Posted on January 11, 2006 at 01:25 AM
Loyal readers of this blog have probably have noticed my general lack of posting for the last month or so. I could make up some kind of outlandish excuse as to why but I won't. Though, I have been keeping busy with working on a new site design and switching to a new web hosting company. Excuses, excuses...
You see, just about a year ago I signed up with Fatcow to host this blog. I didn't do a lot of online research of web hosting companies, as I usually find that personal experiences are usually more informational than reading the typical marketing hoo-hah some company lists on their site. So I asked around, and based on the recommendation of a blogger who shall remain somewhat nameless, I decided that Fatcow would suit my needs. All I needed was a somewhat cheap web hosting company that would reliably host my site. I wasn't asking for much.
That was then, this is now.
After being with Fatcow for a full year I can report that their reliability as far as a web hosts go was so-so. Being a company that hosts thousands of sites, their number one measuring stick for customer satisfaction should be website availability, which is the total amount of time their client's websites are running sans any unscheduled downtime. And 2005, at least for Fatcow, was less than a banner year.
I can recall at least 3 occasions when I went to update this blog and found that it was unavailable. One time last April the outage was so bad I had to look at a cached copy of Fatcow's support site on Google just to get their phone number. It was as if the entire company was yanked off the interwebs. Not cool.
Another time I found that my site was down, yet again, along with a few other Fatcow hosted sites. So I called their tech support to report the outage and was met with the response, "Really? Hmm... yeah I guess it is down." Any web host company that brags that they have 99% uptime is really telling you that their your website will probably be down down approx. 3.65 days a year, which is really unacceptable in this day age.
To top that off I had to personally call Fatcow and confirm my wish to disband their service. Apparently numerous emails to their customer service department isn't enough for Fatcow. Though I saw this for what it really was, their last ditch effort to somehow persuade me to keep them as my host, even though I'd already signed with a new company weeks earlier and begun the process of transferring this site to my new host. Pretty sure I'm not changing my mind at this point.
So, during my last communicae with Fatcow I was asked why I was taking my site elsewhere. I thought I'd be nice and responded "Well, I found a better deal" and hoped to leave it at that. Though apparently this wasn't a good enough reason for the rep on the other end of the line as he started to break into some jedi mind trick sales pitch about how he could offer me a better deal. I politely cut him off, mid jedi mind trick speak, and promptly listed about half dozen reasons why I was leaving Fatcow. He quickly got the point and our conversation ended. All I thought was "You asked for it buddy".
So for the foreseeable future I've decided to go with MediaTemple. This time I did quite a few comparisons of web hosting companies, along with the usual personal experience factored in as well, and found that they had exactly what I was looking for. I decided to go with MediaTemple's 2GB Shared Server Professional Plan for $7.95/mo (2yr agreement required) which meets my needs perfectly. And with Urchin Stats included with my account, well, that was the icing on the cake.
With all that out of the way, I then had to go through the process of transferring this blog from Fatcow to MediaTemmple. That involved installing movabletype 3.2 on my server, exporting/importing all my posts into my new install of MT3.2, and finally copying the 200+ MBs of data that I've seemed to accumulate in the past year. Even though we're only a few weeks into 2006 my experience with MediaTemple has thus far been superb. Hopefully it stays that way.