Running a website is great when everything is working as it should. However when things go wrong it quickly becomes a pain in the ass! About two weeks ago I started having trouble logging into this site’s WordPress administration page. It would either take forever to load or I’d get some strange error message to the affect that the site no longer existed. My first thought was…My site got hacked!
Luckily it wasn’t that but my host (1and1.com) was having some serious issues. I had 4 active sites hosted on my account and two of the four were experiencing the same issues. What the hell was going on!!?!?
I figured that I’d give it some time and my host would figure out the problem and correct itself. I really had no choice because I couldn’t log into my WordPress admin page and my site was completely down…my hands were tied.
1 day passed…still down.
I sent an email to customer support and did some internet searches to see if anyone else was having problems. I found a couple forum posts with people having similar issues.
2 days passed…still down.
No response to my email. I am starting to get pissed because I’m losing money with each passing day. Plus one of the sites that was down was my WeBuyNJHouses.com site.
3 days passed…still down
No response to my email. So I tried calling customer service and the phone system was down. I would get the automated part and right after I select my options the phone would hang up. Serious WTF moment!
4 days passed…still down. I’ve had enough!!
I started looking for another host. I couldn’t afford to have my site down for almost a week. Plus get no response from the company informing me of what might be wrong. Not even 2 weeks later have I gotten anything from them…NOTHING!
Let Me Introduce You to my New Web Hosting Services…
My usual philosophy is that if I’m going to make a change, I’m going to upgrade. After doing some research I decided to try a Managed WordPress web hosting service. I wanted to improve the speed of my site and take some of the overhead of running my site away. Here is what managed hosting is…
In a nutshell, managed WordPress hosting deals with all of the backend tasks related to running a WordPress blog so that you don’t have to. That way, you can focus on what truly matters: selling your products and/or services to customers. They will host your site, of course.
After comparing the reviews that I found I ended up choosing MediaTemple.com. I bought a full year for about $250 which is about 3 to 4 times more expensive then your standard hosting. Nothing ventured…nothing gained.
Did I React in the Right Way?
I was with 1 and 1 hosting for about 7 years with rarely a problem. Over the past year or so I had noticed my site was getting slower to load. This might have been a result of my site getting larger though. I also always hated their control panel…very hard to navigate.
Maybe I was just looking for an excuse to change things up.
At the end of the day I believe I made the correct call. Who knows how long my sites would have been down? It could have been weeks before everything was straightened out. I couldn’t afford to be patient.
Was it Hard to Switch Hosts?
In theory it really isn’t. Media Temple gives you an import tool that will automatically transfer your wordpress site over to their servers. Once that is done you just have to go over to your domain registrar and re-point the DNS to your new host. Give it 24 hours for the internet to recognize the change and you are all set.
As my dad always says though….NOTHING IS EASY
The import feature didn’t work because my freaking old host was DOWN. This meant that the import tool couldn’t connect and pull over my site. Good think I know how to do it manually but it’s a chore. Even though my 1and1 sites where down I could access the their control panel (different from your site’s wordpress admin area) and backup my database and files.
To make a long story short, it took me 3 days to restore my sites. There were quite a few tweaks I had to make to get everything running smoothly. My Friend Sharon Vornholt even notified me of a few issues when she visited my site.
Does Changing your Host Affect your Search Engine Rankings?
Normally it does not…unless you are changing your domain name as well. The issue with chaning domain names is that you make all links to your site and articles invalid. They are still pointing to your old address. To fix this you have to do additional work to make sure your backlinks kind find your new address (301 redirect). This wasn’t an issue for me though.
However I got an email from my SEO guy soon after the host change telling me my rankings dropped for many of my keywords. We couldn’t figure out why for sure. My guess is that my site being down for about a week was the culprit.
The good news is that my sites have bounced back to their rankings about a week later.
What Did I Learn From all of This?
This was definitely a learning experience for me in terms of how I should be setting up my websites.
Not to put all your eggs in one basket. This is big! I was thankful I had my other we buy houses sites still working. They are hosted with investor carrot not my 1and1 host. Just imagine if all my sites where on this server and it went down…I’d be completely shut down from everything. Having 2 hosts would also allow you to quickly switch your site to the other host if you experience problems.
How to switch hosts. The technology geek in me loves to learn these details. Every time I go through these types of issues I gain a much deeper understanding of how websites work. If this were to ever happen again I’ll be up and running much much quicker. That drastically reduces my worries.
Have a Recover Plan in place is a MUST. You don’t have to have a plan written down. However you should have it at least in your head, but I do recommend writing it down.
I am fairly good with technology and figuring this stuff out. However I can imagine what it must be like for the average person dealing with website issues. You feel lost, overwhelmed and confused as to where to start. If you have any issues or questions regarding websites post a message below and I will do my best to help you.
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