So, my yearly web hosting expires in February. I’d finally noticed that for the last many years, the price for web hosting on Site5 is much higher than other competitors. My problem was that I got it, and then just stuck with it because of complacency. For years. It looks like I registered with them in December 2012 and have no idea when their service went downhill. They provided terrible service and the reviews on the net confirm that while they might have started OK, they declined badly. The reviews are awful.
My problems were various. For at least three years, and possibly to date, I couldn’t send emails to yahoo accounts. It seems the server had been blocked. But after trying over a long period of time, and even posting complaints to Twitter, nothing was done.
The price, US$250, for a year, was so ridiculous that I can’t believe that I have paid this without thinking about it. I’m normally economical.
For the last years, my WordPress Dashboard told me that my site was running an outdated version of PHP that is no longer supported and may cause issues with AIOSEO. But, the only way, Site5 told me, to fix this, is by paying for a higher level of service.
It was confounding, and then, the worst thing was during the Christmas and New Year’s period, I was unable to receive and send emails during various periods of time. I got an email saying that they would be switching my server from USCentral425 to something else, and would let me know what is happening. I received NO further communication, but when my email stopped on 24 December, I asked the online Helpdesk (which is probably the best thing about Site5) what to do, and they told me to switch to Shared169.
This seemed to work but when it stopped again, on New Year’s Eve, I contacted them again. The next Helpdesk person thought the reason was because my IP is on a blacklist, and I needed to contact SORBS. So, I contacted my ISP for help, 10Mates, and they said they would do what they could. I also further investigated the blacklist issue and the error message said that the blacklisting was from years ago. And their automated reply said that my IP space was ‘not eligible for delisting’. So, I think that Helpdesk person was wrong and wasted my time. I had no clue what to do BUT my email then started working on and off, though it stopped for nearly a full working day on 3 January.
When it started working again in early January, I decided it was time for me to switch web hosting as soon as I can. And not before posting a bad review. I decided TrustPilot seems to be well read and legitimate:
TrustPilot review: Don’t use Site5!
My problem is that there are dozens of sites that recommend ‘the best web hosting in Australia’. But none of them are clear who they are. Are they paid by the web hosts themselves? What gives them the authority to make recommendations. The Australian consumer site, Whirlpool, had no recent relevant discussions. Using a few of these sites originally led me to look at Hostpapa and Hostinger, but when I decided to take a punt and choose Hostpapa, I saw that their renewal rates are exorbitant. So, they suck you in with cheap prices for the first few years, and then hope, like I did with Site5, that you are too lazy to change to another server.
I finally found a list of recommendations from PCMag.com, which I considered legitimate. It’s top choice for what I need was Hostgator. In fact, it’s a rave review. But looking at it, there was the same issue. Sign you up at a cheap rate and then … charge a lot more for subsequent years. I looked for a review for Hostinger, which PCMag.com said is pretty good (but not as good as Hostgator), and their pricing plan looked reasonable. It was cheaper to sign up for three years, and then slightly more expensive for two years, and then one year, but the renewal rates were reasonable.
Much as I was still nervous about making the right decision, and that I didn’t have enough information or knowledge to be sure, I decided to try Hostinger. I’ll write about how that turned out in another blog post!