Sometimes Technology Sucks…
If you’ve tried to access my website in the last couple of weeks, you’ve probably noticed either that you couldn’t access it at all, or it looked really weird. That is because, as of the middle of May, my old hosting service expired, and while I had set up new hosting services, it was not with the same company. Suffice it to safe, the transition did not go smoothly.
As the expiration of my old service loomed closer and closer, I had prepared by learning how to backup and transfer my website to the new hosting company when the time came. Idiot that I was, I didn’t think to test these methods (seeing as how I had used the same services before without issue so didn’t think it would be a problem). I certainly learned my less… never use Bluehost.
I was planning on using a combination of phpMyAdmin and FTP to copy the database and web files manually, but when the time came, while I could backup the database using phpMyAdmin like I wanted, I could no longer connect to FTP. This is because Bluehost, oh horrific nightmare that you are, kicks you off your FTP authorization sporadically “for security purposes.” And in order to get it back? You have to call them. Which can take a while. So I thought I would try another method, but the last time they edited the cPanel, they removed the File Manager. All I had left was FTP. I had no other way of accessing the files directly.
This, of course, led to panic. I started scrambling for ways to back the website up by other means. Eventually, I managed a perfect backup using Backup Guard (WordPress plugin), but had no time to test it before my hosting service ended.
To make matters even worse, I couldn’t seem to get the DNS to transfer to the new hosting company. No matter what I did, it would continue to direct to the old website (or try to). I ended up having to take the website off of CloudFlare (a beautiful service), just to get it to work, and even that took some doing.
Finally, Sunday, I got the DNS to work, which allowed me the access to import the backup I’d downloaded to my laptop. Six minutes later, I had my website exactly as it had been before the move. And with a little bit of finagling, Hostgator is looking to be a much more user friendly service, even with all the hiccups so far.
I left Bluehost because of poor customer service (honestly, they don’t even know what their own error messages mean in phpMyAdmin), and slow page load times, but I’m now so glad I left. I’m not on CloudFlare at the moment, but the website seems to be loading almost as fast if not as fast as Bluehost with CloudFlare. I’m definitely glad I left.