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We Left GoDaddy For HostGator

Submitted by on September 25, 2011 – 8:04 pm6 Comments

All THIS for just $11.99 per year!

We have moved from our previous host, GoDaddy, to our current one, HostGator.  I am happier than all get out.  For those interested in the super boring drama that lead up to this change let’s start at the beginning…

About two years ago I set up our website with GoDaddy, they’re a well known, popular hosting company with inexpensive pricing.  Perfect for a personal blog.  Later, a friend of mine who owns/manages hundreds of websites told me I’d be hating myself for choosing GoDaddy.  She said if I ever had any problems, and I would indeed she warned, I would be very unhappy.  She suggested I move to HostGator immediately. While I trust her judgement, by then I loved GoDaddy, mainly for the exemplary customer service I had experienced so far.

During the first several months I contacted GoDaddy several times with how-to questions and other challenges.  The phone was answered reasonably quickly and I was impressed with how nice and helpful they were.  In short, their support people were awesome.  True, there were some things that left me non-plussed, such as their ordering process is simply a nightmare of choices, the website management console is a confusing  maze where I often found myself going in circles, but I could always call for guidance, and did so often.

Everything was just fine until a few months ago when I got an email from them saying they would be moving my site from one server to another.  That’s when the problems began.

When they moved our site they hosed the permissions, I could no longer upload photos, update any plugins or even update WordPress.  When I contacted GoDaddy they initially told me they had not moved my site, I read them the email they had sent indicating they had indeed moved my server and pointed out the coincidence that my problems began the day of the move.

Then the guy started telling me moving the server did not cause my problems and that I had a folder with more than 1,000 photos, which apparently is not allowed, and they could immediately shut my site down for this infraction.  Why was I not notified I had exceeded the file quota, I asked?  And what did this have to do with the problems I was experiencing?  What were they going to do to help me fix the problems they had caused?

We don’t support WordPress

That’s what I was told.  Well you sure as hell blow up WordPress pretty good. They were of no help and continued to imply I had caused the problems I was seeing.  I considered moving the site to another host but concluded that moving a broken site to another host was just asking for new problems. Boy was I wrong.

After spending a considerable amount of time discovering the problem and fixing most of it we were posting new articles again. I was still unable to update WordPress and I figured I’d resolve that later.  Then one day last week our site was down for about 10 hours. The first person I spoke to explained there was a problem with the server that hosted our site, they knew about it and they were working on it.  Stuff happens, fair enough but I called back about 8 hours later and was told the downtime was my fault, that we had exceeded “100 concurrent connections”

WTF?

So a while later the site was magically up again, but it continued to time out.  You’d be on the site and click a link and nothing would happen, or it might fail to load the page that you clicked on.  This went on for days and our traffic was soon down by 50%.  Then I decided that if my site was going to be broken I might as well move it to a new host and that’s just what I did.

Free at last

The HostGator staff (I’ve emailed or talked to a half a dozen of them so far) has been exceptional.  The process to move the site was painless and we did in fact have some challenges, they were unable to copy my site because it kept timing out.  But they kept at it and communicated the whole time.  I felt like I was working with people who understood technical challenges and knew what they were doing.

And not only did everything work out for the better, the problems I had before are now gone – I was able to update to the latest version of WordPress without any problems.  I am one happy camper.  But it gets better…

“Climate change is real, it’s happening now, and we as a planet desperately need to reduce our IT emissions. And if we wait for the government to solve the problem, we’ll be waiting for a long, long, LONG time” – HostGator

It wasn’t until I had signed up that I learned HostGator, a Texas Company, is green. According to their website they buy “Green-e certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from a Texas wind farm representing 130 percent of the electricity used to both power and cool all of its shared and reseller servers. RECs offset energy production through a renewable energy resource. The green energy is then fed into the electrical grid.”   This was an unexpected bonus.

Throughout this drama I did some research and it seems I’m not the only one who’s moved from GoDaddy to HostGator, and not just for their less than stellar support.

Social implications.

Most people don't realize that hot women are insanely attracted to webmasters and bloggers.

GoDaddy is also known for their  “GoDaddy Girls.”  Each  SuperBowl they run sexy ads on TV and then you’re lured to their site to see the racier ending of the ads.  It’s pretty easy stuff to ignore and I certainly never had a problem with their “sex sells” approach, lots of companies use tacky gimmicks like this.  While I wouldn’t refuse to do business with a company who tries to appeal to horny teenage boys, I wouldn’t choose them on that basis either.  If you Google around you’ll find folks who have indeed left GoDaddy for the perceived sexism.

Weirder still is their CEO, Bob Parsons, is an elephant hunter, a too vocal for his own good elephant hunter.  Full disclosure – I am a bit of a gun nut and although I’m not into killing critters I don’t have a problem with hunters, hunting nor do have a problem sitting down to a slab of prime rib. However for some reason elephant killing just seems like a weird hobby to me.

the Hunter

Parsons took a lot of heat for his latest trophy killing, and lost quite a bit of business for it too.  Mostly, I suspect, because he was pretty dumb if not arrogant about it.  He not only proudly Tweeted about knocking off an elephant (at a very close range I might add), but he even posted a video that you can’t help but wonder if he thinks is heroic.

While none of this is illegal, and the morality is debatable, publicly bragging about it is pretty stupid.

I’m not a hunter but I’m smart enough to know bragging about killing elephants is not going to win you any fans in the modern era of conservation and

the Hunted

awareness of endangered species.

In spite of the public backlash, and apparently many customers have left in protest for other hosting companies, Parsons is proud of his African shenanigans.

He asserts he’s not only saving crops that are damaged by elephants, he’s feeding people who allegedly don’t get enough protein in their diets.  So according to Parsons his elephant sniping safaris are not an example of excess and senseless killing of majestic animals, his is a humanitarian effort.

Numerous conservation, elephant and endangered species organizations have protested and pointed out there are many  humane and effective ways to keep elephants from damaging crops, and elephant meat is not the only source of protein on the African continent. Besides, I can’t help but wonder why Zimbabwe villagers need  a rich white guy to kill a “problem” elephant.  It just doesn’t add up, to me at least. Oh well, many people probably think owning a near dozen bicycles is pretty weird too.

I can’t help but wonder why Zimbabwe villagers need  a rich white guy to kill a “problem” elephant.  It just doesn’t add up, to me at least.

Summary

I’m sure Bob Parsons is a nice guy, I bet he is.  And as I mentioned previously, GoDaddy provides exceptional service, as long as you don’t have any problems.  And in spite of the elephant hunts and scantily clad women I am in no way encouraging people to boycott or leave GoDaddy.  More importantly I am simply delighted with HostGator and relieved that our website troubles are over.

Hopefully this is the last time we’ll ever post about web hosting and/or site problems.

– Chris

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Chris started riding a bike again when he noticed the Preston Ridge Trail being constructed across the street from his house. Since then he co-founded Biking in Dallas, has gone through countless Craigslist bike projects (some better than others) and can be found pedaling around town on a Electra Ticino with a camera in tow.

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