You only move once

If you visited the site in the last 24 hours, you’ve probably grown familiar with that nice 404 Not Found error page. That was because I was moving hosts and basically botched the transition.

In December 2007 I started this site with webserve.ca. At the time I had no problems with the cost or package they were offering, and the fact that they could register a .CA domain name was great. Within a few months, however, I needed to open many support tickets with them. Their service was quite good, but the fact that I needed to ask them so often wasn’t. The biggest problem was that they blocked Googlebot in the firewall. This meant that for 2 weeks Google had no idea what was going on with my site, and my rankings suffered. Fast forward to last week, and an unannounced control panel upgrade left my with an inaccessible site. Even after the site came back, my statistics weren’t available, so I had no idea what was happening. That was the last straw, so I began looking for alternatives.

After a few evenings surfing the hosting review sites, I found bluehost.com, a popular service out of the United States. I read some reviews, opinions and comments, and decided it was a great fit for my blog. It’s all available on the Bluehost website, but here are the features that caught my attention:

  • Host multiple websites — link multiple domains to the same hosting account. Different domain, websites, databases, same account.
  • FTP users — give people select access to your disk space. My other provider didn’t give me this ability out of the box, and I’m really going to use this often.
  • Anonymous FTP — no password access. Similar to the above item, give someone access to a folder without having to share a password.
  • Per-domain stats — view stats based on single domains. This is a big one for me, as I use multiple subdomains, and this is very easy to view them separately.
  • Custom preference panel — Bluehost’s custom preference panel is the easiest way I’ve seen to modify databases, domains, everything related to your account. All the options are available from a single page.

I’ve now transferred everything over to Bluehost, and my Webserve account has been cancelled. During the transition, I had to remember to save all data from the site: MySQL databases and FTP files. Once I had double checked the connections and paths, the site was good to go, and I changed the domain name servers over. Badda bing, new host. Of course, I’d definitely do it differently during the second time around, but that’s another story.

So, after all this work, we now return to the regular blog programming.
[tags]websites, hosting, ISP, blogs[/tags]


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