In the Trenches: Executing the Switch

by Brett Snyder

2 min read

In my last column, I wrote about how we recovered from a web and email outage. The recovery was relatively easy, but my faith in my web host, Bluehost, was shot. Way back in February, I mentioned that I was looking for a new host. After this incident, I finally pulled the trigger.

As I had mentioned, my websites had been running slowly for quite some time, and the folks at Bluehost were of little help. I was so busy, however, that I just couldn’t put enough time and effort into making the switch… until last week.

When our sites and email went down completely last week, I immediately tried to call Bluehost. I got a busy signal. I then headed to Twitter only to find that it had been hours since the last tweet from @Bluehost. I did a search on Twitter and immediately found dozens and dozens of tweets from others who were impacted by this major outage as well. It was clearly a widespread problem.

The next day, I called Bluehost to get an understanding about what happened. The tech on duty said he worked mornings so he had no idea what had happened last night. He looked through his notes and emails to see if he could find anything out. All he said was that he did see a problem, but the way the data was showing up meant it wasn’t Bluehost’s fault. It must have been somebody else’s fault.

That was enough to push me over the edge. There was no attempt to keep my business, not even an admission that anything had gone wrong. I was done.

Having already done some research on this subject, I opted to go with Pair Networks. Pair also had phone support, which I liked, and a seemingly easy control panel that it had built over the years. I signed up and spent the next week making the switch.

It’s a fairly harrowing experience, because I effectively had to rebuild my websites on the new host. Once everything was in place, I flipped the switch (changed the name servers) and then waited up to a couple of days for the change to propagate through the world.

Though the idea of making the switch was daunting, I’m so glad I did it. The sites have been running very fast, and emails have been coming in quickly. Here’s hoping that as we enter the holidays in earnest, things keep on keepin’ on.

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