Tag Archive for 'blog'

What a Difference Reliability Can Make

I have had my website since right before January 1st 2000. I wanted to start a site with the start of the new millennium, so I bought my name, and found some hosting that a friend recommended to me. The hosting company was great and the cost was very reasonable for what was offered. I was with the same hosting company until 2004, when the server that my site was on crashed, and apparently they had not been doing any sort of backups, and due to a laptop being stolen that same year, I ended up losing some photos and four years worth of content that I had written on my site.

As I searched for a new host, reliability and backup were my main concerns, as I did not want something like this to happen again. I signed up with CI Host, and I had great service and pretty much no issues with downtime until early 2009. This is when I got one of those letters that many people dread, that my account had been sold to another company. I was now a customer of x7hosting.com. I had a bad feeling that things were not going to go well during the transition. There was very little communication about the changes, and most of the info I received was from a forwarded email that someone else sent me regarding another website that I help administer who happened to be another account that was sold.

As issues arose, I contacted support, and I did not get any sort of ticket or tracking number. Strike 1. Most all of their support is done through live online chat, and half of the time, I would not get emailed the transcripts of what was said like the site says should happen. Instead I was greeted with 404 pages. The odd thing about this was that I seemed to only get those when the technician was not able to help me in any way. The other thing that really worried/pissed me off, is that their turnaround to hear back on any issue, including complete outages was 24-48 hours. Since I work in the IT field, I know that if we did that where I work, we would be unemployed the next day.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when my account was accidentally canceled by the company right before Dragon*Con, and as I had just made business cards that sent people to the site, and had also just paid for the next quarter, this was unacceptable. I was able to get the site restored a day after it was brought down, and decided that the search for a new hosting company needed to be a top priority. I planned to stay until it was time to renew my service, but the end of last week changed all of that.

I had downtime for 3 days straight, and the “support” said that it had to be an issue with my domain registrar. I turned to twitter, as it is normally the best place to check real time issues such as this, and there was no mention of any issues with my registrar and their DNS that I could tell. I did submit a ticket, as x7 would not do anything, saying that there was no issue on their side. I had enough, and first thing on Monday, I signed up for an account with Media Temple. I have two friends from back in Houston who now for them out in LA, and after reading reviews online, they seem to be the place to go. I was able to get my site moved to the new service quite a bit faster then I had planned, and also got the added benefit of being able to host multiple domains on my one account.

The service options on {mt} are far superior to what I had before. They have both phone and online support, and an actual knowledge base and forums where you can ask questions of other users of the service to see if they might be able to help you based off of their experiences. {mt} even have an iPhone version of their account control panels to allow for support on the go, or to be able to restart services on the hosting server etc. Based off reviews and what I have seen so far, I will not be changing hosts anytime in the foreseeable future.

The point of all this is to say, that if you are going to be hosting your own website, be sure to do research on your options, and look at the support promises that a company is offering, and make sure that they plan to follow through with that support. There is nothing worse than going to update your website, and it not loading for you.

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Intermittent Downtime

My site will be going through intermittent downtime over the next week or so as I change hosting companies to one that has, what’s it called, oh yeah, up time guarantees and customer support.

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Woes of the web

On Monday I had the second big issue since my hosting was switched from CI Host to x7hosting.com. My site was up and working when I awoke, and I got ready and then refreshed a page on my site, and instantly got errors that the page was not working. I contact support and expect them to deal with it promptly, as this took my site, as well as anything that connects to a MySQL database out of commission.

Elapse 7 hours later, and 5 times of contacting tech support, as well as the cancellation department for the web host, and my site was finally back up. I had a similar issue happen the first week of August, and I was down for a little over 20 hours. Sadly I had just paid for this quarter and was told there was no guarantee that I would get my money back, so I am going to remain with my current host for at least the next 3 months, and then switch to a different provider at that time. Any company that says you will be company that says 24-48 hours is an acceptable time frame for these this type of error is pretty much unacceptable.

Currently I am looking at possibly going to Media Temple, as I have some friends from back in Houston who now work for them out in Los Angeles and I trust their opinions. If you have any other suggestions, please pass them along, as I have a couple of months to research at the very least.

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Paid Livejournal is no more

My paid livejournal account expired about a week ago, and as of now, I have decided that I don’t need to renew it. One of the big losses, although I am sure some people won’t see it this way is that I cannot have my twitter feed auto post into my LJ now. Now that I am switching to using my self hosted WordPress as my primary posting method, it just didn’t make sense to put money into features that I am not using.

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WordPress

With LJ recently laying off some of their staff, I, like many others, realized that I should probably back up my LJ, while at the same time looked for other options of keeping up these ramblings in the future. I decided that it was time to use my domain for more than my photo gallery and setup wordpress on it. I found a nice little tool that will crosspost to LJ as well, so that way I can still post to LJ as well.

I still have quite a bit to do to make the blog site have a look that I like, but that will come with time. I need to revamp my main domain site as well.

Current Music: Dexter Season 2, episode 11

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