As many of my blogging friends can remember, a little over six weeks ago the internet seemed to break one Friday morning. Running a blog for a little over a year now, I’ve had experience with my site going down here and there and was no big deal. This particular situation though was like none other. At least half of the sites I visit were down for hours. In the blogging world that is horrible, especially if you’re trying to make any income through your blog. It turns out that the culprit was some issue at a data facility for HostGator that also impacted numerous other hosting companies under the umbrella of the parent company – EIG.
A little background, I had moved to them several months prior and thought that since they were such a big hosting company I’d be bound to get great service. Sadly, that was not the case as I noticed a marked difference the day I switched to them. For three or four hours each afternoon, it seemed as if Frugal Rules came to a standstill as the site was moving so slow. That said, I know each host goes down and that is expected, but this was the final nail for me. Anyway, this is not meant to be a HostGator hate fest, but a BigScoots review and why I chose to go with them.
There Are Seemingly Thousands of Web Hosting Companies
Anyone who has been blogging for any amount of time knows there are a ton of web hosting companies out there. This can make it difficult to determine which might be best for you and the needs of your blog. Additionally, switching hosts can be a bit of a headache if you end up moving to a hosting company that will not help you through the process of switching over. When I decided it was time to switch to a new hosting company, I sought out opinions of other bloggers and stumbled across a smaller company – BigScoots. The name might seem a little odd, but let me tell you that they know what they’re doing and the service has been top notch.
What Are Your Needs?
As someone who has limited tech knowledge, I want to be able to find a hosting company that can take care of those needs so I can focus on other blogging related activities. Depending on what your technical knowledge is, that’ll sway what your needs are and what hosting service you choose. While there are many needs you might have, I’ll focus on some of the key ones below:
This is first as it is likely the most important. If your site is not up then how can people get to it? It’s plain and simple. Not only can it potentially impact you from an SEO perspective, but it can also drive away readers if your site is regularly down. The different companies out there have their own specific numbers they claim to reach and with BigScoots they have a 100% up time guarantee. As far as I know, my site and our business site have not been down since we made the switch.
Who wants to go to a site that takes 30 seconds to load each page? I know that I generally don’t…I know, call me impatient. There is much more technical jargon associated with this, but suffice it to say that you want a host that’ll make sure your site is moving fast. Since moving to BigScoots, our sites are moving markedly faster.
You want to make sure that your host is able to technically handle what your blog needs. This can come in many forms from being able to support a WordPress blog to having software that is up to date. You also don’t want to run into a situation where you’re jam packed with a bunch of other sites resulting in a slower performance out of your blog.
I left this one last on purpose. I value good customer service highly and will even pay more for it. Our first experiences with HostGator was on the customer service side and that should’ve been our warning. That said, you want someone that’ll take the time to answer your hosting questions and be available 24/7 through either phone, email or live chat. The experience I’ve had with BigScoots has been second to none on this front.
Why I Chose BigScoots
You may be asking yourself what makes BigScoots different from the others. There are numerous reasons why. When we switched to them, which was at 11:00 p.m. on a Saturday night, the gentleman who helped us – Scott, gave us his personal cell number and said that we could call him at any point of the night or the rest of the weekend if we noticed any issues with our sites with the move. In my opinion, that is exceptional service. They handled moving our sites completely free of charge and had them over to their servers within 20 minutes of us pulling the trigger. As a comparison, in our previous move several months prior it took nearly an entire weekend and we still had to handle some of the things on our own – not so with BigScoots as they took care of everything for us, which made it very a easy and pleasant process.
In addition to that, they are always quick to answer any questions and actually walk us through handling a situation if we have a problem. The great thing about it, is they offer all of this at a great price as you can start out with a plan as cheap as $1.99 per month. We have a higher level shared plan which works out to $10.95 per month and we also have a dedicated IP address which runs an additional $2 per month. I know it’s likely that bigger hosting providers like HostGator and Bluehost can probably match if not best that price but, but if you’re looking for stellar service and solid up-time, then BigScoots is worth a look.
Who do you use for your hosting company? Were you impacted by half the internet breaking?
Photo courtesy of: Bogie Garry