The idea of moving your website can be pretty daunting these days. I dread the entire process. Here are some of the thoughts running through my head. What if I miss something? What if I fail to get it running correctly? What if I cancel my old hosting and failed to remember that there were a stash of secret files I never backed up!? What if the new system is slow? What if the data migration takes 10 days instead of 2 hours? These are the kinds of ideas going through my head when I consider changing hosting. This is my business and I’m nervous about disrupting the server environment.
Recently I was at a dinner in Austin Texas hosted by my friends over at BuySellAds. There were 10 total people there and 2 of them were a couple of guys from MediaTemple. I had actually never used their service although I heard good things over the years. Hosting talk is a bit boring to me so we never really got into the ins and outs of what I needed etc but they did give me a good picture of how broad their offering was. They seemed to have a good solution for just about any kind of hosting scenario I would need. While at dinner I explained to Mark (one of the MT guys) that the thought of moving my network of design sites was a bit daunting and that I was not looking forward to it although I felt it was about time to move on. He asked me a few questions and then mentioned that they had a service that does the move for you. I left the conversation and tucked the information away for a later time.
Heading into the summer I started feeling like it was time to make a move. I wanted the sites to run faster. I was having some trouble with server connectivity error logs that my devs could not explain. I was ready to take a serious look at what other hosts had to offer. I spent some time reviewing several of the larger players in the space. There were lots of options to choose from and at times it was difficult to know how to compare hosts to each other. I finally decided that I wanted to host the sites with MediaTemple. All the hosts I reviewed seemed very similar to one another. It seemed I really could not go wrong on the surface. However, the thing that stood out about MT was a service they have called Move. For $150 the MT CloudTech team will move any site anywhere to MT hosting. They have a simple lead form where you enter a few lines of information.
As you can tell from the title of my post, I signed up. I was moving a bunch of sites and hoping for the best. When I was ready for the move I filled out the appropriate information and within hours I was contacted by a guy named Jeff on the CloudTech team. He was extremely friendly and asked if I had a few minutes to review the process with him. I said I did and he got straight down into the details of how I wanted certain things setup. Nothing was too technical. He was very good at communicating with a non-server type person. Hours later he reached out and informed me that he had successfully migrated a couple of the sites. He gave me some preview links and said to take my time and when I was ready I could change the name-servers. The next day they had completed the rest of the migrations. I switched the name-servers over and I haven’t missed a beat. Honestly, it was awesome! The CloudTech team is available 24 hours a day and they are extremely personable, knowledgable, and prompt. I’m over a month in and I couldn’t be happier with the service. The sites are running fast and seem very stable in the new environment.
I had one unexpected advantage to switching. Earlier in this post I mentioned that I was having some problems with my previous host with server connectivity errors. Specifically, when I would login to my Google Webmaster Tools account I would find that somewhere in the 4-20% of connections by Googlebot were returning truncated responses. This was raising a red flag with Google and could have been hurting my rankings in the index. Once the move was completed I logged in a took a look at my error report. Below you can see what I saw. My errors went to zero immediately. This was great news because I had worked quite a bit trying to figure out how to resolve this problem.
The results have been great and I will continue to update about how the hosting is going. Here are a few of their web-hosting plans
If you are thinking about moving your website hosting they can really help you take the pain out of it. I’ve found with many hosting companies that the support people on the phone are a little too nerdy to be talking to people about their hosting issues. All the guys I’ve spoken to at MT have had a good bit of nerd mixed with good communication skills.