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Okay, so by now you’ve noticed the new design.  I have honestly not found a more perfect design to represent who I am, short of having something custom-made.  And maybe someday, I will do that.  But for now…

But that’s not why I love my host company.

When I moved my blog over from Blogger and bought my own domain (a technique which I highly recommend, by the way), I chose a host company that was linked to another joint-venture affiliate that I had met at a conference.  Ordinarily, this isn’t a bad method for choosing a smaller, reasonably priced technology-host, but in this case, it went south after a bit.

One of my friends sent me an email (which turned out to be one of many that week) with a note that put a pit of panic in my stomach.  She wrote, “Sue! What happened to your blog?!”

*huh?*  I did the classic head tilt that a confused dog does from time to time and went to check my site.  This site and all of my other sites (3 in total) had been HACKED! 

WHY would ANYONE want to hack MY blog?  I was writing about family, church, and life activities – nothing subversive, nothing objectionable, and nothing hot-button-ish.  And yet some *jerk* in Saudi Arabia felt it appropriate to hack my sites and make a mess.

So I did what any competent webmistress does – I headed to remove the offending script & hacked bits from my code.  Only I failed.  Badly.  The best I could do was to put up a “under construction” image and try to reach my host company for assistance.  I had spoken with the owner in the past and found him and his team kind, supportive, and quite able and willing to help.

But this time, I found no one there.  Their voice mail system was literally overrun and their mailboxes were full; no one answered the phone for the first two weeks.  My emails went unanswered, and my fax was ignored.  And I was pissed.  I had paid them for two full years of service and hosting and halfway through my term, I had nothing.

Through research and digging, I figured out that it wasn’t my site directly that was hacked; it was my host.  And that explained why I was unable to fix the problem.  Life got in the way and although I really wanted to fix my sites, I got overwhelmed by schooling, house-stuff, and life in general.

When I finally got my act together and realized that my host company had disappeared, I sought opinions and experiences from other writers who own their blogs.  Bluehost.com came up at the top of the list, and so I went off to investigate.  I found a reasonable price for monthly hosting without limits on bandwidth, space, or transfers, and when I called to speak with someone and found (gasp!) incredibly helpful tech support and staff.  I signed up & haven’t looked back.

But the REAL reason I love my host company is that when I tried to update my site with a new template (and found that I had to update my version of WordPress, too), I ran in to problems.  Happily, I had my backups and the rest, but with about 20 minutes in a phone call, I was up & ready to rock.  The guy I spoke with was helpful, kind, and patient in walking me through a new scripting service.  They really do rock and for the pittance of $7 per month, I simply cannot beat it.

If you’re looking around for a new hosting company or just beginning to consider owning your own site & finding a host, check out Bluehost.  I have a banner over to the right that will take you to all the pertinent information.  And if you’re just getting started with WordPress and want some help, let me know.  I’m happy to help out and am branching out in to WordPress design & set up for a reasonable fee.  :)


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