Not all Hosting Services are the same…

August 16, 2015 Michael Kennon

Not all hosting services are the same

Recently I was asked to consult on a WordPress website where they experienced a change in Web Managers – not an uncommon event in many organizations.

I was initially asked simply to supply technical advice on how to manage the site as the previous web manager didn’t provide a full introduction to the site and services as they should have. I was given access to the site’s Administration Dashboard only with limited information regarding the hosting service and any 3rd party services.

My initial evaluation of the site itself was favorable for the site design and the 3rd Party WordPress Theme being employed. I had to take a ‘crash course’ on the 3rd Party WordPress Theme as that was where most of the missing site administration instructions were related to. Problem solved and appropriate instructions were passed on to the new web manager.

However, upon further investigation of the site I found that site security could be compromised as the site’s hosting service was employing an outdated version of the PHP Core programming for the site. This issue was discovered accidently when a whole site backup plugin was to be installed – something that the previous web manager had not done.

Other issues discovered in my interview with the new web manager were that their current hosting service was charging much more than many other providers of this service along with the site’s domain name registration cost being higher than the industry standard. Without direct access to their current hosting service I couldn’t discover exactly what they were paying so much more to have – it may have been that the former web manager had a package deal with their current service provider which may have lowered overall cost to the sites they were hosting with this service, however, not much of this possible savings were being passed on to this client.

If you are paying more than these amounts listed below then you should seriously consider migrating your site and domain name registration to another service.

Domain Name Registration (for a .COM extension) = $13.95 annually
Site hosting on a shared host (individual account with the service provider) = $12 per month
Site hosting in a Hosting Cooperative (shared account with the service provider with the account holder providing administration of the hosting account) = $5 per month

In the case described in this post, a site migration was made difficult because of the current hosting service’s outdated server software – no full site backup could be made and downloaded, only certain portions could be successfully transferred. The rest of the site had to be reconstructed manually taking approximately six hours to transfer all of the site’s Theme and Plugin settings, posts, pages, menus, and media library.

If you find yourself in the position of a site migration, you do need to fully evaluate your current services and those of the service you are considering as your new provider.

To make things easier for you or anyone contracted to do the migration, make sure that you have a full and recent archive copy of your site files including any database files associated with your site along with any information related to 3rd Party services providers.

Parnassus Creative has a form you can print out and write in all related information for your website. This a good practice to employ even if you’re not considering a change in your services, that is having a written record to refer back to for your web manager and is especially a must if your organization does have a change in personnel for your site manager. Parnassus Creative has the experience and knowledge to perform many types of site migrations. The hosting service provider for our Website Hosting Cooperative and Domain Name Registrations is rated as one of the best available with fees charged to you being among the lowest available while still getting a service provider that stays ahead of the current industry standard technology. Visit Parnassus Creative – WEBSITE SERVICES to learn more.