Since I’ve been self-hosted, I’ve used HostGator for my website hosting needs. I never found the need to really mention that backend jibberish on the blog, because it’s not the most intellectually or emotionally stimulating piece of literature to read, I’m sure. But after having a few truly outstanding customer service experiences with the HostGator team, I saw the opportunity to give back to them with a lil’ Coming Up Roses love and I couldn’t say no.
I knew virtually nothing about anything web-related (besides surfing the web) upon starting a blog, so a friend who helped me make the switch to self-hosted recommended HostGator and I went with it. I’ve got the “Hatchling” plan; it’s the most basic plan, but since I only have one domain at this time, it was the right choice for me. I paid $15 to have my domain name (cominguprosestheblog.com) registered for one year, and then $3.96/month on a 3-year hosting plan. Some quick math will show I spent $142.56 to ensure my site was hosted and registered for three year’s time – a totally worthwhile purchase in my book!
HostGator also has one click WordPress installs (so no messy downloading and uploading of packed files! Woo!), one click easy-to-use web builder with drag and drop building tools, design services from pros, marketing services, and – you guessed it – domain hosting from the best. I reckon outstanding customer service is just a free perk.
Enter HostGator Customer Service Story Numero Uno.
I had a post go viral.
Fabulous, except the bandwidth on my plan apparently isn’t fit for extreme, sudden jolts of atypical website traffic. Aaaaaand my website went down, blacklisted. Of course, nothing being “blacklisted” is good. And in the excitement of having a piece reach virality, it was countered by sheer panic: All of these people are coming to my site for the first time, and they’re going to see nothing! Crap. I called HostGator in sheer panic mode. They’ve got 24/7/365 help, which was such a blessing since I was calling them near midnight and feeling desperate. I explained the situation, and without hesitation, the guy on the other end of the phone – Kevin, I think! – was completely chill, whitelisted my IP on the spot, and provided some backend support in preparation for continued increased traffic. Within 10 minutes of hanging up the phone, my site was back up and running as normal, and it was all good for the remainder of that crazier time.
Flash forward to a few months later.
Am I the only one who gets what feels like way too many site lockout notifications of IP addresses from foreign countries with failed login attempts on your website? I mean, no one from China or Russia has any need to be trying 20 times to get onto Coming Up Roses, and – spoiler alert! – no top-secret government intel or money here. #sorrynotsorry, hackers. After monkeying around with my security settings, I ended up getting a few unfamiliar notification emails that files were being changed on my website. Naturally, I freaked out. I called and spoke to this kind and patient woman, which was SO appreciated. Here I thought my blog was potentially hacked; turns out, I got an email update on some caching that had occurred and it just registered as “file changes.” Good one, WordPress.
Speaking of WordPress. HostGator has a new Optimized WordPress hosting platform that’s all the rage now (get the full scoop here). It’s specifically built for an optimized and managed WordPress environment. HostGator handles ALL of your core, theme, and plugin updates without any need for action from you, and can integrate your various control panels so there’s no need to switch back and forth between panels to get the job done. With Optimized WordPress, you get automatic updates of plugins and themes, Sitelock malware scanning and removal (which would’ve been helpful in preventing my nervous panics, right?), the Sitelock Content Delivery Network (a CDN), CodeGuard daily backup and restores of even individual files, and then some. Access to some of these product offerings exists without Optimized WordPress through HostGator, but OW ties it all together with a nice alligator bow. There aren’t many times when I feel so compelled to tweet my love for online customer service, but this was an exception.
Who hosts your website? What do you like and dislike about the service?
I’d love to hear from y-o-u, especially if you’re with HostGator and have had similarly stellar experiences! Let’s chat in the comments below, and then let’s get you on your way to winning $60 to Ulta, OK? OK.a Rafflecopter giveaway