Urgh, Hosting Again

Many moons ago, around February 2011, I found myself again looking for a new hosting company. I’d used a string of companies up until then with varying levels of success. None too terrible and none too great either. I recently found myself here again and thought it worth writing up my experience.

Finding A Decent Hosting Company

You can do a search for “best hosting company <insert your country here>” and you’ll get article after article more or less pounding home the virtues of the usual suspects. HostGator, Bluehost, Hostinger, SiteGround etc, etc. I swear some of the articles are just lifted and shifted to other domains.

My advice here is to ignore these articles and ignore sites like Trustpilot too unfortunately. There are too many reasons to go into why here but suffice to say there are a lot of very untechnical people moaning about reasonable things and there seems to be a pattern of very aggressive handling of these reviews on the part of some hosting companies. Sometimes for fair reasons (see those non-technical reviewers silly complaints).

The upshot of that is you need to find reliable source of info out of the normal channels of company and product reviews. User forums are a good place to get real reviews and solid info. Find people that know what they’re talking about and take it on-board.

Remember that price alone is a poor indicator of the service you’re going to get. Some cheap hosts are actually really good and some expensive ones are terrible.

Avoid any company on this list

Access Their Support Offering

One of the biggest factors for me is support. If you can’t even engage with a person BEFORE you’re a customer, that’s an alarm bell for me personally. Whilst you’re not going to get the level of support I get using Azure or AWS with large projects spending thousands of pounds a month, a solid level of support is invaluable and hopefully response times within an hour or so, even a few hours is totally acceptable on lower end packages. If you need guaranteed fast turn around you’re gonna have to pay.

Most will use a combination of chat and ticketing systems and this is usually a great method to be honest as you have a history of things to look back over should you need too. Phone support is getting rarer but is always nice to be able to actually speak to someone. Also check the quality of their documentation and help pages. How well written and organised this is, is also an indicator for me.

Gridhost Hosting Palava

Around January this year I had an email from my host company TSOHost. Telling me that they were retiring the platform I had been using Gridhost. I had originally found and joined Vidahost via discussions on the UK Host Forum and they had rave reviews from people I trusted. I signed up and was entirely impressed with everything. Support was great, the speeds were ideal etc … nothing to complain about.

A few years in they were bought by Paragon Internet Services and to be honest I didn’t see anything change really. Everything just carried on as usual. Prices were increased a little but nothing to complain about, it was all very reasonable.

Now fast forward to 2022 and after a take over by … yawn … GoDaddy … it all started to cave in. No surprises, avoid GoDaddy like the plague.

Between being first told about the retirement and October I had several chats with TSOHost about the migration and was told repeatedly that I had nothing to do. All my sites and email would be migrated to another service with zero downtime.

I had that conversation 3 times with them over that period.

Fast forward to Mon, Sep 26 and I have a notification of the 45 days until the Gridhost Hosting is permanently shutdown. No sweat I thought, it’s all in hand. October 27th arrives and so does a new email warning of the 14 days. I decide to confirm everything again.

Good job I did.

Now I’m told they aren’t going to migrate anything for me at all and I have literally a handful of days to sort everything. I ask why everything has changed from earlier conversations. Turns out their overworked and cannot guarantee they’ll have time to migrate everyone.


They also used some excuse about malware on one of my domains. You mean the ones I have scanned daily for malware? Those ones? Yeah, whatever.

I was so incensed that I refused to buy any of their services and I have left TSOHost in the dust. Rubbish service.

I have been reading nightmares where people with hundreds of sites have been given mere days notice to get everything migrated, preferably by the 1st November 2022. A huge undertaking, even more so for small companies supporting hundreds of sites.

One funny fact is that at the end of October my business debit card associated with my TSOHost account expired. I tried to update it but since they have already started to dismantle the product, I was no longer able to update details in the portal. Meaning I can’t pay them for the last months Hosting. What a shame. They also massively throttled FTP access meaning my migration took HOURS to download what normally took 10 minutes. A sad way to treat a 12 year long customer.

Hello Krystal

So I spent a couple of days reading about hosts and comparing packages. Almost to the point of exhaustion! Luckily I found out about Krystal. Everyone was raving about how good they were. So I took the plunge on a Ruby package.

Their package was competitive in price, had all the support things covered, including phone support! They used decent hardware and technology for caching, it used cPanel which was new to me. Amazingly I had managed to use hosts with their own UIs until now. So there was a bit of a learning curve there.

Everything was immediately available. There were a few hiccups along the way but every ticket I raised was actioned within 45 mins (on a Sunday) and I just got on with migrating everything.

I have nothing but praise for Krystal. I’ve realised just how slow Gridhost had become in comparison. It’s like night and day difference.

Get £5 Krystal credit with code – JAMHOST

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Logitech MX ERGO Trackball Review

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