Finding adequate WordPress hosting has been a journey for me to say the least. I am still on that journey but hopefully it is close to the finishing line. When I started blogging, I was using Blogger. Needless to say, as Taber’s Truths grew, I outgrew Blogger. It is great for hobby bloggers or mommy bloggers but if you want to have your blog become a website and not just a blog, then you definitely have to graduate to using WordPress as your content management system.
Now I am not talking about the website WordPress.com. I am talking about using the WordPress program and having your own website. WordPress is no better than Blogger in my opinion and they don’t allow you to monetize your blog. If you want to go to the next step in your blogging adventure then you have to use WordPress as your blogging program and you need to find adequate hosting for that program. That is where the adventure begins. Let me share with you a little about my adventure and some of the pitfalls that you may encounter so that hopefully you can avoid my mistakes.
Things You Should Consider When Choosing A WordPress Hosting Provider
When I started using WordPress hosting, I did not realize how many companies and how many options are out there. I switched to a company that provided good service and good hosting called WebHostingHub. They provided phone support 24/7 and were easy to work with and helped me set up everything as I migrated from Blogger. At this point in my journey I was quite pleased. However when this website started to get very popular, the amount of traffic I was getting was more than my account was designed for. You see, WebHostingHub only provides shared hosting. That means that you share resources with a bunch of other websites on one web server. Think of it as apartment living on the internet. So take that into consideration as you look for hosting. How many page views are you getting? If you are getting more than 50k per month, then you are going to need something other than shared hosting.
The next step in my journey was to go to a Virtual Private Server. I used a company called KnownHost for this. This ended up being a mistake. As much as it would handle the traffic load I was getting, I was not enough of a computer expert to handle the problems that came with being in charge of the technical side of things in basically running your own server. A virtual private server is like being an owner of a duplex. You share the server resources with one or 2 other people, but you are in charge of all the upkeep and maintenance. I am not Mr. Fix-it at home and I am not Mr. Fix-it on the internet. I would keep getting the same answer from tech support. “The hardware is running properly. The software is your responsibility”. I quickly realized I was out of my ballpark. Which brings me to my latest adventure I have had in blogging.
Beware of ZippyKid
As most of you know, rarely will I come out and say anything negative about anyone. However since I recommended ZippyKid to many of my friends and colleagues, I must come out and correct an error that I made in judgement.
After I realized I was not up to the task of running a VPS, I started looking for managed WP hosting for high traffic blogs. Basically 3 companies came on up on the Radar screen. WP Engine, ZippyKid and Page.ly who I am with now. I originally went with ZippyKid. They promised free WordPress hosting for websites under 5000 page views, which was a great deal for those that had small Christian blogs. They had the best price for higher traffic blogs like mine. $25.00 per month for up to 100,000 page views. They promised great and experienced WordPress tech support 24/7 including phone support. I should have known right away that they were not able to deliver what they promised when they could not get their mandatory plug ins to work with Headway Themes for WordPress. I eventually switched themes to fix the problem. Shortly after paying my first payment, ZippyKid discontinued phone support. I noticed a lag in response time to email support requests as well.
A couple of months later, the theme I am using now by Elegant Themes, released an update. I updated my theme, and started to adjust a few settings in the style.cms file to make the header smaller and discovered that ZippyKid had done something to their caching plug-in that would not update the new changes. I tried everything that was recommended concerning making changes and seeing those changes that was on ZippyKid’s website, but nothing worked. My header and my pictures were all out of whack. Now, for some of you, if you have just a few visitors a month, that may not be a big deal and you can take your time fixing it. We are a high traffic, high volume website and 1 day equals thousands of people seeing us with our proverbial pants down.
I contacted ZippyKid asking for email support. I left a phone message on the customer “no-service” line twice, I emailed again. At that point several hours had past and I said enough is enough. I went and looked once again at Page.ly’s plans. Now Page.ly is more expensive. It is 50 bucks a month, but they also let you go to 200,000 page views per month. So I signed up, they got the site ready to go with a fresh install of the WordPress program, I downloaded and copied all my files off of my site hosted at Zippykid. I uploaded them to Page.ly and did all the tweaks, adding plug-ins, and theme adjustments and had everything ready to migrate BEFORE ZippyKid decided to reply to my request for help.
When I informed them that I was leaving because of bad service, their response was “Hopefully things work out for you at your new host.” Not an ounce of care that they dropped the ball or that they had lost a customer due to lack of service.
Needless to say, I do not recommend ZippyKid for anyone.
So far, so good with Page.ly. It was a fairly smooth transition although I had a lot of work to do to fix the problems with the pictures that had been messed up or not stored properly at ZippyKid. Things have ran smoothly and so far there has been no down time.
What has your experience been with WordPress Hosting? I want to hear your story. If nothing else it will help me feel like I am not alone and not so much the fool.