Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to have relatively few major incidents with my sites – Knock Knock. But, I can’t same the same for some of my clients. I’ve had a handful of clients that didn’t do much research about their web hosting company and found out later why they really should have taken the time to find a good host.
Go on … ?
One of my new clients, someone that I know personally, decided to have me assist them with SEO on their site. Their setup is pretty common. They have an online ecommerce store that sells medical products. The store is built in icart a good ecommerce application overall, running on Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP a LAMP stack. Since my client’s domain name really didn’t have good keyword prominence for their target market, and the PageRank of the domain was fairly low, I decided to buy a new domain name with more keyword relevance and to simply redirect the old pages to the new domain name Simple right?
The Gory Details
After scrounging for information on the internet, and spending an eternity on reading about servers from places like https://blog.servermania.com/choosing-a-small-business-server/, I set up the DNS for the new domain to point to the current server and contacted the current web host – the company that is also administering the icart application – to determine what needs to be done in the application to make the changes without any problems. They assured me that they would have the changes made but that they would have to bill my client for the work needed to be done. Okay I guess that’s par for the course. Five phone calls and a week later the domain name finally pointed to my client’s site. Hmmm … why it takes a week to point a domain name to a site when the DNS was done for you I just can’t figure but hey maybe they were really busy?
The Really Ugly Stuff
So, I logged in to the application’s administration panel to make some simple Meta Tag changes and update some of the global settings to reflect the new name. Finally I had made some progress. However, when I logged out of the application and went to log back in, the application informed me that the license was invalid. I can only presume that this was caused by the application be licensed to the original domain name not the new one. So, I called the host to have this problem resolved as I wasn’t able to log in to the application now. Basically, my client’s out of business. After an hour on hold (Busy Again?) the host informed me that there tech support is gone for the day and that they would have a technician to work the problem ticket first thing in the morning. This particular host is in Provo, UT so they are open 8:30 – 5:00 MST. So my client’s losing money because their host doesn’t have an evening tech team.
The Camel’s Back is Broken
The next day I called the hosting company to find out if and when my client’s site would be accessible. After One and a half hours on hold, a very curt and unimpressive gentleman informed me that he could not discuss the particulars of the problem ticket with me even though I was the acting representative of my client, with the proper Login and Password for the account administrator. After giving him a piece of my mind about the quality of hosting experience I had been so lucky to witness, he then asked me if I had anything else I wanted to say… I basically informed him that he just lost his hosting client and asked him if he had anything that he’d like to say. Luckily, nowadays we have a web hosting trial period, so you can just cancel your free trial or pay an invoice to continue the services.
Again – Your Hosting Company is Your Business
If you run an online business, it is of the utmost importance to find out what kind of support they have to build customer trust. You should know when problems arise and your site goes down are they going to be there to assist you? Or are you going to be waiting indefinitely for support and answers? Can you afford to lose customers due to a lack of hosting support? I luckily don’t have these problems because, I host all my sites with companies that meet the sourceNOTE requirements. To date, I have made well over 250 support calls and more than 95% were resolved in a matter of no time. I can’t speak for some of the other hosting companies but I am now very thankful that I have my business websites in the good hands of the folks over at Hosting.com. Oh, and my client will be there very shortly as well.
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