A brief history of Atta Mama:
I started on Blogger in January of 2012. I purchased a domain name through GoDaddy, eventually. In 2013 Blogelina was offering free hosting for her subscribers. As an amazing intro into the world of blogging I trusted the products she endorsed and I jumped on board. Then I moved to WordPress and rebranded into the Atta Mama blog you see today. In 2014 I applied a coupon and simply renewed my hosting plan. I wound up getting it pretty cheap and had no outstanding issues, however there was always a haunting feeling that in order to grow I needed to switch to a better hosting company. I’ll tell you what was haunting me all this time…
Why Does GoDaddy Suck?
First and foremost, the service is lacking something special. As someone who considers themselves to be very middle ground on technical issues (read: I’m not completely clueless, but I’m not a professional by any means), I consulted GoDaddy tech support a few times in my two years with them. They aren’t very informed. Coupon codes and discount availability changes depending on who answers the phone. And when your hosting plan ends they’ll call you non-stop begging you to come back, all the while leaving your site up as some kind of tease but not allowing you access to content or files. That really put me off.
Lots of people report websites going down and slow loading times. Although I never experience any down time (I’m just a wee blog), I did notice how much faster my blog was once I got out of there.
Furthermore, they aren’t the most ethical hosting service. They use overly sexist ads to promote their business and are all for putting limits on internet usage by backing SOPA. (GoDaddy has since retracted their stand with SOPA enthusiasts, but only due to pressure. We all know that means they only changed their minds, not their beliefs.)
They also limit the account holders access. GoDaddy uses a windows-based hosting instead of a cPanel and internal Java FTP. Do I know what that means? Okay not really. But I do know that those issues made it really frustrating and time consuming to get out of there.
Making the Switch
I chose A Small Orange for my new web host. They had great service before I was even a customer, and they came highly recommended by bloggers who were more successful than me already.The sales rep. I spoke to offered me a discount for my first year and free transfer services. Also, if I transferred my domain to them they would credit me any unused time I had with GoDaddy. Score!
The domain transfer was essentially painless and I thought myself to be in smooth sailing at this point. Then the tech support got back to me with my site migration status. The windows-based hosting I had with GoDaddy wasn’t included in the cPanel transfer service. It could be done manually (for a price), or I could do it myself. Aye! Here we go…
Bringing Everything Home
GoDaddy locked me out of my FTP once my hosting service ended, but made sure to leave my site up just in case I wanted to take them back. I needed access to my files in order to get my design and layout transferred. I consulted John, who transferred my framework and files the day before. Unfortunately something went wrong in that transfer, so I had several kinks to work through.
I struggled for days trying to figure out why my website looked wonky. My menus had been reversed, but I couldn’t see it in the coding. Like I said, I’m no expert. But it was driving me mad! Luckily the Inspired Bloggers Network is full of angels.
April Wier of Monetized Mom spent nearly two days to find out the issue. We knew what the problem was, but no matter how much code we read and how much evaluating we did we could not find out where the reversal was coming from. April wanted to start from scratch. In order to gain access back into my GoDaddy files I wound up dishing out another month of their crap hosting. Within an hour of re-doing the manual migration, my website was up and running as it should be. I changed my nameservers, and Voila! Here I am!
Tips for Your Own Migration from GoDaddy
Start early. I started the day before thinking I’d have my website transferred in a flash. Domain transfers alone can take up to 7 days. That doesn’t include any of the website migration issues listed above. Give yourself time to gather your files and compare the old site with your new one.
Back up your blog or website regularly. I do this already just in case, but you truly never know when you’ll need that handy XML file. In WordPress go to Dashboard > Tools > Export to create your own XML file. Some people recommend doing this once a month. I don’t do ti that often, but if my site ever gets wonky I know I didn’t lose all of my content.
Also, because GoDaddy is notorious for making websites disappear I suggest you do this first thing before attempting a transfer.
Hire back up help. If you’re not tech savvy or don’t feel like your skills are 100% when it comes to website transfers, don’t be afraid to reach out into the community and ask someone to stand by in case things aren’t going smoothly.
I can not stress how much of a blessing it was to have someone reliable working on this with me. The tech support ninjas from A Small Orange were very nice throughout the whole thing, but they don’t deal with design. Having someone like April that I could count on to help me iron out the kinks with my transfer was amazing. Monetized Mom is affordable and professional, so if you’re looking to transfer or simply revamp your website, look no further!
Have you ever had GoDaddy as a web host? How was your experience?
Disclaimer: This post was in no way sponsored by the companies linked above. This is an honest account of my own personal experience switching from GoDaddy to A Small Orange. The following banner (as well as all other links to A Small Orange) is an affiliate link. I will be compensated for purchases made through these clicks. As always, thank you for supporting Atta Mama.