So anyone that follows my blog may have noticed that my site was painfully slow or completely inaccessible for the past 36 hours – the truth is I have no explanation for the cause of the problem other than to say moving from GoDaddy solved it (although read “The Kicker” below for the ironic end to this tale).
While trying to update my blog the other evening I noticed a huge performance issue – I checked my CPU usage and memory usage in the CPanel access provided by GoDaddy but it was all at 10% or less. I disabled all the WordPress plugins on my site and the problem persisted.
Enter The Daddy
So I contacted GoDaddy’s technical support team – no mean feat since they cancelled their support ticket and email system leaving customers with only telephone support (and obscene phone bills due to the huge queue, no doubt due to the cancelling of the ticket and email system). GoDaddy’s team essentially trashed my site by switching to one of the default themes, suspended the database connectivity and re-enabling and a whole slew of variations on the ‘turn it off and on again’ theme.
In the end they suggested I setup a temporary site and restore my backup to that to see if the problem exists there. I pointed out that since my site was now trashed, I may as well do it on the live site (as if it worked, I’d be back in business). Unfortunately, deleting the instance of WordPress and restoring the backup (even without plugins) caused the problem to return (although interestingly not immediately – it took a while),
Bye Bye Daddy
At this point I bit the bullet and did a quick search for recommended WordPress hosting companies and settled on Media Temple (who the site is currently hosted with). Unfortunately due to the performance issues on GoDaddy, none of the usual WordPress migration plugins would work (they would time out) so I had to do a semi-manual move.
Hello Media Temple
In all fairness, I wasn’t exactly enamoured with Media Temple as no sooner had I started setting up my site than all Media Temple’s sites appears to go offline for a few hours (I tried connecting from three different countries via remote access so it wasn’t specific to me).
While setting up my Media Temple hosting and email, I experienced a bunch of error messages (see pictures inset) which did little to instil confidence and were particularly un-informative.
I also had arguably the most underwhelming customer support experience I’ve ever had from a technician (I think he was called “Mikko”) – as close to monosyllabic as is possible via chat, I could practically feel him/her shrugging at me.
Truth be told at this stage I started looking for other WordPress hosts but with my blog offline the clock was ticking so I decided to push ahead with Media Temple and see how it went.
The Result / Performance
I finally got my blog up and running again and I have to admit the performance is excellent and I’ve heard back from the technical support team that they have resolved the issue with email configuration too. I’ll now wait to see how things go!
First Impressions of Media Temple
- The Media Temple interface is clean and very nice to use
- Their website is fully responsive – I did a whole bunch of configuration and a support chat on my cell phone on the bus!
- There’s a real lack of detail on the website which keeps everything minimal and clean but really hampers productivity. For example, I setup an email account – I can’t find anywhere that tells me where to go to access this email account (I still don’t know). This lack of obvious (and important) information burdens support with additional queries.
- The error messages were wholly uninformative – I was getting an error just trying to add a domain to my account. It turns out there was a simple fix I could do myself – why wasn’t this listed in the error message?
While setting up my domain name, I noticed that the server address for my new Media Temple hosting said “secureserver.net” at the end. I felt that horrible gut wrenching stab of betrayal when I saw it as who runs servers on that domain? GoDaddy – the very company I was trying to escape from. It turns out Media Temple use GoDaddy for their Premium WordPress hosting. That’s just bloody brilliant.