Misc. Updates

You may have noticed that we haven’t updated the site in a while. Why? Because we’ve been working on a lot of WordPress projects for clients. In the meanwhile, here are some updates based on our previous posts.

Web Hosting
A weeks ago, we looked at four different web hosting providers including MediaTemple which we were unhappy with because of performance issues. So a few days ago, we moved this site over from MediaTemple’s grid server (gs) platform to MDD hosting simply because our site took (what seemed like) forever to load up even with high speed DNS, page caching and CDN plugins enabled.

We’re also moving away from Dreamhost because we ran into some troubles with our poor customer service experience. The latest incident happened when someone from our local meetup group mailing list asked for opinions on the best web hosting providers. Low and behold a system admin from Dreamhost chimed in about how good their service was. coincidentally that morning we ran into a problem with our account and so we asked that Dreamhost employee for some help via a private email. We then received a dead-end response of “I am sorry I can’t help.” without any other solution. We were expecting at least something like this: “I am sorry, I can’t help you directly but let me forward you to one of our customer service reps.”

Our take is that if you’re going to talk up your company and product in a public venue, you better be prepared to help people who come to you. And if you can’t help them, at least point them in the right direction and not just give them a dead-end answer.

Theme frameworks
We also switched over to Pagelines Platform Pro a few weeks  ago which we like overall but then we ran into problems assigning featured images that would break our home page. So based on our anecdotal experience from a few weeks back, there is a lack of responsiveness for a commercial theme from the company. We had to post our question in the message boards that took almost a day for a response. We emailed the company directly but it was Friday and no one responded to us over the weekend or even on Monday. In the end, we figured out most of the problem ourselves with a little bit of help from another Platform Pro user in their support forum. We hope Pagelines has improved their level of support in the past few weeks since our last incident.

On the flip side, we’ve also been working with StudioPress’ Genesis and their support forum moderators astounded us with lightning fast responses to questions.

So the moral of our story is companies need to kick it up a notch with customer support and training their employees. Because there are going to be competitors that will want your business if you don’t take care of your clients.

4 Replies to “Misc. Updates”

  1. I know this make me uncool, but I personally think that GoDaddy has made major strides with WordPress hosting support within the last year. The upselling continues to be very overdone and annoying, but my GoDaddy shared hosting sites seem generally faster than my non-GD sites. I do make sure to aggressively complain about the upselling if I ever have to call in. Plus, it’s really time for them to move on from that Squirrel Nut Zippers song they play for their hold music. Over it!

    1. hi Alta, lol. I also have been trying GoDaddy’s “4th Gen” web hosting which seems pretty zippy so far. I know GD usually has a bad rap for the crazy up-selling UI pages but so far so good with 4th Gen web hosting so far – I’ll write more about my impressions about it in the future.

  2. That’s too bad about Dreamhost, I have had a really good experience with them. The opposite is true of Godaddy, the WP sites I manage on their hosting are incredibly slow, and more (server side) error prone.

    1. Hi Scott, thanks for chiming in. I think service from any company is going to depend on a lot of factors including who one talks to and what the problem is. In our case we had the aliasing to Virtual Private Server break at least twice and they didn’t really seem to think it was a “big deal.” Let’s just say I had over 20 messages back and forth with on of their supervisor the first time it broke.

      I believe someone might have a different (better) experience with Dreamhost. I’ve recently heard a lot of good things about Host Gator. And I am also interested in Web Faction which is offering Nginx high performance hosting for $10/month.

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