Lesson: Never be afraid to change your web host when they’re not performing as they should

By 20th November 2012 May 9th, 2018 iControlWP: Manage WordPress Better

A couple of days ago iControlWP received a tweet about our website being down.

Tweet: Worpit Website Down

That’s not something you want to wake up to in the morning.

If you’re a small start-up business like us, you need all the up-time you can get.

So I set to work to see if I could pin-point the problem and try to fix it.

Web hosting problems are usually because of your web host

We take great care when we update our websites, and I hadn’t updated any of the iControlWP site in the past 24-48hrs so I suspected it wasn’t a site coding issue.

It was either down to 1 of 2 things.

  1. Cloudflare, or
  2. our web host – VPS.net

We use cloudflare to help secure and improve our websites’ performance. It normally works excellent, but sometimes it takes a hit and our sites go a bit funky. Much less so now it has to be said.

Turned out Cloudflare didn’t have any outages that would have affected our site around the time this tweet was posted so I ruled them out pretty quick.

I then checked the error logs and it turned out that on several occasions the:

MySQL server has gone away

error was appearing in the logs much too often.

This basically meant that the MySQL server for iControlWP.com was basically timing out – a connection was opened, and a request was made but no response from the MySQL process.

We made the decision from the beginning to use a dedicated cloud hosting service from VPS.net for the iControlWP.com website. In this way it would never be affected by issues that could affect the worpitapp.com service.

We’ve had a few quirks with the hosting, but nothing crazy. On the whole it’s performed well enough.

Only that which is measured can be improved – especially true of server up-time and response time

I decided to start monitoring the iControlWP site over a couple of days to see how it was doing.

The tool I used to do this was Pingdom.com.

This horrific result was this:

Pingdom Uptime Report: iControlWP.com

Pingdom Uptime Report: iControlWP.com

Clearly this doesn’t inspire confidence.

I decided not to wait for the 24~48hrs I had initially planned, and set about moving the website to alternative hosting.

Within an hour I had moved both iControlWP.com and worpdrive.com to one of our servers hosted with TMZVPS.com.

Since the move, iControlWP.com has been offline once, and we got a great boost in server response time which increased on average by a factor of around 10x (see image below).

Pingdom Response Time Chart: iControlWP.com

Who you host your sites with makes all the difference

Don’t think that because you’re hosting with a big name, and they come highly recommend you should stick with them even when their performance is crappy.

Who you host with is entirely up to you and it doesn’t matter who recommended them to you.

Yes, it can be a pain to move your web hosting to another provider, but with the right setup from the start, and the right tools, it’s easy.

iControlWP has released WordPress cloning tool.

If you want to know what other features are available, sign-up for your free iControlWP account.

Get the iControlWP Advantage today!

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Gordon says:

    This is why it is ideal to take some research first or read some reviews about the web hosting company you are planning to use. Reading some reviews from users could be a big help for you to decide whether the company is ideal to use or not.

    View Comment
    • Paul G. says:

      Hi Gordon,

      Thanks for the comment.

      We went through reviewing about 5~7 hosting companies before one fit. And then once we settled, we had problems.

      User reviews only go so far though. We chose our first host because the likes of Yoast recommended them. We also tried VPS.net because of raving fans too. Both turned out to provide horrible service. But then, they are owned by the same company.

      User reviews only get your so far, the only way to know is to use them yourself. Now, with Rackspace, our service and performance is immensely wonderful. Dare I say perfect.

      You’re right, research is important. User reviews aren’t so useful though. If we were to listen to every Apple fanboy, no-one would experience the joy and freedom that comes with Android, for example 🙂


      View Comment

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