You might say that we’ve been around the block here with web hosting providers. Way back when we moved Chip Chick to WordPress we first started out with a small hosting company, which we very quickly outgrew. From there we moved to HostGator to one of their reseller hosting plans, which we quickly outgrew as well and ended up on one of their higher tier plans.
So why did we keep upgrading our hosting plans? Bandwidth caused by high traffic was part of the equation – but not all of it. WordPress is an incredibly powerful blogging platform but it also can become resource intensive, especially if you are using certain plugins which tend to eat up more resources than others. For example – language translation plugins tend to be crazy resource hogs, which we would learn soon enough.
One day HostGator shut us down without warning, because we had a rogue plugin eating too much resources on the site. It took two days to get us back up and running. Two days is unreasonably long to have a site down. We weren’t happy with their customer service and how they treated the situation- it took two days of talking to incompetent tech support till we could determine which plugin was causing the issue and we could finally get them to agree to put the site back up.
The moral of the story – even if you are allotted tons of hosting space and bandwidth – as soon as you start eating up server resources, a hosting provider will kick you to the curb. “We don’t support third party software like WordPress” is what we kept hearing over and over. We got that, but we weren’t looking to figure out a WordPress problem exactly – it was more us needing help to figure out what’s eating up the resources so we can get back up and running.
We then moved over to HostNine and for a while we were happy with their customer service. We did have an incident again, where the site was shut down without warning because of a combination of too much bandwidth and resource usage, but they helped us get it back up quickly enough. For a while we were happy enough with HostNine.
We even referred a few customers to HostNine via their affiliate program. But we never got paid our commission – even though we sent them several emails to inquire about it. That was the first sign that HostNine was headed in the wrong direction. After that, their support got worse and worse. One day the site went down without warning – AGAIN. No one was picking up their phone for hours on end, and when we finally got to speak to someone we were promised that the appropriate technician would call us back. We never got the call back and it took almost a day of getting the run around till the site was finally back up.
The experience was extremely frustrating. Needless to say, it was time to go elsewhere.
We moved on to LiquidWeb. They aren’t the cheapest hosting company out there but their prices are fair – and their service is superb. They always pick up the phone and promptly answer tickets. Most of their tech support tend to be very knowledgeable and try to do their best to help. They also offer a choice between Windows or Linux hosting. We prefer Linux with Cpanel, which they do offer. We highly recommend them.
But no matter which hosting provider you choose, the lesson here is to do your research before choosing a hosting provider – especially if you’re running third party software like WordPress. Web Hosting Search is a good place to start your research along with a good Google query about the hosting provider you’re inquiring about.