A few days ago I wrote about the Pros & Cons of a Hosted (free) Site which outlines my reasons for switching to a self-hosted site. At that point, I had purchased a plan with a hosting company and was on my way to my very own self-hosted blog.
The main objectives I wanted out of a hosting company were:
- excellent customer service! I do have experience with intermediate HTML and website design but going farther than that, I’m a chicken with its head cut off. Hence I really needed the extra customer service to help me through transferring my blog over and getting set-up.
- low cost. I wasn’t necessarily going for the cheapest option. I still want quality. But I’m not making money on my blog (maybe this is something I will do in the future), so I don’t want to pay a lot for hosting if I’m not bringing any bacon in.
- speaking of, I also wanted a company that would help me transfer over my website content to their company. For free.
- ability to work with WordPress platform as this is the platform I am most familiar with and currently using.
After checking a few reviews, comparing prices, customer service, and experiences of other, more senior bloggers in the field, I ended up with two finalists: Hostgator and Bluehost. At the end of the day, I chose Hostgator because it appeared to be slightly cheaper with equal ratings in customer service reviews compared to Bluehost.
I purchased the Hatchling plan (the cheapest, most beginner plan), and these were my thoughts over the first few days:
- First thought: Wow, that turned out a lot pricier than what they advertise. Their website very boldly states a $3.96/mo price tag. Which seems oh so enduring. The total expense with all the bells and whistles (some protection plan and something else that I can’t even remember what it was but you most certainly couldn’t do without), it came to around $8.50/mo for the next two years. Which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s significantly different than the advertised cost that they boast about.
- Second thought; Okay, now what? After signing up and paying I really had no idea what to do. I got lost in the sea of information and extremely complex instructions that they provide on their website. I flailed around trying to figure things out for quite a while without succeeding. You would think if I order a “Hatchling” plan – which, by virtue of the name, literally portrays how new I am at this – that they would provide a little more direction.
It has been three weeks since I purchased this plan and my website content still is not migrated to their hosting company (which is something they boast doing for free for new customers).
So far, their customer service representatives have actually been extremely nice, but mostly useless. At the end of the day, my request is being completed, the task is just moving at the speed of a glacier.