not behaving as it should. Oh, and hey. If you want to vent by ridiculing the odd human spammer that gets through my filters, go ahead. But be waned that I may not keep the spammer’s comment or any of your insults to him/her. I might, however, return to a somewhat regular writing schedule if I can decided what content goes here.