I have been disgusted with my former hosting company almost from the beginning. I have used this company before and they have always been reliable. They were even one of C|NET’s Editor’s Picks about 5-years ago. Well, a lot can happen in that time. Anyone viewing this blog would know how slooooow it was. At first, I thought it was just WordPress or some configuration issue. But, when it took 60 seconds on Sunday to pull up my blog’s homepage, that was it!
I had been researching new hosts on and off for the past month. (In between trouble tickets to my old host … that is.) As you may know, there are many websites that “claim” to have hosting reviews, but many are really just affiliate marketing pulling traffic to who ever is willing to pay the right amount. I kept digging. I did find the following reviews which did seem pretty reliable:
- C|NET’s Most Popular Hosting Providers: C|NET is usually one of my stops for anything computer or electronics related. They may not have the widest selection of reviews, but when they do a review, it addresses all the right areas. They have been reviewing hosting companies since their site began and they cover everything from shared hosting to dedicated servers.
- Web Hosting Reviews: this was a wild card. I thought I remembered their magazine, but was not really sure. They seemed to match C|NET, so I thought it was worth a reference.
- Technorati Top 100 Blogs: If anyone should know a good hosting company, it would be the bloggers on this list. Many of these full-time bloggers use Media Temple or Rackspace, and as pro-blogger, they can afford them. Many of these bloggers are actually reachable through Twitter and will give you a recommendation if you build-up a rapport. Some are even willing to share horror stories about which ones to avoid.
- WM Tips Site Information Tool: Server hosting and IPs are actually public info. If they weren’t, nothing on the Internet would work! This tool will pull the basic information about any public website. It is also available as a Add-on for Firefox. I used this tool to see where a bunch of blogger are hosted.
- Extended Statusbar for Firefox: This Add-on is great! It sits in the lower left of the bottom bar and provides a status of images, file size, download rate and overall time. Just find a blog (or any webpage), and test it’s speed. Simple.
My final two choices were:
Aplus.net: They have been C|NET’s Top Pick for a number of years and there are other reviews which also rate them highly. There are also some negative reviews, mostly dated around 2007. As you know, the Internet is a great place to hold a grudge. But, if there was something really wrong, wouldn’t C|NET reflect it??
Host Monster: There is a bit of mystery about this company. They are somehow related to Bluehost.com, but they are “not” Bluehost.com, even though they share the same data center, staff and nameservers. Hmmm… Bluehost.com is at the top of the list on WordPress.com for hosting companies, but there have been several web articles pointing to this as just another affiliate marketing ploy. And, I could not find a single blogger on Technorati’s list that used them. Not, a good sign, but they were the cheapest host around.
I finally selected Aplus.net and am happy so far. The blog loads incredible fast!
NOTE: If you are moving a WordPress 2.7 blog to another server, you can use the Export/Import Tool built into WordPress. This tool will collect all posts, comments, links and permalinks. You also will need to copy all files from your current blog’s wp-content folder, as well as any custom coding from the other areas. Keep the structure as close as possible unless you want to “improve” the site. Any changes will need to be made to the exported XML file (generated from the Export/Import Tool) before it is imported into the new WordPress installation.
One issue: I could not find a way to export my old blog’s links, so I had to manually re-enter them.
Just set aside a few hours to complete the whole task and test. And, if you pre-paid at your old host, make sure you ask for a pro-rated refund!