Choosing The Right Host For Your Blog
The reason why I decided to write this post is that I’ve had nothing but problems with my current provider, 1&1 Ionos. Thus, I suggest choosing the right host for your blog. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in a never-ending stressful nightmare.
I’ll start with my most recent problem with my host provider, 1&1 Ionos, because it’s the one that’s freshish in my mind because it happened today: as I’m writing this (two days before posting this).
I reached out to my host provider, 1&1 Ionos, to chase up an old complaint I made about one of my posts. For some reason, on the front end, the post has all its content. But when you click to edit it or view it from your WordPress dashboard, all that’s there is the heading. All the content is gone and it’s just a blank screen. It’s been like this for months. I was worried that at any point, an autosave will change the front end content to the blank content on the dashboard side of it.
Furthermore, going back to the saved version before would delete three days of content rewrites. I have dyslexia (My Life Before My Dyslexia Diagnosis and How Being Diagnosed With Dyslexia Changed My Life if you’re interested in finding out more), so I make a lot of changes over a number of days in order to try and catch all my mistakes in order to make it easier to read. Thus I reached out for help a few months ago, and have followed up this complaint a number of times.
Today was the day they decided to do something when I tried to follow up. They decided to access my site, using the admin user I created for them in April (I wasn’t willing to give them my accounts main admin login details when they asked for it, for security, which turned out to be a very smart move) and make changes without consulting me first. they didn’t even acknowledge the fact that they’d received my complaint follow up.
For some reason, even though I’ve explained to them what the problem is many times, the person who accessed my site to test the problem didn’t test what I’d actually complained about.
For reasons unknown to me, they thought that I was simply unable to edit my post, so they saw the blank content in the dashboard of the post (because they didn’t check the front end site version of the post where the content is showing even though in the dashboard it doesn’t) and just put in a few test lines and told me I could edit the post. Thus, problem solved. Except it wasn’t.
I flipped out, days of work in that post had been removed because they didn’t check what problem I wanted them to fix. Because they didn’t consult me first, so I could make sure they fully understood the problem before they took action, they made this error. Normally they’d talk to me about the problem and then ask to access my site. But not today.
I asked, repeatedly, to restore my post to before they tampered with it, but they were ignoring me. I asked over and over again if they backed up my site before they made changes, but they ignored.
Then after a pretty long time of me freaking out and messaging them over a couple of hours, they told me they’d restored it. But they hadn’t, they’d just gone back to the previous version of the post, which was 3 days older than the current one when it was published. So they hadn’t restored the one that was displaying on my site before they messed it all up.
After another annoyingly long amount of time and being ignored about if they backed it up or not, they changed it back to before they messed with my site.
Even though it’s now back to the way it was, returning the problem with the post, they claim there is no problem with it. Now, I can just copy the post from the frontend of the site and paste it into the dashboard side and make some adjustments, but that’s not why I want them to investigate. I want to know what caused the problem so it doesn’t happen to any of my other posts, old or new (it’s not the only issue I’ve had with my post content disappearing).
Now, this is where it gets stupid and shady.
They claim they didn’t delete my post and replace it with a couple of lines of test text, even though their Twitter DMs shows that’s what they did.
They claim that they restored it to its previous state, which they didn’t (this was before they restored it to the correct version), and which their Twitter DMs prove as well. I had to beg them to restore it to what it actually was because otherwise, I’d lose three days of changes between the two versions (at the point of originally posting it).
I spent hours harassing them fix their mistake and to restore it to its original state. All of which is supported by our Twitter DMs. Such an unnecessary amount of stress and time wasted getting this done.
But before they messed around with my post, they changed the password on the admin user account I created for them to access my site back in April. I know this because WordPress emailed me to tell me its password had been changed.
However, for some reason, their email support team is denying any of this transpired. That the order of events didn’t happen, that the post was never deleted and that the password was never changed. Even though there are Twitter DMs and email proof of all of it.
They claimed they created an admin user account to do the troubleshooting, and that’s why I got that WordPress email. The stupid part of this lie is that the WordPress email clearly shows it was the admin user account I created for them. An admin user account they’ve been using for months to troubleshoot my website. I even still have the email I sent them that contained the admin user login details I sent them back in April.
They used the admin user I created for them to access my site to make these changes, and they use it every time they look at a problem I’ve reported. That’s why I created it, so I wouldn’t have to give my main account admin details to them. Like I said, a smart move by my part by doing that.
Anyway, as I said, I know what they’re claiming is false because they’ve always stated they can only access my dashboard with an admin user I needed to provide them. Thus, they would have no way to access the admin side of my site without that information. Furthermore, given that changes were made to the admin account I gave them, my host provider, 1&1 Ionos clearly used it.
Basically, I know they used the admin user I created for them because for some reason they changed its password (god knows why they did that though). Yet they deny this fact, even though I forwarded them the email of the notification I go about this change. I even made the email into a PDF for them as well. I got sick of them repeatedly, and I do mean repeatedly, claiming none of this happened.
I also forwarded them that email from April where I emailed them the login details for the admin user profile. Yet, they still choose to lie that they hadn’t changed the password and that they created the admin user profile. They also refuse to tell me how they could do such a thing without at first having an admin user access to use to have that ability to create an admin user profile.
I also turned that email into a PDF and sent that to them, because they seem unwilling to look at the evidence. So many lies in the face of evidence, it’s mind-boggling. I’ve asked them to provide proof of their claims to counter my evidence, but they won’t provide any.
But still, they deny what I can quite clearly prove 100%. Such an unnecessary amount of lying spread over 24 hours before they admitted that they did indeed use the user profile I created for them. Now they’re saying they had to change the password in order to do the troubleshooting, even though in three months of using it to troubleshoot they’ve never had to do that before. So shady. What possible reason could they have for all this lying?
They eventually changed the password back to its original password for the admin user profile, some 6 hours later. So here I currently am with them.
They are choosing, for reasons unknown, to repeatedly lie about things that I can prove they’re lying about, and are still lying to me about aspects of it all. Just how shady is this company?
Oh, after 8ish hours of lying about using my the admin user I created for them, they finally admitted, in a roundabout way, that what I’ve been saying is true. But they still won’t apologise for lying. What the hell is wrong with them?
What’s more, they never asked for permission to access my site in the first place to make changes. They did that without my permission and tested for the wrong problem, which caused all this mess in the first place.
But that’s only the most recent issue I’ve had with them. Theirs oh so much more.
The last problem I had before this one, I got resolved not through my host provider, 1&1 Ionos, but by the Jetpack team. My host wouldn’t investigate the problem unless I was willing to spend £75 to get them to look into it. Which I simply can’t afford as I live on disability benefits.
It turned out that my site had login problems with WordPress due to my site, for some reason, switching between HTTPS and HTTP. This resulted in my site constantly logging out of my WordPress account. This was stopping me from creating pages and posts, editing anything, saving my work, or previewing my work.
What was needed was to have the site forced to only use HTTPS addresses by adding some code to my site. By I’m on a managed package, so I don’t have access to my site’s code. Because I’m like John Snow in this regard, I know nothing about coding.
My host provider, 1&1 Ionos, refused to add the code and told me to get a plugin to do it instead. But this would add to my server processing power issues which my host said I had. This is from a previous problem I’ve tried getting help with that hasn’t been resolved. This problem causes a load of other problems I’m having: I’ll get to that in a sec.
After an extremely annoying amount of back and forth, my host provider, 1&1 Ionos, relented and added the code. Thus, the problem was fixed.
This wasn’t the only time they refused to add code to my sites metadata. I asked them to add some code so I could be found on Bing. They wouldn’t do it. About a month ago I found a plugin that would work to add the metadata for me. After an exhausting amount of trial and error with different plugins. I had about given up trying.
Now, getting back to the server processing power problem I mentioned.
Ever since I joined my host provider, 1&1 Ionos, I’ve been having problems where when I click save, the save icon flashes and doesn’t stop flashing. It also doesn’t let me see any previews of my posts. So I have to do a lot of saving and refreshing to get the functions to work.
This problem had been going on since my site went live in January 2019. I’ve chased this problem for months, and about a month ago they said that the problem was caused due to the server processing power not being enough for my blog. Bearing in mind, I’m on a managed business package that is meant to be able to handle two websites, and it’s struggling to handle just my one blog.
They gave me two choices, either drastically cut back on my plugins to reduce its server processing power needs or up upgrade to one of their insanely expensive other hosting packages.
It should be noted that I had barely half the plugins I have now, next to zero content, and no visitors (except maybe bots). Yet, the problems existed then. Which means, I’d have to strip my blog back to pretty much nothing in order to do the first option. As for the second option, I just can’t afford that.
So I made a request. If they know that the server processing power is the problem, then can they tell me how much my site currently uses as it currently is: it’s minimum need. That way I can find a package that meets my needs and my bank account. But they refuse to tell me. Blindly going to another hosting provider means I might just end up with the same problem again too. I’m stuck between a host and a hard place.
On another occasion, midway through writing a 1000+ word post, the text just disappeared as I was writing a word. All gone. I had to reconstruct my post from a much older backup file, which was annoying as hell. My host provider, 1&1 Ionos, never told me what was the cause of that.
Another problem that the Jetpack team resolved for me was about the hundreds of bots that kept flooding my user database. Which also spammed my email account with notifications of these users. I asked my host provider, 1&1 Ionos, what I could do to fix this headache, but they refused to offer any suggestions no matter how many times I asked. Within a couple of messages, the Jetpack team figured it out. Now it’s not an issue.
My advice, make sure you pick a well-reviewed hosting service, otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a shady one until your contract runs out. Don’t just go for the cheapest or competitively priced one. Do some homework, check out other users reviews, and not just blog posts from people, because they might be being paid to recommended certain hosts.
I’m stuck in a contract until January 2020, and they have been nothing but useless. Don’t end up like me.
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to talk about your experiences with host providers and/or recommendations of who to use instead in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up to my newsletter. Lastly, if you’d like to support my blog then you can make a donation of any size here. Until next time,
Unwanted Life readers.