GoodBye GoDaddy managed WordPress hosting

Well that didn’t last very long did it? I had high hopes for GoDaddy’s managed WordPress hosting as you can see from the earlier post but I hit a snag, even after a great start it was enough to make me want to change hosting again.

I originally moved my 2 blogs over without a hitch, the automatic migration tool is excellent. It worked really well, just put in a few account details and hit import…. a few hours later both sites were imported and setup on a temporary domain, change my DNS and It’s all up. Excellent.

Then I hit an issue, I use Blogo 2 to write my posts on my Mac, this seems incompatible with GoDaddy anti spam/hacking tools. Blogo poll’s your wordpress installation to download all of your posts and pages, this triggered the anti hacking measures which denied Blogo access to my blog. 

I decided to raise a support ticket with GoDaddy and was annoyed I couldn’t find an online support method. No Webpage contact, No chat, No email. The only option phone. That means wait times…. I much prefer emailing a support issue if it’s not urgent, then escalating to phone if it is urgent.

Whilst looking around my GoDaddy account settings I realised that my 2nd year renewal costs were going to be high than 1st thought. Anti hacking thresholds too low, no email support and higher than expected renewal costs made me decide to cancel the account within the 30 day free cancellation period. Cancellation was pain free (after the telephone wait!) and 100% of my initial purchase was returned.

SiteGround.com

After some research for a new host for my blogs I decide to give SiteGround Wordpress hosting a go, So far they have been superb. They assisted moving both blogs to their servers manually (Which was slow due to GoDaddy throttling the download speed of my sites!) They updated me at each step of the transfer by email of online chat.

Also their non discounted hosting plans are much more reasonable when I do renew.

Whilst it’s not a ‘managed’ solution it does have some features that assist with the management of your site. It’s also fast! So far my blog dashboards have never been so responsive. they use their own cache plugins that really make an improvement and make it a lot easier to manage!

If you are looking for quality hosting take a look at SiteGround.

WordPress to SquareSpace and back again!

It’s come to that time of year again where my webhosting needs to renewed. Over the past few years my needs have changed and I have rationionalized many of my blogs and websites to a very small number.

Due to this I decided to take a change of direciton and for my 2 main sites, MarcusPlatt.co.uk and Productive Wizard.com and decided to host them with SquareSpace to give me a break from Self hosting.

Self-Hosting can be time consuming.

Self hosted WordPress has always been a very good servent for my bloging needs over the years, however I was starting to worry about the security of my sites, I was happy to update the Themes/Plugins and Code whenever necesssary as it was only a few clicks (with fingers crossed the update I was applying wasn’t going to break anything) but I was still worried of any security holes I wasn’t aware of being found. Call me paranoid if you like! So I decided that this time I would look at a managed blogging platform. Some were a little too restrictive and basic others were crazy expensive!

Eventually I decided to give SquareSpace (7) a go. Moving my data across was simple and trouble free and I loved the way I could drag and drop screen elements and with a live preview, however when It came to actually blogging I didn’t enjoy the experience. I found it very long winded and slow to get to a blog entry, the web interface seemed slughish. The only offline app (where I do a majority of my blogging) is a very polished iPad app, handy in some situations but not all of the time, no way to use a 3rd part blogging app like Blogo.

Moving my Disqus commenting system was also causing me some headaches with the mapping and I eventually gave up all together and decided to try some other platform. (SquareSpace gave a prorata refund to both SquareSpace sites without question which was nice!)

I would use SquareSpace again (and have an idea to soon in the future) but not as a blogging platform.

GoDaddy WordPress hosting.

I have now moved my blogs to fairly new GoDaddy Managed WordPress for 12 months. GoDaddy reviews (and branding) are so polarising on the web (mostly all smothered in affiliate links) I could not accuratly form an opinion on the services they offfer, some raved, some screamed ‘avoid’. But I decided to take the plunge and sign up with their promise of

Blazing fast. Incredibly secure. Totally hassle-free.
You create your own WordPress site. We do the work with fully-managed hosting, setup and security.
99.9% uptime guarantee*

 

Sounds exactly like what I was looking for and at a great price…. lets see how much that price grows at renewal! My thoughts so far a very favourable, the transfer of my 2 WordPress blogs was very easy and smooth within an hour both blogs were copied to a temporary domain without any real interaction from me. A quick update to my DNS settings and a day later it’s done with minimal downtime.

The service itself seems faster than my previous host (HostGator), the WordPress dashboard loads a lot faster and some quick tests show the blogs load a lot faster also.

Early days, but I don’t see any downsides yet, a secure, fast WordPress platform I know well that allows me to use all of the apps I already use without some of the headaches of keeping it online.

 

Normal service is resumed

I’m back!

My blog a day challenge has been well… challenging of late! Having to cover shifts at work (and for another 5 months!) has really thrown my productivity into disarray and the ‘nice’ things like my blog are the 1st things that have suffered. So there’s a few days missing in the past few weeks, which is annoying. In fact the days that there wasn’t a blog here there may have been a blog post on one of my other sites.

So I’m quitting blogging everyday?

Whoa….. a few posts missed does not make mean my challenge is over, my 6 month anniversary is only a few weeks away and do intend to continue blogging everyday until then and then for another 6 months! Im not sure how I’lll build blogging each day into the shifts Im working, (Some are easier than others to find the time!) but Im going to blog as often as I can!

Yesterdays Jubilee River pageant

Yesterday was a work shift day (like Today and Tomorrow) and I had a very annoying journey to work trying to find a bridge that was open to cross the Thames. On the plus side I got to see hundreds of excited people finding view points along the Thames around 8:30am, a long wet day was in store for them as they waited for the 3pm pageant. I was lucky enough to get a nice view from a meeting room on the 7th floor overlooking the Thames. The boats were great to see, my favorites were the small commonwealth where from my vantage point looked like small toy remote control boats!

It was a crazy journey home, thanks in no small part to a Sunday Service of trains from SouthWest Trains, in a small twitter exchange they did tell me they did put on extra trains, alas none of them were heading to my destination.

Tonight is the Royal concert and as I head into London for another shift it’s with some trepidation I think about my journey home tonight which coincides with the end of the concert, fingers crossed I’ll get a seat!!

A few days away all booked.

Louise and I have a week off mid June and as a small get away were off to the south-east of England, Canterbury way, somewhere that neither of us have ever been which is a nice thing to have on the horizon as I work the bank holidays!

Sorry about the duplicate Tweets and Facebook posts!

Sorry about the duplicate Tweets and Facebook posts!

In my every increasing ways to do fun things with my blog I just managed to flood lots (and I mean lots and lots!!) of Tweets and Facebook posts to all my friends and followers by accident.

 

I decided to try a great plugin called Instagrate to WordPress, which would publish a post whenever I took a new Instagram photo on my iPhone, nice an simple… well until I find out it has a few issues with my Publish to Facebook and Twitter plugins I also use. 70 duplicate posts later I think I’ve managed to delete them all, but I just wanted to apologise to everyone whose Twitter/Facebook feeds ended up with a load of my duplicate posts!

Sorry guys! I’ll try and get it working without spamming you all with duplicate posts!

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New look for tablet and mobile users

I’ve updated my blog to cater for mobile users better! If you access the site on a Tablet device (iPad or Android) you will be servered a nice Onswipe version of the blog which I think is really nice!

If you access on your mobile, you’ll also get a better formated version, courtesy of WPtouch plugin, it’s the same content on both and you can still access the desktop versions from tablets or mobiles by accessing the menus.

Why the change?

After looking at my visitor data I could see that a fair few of you visit from mobile devices…. and I love an excuse to be a little Nerdy! If you have any problems viewing the site on your mobile or tablet device please let me know!

Blogging goals 2012, a great start!

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2012 GTDWizard.com challenge

At the start of the 2012 I set myself a goal to get +1000 visits a week on one of my other blogs GTDWizard.com, all through 2011 since I launched GTDWizard.com in July I was averaging around 50 – 120 visits a day, around 400 – 700 visits a week. +1000 visits was just a figure I pulled out of the air that seemed achievable and measurable, with some work.

So, I’ve been blogging regularly this year and had been watching the numbers grow a little each day, seeing a few extra twitter followers and email subscribers… and then yesterday BOOM, I had over 1000 visitors in 1 day! (1003 to be precise!) Not quite viral proportions I realise, but still a nice milestone for a fledgling blog like own!

I think this weeks visit figures will be handsome, but Im not going to relax on my laurels, I’ve found getting 1000 visits on one day easy, I still need to bring in +1000 visits per week consistently for the whole of January.

Why blog at all?

When blogging here at ‘The Life and Times of Marcus P’ its for therapy! No really, I do it to unwind a little. Currently Im on the train on the way home with my laptop on my lap and I’m able to loose myself in some writing for a while. (Writing or Meditation, 2 great things to do on a train!) My blog-a-day 2012 challenge is progressing nicely, no idea if anyone’s reading it! (I’ve hidden the stats as thats not why I blog here!)

When I blog at GTDWizard I do it as I have a passion for the subject matter, I love being productive, being in control of the things I need to do and I like finding ways to improve my productivity. So I like to share what I find with like minded souls.

Blogging for a business?

I earn a few £’s from my blogs from a  few ads and affiliate schemes, which comfortable pay all my internet hosting costs and my app purchases each year. Last year there was enough left over for small hotel break with my girlfriend, Im not looking to make money but Im not going to say no to a few free payouts! So, Blogging for a business? No, Im not going full time blogging anytime soon, but one can dream can’t one?

Bluehost “your fired”

Another outage for all my websites has been the straw that broke the camels back! During the outage I had no communication from bluehost at all, I could see on twitter that the outage was affecting a few users but I really REALLY expected some sort of email from bluehost support explaining the outage and reassuring me that they were working on it.

You.may recall I did move a few months ago to a VPS solution, the only issue was the extra overheads in looking after a server it brought also. Rather than updating my blogs I was completing admin tasks on the server! So I cancelled and decided to put up with the rather sluggish performance of bluehost….

Then the outage happened, so I had a good look around the market, tried 123 hosting which was fast but the control panel was crippled a little (some of my blogs rely on cron jobs) so I cancelled within a few days and now I’m trialling hostgator.com

So far I’m very pleased, I’ve only migrated this blog so far but it seem a huge improvement in speed than bluehost, I can only hope it’s more reliable than bluehost!

I’ll migrate gtdwizard.com next I think, then iPad-review.co.uk…. Then it’s back to content!