Of Web Hosts And Blogger Friends.

I’ve found that the hardest thing about choosing a Host for my blogs is that unless you follow someones recommendation you don’t really know how good any particular host is. Even when reading a review you sort of wonder as to how biased the author is. What is the motivation behind the post, is the author being honest or is he merely promoting another affiliate? Shit, he may not even use the host and the whole review is centered around the fact that it pays the best commission.

This brings me to the crux of this post. I want to talk about LunarPages, and yes that is an affiliate link but I figure if this post encourages someone to join then at least I will get some credit for it. I originally moved to LunarPages  from my Australian host because they were more price competitive and they were also offering a free domain for life. I have had no problems at all with them until recently when they moved me from my normal server because my CPU usage went through the roof.

WTF, was the first thing that popped into my head and I immediately started searching the net to find out what might be the cause. I happened to stumble across several comments left by others who were actually suspended by their hosts. It then came to me that LunarPages could have done the same thing to me and they would have every right to do so as my high CPU usage was affecting the performance of other uses sharing the same server. Instead of doing that, moved me to another server to give me time to solve the problem.

The trouble is that every time I make a particular change I have to wait 24hrs to find out if it has any effect. Luckily for me Stratos offered to help after I left a comment on his ‘When Things Get Extremely Wrong‘ post. Knowing how smart Stratos is, as he’s developed Blogger Buddy as well as some nifty WP plugins, I jumped at the chance. He has already worked out that I have too many plugins but is currently trying to suss out which ones are chewing up all the CPU. I have deleted the least necessary ones and have already noticed that the blog loads a lot faster. Hopefully the culprit was amongst those, I reckon I have to just wait and see.

Anyway, to cut a long story short I find myself lucky that LunarPages has at least given me the opportunity to fix the problem rather than just cut me off and leave me hanging, which apparently some other hosts are prone to do. I reckon that if I was based in the state and there wasn’t the time difference, I could have picked up the phone and talked to one of the technicians and we could have nipped the problem right in the bud, but being and Aussie I am stuck with conversing through emails. Lucky for me Stratos came to the rescue.

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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 49 Comments

  1. Stratos, I am the one that should be thanking you. I was really hoping that there was a particular plugin that was causing the problem as it would have made a good post as well as helping to solve a problem. Thanks heaps man, you are truly a LEGEND!

  2. I need to jump ship on my current host. I also cut back on plugins (a hard thing to do). I’m looking at BlueHost but will also add Lunar to my search list. Keep us up to date on whether Lunar is giving you a chance or screwed you over.

    The Blogger Source´s Last blog post..15 Tips To Get More RSS Subscribers

    1. So far I think they have done the right thing in moving me to another server as it wouldn’t be fair to other users if my poor performing site slowed theirs down as well. Certainly a lot better than taking me offline as at least everyone can still read all the great content I come up with. :innocent1_tb:


  3. Twitter:
    Just asking Sire, because I really don’t know this answer, but what would happen if you went with one of the big American hosting companies, even though you’re in Australia? For instance, what if you went with someone like Hostgator or 1and1? Are you relegated to staying with someone closer to home, so to speak?

    I’m still missing this CPU usage thing; I’m not sure if that’s a problem we have over here, since I also have a ton of plugins and have never heard word one from anyone, or maybe I’ve just been lucky.

    Mitch´s Last blog post..Paydotcom

  4. LunarPages is an American company. I suppose the problem is that I have so many blogs on the one server and as I am plugin happy they all have a fair amount of plugins. Apparently some tend to use more CPU than others and as I have so many it is causing a bit of a problem. Now that I have deactivated some I hope to see a better result.

      1. The problem is Mitch that unless I solve the problem, any other host will probably be miffed at me using all their resources. The only other option is to upgrade to a dedicated server and I can’t justify the expense.


        1. Twitter:
          As you can see, Sire, Dennis and I don’t understand what the problem is. We’re not sure if it’s a terminology thing that’s confusing us or just something we’ve never heard of. And that’s bothering us; at least me.

          Mitch´s Last blog post..Nine Best Blogs Of 2009 – My List

          1. Shit, don’t look at me, I sure don’t understand any of this tech stuff.

      2. Only as a last resort. I hate changing hosts.

  5. I am so glad i could help. I would really like to thank you for all your nice words. This is the most valuable prize for me. People talking nice about me. As for the problem i haven’t come up with another problem yet, rather than the overloaded plugins. I checked your blog and it really loads faster indeed. I would like to add that the host was right and the CPU was spiking during load times. Decreasing the plugins helped a lot and as i can see it helped on the live blog too. Let’s hope everything works out nice. I have been shooting at the problem every now and then with a few stuff that come to my mind but nothing seems to be the problem. I will keep the copy for a few more days see if i find anything else. Let me know if you need anything more. And once again, thanks for all the nice words man!

    stratosg´s Last blog post..When things get extremely wrong

  6. I don’t think it’s a particular one unfortunately. It would have given a nice post to both of us :) If, by any chance, pinpoint any of those i will let you know. And i will say the line that Robin Williams said on the movie “Bicentennial Man”, “One is glad to be of service”… And i’d like to add “and will be glad if can be of service again” :)

    stratosg´s Last blog post..When things get extremely wrong

    1. No worries Stratos. Disabling those few plugins didn’t seem to work. I’ve optimized the database and have inserted

      User-agent:*
      Request-rate: 20/1h
      Visit-time: 0600-0845

      at their request. If that doesn’t work I will have to disable all the plugins and activate them on at a time. I did ask them to check their end in case something on their side of it is causing the problem. Like I told them I have more blogs with more plugins on another host with no problems?

  7. Will check them out mate! Thanks for the info.

    Cheers

  8. I couldn’t stand to wait 24 hours after an update to see if it worked. It is a good sign the hosting company is helping. I chose GoDaddy purely because they were located in the same city I am in, so I knew I could get service, even if I had to drive down to their main office (but I’ve never had to do that – they are awesome via phone support).

    ~ Kristi

    Kikolani´s Last blog post..9 Ways to Use Social Networking for Blog Promotion

    1. Yeah, phone support can be a bit expensive from Australia, and definitely to far for a quick drive by. :down_tb:

  9. This is true – nothing like a good recommendation to help make a decision – that’s how I’ve found all of my webhosts anyway!

    Taris Janitens´s Last blog post..I GUARANTEE You’ve Never Seen THIS before!! LOL

    1. I always look for recommendations where possible as these are usually a good indication on how well a product or service will do the job.

      1. I only go by personal recommendations for just about everything. The joys of knowing good people online. :)

        Dennis Edell´s Last blog post..Top Commenter Contests – Officially Speaking…

  10. Is CPU the same as bandwidth?

    Dennis Edell´s Last blog post..Top Commenter Contests – Officially Speaking…

    1. No, I have plenty of bandwith. CPU has something to do with the memory resources.

  11. Wow Sire that is some experience…

    I am with Blue Host and it seems to be working well, but I know that some people do have to upgrade rather quickly to different hosts or servers if their usage does go up as the company may not be up for handling that. Well I am glad your story worked out well :)

    Evita´s Last blog post..5 Foods You Thought You Could Not Live Without

    1. Actually, it is still a work in progress, but I am sure it will all work out in the long run. At least the blogs are still running while we try to sort out what is going on.

  12. Hi Sire
    may be a stupid question, but if a hosting offers unlimited bandwidth and hosting space, how can you exceed the limit, if there is none. I understand that the site may unnecessarily be using more bandwidth than needed, but unlimited is unlimited or is CPU usage a separate issue. I’m quite fortunate for hosting my brother in law hosts a few servers for a big client which are very fast and reliable, which is good news for me.

  13. Apparently khaled CPU is an entirely different issue. From I can understand it would be like you having several programs running at the same time, and if those programs used a lot of memory the whole computer slows down.

    1. Oh that’s not good, hopefully it can be isolated down to one particular plugin.

  14. I think that the 98% of the blogs that recommend web hosting are doing it for financial gain (affiliates). It’s best to ask a friend for a recommendation along with searching couple of the forums. People complain loudly when a host isn’t any good.

    When you do find a host that you like, it’s a nice gesture to buy through a friend’s website if they have an affiliate link. It will cost you the same and make them some cash.

    Lastly, I think that the web hosting companies need to be honest about what they’re offering. If they claim to have unlimited bandwidth them they’re being liberal with the truth. Is Huffington Post going to get unimited bandwidth from one of these $7 a month sites? Ha!

    Gennaro´s Last blog post..New Tsunami Museum In Indonesia

    1. I think that is a fair call, which is why I don’t pay much attention to some of the things the probloggers recommend. I wish my problem was bandwidth as it would be a lot cheaper for an upgrade.

  15. Good to know this. I play with plugins all the time to change services.
    Would hate to not know that you can be kicked off for spiking the CPU

    GregR´s Last blog post..Playing Favorites At Technorati

    1. Yep, and some hosts do it in such a way that your site is taken completely offline. That is a pretty raw deal.

  16. Webhosting is all in the eye of beholder. You are right that affiliate links may sway some of us to swear up and down our hosting is the best. Starting out with shared hosting is fine if you plan on just running one or two basic sites – but once those start getting a lot of traffic, you start getting into bigger problems :)

    I’m happy with my current hosting for now because it is dirt cheap, ($5 a month!) but I know eventually I’m going to have to probably head on up to a VPS or other dedicated server if I keep growing my online websites :) One of my sites gets 40,000+ visitors a month and growing and the mysql database setup on the shared hosting is what I need to add features I want.

    1. I will need more than just added visitors, I also need added income to make it viable to move to a more expensive system, so hopefully, as I get busier the income may grow and I will upgrade to a bigger server

  17. Sire: Looks like you just found out why shared hosting isn’t always the best solution – especially once your traffic starts soaring (which by the way is actually good news!)

    The free domain name for life is tite though :thumbup_tb:

    BTW: I just finished a post that should go live in a few minutes where I quoted you and just out of curiosity, what made you start using SezWho?

    Caleb´s Last blog post..And So You Got Traffic What Next?

    1. Hey Caleb, I was aware of the shortcomings of shared hosting, but unfortunately it’s the most economical one available. I am sure that I can sort out the problem and I am thankful that the host is giving me the opportunity to do so.

      As for sezwho, I just wanted to give users the opportunity to rate the posts. As not many seem to fussed about it, I may actually deactivate the plugin if it doesn’t pick up.

  18. Hi Friend.. Interesting post.. Keep up the good work.. Do visit my blog and post your comments.. Take care mate.. Cheers!!!

  19. Will check them out mate! Thanks for the info.

    Marlon Reed´s Last blog post..When NOT to Approach Women

  20. I use blogger hence i have no problem as Google does the hosting for me :)

  21. No worries Marlon, glad I could help.

  22. How aren’t I sure that this is a bias review about lunarpages?

    Just kidding. I am still doing my research on webhost. This has taught me to consider customers service as a requirement.

    1. You can never tell, but honestly I am trying to be as unbiased/honest as possible, otherwise I would have painted a much rosier picture about them. Yes, service is a very important aspect and it is usually better to pay a bit more when service comes into the picture.

  23. Boring old me, I’m still hooked on hostgator…but that being said, I’m not so sure they are legitimate. A friend of mine signed up for a hosting program using my affiliate link, and OF COURSE, when I called Host Gator about it, I had not received credit for the referral. I KNOW FOR A FACT that he used my correct affiliate link…so why did I not get credit for it?

    They did make it right though and are paying me the commission, so we will see? But other than that, Host Gator is easy to use and top notch.

    The Almost Millionaire´s Last blog post..The Secret of Success

    1. I reckon there are a lot of good hosts out there, but there are probably a lot of shonky ones as well. The trick is to get the right one. I’m glad that Hostgator is working well for you.

    2. This happens. Did your friend clear ALL cookies and cache before clicking your link? The way most affiliate cookies work, if he/she click anyone elses first, that’s the one that get’s the commission.

      Their support is awesome though, I had a similar issue with someone in another country.

      Dennis Edell´s Last blog post..February Link Review – Blog Review Winners – TC Contest March – Guest Posts Wanted – I’m Outa Here!

  24. Unlimited bandwidth and storage space is completely different that cpu usage. If one person is using too many resources on a shared server than it affects all other users. And that’s fine and fair for a host to have a problem with. The issue is that they take the site offline without warning and then want the problem corrected before they bring it back online. They might provide some log files but usually aren’t very helpful in helping the user determine what process is causing the problem.

    Plugins are usually the culprit when this occurs with a WordPress site – even if you don’t use many it can be one poorly written one. I had a problem last summer even though I don’t use many plugins.

    And Stratos is awesome!

    Kim Woodbridge´s Last blog post..How to Disable Post Revisions in WordPress

    1. That’s just the thing Kim, they didn’t take my blogs offline at all, they simply moved it to another server which allowed me time to tweak it so that the resources came down. That is a whole lot better than shutting me down, which I understand a lot of other hosts have done.

  25. It’s crucial for a web host to work with their clients. There’s something seriously wrong if your host is suspending you with no explanaition or assistance. I think I might look into Lunar Pages the next time I’m in the market for a webhost.

  26. That would be the pits. I reckon though, if I was in the States, that it could have been resolved a lot sooner.

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