I’ve had my blog for six years. I know not only because of my calendar but also because of my billing history.
When I originally signed up in 2010, I got a teaser rate of $142.20 for three years. I did have to renew my domain name annually, but that was only $9.95 a year, so my website cost me $162.10 or a little over $50 a year for the first three years, if my “in my head” math is right.
Three years later in 2013, I got my first bill at the standard rate. Gulp! $312.59. It had almost doubled to a little over $100 a year. Wow!
Now, I will say, the web hosting company I was using was top notch and offered many services I didn’t use. Also their customer service, both on the phone and through chat, was excellent. The $300+ price included everything for the next three years so I didn’t have any annual costs.
Three more years have passed, and it was time to renew again. I started getting notices about 90 days in advance. The new rate for the same services was going to be a little over $400. That’s about a 25% increase–not as bad as the last time but still excessive.
I put on my thinking cap and deduced if this company offered a teaser rate other hosting companies might do the same. Hum…
Before checking prices, I researched companies and found the top ten. Three ranked above the one I was using. I went for the gold and priced the number one company in customer satisfaction. I could get what I had and a little more (free cloud back-up) for a three year rate of $99.00 Say what? I was switching this baby.
If I were computer savvy, this would’ve been a snap, but therein lies the problem…I’m not. When I was in college a million years ago I took all of the computer classes offered–both of them. But, other people do this every day. Surely, I could figure this out. This turned out to be faulty logic.
Part of my problem was my new best friends at the help desks of both hosting companies were telling me slightly different ways to transfer my blog from the old hosting company to the new so I got confused and frustrated.
I’m going to stray from the subject (so what else is new?) for a moment. When I called the original company and told them I was moving my business they didn’t even ask why. I’d hoped they would be appalled they were going to lose my account and match the pricing and all would be right with the world.
This was an issue I had when I was in sales in Telecom (dial tone, Internet, etc. with THE major player). We’d have fabulous new customer promotions yet loyal customers were offered nothing but rate hikes. It was in the customers best interest (though I NEVER told a customer this) to cut to a competitor under a short contract, then cut back to us when the contract was up and lock in their rates with a three year agreement. I complained about this all of the time. I finally left the company to sell equipment with a privately owned company who had discretion over pricing.
Now, back to my original story…how to get my blog from the old hosting company to the new.
Luckily, Hubby and I have close couple friends, and the husband teaches computer classes at a local college. They come to visit for my recent birthday and I was stressing over this. He took my computer, created a “ghost” of my website, put it on the new web-hosting site and that was that. He also told me some things to do–like register my domain name–that I thought were being handled by the hosting company and were not. He helped me register it through a company he uses, but I didn’t read the confirmation closely and “verify” it so they cancelled the order. That was this week, only days before my old site expired. I e-mailed him and he gave me a remedial lesson on registering my domain name, assured me I would not lose the website even if the site went down before the switch because he’d already save a clone to the new site.
Once I understood and got the domain name locked in, my WordPress website moved to the new hosting company. This is my first post here; my first post in over a month. If you’re reading this, everything worked!
Of course, as soon as I realized I had the site again, I went to the admin page and messed something up. Seriously, in the six years that I’ve had the site I’ve never done that! I e-mailed him, he went in, saw what I’d done, fixed it, and added himself as an administrator to make it a little easier to troubleshoot in the future. I’m not touching the settings again!
One thing about the switch that was disappointing that I caught. As I perused my AX bill, I saw three charges from the new company, all from the same day. I called them and asked what they were for. The $99 was for the hosting and all of the goodies that go with it like the cPanel. The other two charges — twenty something and thirty something, I think — he said were default charges for site lock and a different cloud storage. I told him I thought the site came with unlimited cloud storage. He verified it did, but this was an outside company to use as another level of back-up. I might have considered the site-lock had they been up front about it, but had him remove both charges just because they added them without my permission.
So, when your time is up with your current hosting company do you switch? It depends. How much is your time worth? How computer savvy are you? If you know what you are doing, it should be easy enough. If not, look under the seat cushions, in old purses, under the seats in your car, maybe even drive for Uber for a few days, and pay the difference.
If I were doing it again, knowing what I know, what would I do? Switch companies and save money, of course.
Have a good one…