I chose to instead push my host, Bluehost, to hold to it’s sales pitch that my high CPU shared hosting account was truly unlimited web storage and unlimited bandwidth… even when I was running 20+ sites on a single account, one of which was a massive and thriving forum community.
This wasn’t without its pitfalls. There were times when my sites were so active that it shut down the server. More than once the SQL server crashed and had to be replaced. Many times my sites were hacked and infected with malware. And, increasingly, Bluehost began to experience unexplained and unapologetic downtime.
Putting the client first
When your own sites go down and your own customers are effected by a strategic choice you make, it’s one thing. But now that I’m beginning to host more McLane Creative projects as part of the services I provide, I felt it was important to make the move to something more professional.
So, over Thanksgiving weekend, I moved all of the projects I manage to my new host, 6sync.
As I did research there were several things I knew I was looking for:
- Scalability: Most of the projects I host now are relatively small. But I want them to know that I’m ready to grow infinitely as their needs grow. To do that I needed a host who could allow me to simply click a button and move up to the next level of service.
- Cloud-like: I looked at services like Amazon’s cloud server (too complicated) and Rackspace. (too expensive) In truth, my skill level isn’t quite there. But I wanted something that was created to act like a cloud service and even has potential to go that direction in the future.
- Proud to offer VPS: I’m proud to upgrade to VPS… so I don’t want to try to get talked into a dedicated server and talked out of what I want. As I was researching it seemed pretty clear that most hosts bury their VPS services. Either they are a shared host who offers VPS as an upgrade. Or they are a dedicated host who offers VPS with hopes of an upcharge.
- Ridiculous customer service: When I started with Bluehost back in 2005 they had excellent customer service. But as they grew from a few thousand clients to a few hundred thousand clients, their customer service absolutely tanked. I have a theory about web hosts… the bigger they get the more like Godaddy they become. And since Godaddy is the AT&T of the web hosting world… when a company becomes like that it is time to bounce.
- A website that doesn’t feature a headset hottie: You’re an idiot if you think people who really know their stuff in web hosting sit around in business suits wearing headsets while answering customer calls. I know it’s a silly reason to not like a host. But when I go to the host’s site and it looks like a Windows desktop… I know that doesn’t fit the persona I’m looking for. I don’t want headset hotties. I want nerds who were probably up all night playing video games on two monitors while their third has the webhost dashboard up.
You’d be surprised how few hosts meet those common sense requirements.
But after a lot of looking around, and a timely message on Twitter, I discovered 6sync.
They had great prices, great customer service, weren’t ashamed about who they are, and aren’t ashamed to offer (and believe in) their VPS product.
Over Thanksgiving weekend I began the long process of setting up cPanel accounts for the various clients, migrating DNS, moving data, and testing all the domains to make sure everything was moved over correctly.
So far, so good.