Last month, we decided to move our website hosting to a new hosting company, Eco Hosting.
I’ve used Hostgator since forever.
I mean absolutely forever – 10 years or something. Maybe even longer.
I had a shared hosting package, which meant I could have an unlimited number of websites hosted with them, for a single low price.
As this was only for personal projects (and most of them never got further than buying the domain name!), I din’t really mind, nor have any real experience of using Hostgator properly.
However, my main email address is through Hostgator, and I’ve had the odd problem over the years, but nothing serious.
This changed last year though.
So, a number of times last year, my personal email would either stop sending, or stop receiving.
I might not notice for half a day or so, and as it was during lockdown, perhaps I simply wasn’t receiving as many sales emails, or updates from friends and family.
But, when I couldn’t send an email for a couple of days, I contacted Hostgator, who resolved the problem.
This happened again over the next few months.
The mail server settings would seemingly need to be changed one month, and then reverted back the next month.
Nobody knew why, or what the best solution was.
I put it down to ‘one of those things’, and happily set up Write Again using Hostgator hosting and emails.
However, when this started happening with several of my ‘work’ email accounts, it got a bit more serious.
I couldn’t carry one like that. Not knowing whether email would be sent or received.
In addition, I’d be told that the live-chat support person was going to check something that would take 5 minutes, and still be ‘on hold’ 40 minutes later.
So, after the frustration with dealing with Hostgator, I didn’t just want to move to another hosting company without doing my homework first.
I knew what we wanted, and what was important.
I wanted a UK hosting company.
Our main target audience is UK-based, and whilst we’re open to working with clients all over the world, it makes sense for our website to meet the speed needs of UK clients than those in the USA.
Due to our website being predominantly text-based rather than image based (we’re not photographers with a huge portfolio gallery), there was no reason for the website to be slow.
I’d found that editing and saving pages would take a long time, and I wasn’t sure if it was the computer (an ageing 2015 MacBook Air), the website itself, or the hosting that was the problem.
I’d played around with caching and improving the speed of the website, and set up Cloudflare to cache the website and speed it up considerably.
When other websites worked fine on this laptop, and the website was fast, it then looked like it was the hosting that was slowing things down.
We know that a website needs to be fast, as seconds soon become minutes, in terms of creating/editing content, and for visitors too.
So, we knew what was important.
Cost was less of an issue than performance.
I’d rather the hosting was given a bit of thought rather than just go for the cheapest option.
But I did want something comparatively-priced.
I’d looked at another American hosting company, and was in the process of signing up, until their bait-and-switch pricing policy put me off. It was a bit like putting a deposit down, and then paying the rest off monthly.
What looked like a bit more a month, but a better package, turned into a lot more a month, and not worth it, compared to other hosting companies.
I called them out on it, and they said that’s just the way they do things.
So, I didn’t go with Skystra Cloud.
Like many businesses, our website plays a vital role in our business, and more so than paper/printed marketing.
We’re already trying to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, and so wanted our hosting to be ‘green’ too.
So, after a frustrating morning, when my wife asked what she could do to help, I asked her to find a better hosting company.
And within about 10 minutes she had.
After a helpful and informative pre-sales call, I got the help I needed, to make the switch.
Eco Hosting provide:
- Free website migration
- CPanel interface (for setting up email, installing software, improving security and much more)
- WordPress installer
Which we needed.
Due to the different hosting packages available from Eco Hosting, I couldn’t get an unlimited hosting package, and move all the domains over.
What I did do, was move Write Again first, and give it a WordPress-optimised hosting package. This means that the site should be faster thanks to more efficient and effective hosting.
What was involved?
I signed up for the hosting package, and opened a support ticket to get Write Again moved from Hostgator.
This was done via a support ticket, rather than the live chat Iwas used to.
But, as I didn’t need to explain the problem several times, or wait 40 minutes for someone to start typing again, I really didn’t mind.
The support ticket was answered quickly, and all went to plan.
I provided my Hostgator and Cloudflare login details, and Eco Hosting did the rest.
The site propagated the next day, and was ready to use.
Understandably, the mail servers needed to change.
I was given the right information, and updated my phone, laptop and iPad with the new details, and I could send and receive emails no problem.
Exactly how it should be.
A month later
Although it’s only been a month, we feel like we’ve got a good hosting company, that is available by email, and is doing its bit for the environment.
Whilst a live chat feature is nice, if it takes a long time to explain, identify and resolve the problem, it stops being live chat, and starts being ‘I can’t move away from the computer in case they start typing again’.
At least with an email I don’t expect an immediate reply. And when I get one, it’s been my experience that it’s been quicker than expected.
Is Eco Hosting right for your website?
Depending on your website and your requirements, probably, yes.
A package like ours is likely to be suitable for many websites and business.
Dedicated server packages are available for mission-critical websites and e-commerce sites, but they are a lot more expensive, and don’t really make financial sense for us.
I know what you’re thinking…
“How can hosting be green?”
Surely that’s an oxymoron.
By its very definition website hosting is energy-intensive.
However, Eco Hosting offset its energy usage through so-called green datacentres, which cleverly make sure that the servers are well-cooled, whilst using less power.
Oh, and in addition, Eco Hosting plant trees to offset carbon too.
I’ve been impressed so far, and whilst it’s still very early days, everything has worked as it should do.
I’ve not made use of the additional services and software available, nor have I moved the rest of my websites yet, but I’m sure I will.
If you’re unhappy with your website speed, and think you’ve optimised it as much as you can, then the problem might your hosting.
Also, if you’re not happy with the support, service or software offered by your hosting company, why not see what else is available.
And, if you’re concerned that your hosting company is not as green as it could be, there might be a more environmentally-friendly alternative.
This is not a sponsored post, nor has Write Again been compensated for writing this review.
These are our experiences of Hostgator and Ecohosting. Your experiences may differ.