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Web Hosting to make you shudder!



I'm glad you stopped by to look at our blog! On this post I'm going to discuss the situation I had with one of my legacy hosting providers.


This post has been rather long in the making as my journey with this particular Web Hosting Provider has been smooth until the past six months.


I was a bit unsure of mentioning the name of the provider, but since there have been so many issues with them and I want readers to understand what I went through, I believe it's prudent to mention their name: Hostgator.com.


Back in August of 2017, I was hoping to start a web design business for Artists. I read through numerous online reviews and asked a friend of mine what he used. I found that there were two hosting providers that were highly recommended. One was Hostgator and the other was Wix.com.


The first provider was highly recommended by PC Magazine because of its low cost entry level hosting and support. The second provider was recommended because of their ease of use and multi-feature capabilities.


One additional dynamic was that I have used both Linux and Windows virtual platforms for many years and Hostgator provided both with more of a System Admin focus. Wix is built more as a Graphical User Interface (GUI) platform without having to know how the underlying System or Development tools work.


Why not try both was the direction I took! I could use Hostgator for the business website and Wix for the build-outs of Artist's websites. Sweet!


At this point in the blog, I'd like to point out a couple of things:


  1. The experience I had with Hostgator isn't necessarily indicative of what you may experience with them. I'm just relating what happened to me so that you can make an informed decision.

  2. Every hosting provider has its up and down sides so doing your own due diligence is important!

  3. A current browse at PC Magazine's web hosting providers for 2024 shows that in the comments, many people agree with my assessment.


In 2020, I had a guest blogger named Lesley Haught who wrote about: 'The Easiest Website Builders for Beginners in 2020'. When he wrote this article, there were less website builder platforms than there are now, but this is one thing he said:


Here are a few perks of website builders:

 

●      Easy to use website builders introduce you to a drag-and-drop technology

●      Creating a user-friendly interface is simpler than you imagine

●      You can access your website and make edits anytime, using any device

●      If you are not blessed with amazing design talent, only a website builder comes to your rescue. The builders come with umpteen pre-made templates for you to pick.

●      Integrating applications and tools is easier done than thought

●      Maintaining your website is super easy

●      Say goodbye to the concept of looking into the nitty-gritty of development. If technology is not your gig, website builders have got you covered

●      You don’t have to pay a designer or a developer to set-up your website.


As you can surmise, website builder platforms are a good tool to easily start building a simple website. My experience, however, lent itself to leaning toward trying both the more technical side as well as the simple. Therefore, utilizing the two platforms worked well for me until last year.



In late November of 2023, Hostgator started posting, (only when you were logged in), that they were 'upgrading' the web portal I'd been using for 6+ years. Now, if there's anything that will make an IT professional shudder, it's the thought of upgrading! I've often heard the term 'turnkey' or 'seamless' alongside 'integration' only to have a disastrous shipwreck on my hands!


I logged into the portal on Thursday, November 30th and did a couple of updates on the business website at the time with: GentleHavenMusic.com. It would be the last time I would be able to update anything there until the middle of January, 2024.


If you've ever been through an anxiety attack, that's what I experienced for quite a time. I made numerous attempts to contact 'support'. Their chat sessions which before this time had been pretty good, were basically worthless. The third chat session I had on December 12th, 2023, with someone was a disaster; I assumed there were some configuration problems with DNS which was a mistake on my part. The 'Tech' then proceeded to reset all of DNS for my Domain only to break all of my email. Since all of it is then later routed through another provider, it was broken for a couple of weeks while I fixed it as best as I could. It's taken approximately 4 months to fix it while I still have a couple of issues that come up.


My other experience was that I was unable to make ANY changes to my website. I went round and round with their 'support' only to get nowhere. I all told had 8 chat sessions plus a phone call or two.


What a time to have website issues! If I were to have had an online store, I no doubt would have gone out of business waiting for them to fix their website builder. And, when I finally got access restored to the website builder in mid-January 2024, one and one half months AFTER their upgrade, all of the website pages were restored from 2017!

(I was never informed of when it was accessible again)


Needless to say, I didn't remain idle while they 'repaired' things. I filed a Better Business Bureau complaint against their company and migrated the business site to this one. Thank goodness I had another hosting provider to use!


I will spare you the reader of any more sordid details as the story has gone on longer. But I will reiterate, PLEASE do your due diligence if you decide to subscribe to a web hosting provider. The one I'm using for this website has been very dependable, but I'm not endorsing any particular product because I would lose my objectivity. I'm only relating my experience.


If you have a question about web hosting providers or how to pick one and can't seem to find an answer, connect with me at the box at the bottom of this page and we can figure out a place to start.



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