I have changed webhosts more times than I want to remember.
When I first started a website back in 2006, my host of choice was BlueHost and I still recommend them as one of the more reliable hosts out there.
I’ve had different problems with different hosts, and I won’t go into all the gorey details. I was with my last host for about two years, and in that time, my server was down about 14 times. In nearly every instance, the reason for this downtime was never explained to me. Besides this, I quickly lost patience with their borderline (and not-so-borderline) rude support ticket responses. I finally had enough, but since I dread moving to a new host, I dragged my feet.
I had narrowed my choices to two hosting companies. Then one afternoon I was reading through reviews for one of my two chosen hosts and came across a glowing recommendation of another WordPress host and I decided to check them out.
I am really glad I did. Within one week I was happily settled in with my new host: Lightning Base.
Lightning Base is managed WordPress hosting. They know WordPress and they know how to configure their servers to make it run right. Chris Piepho is the founder of Lightning Base, and he personally answered all my questions in lightning speed, before I signed up.
I was impressed immediately.
Here are the things that made my decision to switch to Lightning Base easy.
Free site setup and transfer
Chris did all the work to get my sites set up on my new server. He did it right the first time, too. In the past, I’ve switched hosts only to discover that they didn’t keep some of my old server settings. It took many tickets to get things the way they should be. Not with Lightning Base. It was done right the first time and completed in hours.
This feature is huge.
Even though we all know how important it is to back up our sites sometimes we just don’t do it. Or maybe you’ve got a plugin that will backup your database for you, automatically, every few days or weeks, but forgot about a backup plan for your files (like those in wp-content, for instance).
If you rely solely on your hosting company for backups you’re going to be majorly disappointed. Most hosts will only have a backup of your site that’s days old and that might not be good enough.
The backup on Lightning Base is amazing, and you can access it right within your cPanel. Lightning Base backs up 30 days of your site: all directories and files, as well as your database.
Let’s say you’re working on your site and you accidentally screw up something with your CSS file. Maybe you overwrite the entire thing with something else. No worries! Just log in to your cPanel and navigate to the date you want (say yesterday, before you overwrote the file) and then choose the file. You can now download a copy of the file and upload it back to your server.
Quick, friendly, and knowledgeable support
I judge businesses on how they handle problems. Let’s face it: you can be with a company for years and not have any issues with them. That doesn’t mean that the service is necessarily good, it’s just that you haven’t had any problems. I hear many people rave about how great their host is, but if they haven’t had any problems, how do they know? Yes, maybe your up time is good, but when you have issues with your server, how does your host handle things? Is their response time quick? Are they courteous?
Not only are my issues responded to quickly, but the issues are usually resolved with the first response. Contrast this with my last host. I would submit a ticket, and about 20 minutes later, receive a reply that they were looking into it and would be in touch. Sometimes, I wouldn’t receive another response for an hour or more. Many times their second response made it obvious that they didn’t understand my initial issue. It was frustrating and unnecessary.
WordPress is all they do
Having a host that knows WordPress is critical. No, you can’t bug them every 10 minutes or expect them to train you on WordPress, but they know what they’re doing. WordPress isn’t some mystery to them.
Better hosting for less money
I’m all for saving money, but I won’t save money just to get something inferior. I look for value, not price.
Lightning Base hosting is saving me significant money yet the service is far superior to the hosting I had before…and the hosting I had before that.
Immediate response to the Heartbleed vulnerability
By now, you’ve heard about the OpenSSL Hearbleed Vulnerability. If not, you can read more about it here: http://www.cnet.com/news/heartbleed-bug-undoes-web-encryption-reveals-user-passwords/
The problem was publicly announced on the 7th of April. By mid-afternoon on April 8th, Lightning Base had completed their final system patch. That’s fast. They also sent out an email to all their clients explaining the issue and recommending that they change their client are and cPanel passwords.
I’ve been with Lightning Base since October 2013 and I don’t anticipate every leaving (unless they suddenly change dramatically, which I doubt!).
If you’re less than happy with your host or you’ve been putting off a move because you’d rather bang your head on a wall and listen to elevator music for 24 hours straight than change hosts, I strongly recommend you consider Lightning Base Head on over there and send Chris a message. Ask him questions. You’ll get a quick, friendly reply.