A couple of weeks ago I started having problems with my blog so I turned to my web hosting company for support. I received very little help and a very frustrating ‘live chat’ only option, which I found time-consuming, unhelpful and inconvenient. With the problem still unresolved, and having had a few issues before, I started to think about switching web hosting companies.
At this point, having tweeted to my current provider about my problems, a representative from another web hosting site got in touch with me. It was an opportunity for me to ask lots of questions and do a little research. Switching was not a decision I took lightly, as to be honest it made me very nervous. I know so little about the technical side of blogging and given how much work I put in here, I was worried something could go wrong.
I needn’t have worried and am now so pleased to be with People’s Host. It’s very early days, of course, but they handled everything brilliantly and kept me informed every single step of the way. When a couple of things did not go smoothly (I lost some of my sidebar) they did all they could to put it right again, only leaving me with an hour or so’s work all in all as they handled everything else. They were also very patient answering my questions and queries throughout the process.
I am sharing all of this to reassure other bloggers and website owners that may be a little nervous as I was, that it is actually quite straightforward. After answering my questions and with no pushy sales talk, People’s Host advised me on the package I would need and then moved everything over themselves. It was easy! I would just suggest you bear in mind the following points:
1. Choose your new company wisely. My greatest concern was that I’d go through the hassle of moving (although it was less hassle than expected) to have an unimproved or worse service. So ask questions, ensure they are offering what you need and check out reviews.
2. Where possible, make a contact at your new company. This was a huge point for me. I had a point of contact throughout the process who explained everything and handled glitches along the way speedily and efficiently.
3. Back everything up. Including emails. I had not even given a thought to my email account, which I ran entirely through my control panel with my old web hosting. Whilst I still have the same email address, the actual emails I had held there were unable to be moved over. Fortunately, I do forward them to my personal email address too, and I keep the ones with details of projects that I am currently working on, so all was OK.
4. DNS Propagation can take up to 72 hours, meaning that whilst you switch over you may get some issues with people being able to access your blog. You’ll want to time it around not needing to write or do any blog admin as any updates you make can be lost as the servers are switched over. In my case, it was actually faster than 72 hours, and whilst some people had problems accessing my latest posts, many were OK.
5. When all’s complete, you may want to then also transfer your domain to your new host, and this is likely to incur a small additional cost and take a little while longer, though with no disruption to your service. It’s just something that you might want to factor in.
6. Don’t cancel your old hosting immediately, just to allow for any issues that may arise in the period after the switch.
I am so pleased to be all moved over now. I had one minor niggle that I needed support with just yesterday which gave me a chance to check out their support service. As with every other interaction I have had with People’s Host, it was brilliant. I received a swift response, which was very helpful and all in friendly layman’s terms, and the problem was rectified within the hour.
What experiences have you had with switching web hosting? Or are you just thinking about taking the plunge?
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