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The next day, while relieved to see that HG had managed to fix the problem, I knew I needed to find a different host. After being taken over by new owners several years ago the quality of service offered by HostGator had deteriorated, with support tickets taking as long as 24 hours and more to resolve. When one runs a web site that draws an average readership of over 150,000 a month, with occasional surges into that magic one million range, it’s critical that the website loads reliably and quickly twenty four hours a day seven days a week. If it does not readership will drop off quickly and your hard earned audience will seek their gratification elsewhere.
The hunt for a replacement and making the migration however, can be fraught with danger including lost files, down time and possibly the loss of all one’s data. Knowing who to trust is difficult as there are any number of hosting companies out there, and they all offer potential customers fast, reliable service.
After much frustrating research I found a UK based company, BoxSRV, which claimed to offer “Premium USA and UK affordable web hosting with quality support.” Well, I had heard all of that before, and certainly from HostGator, so I contacted them and asked a lot of no doubt annoying questions over a period of weeks.
I will be the first to admit that when it comes to switching web hosts I am the ultimate “wimp.” As I mentioned I was concerned that I would lose my beloved website, MadMikesAmerica, and years of hard work would be gone in a matter of minutes. Andrew, the very patient BoxSRV representative, assured me that the process would be flawless and that I would be in touch with their technical folk throughout. I wasn’t sure I heard him right. Did he say “in touch” as in they would actually let me know what was going on as it was going on? I certainly wasn’t used to that level of attention.
I decided to stop worrying and took the plunge a few days later, right after it took HG about 24 hours to respond to a problem. I am pleased to report that everything Andrew said would happen, happened. I was in constant and regular contact with their highly efficient and most pleasant support team and the migration proceeded without even one problem. My site never went down and my readers continued to enjoy MadMikesAmerica even as the files were being transferred. I am confident I did the right thing and am looking forward to a mutually rewarding relationship with my brand new host BoxSRV. The fact that their main offices are in the UK is a nice plus as well, considering I hold dual citizenship with the US and UK, having been born in Coventry, although they do have offices throughout the US as well so as to more efficiently serve their American customers.
The moral of the story for all you webmasters out there: you don’t have to be stuck with an unreliable and inattentive host. If you find that you are pulling your hair out because of hours of downtime and sloppy customer service, look no further than BoxSRV! You won’t be disappointed.