Switching Hosts Again!



So, if you noticed the downtime this past weekend, I have to explain.  I had to switch hosts!

My Website Hosts

 

The Problem

I received a call from Web Hosting Hub on Friday to tell me that my site was suspended.  The reason that they gave was that my site was using too much CPU.  I am not sure exactly what part of my site was the problem, but the tech indicated that it was the Ajax portion of WordPress.  The tech further suggested that maybe it was one of the plugins such as the SourceCode plugin which would be “SyntaxHighlighter Evolved”.

To make matters worse, I had just renewed for year of hosting with Web Hosting Hub.  It seemed like just after the renewal, I noticed an increased number of pingdom reports that the website was down.  Very rarely did it seem to impact me.  I mean when I would visit the site, the pages loaded fine. It just caused me to wonder if something was wrong, and I guess that it was.

Web Hosting Hub‘s answer was to switch to to VPS hosting.  They could move me over to a plan at InMotion for $50 a month.  Now, I had just renewed for just over $100, which breaks down to less than $10 a month.  Going from $10 to $50 is quite a jump.

So, that’s what switched me from Web Hosting Hub.

My Host History

Let me reminisce just a little.  I started blogging after my sister’s influence at Blogger.com.  After doing that for a while, I switched to WordPress.com with the hopes that it would support sourcecode better.  It didn’t, but it was still a good switch for me.  Next, I took the plunge and jumped to my own website: digitaleagle.net.  Lunarpages was the first host.  They were good at first, but I had some downtime that coincided with my AdSense earnings dropping.  So, when I came up for renewal, I did my research, and picked Web Hosting Hub.  The change was tremendous.  I did some speed tests and the site was much, much faster.  Now, I went back to my research from last year, and I chose to switch to Host Gator.

So, in summary:

My complaint

Web Hosting Hub has been great for me.  Like I said, when I switched from Lunarpages, the site ran much faster.  My traffic increased.  So, I had planned to continue with them a second year.

My biggest question is how could I have prevented the problem.  Web Hosting Hub doesn’t have any tools where I can even see what the CPU usage is.  I can view stats for hits and lots of great specs from Google Analytics, but that doesn’t include CPU usage.  So, how could I have seen this trouble coming?  How can I troubleshoot it to figure out which part of my site was causing the problem.

On the flip side, I noticed that the CPanel tool at Host Gator has a CPU statistic on the left side.  And, there is a link to a graph.  Amazingly enough, I have the majority of my stuff transferred over, and the stats look good:

CPU Stats

 

So, the big question is: was something going on at Web Hosting Hub besides my website?  Or, did the downtime disrupt some traffic that was causing the CPU spikes?

 

Renewal Game

One of my other complaints about the whole hosting setup is that they entice you in with big discounts.  Then, when it comes time to renew, they don’t offer any discounts.  For example, I paid about $60 for my first year at Web Hosting Hub.  To renew, I paid over $100.  To rub it in, I saw ads on my own website (via AdSense) for hosting at Web Hosting Hub for %50 off.  The catch is that it was only for new customers.

So, it benefits to switch hosts every time!  I understand the reasoning — they are trying to get people to switch to them.  I wish there were a way to reward a customer for being loyal.

Web Hosting Hub Fair

To be fair, Web Hosting Hub did treat me right.  They did give me every opportunity to export my website.  They re-enabled the account and put a .htaccess on it to block outside traffic.  That allowed me to use CPanel to do one last back up of everything.

In addition, once I put in the cancel, they refunded the full renewal amount that I had just paid.  So, I did get my money back.

New Features

The switch did have a number benefits so far.  First, Host Gator has a free transfer service.  You can give them your passwords to get into the old CPanel, and they will transfer everything over to their site.  I didn’t really get to use the service, because I canceled Web Hosting Hub too soon.  Still, I don’t remember Web Hosting Hub offering anything like that,but maybe I am wrong.

Second, SSH access was included even with the lowest level plan.  I can SSH into the website to run commands.  I was able to use PHPShell with Web Hosting Hub, so it wasn’t a big difference, but it is still convenient.

Third, Host Gator has git pre-installed.  I use Git to track the changes to my website.  On Web Hosting Hub, I had to use PHPShell to compile it on their side.  Again, it worked for me, but having it already is much more convenient!

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