In my earlier post, Experiences in Blogging – Domains, I discussed the reasons why I think it’s important to have your own domain. I mentioned that I purchased my domain for Culinary Zest from GoDaddy and that experience was painless.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the second experience I had with them.
I thought I would follow-up with Experiences in Blogging – Hosting next.
In my excitement to get my blog up and running, I didn’t take the time to do my research like I should have. While going over some details on my account, I noticed that they offered an unlimited shared hosting package for very little cost. They ran WordPress too. Great! That’s what I need and I can afford it.
I figured the previous transaction had been easy and painless, they’re a big company so I’m safe, Right. I paid for an entire year of Hosting services with them, to get the largest discount I could. Probably the best money I could have spent after my domain I thought.
I failed to take the time to do some research. What was their service like. Did they have a good reputation. Did they deal with problems quickly and to the customer’s satisfaction. Was the Hosting plan I signed up for any good. These are all things I should have taken into account before I signed up with them. I should have taken the time to see what the word-on-the-street was about their service.
I signed up for their unlimited shared hosting package and then set up a local installation of WordPress on my computer. This allowed me to develop a test site, where I could experiment, make changes, break things and fix them, without risking anything on a live site. Having a local test site on my computer gave me the confidence I needed to develop my site without worrying about destroying anything on my live site. And trust me, I broke lots of things. I still do 🙂
I worked on my test site. Everything ran smoothly while I did. WordPress ran perfectly and I never had any issues with it. This will be great when I upload to my live site!
The day came to upload to my live server with GoDaddy. And then the problems began pretty much immediately.
Logging in was hit or miss, with a lot more miss than success. It was so very slow and it often timed out and threw errors. It was frustrating to say the least.
On my live site nothing was working well, it was the complete opposite of my test site. The same problems occurred over and over. Timing out. Errors. When it did work it ran as slow as sap. It made it impossible to work on. It discouraged me. It frustrated me. It made me mad.
It came to the point that I could no longer work on the live site. It was impossible. The backend and the live site were barely working. I started to research if any solutions to my problems existed. I discovered that the issues and problems that I was experiencing were common with that package. The complaints were the same. Over and over again, I saw the same stuff. Other customers were having the same problems and issues as I was.
So, there must be a fix, right. I scoured their Support and Help topics. I spent lots of time reading up on what other customers had to say about their experiences with GoDaddy Help. It pretty much ran to blaming the customer. It was always something the customer was doing wrong and their standard answer that everyone got was…upgrade to a dedicated server. Pardon me? Are you serious?
I’ll tell you now, that with my current Hosting provider, I’ve never had a single issue with them that I had constantly with GoDaddy. Not one. My current site runs with far more built into it then my original installation on GoDaddy. So I know it wasn’t anything I was doing, but was everything about what they weren’t. Sad, but true.
Turns out that on their unlimited shared servers, there are no allocated resources. It’s like a free-for-all. If you have other websites hogging resources, everyone else pays the price. And if the information I saw was accurate…there were thousands of other domains on there with mine. A potential sign that the server I was on was overburdened, too many sites and not enough resources.
The lessons I learned from this horrible experience:
- Never make spending decisions without putting the time and effort into making sure they can deliver what you need and expect.
- Just because they say they can run WordPress doesn’t mean they can. Installing it is one thing, running it well is entirely another.
I learned those lessons the hard way. 3 years ago, GoDaddy’s unlimited shared hosting plan could not run WordPress well. Not even close.
I was out the money I spent for a year’s worth of service. I’m sure to most it wouldn’t have been a crippling amount to lose. But when you don’t have much to put in, every penny counts.
Culinary Zest came to a stand still. I couldn’t launch it the way WordPress ran on GoDaddy’s unlimited sharing plan. It was impossible and I was unwilling to let it go live under those conditions. So, I sucked it up, took the hit and walked away from Godaddy hosting. Even though I paid them for a year’s service in advance.
I was discouraged to say the least. When would I find the chance to throw a lump sum up front for a new Hosting provider and what if the same thing happened. So, I gave up for a while and took a break.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use the products listed below and recommend them because they are companies that I have found helpful and trustworthy.
When I was ready to give it another try, I took my time, I did my research and I found GlowHost. I wasn’t willing to pay a year’s worth up front to get a bigger discount. I still had the bad experience with GoDaddy to remind me what a big mistake that could turn out to be.
I decided to sign up with GlowHost for 3 months to test them out. I purchased their shared Personal Hosting Plan. That plan has allocated resources, 10 GB of disk space and 100 GB monthly transfer space, as well as many other perks. The Personal Hosting plan also has fewer websites per server then the unlimited plans. I figured that since my Blog was still in its infancy stage, the Personal Hosting plan looked like just what I needed. I figured that 3 months was more than enough time to get up and running and see what they were able to deliver.
They passed with flying colours.
I’ve been with GlowHost for 2 years and counting. I’ve been very happy with their service, that’s why I’m still with them and why I recommend them. The couple of times I had technical issues, they resolved them promptly and had me up and running again in no time. I’ve never had issues with uptime. They’re really good. I like them. And I like that they delivered on everything they said they could do. They delivered the expected results and that’s golden to me. I got what I paid for.
Are there other good Hosting providers out there, you bet. Take your time and go find the one that’s a good fit for your needs. That’s what led me to GlowHost and I’ve been with them ever since because of my experiences with them.
In my next post, I’ll be covering why I chose to use WordPress as my content management system or CMS.
Now get out there and start creating your Passion 🙂