Webmasters: Where to Go When Your Web Host Fails

On April 16, 2014, around 1100hrs, Mad Mike’s America’s host, HostGator, crashed and it was down for about 16 hours, affecting thousands of websites, a record but not a first. During this time millions of readers were unable to see MadMikesAmerica and other sites.  For all they knew we had all turned out the lights, closed the doors and walked away forever.

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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.

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Posted by on July 30, 2014. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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19 Responses to Webmasters: Where to Go When Your Web Host Fails

  1. Winnie Gallagher Reply

    July 30, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Oh my goodness how fortuitous. I was just telling my hubby I needed to find someone else to handle my rather large blog and had no idea where to look when I came across this article I will be talking to BoxSRV soon. Thank you!

  2. rowdy62 Reply

    July 30, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I’ve a blogspot but it’s not as versatile as I would like so I’m thinking of switching to Word Press. Why would I need to self-host?

  3. BitcoDavid Reply

    July 30, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Great News, MM. Rowdy – let me take that one. DeafInPrison.com is also a WP site. It’s actually “dual hosted.” I have a private hosting service who handles the domain name and some other duties, but the site is hosted on WordPress.com. You can use WP for either self-hosting or like you do on BlogSpot, where they host for you. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. I kept the WP host, so we’d be part of a blogging community. That way we get some free promo help, and we get a small number of “native” readers. (People on WP who read everything.) But WP.com won’t allow you to run any JavaScript, Java, PHP, etc. That means you can’t have features like the comment editor, that MM used to have. You can’t run any “countdown clocks,” “calendar apps,” etc. If you want to be able to embed videos and animations, you need to buy their premium package which costs about 100 bucks a year. You can only embed non-video files, such as PDFs etc. through ScribD.com. In other words, you upload your PDF to ScribD, then link to an embedded version in your post.

    Self-hosting denies you the “jump start” of having a blog community, but allows you more freedom in terms of content and code.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      July 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      One other thing David. Once you start getting a lot of traffic, thousands a day, WP.com simply can’t handle it and you’re always crashing. That’s the primary reason I went to self-hosting. I have a dedicated server that does a find job handling the occasional spikes in readership.

      • BitcoDavid Reply

        July 30, 2014 at 5:09 pm

        Well, MM. That day will come! And when it does, you’ll be the first guy to ride in my Lamborghini. We’ll do lunch. I’m thinking Paris.

  4. Andrew Reply

    July 30, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Hey Mike!

    Thanks for the review, means a lot to us and we enjoy seeing these happy reviews! Glad everything went perfect as standard and your happy with the outcome!

    @Winnie if you need a chat or questions etc feel free to drop me a line [email protected] I can generally try and do discounts, answer questions and help if you did look at changing!

    Self hosted is always the way to go when you want to build a really good blog. you get a nice domain too 🙂

    Again thanks Mike!

  5. Michael John Scott Reply

    July 30, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    So where is all this proof? Does it come with spellcheck?

    • BitcoDavid Reply

      July 30, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Hahahahahaha! They come out of the woodwork, don’t they, MM?

  6. Dave Wren Reply

    July 30, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I will keep this in mind as I’ve been thinking about launching a website featuring a unique line of merchandise.

  7. Dashie Rainbow Reply

    July 30, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Been with BoxSrv near 2 years now got 2 VPS with them, one in America one in UK, been very solid so far and support is pretty dam fast, glad to see them getting the publicity those guys deserve!

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      July 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      I can tell you I have no complaints with my dedicated server or the mind blowing support. It is, quite frankly, among the best I’ve experienced. Another plus: those guys actually have a sense of humor!!

  8. Matt S Reply

    July 31, 2014 at 4:31 am

    I can also vouch for BoxSrv – I recently moved a VPS and a reseller account to them after the previous host become beyond unreliable, and I couldn’t be happier!

    The services are MUCH better (faster, and actually online!), the migration was painless (and free!) and any support that I’ve needed has been fast, efficient and even good-humoured!

    10/10 for BoxSrv from me.

  9. Tony Reply

    July 31, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I have used boxsrv for a while now and have to say they are excellent, I would highly recommend

    I have 3 dedi servers and have to say they are top notch quality so is their support,

    All I can say is try them and see!

  10. Paul Reply

    July 31, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Thanks everyone for your kind words and feedback, always glad to hear we are doing it right!

    I have shared this with a huge amount of our clients too Mike, bit of extra traffic!

    • Michael Scott Reply

      July 31, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      I noticed. Thanks Paul.

  11. Pingback: BoxSRV New US Hosting Deals

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