If you noticed the site being a bit wonky and a lot, um, down the last week, that’s because I finally switched web hosts, a thing I have been meaning to do for over a decade. I had been with GoDaddy in one form or another since 2005 and while there were things I liked about them, there was a growing list of things I didn’t. Add to this that my new host, SiteGround (referral link because I’m happy to recommend them), offered me a bunch of cool extras for a faster site and less money than I was paying GoDaddy so I finally decided to make the leap.
(And just to illustrate that I made the right choice, after a week of chats and emails and calls with SiteGround’s wonderful support team where I never waited more than a minute to talk to a human, it took me THREE DAYS to solve one final issue with GoDaddy that would have taken 5 seconds if they offered anything other than phone support with a 30+ minute wait time during my working hours! Boy did their CS go downhill since I started with them…)
The ghost host is the perfect image for this post because he’s a host but also because this process took so freaking long I could physically feel my body aging around me as we did it.
One of the biggest reasons I stayed with GoDaddy as long as I did was not because of any strong loyalty (hahahahah no) but rather because I was always afraid that switching web hosts would be at best really hard and at worst a big freaking hassle. But I bit the bullet, did it and, once I did, I discovered… that it totally was really hard and a big freaking hassle and a process I don’t want to repeat for a very long time possibly ever again.
While I suspect part of what made this process such a nightmare was due to a) the fact that I needed to move five websites and three of them are old and huge with massive databases and b) I’d never done it before. So there was a lot of looking things up and curving the learning and having to use alternate methods that were harder than the nice normal people methods and all of this was made harder by the fact that I only had time to work on this after 10 PM so I was staying up until 1:30 – 2 AM every night for a week to get it done and minimize downtime… and it turns out you are not really at your mental best at that hour, particularly when battling a cold after a week of <3 hours a sleep a night, so I kept messing things up. To their credit, SiteGround was really great and patient and I spoke to dozens of reps there over the course of the week and really only got annoyed at two of them which is very high praise from me and an excellent ratio because I get annoyed with everybody!
(The whole time I was doing this process, I kept thinking… what do normal people do in this circumstance? Because I am rather techie and I had to pull out all the random tricks I know from two decades of computing until I left my engineer husband in the dust to get this to work. I was just feeling very badly for the non-tech savvy people out there during this whole process.)
While the website shouldn’t look any different on your end, apart from the fact that the site should load a lot faster and we now have a proper secure login for the eBook store I’m building into the site. That said, if you do find something that looks weird or isn’t working, please let me know! Many weird things happened during this site transfer that no one can properly explain so I’ve got this looming terror that something is broken about the site and I just don’t realize it yet.
Beyond the obvious good things about my new web host, I’ll be particularly glad that this move is behind me because it took so much longer than I thought it would and has been taking up my every waking hour. I’m actually on fire to write and excited to be productive because of Camp NaNoWriMo and I’ve barely been able to do anything. The last five nights I thought I was all finished with the transfer, got all comfy on the couch to just write all night and then got an email from support or notice the the site was down again and I had to drag myself back up to my office and pound on the website for hours again. I did do some writing here and there while waiting for various things to download or upload via FTP but I’m nowhere near where I would be if I’d been able to use these last few nights and that irks me.
And the only reason I’m telling you all this, really, is because it was soooo much work and if I’ve done my job right you won’t even notice. Literally, everything being almost exactly the same as before is the goal so while I know it all makes a difference on the back end, the lack of immediate, noticeable, visual difference to the look of the site makes me feel like I completely wasted my time. So this entire blog post is just to be like I DID A LOT OF WORK ON THE SITE, OK, PLEASE APPRECIATE ME AND OOO AND AHHH SO I DON’T FEEL LIKE I JUST DID ALL THAT WORK FOR NOTHING PLEASE THANK YOU.
So, yes, new hosting. Kick the tires a bit and let me know if you see anything busted.
And, um, otherwise carry on, I guess.