I mentioned in my last post that we’re moving house. I did another type of move over the past couple of weeks. I moved all my websites to another host.
Skip down to the next section if you don’t care about technical stuff and hosting
There are two parts to having a website. First, the domain. The domain of this website is sarahettritch.com. The second part is where to keep your website files. They have to be stored on a computer that acts as a server. The server is often referred to as a host.
If you know how to do it, you can use your own computer as a server, but some ISPs don’t allow it, and it’s more convenient to use a hosting company.
I was with the same hosting company for quite a while. I loved the support, and the hosting was reliable. I wrote the last two sentences in the past tense because over the past few months, the support hasn’t been as good. Also, my sites have experienced problems and been down a few times, sometimes for hours.
Two things changed at the hosting company. It hired a bunch of support people and split support into level 1 and level 2 support. I haven’t had a great experience with the level 1 support.
The second thing that changed is that the hosting company has automated a bunch of things, which is great when the automation works. But when it doesn’t, it breaks sites. And that’s what’s been happening to my sites. That’s also the reason I’ve had to deal with support more than usual over the past few months.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I woke up one morning and found a few automated emails in my Inbox from the hosting company, saying that my SSL certificates had been renewed. There were two problems with this. The SSL certificates weren’t due to be renewed. Also, one of my sites was now down.
I contacted support and the first answer I got didn’t make sense, and frankly if the support person had taken the time to do a simple check, he would have known it couldn’t be causing the problem. So when I replied to that effect (politely and diplomatically!), they fixed it, but I never got a good explanation as to why it happened, and it was the sort of thing that shouldn’t have happened out of the blue to a site that was working.
So, support wasn’t as good, and my trust in the robustness of the hosting decreased. It didn’t help that I was receiving daily emails from Google telling me that there was something wrong with my RSS feeds, and then another email saying, “It’s okay, they’re working now,” followed by another email saying they weren’t working again.
I decided it was time to look for another host. I’ve moved all my sites to Siteground (affiliate link), and I’m no longer getting daily emails from Google. My sites are up 99.9% of the time once again. Also, I’ve used Siteground’s support twice and they’ve fixed both problems within 10 minutes. It helps that they have live chat (at the other host, it was email support only).
Just as when you move house, moving websites is a good time to declutter. I looked at every website I had and decided which to keep and which to let go.
This site obviously made the cut! So did Self-Publishing Adventure, though I haven’t updated it in a long time and only moved it because it’s still a good source of information for people thinking about self-publishing. But I’m not sure I’ll keep it. I didn’t want to get hung up on making a decision about it, so I’ve moved it for now.
I moved a couple of other sites, but it’s the two sites I didn’t move that I want to let you know about.
I didn’t move Canadian Lesfic. In 2014, six of us started the site with a lot of enthusiasm. But then, as often happens, life got busy. We stopped blogging, and we hadn’t updated the site in a while. I contacted the other admins and explained that I was changing hosts and I’d be happy to move the site, but did it make sense? We agreed that it didn’t, so I quietly turned off the lights. If you go to the domain, you’ll see a parked page.
I also let go of Online Lesbian Fiction. I started the site back when I was posting Rymellan stories to rymellanstories.com. I linked to (legally) free lesbian fiction. In the early years, authors would contact me quite frequently to link to their sites. But then the eBook revolution happened, and most authors upload free fiction to Amazon and other bookstores. I hadn’t posted to the site since May 2017. I was receiving only 1-2 requests a year, and some of them were for links that weren’t lesbian fiction. So once again, it was time to let the site go. For now, the domain onlinelesbianfiction.com redirects to the lesbian fiction page on this site. I’m thinking about what else I could do with the domain.
As for rymellanstories.com, it will soon redirect to the Rymellan Series page on this site. I’ve wanted to do that for years, but it was the main domain on my hosting account. That’s no longer true at Siteground.
Moves always bring change. I wish moving house was as fast and simple as moving web hosts!
Have a great weekend!