Hey Kiddies, Commodore 64 here to bring another tidbit of good advice from all of us to all of you. Along with this tasty piece of techie goodness is a brief admin-ography of the history of AskTheAdmin.com. We’ve come a long way folks, and we think we’ve finally found the true nexus point of our platform needs.

HostGator!

If you’ve been following us throughout the years, you’ve probably experienced the growing pains we’ve had moving from platform to platform, host to host. Our humble beginnings on Blogger dealing with all the limitations and WYSIWYG inconsistencies, then our HUGE fiasco getting our posts, media, and comments migrated, exported, and sometimes even re-written from scratch and re-imported one by tedious one.

Following the imports to our now defunct web host, Bansal-Inc, we were plagued with outages, server errors, php errors, unexpected reboots, files disappearing (wtf?) and older versions re-appearing (seriously now, WTFluck). It was like something out of The Twilight Zone with the title of  “Ghost in the Machine.” It was utter chaos.

On top of all the server-side issues, I’d like to spend a minute to mention how far WordPress has come as a platform as well as an all around user experience from front to back.

Back then, around version 2.5 or 2.6, the WYSIWYG was HORRIBLE. Having already spent many years in the field of front-end web development, the amount of “code rewriting” and “automatic formatting” that went on was horrible. Mixed into that was the advent of Windows Livewriter, which in my opinion, was too good of an editing tool to be justifiably paired with a crappy, built-in, wordpress wysiwyg from back then.

Essentially what would end up happening is that in a writers role, it wasn’t half bad. You said your peace, did a little formatting and published. But from an editor’s perspective – re-opening a post and simply switching from HTML view to Visual view would change the code drastically: replacing massive amounts of tags and flucking up all bullet points and various other elements. Aside from editing issues, plugins we were utilizing were crashing the site here and there. I remember there being a lot of fear associated with running a well-trafficked site in our situation, as it was.

Reaching out to tech support, especially when it’s overseas, was painful at best. Response times, even when they were responding, took days sometimes. We ended having to fish through our emails and find the email address of the company owner. It was only then we could get something done.

Just when we thought our problems were over… the company got sold to a web hosting service then called Inspirit Networks. We had a decent run with Inspirit. At first they were eager to please. But as time went on (we’re talking months, not years) the servers and support’s response times were getting worse and more unresponsive with each passing week. Ultimately we suffered major outages for days at a time which also seemed to strangely roll back our files to older versions. This was the last straw.

After major shopping around and considerations we decided on HostGator. The reviews were all good, and after testing their US based voice support lines, as well as chat lines we were thoroughly impressed.

Enter HostGator…

So far I’ve been personally using them for about a year now with no issues, and so far %100 uptime. Utilizing a free service called aremysitesup.com, I’ve been able to see that we have had NO DOWNTIME. The cpanel has all the options I’ve ever needed or wanted in a LAMP hosting account. We are currently running 8 different well trafficked blogs on one hosting account and see no slowdown and no issues. Truthfully, I’ve never been accustomed to being this fear-free and comfortable with my web server.

These days we can spend our time concentrating on publishing quality content rather than keeping our sites running and healthy.

Edit: We now have our own coupon discount code at Gator, which means we can pass along a savings of $9.94 off of your initial purchase with Gatorhost.
Use discount code “asktheadmin” to get your discount today!

This is commodore64 signing off.

Let us know what your web hosting experiences were in the comments below…

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