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Hosting Company Reviews

Since we have so many sites (9 as of 2017), we need Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. We’ve had reseller accounts which make every site a separate account and we’ve had standard VPS. I tend to prefer just standard VPS because you can admin all the sites from one control panel. I’ve written about our experiences with these hosts, but I decided to condense our experiences into one post for Google and for my reference. (Chronological, scroll down for CURRENT.)

HERE is the current list of EIG hosts to AVOID. Trust me. AVOID.

We’ve had VPS type hosting for a decade+ and we’ve had several hosts. First, let me give you my opinion on the hosts we’ve had; their pricing, their uptime and their support. Those are the three main factors that everyone looks at when trying to find a decent host. Nowadays, things like SSL certificates and ddos attack prevention also factors in. I’m just going to review the last three hosts we’ve had: InMotion Hosting, Wiredtree Hosting and Zweeko Hosting. We are now on Siteground. I am not linking to these hosts, because I don’t want to hear any whining from them about my negative reviews.

InMotion Hosting (inmotionhosting.com)
We were with this host about 4-5 years ago. They were fairly new at the time and things started off great, as they always do when a host is new and hustling for clients. We had a reseller VPS account that was around $50/mo. The first coupla years was good, when I called I got the owners on the phone and they helped me with lots of technical stuff. As they grew, they had a handful of support people who were trained and did a good job. But somewhere around the 3-4yr mark, they started buying other companies and expanding, but they didn’t expand the tech support team. Then they started hiring support staff that wasn’t trained. The support degenerated into the usual bullshit excuses when our sites were down: it’s WordPress, it’s not enough RAM, it’s Bigfoot, etc. What was happening was our sites were getting ddos attacks and it was killing the server. Things kept escalating until our sites were hacked and the support people had NO IDEA what to do. They actually blamed us for the attacks and tried to tell us that there was nothing they could do to fix the SERVER HACKS. Uh, isn’t that the definition of a host’s JOB? I don’t recommend IMH if you need good support. We started looking for a new host and ended up with the next one.

WiredTree Hosting (wiredtree.com)
We were with WiredTree for about three years. They were very solicitous and moved all our sites from InMotion for free – even tho they usually charge for that many sites. We had about 15 sites at the time. We had a reseller account with these guys and it was about $60/mo. The biggest issue with WiredTree support is that they really loved to use geekspeak when answering tickets, which is annoying when a) you are not a server geek and b) you just want a straight answer in ENGLISH. Their service was actually pretty good, it was the support that was annoying. They also had a habit of fixing things, but never telling me what the problem was in the first place. I want to know what is going on, but I don’t need to know how to build a watch when I ask for the time. They did not have the ability to tell me what an issue was in non-geek terms. They also charged out the ass for an SSL Certificate, which I was interested in putting on our sites, but did not due to their exorbitant fees.

Towards the end of our tenure there, our sites were again suffering with ddos attacks that would bring down the server. They did nothing about these attacks. They didn’t even offer or use Cloudflare, which is pretty standard these days. They blamed us for the attacks, with the usual excuses: it was WordPress, it was not enough RAM, it was Bigfoot, etc. They talked me into an upgrade to SSD ($65/mo) and they SWORE that would do the trick, but alas, it was just their lack of giving a shit that was the issue. Much arguing ensued and they didn’t even refund the last month that I paid for and didn’t use. I felt swindled by WiredTree and I don’t recommend them. I was bitching about WT on Twitter, looking for a new host and that’s when the owner of Zweeko offered to move all my sites for free to his center in London. He was a sweet talker and convinced me that he’d take care of us. Beware a strong sales pitch…

UPDATE 1.31.17: WiredTree has been acquired by LiquidWeb. Don’t waste your time with it.

Zweeko Hosting (zweeko.com)
So Feb 2015, we moved to the brand new company Zweeko in London. They moved all the sites and put me on a standard VPS (not reseller, which is what I prefer) and all was good. They are $70/mo. They have us on SSD servers, nicely tricked out, and they use Cloudflare for all sites at the enterprise level. They also offer SSL Certificates for $18/yr, which is a very good price (NOT as of 2017. Now good hosts offer free SSL.). Unfortunately, despite the nice hardware, it wasn’t long before the outages began. As early as two months after we moved to Zweeko, we had server issues. At this early time, the owner was always on Twitter and he’d get things up again right away. But that, of course didn’t last. He got some tech people to run the place and he was off to travel around the world hustling big businesses to host. When he left the asylum to the inmates, support became nonexistent.

The outages started to become regular, about once a month the sites would be down for a couple of hours. Apparently they have no monitoring software at Zweeko, since they never knew when our server was down. Rather than fix the issues which were ALL on their side, all they could figure out to do was restart the server. Nothing was getting fixed, they would just restart.

One time, they insisted it was my WordPress configuration (WP is the whipping boy for hosts across the land!) and they went into my WP and fiddled with the plugins to make my site work. This is NO BUENO. They also could not tell me what they did, I had to go in and ferret out their stupid plugins, which I removed immediately with no discernible detriment, proving that they had no business in my WP install in the first place.

The latest incident was a couple of months ago. Our sites were down for NINE HOURS on a Sunday and they did NOTHING about it. Absolutely NOTHING. I put in a ticket and the B team support people apparently didn’t know what to do, so they just left our server down for the A team to fix on Monday. THEY JUST LEFT IT DOWN. I was apoplectic with rage and demanded to know why our sites were left down despite a ticket. Of course, they had nothing to say. Apparently the support people at Zweeko are not trained well enough to THINK and actually solve problems. All they know to do is what is written on their support software screen and if it’s not there they are like “WHATEVER!”. I was given a little reimbursement for the downtime, but NEVER got reimbursement for any of the myriad other times THEIR server failed.

For these reasons, I do NOT recommend Zweeko. They are pricey and they do not have strong support.

UPDATE 11.25.16: The owner of Zweeko is bugging me to take down this post. I will not. It is an accurate depiction of my experience at Zweeko. Since the outage in July, they have straightened up and given me the credit I demanded. We’ve had no big issues since July. There have been a couple of hiccups, but overall, the service has been OK. It’s still pricey, but it’s solid for now. I don’t recommend them if you have lots of sites or are not very well versed in web server issues, however. Their support team is still weak and they will do things without explanation.

THE END 1.30.17: The owner of Zweeko began to troll my personal FB page and started bugging me (see above). Twice in the last 2-3 months, we’ve not been able to get into CPanel due to Licensing issue errors. This tells me that they are either not paying their fees or they are overusing the licenses. The server has also been slow, which is the usual log problems that they’ve never, in over a year, fixed. So I called out the owner for trolling my FB (where I was looking for a new host and discussing the SHIT service I’d gotten at Zweeko) and he then pitched a fit like a small child and threatened to delete my sites – he gave me 72 hours to move. And then he sent another yammering email calling me a horrible person because I called him an asshole… Well, if the shoe fits! Fortunately for us, I’d already begun prep to move to our new host: Siteground.

Siteground (siteground.com) 1.30.17
I’ve got two clients on Siteground already, so I’ve been monitoring what’s up. No issues whatsoever. They have CHAT support like a grownup company and their support people are trained. I’ve never had a bad experience with these guys. They are in Bulgaria, but don’t let that put you off. Their English is perfect and they TAKE THEIR TIME with you. I was on chat for 45 minutes with one of their guys discussing the move and deciding which service to use. EXEMPLARY support.

I’ll update this as we get into Siteground, but I can tell you so far: everything is peachy. We are on the $80/mo VPS system. We did have to pay to have our sites moved, but whatever. They all work and everything is great. So far, so good.

Other Hosts To Avoid
One of my clients was using Bluehost for their WP site. They’ve been there about a year. The database blew up and WP was unusable, so I contacted support. After much back and forth, they finally admitted that the server was having issues and it would be fixed. But of course, they would not tell me WHEN. So this went on for a few days and they continued to lie, blame WP and put me off, meanwhile the site was up, but WP was hammered. Bluehost is a flaming piece of shit. DO NOT USE THEM. At this point, I started doing research for a new host, both for my client and for myself.

I asked the hive mind of Twitter to give me host recommendations and I got a couple of lame ones. Then this company Webhosting Ninja (www.webhosting.ninja and @ninja_hosting) said I should check them out, so I did. I did not like their plans, so I said “thanks, but no”. Then they started attacking me, assuming that *I* used Bluehost (my CLIENT does) and told me I was an idiot for not switching to them. Ninja Hosting is clearly run by a bunch of misogynistic nerd hey-bras and I DO NOT RECOMMEND THEM.

Sources for Host Reviews
But I found @HostReviewHell (www.reviewhell.com) during this, so it was worth it. This site has tons of useful info! I especially like the list of EIG hosts to AVOID (Bluehost is one).

I found Siteground (https://www.siteground.com/) on this site and I decided to try them out with my client’s WP site. So far, so good. Siteground is out of Eastern Europe (you can choose your server location, I chose Chicago), but they seem to have their shit together. They offer chat, email and phone support (I love chat support!) and it’s always manned from what I can tell. They moved my client’s site with no issues and we were up and running the next day. (Proving that it WAS Bluehost’s fucked up server that hammered WP, NOT US.) We’ve been with Siteground for a few weeks and I’ve no complaints. They offer Cloudflare with all packages and they use CPanel (a MUST).

UPDATE 11.26.16
I have put two clients on Siteground and had complete success. The first install was better than the second, but overall, I’m pleased. They have very fast CHAT support (thank the gods) and despite this being an Eastern European company, all the employees seem to be fluent in English. Siteground will be my goto if Zweeko drops the ball again like they did a few months ago. Done and done! LOL

UPDATE April 2024:
We left Siteground fairly quickly, a couple of years, I think. They suffered the usual declining support quality that hosts suffer after a few years. We moved to Kualo and have been there ever since. They are SOLID. The support is really good, which is important when shit goes sideways and you’ve got a bunch of sites. They are not the cheapest, but I’ve had hardly any issues with their hardware. The support team is always ON IT. I’m kind of shocked to still be on Kualo after all these years. My only picky complaint is that you cannot update CC info, you have to delete, then wait for an invoice. It’s idiotic. But other than that, they are a very solid host.

Let’s Get It Over With

This has been sitting in draft since July 2016. Now that this person has removed herself from my FB and I’ve purged all the haters, I’m posting this. Since Cheeto won the election, it’s even more important that people understand where I am. I am not giving passes. You voted for Trump? You are an asshole, period. And perhaps a bit mentally deficient. Don’t like that I think this? THEN MOVE ALONG. This attitude ain’t changing.

Nick says I shouldn’t post about our recent interaction with a Trump supporter in the wild. He’s probably right, but I gotta. This shit goes right into my disgust with where I grew up and I just can’t let it slide. I’m not one for giving passes to assholes and I guess I’m too old to start now.

I’ve posted a bunch of political crap on FB, like everyone else. It’s easy to repost or retweet stories on social media. I would think that anyone who even vaguely knows me would know that I am an Independent who gets ZERO representation in our two party system of government. Anyone who even vaguely knows me should also know that I don’t suffer fools and I’d rather be rid of you than put up with bullshit. Right? Right.

With that sorted, let us get into my post that will probably piss off some people who think they are immune to my short temper and aforementioned lack of fucks to give. Whatever. I’d rather OUT them and let them go their way than be friends with people who are so ignorant of the big wide world that they are afraid of anyone who is not JUST LIKE THEM. Furthermore, *I* am NOT like them, so what kind of shit do they think about ME? I got rid of my birthday twin because she felt “sorry” for me that I’m not a Turbo Christian like she is. I’m glad she told me. I don’t hate her, but we can’t be friends, and that’s fine. (I later find that OF COURSE, she is a Trump supporter. Big shock. Doubly glad I got rid of her.)

I am NOT like the people from E TN. Not even a little. We might be “friends” on FB, but we’re not friends IRL. I’d love to say that friendship doesn’t involve core values, but, sorry, it really does. You can’t be real friends with people who have different core values and being a racist with fascist leanings is FAR from my wheelhouse. Theocracy is also not in my wheelhouse. If that’s your groove, then we are not friends. It’s as simple as that.

First, I’d like to say that I’ve never been more grateful to live in a big city than I am right now. I’ve lived here in ATL longer than I was in Knoxville TN and it shows. It’s taken me decades to rid myself of the toxic attitudes of E TN and I’m glad to see them go. I can see CLEARLY how living in a small town, surrounded by people JUST LIKE YOU is a recipe for racism, religious fanaticism and warped attitudes about anyone who is NOT just like you.

I have lived in Dekalb County GA since 1988. As of the last census, Dekalb County is ~36% white and ~55% black with ~6% Asians and ~19% not speaking English at home. Compare that to Knox County TN: ~86% white, ~9% black with ~2% Asian and ~6% not speaking English at home. Or better, Anderson County TN: ~92% white, ~4% black with ~1.5% Asian and ~4% not speaking English at home. (Info about Knox & Anderson Counties TN and Dekalb County GA from census.gov.)

And these people in E TN are deathly afraid of anyone who is brown or wears a hijab. Why? Well, judging by the demographics, it’s because they never SEE anyone brown or in a hijab. But to hear them talk, you’d think that they were veritably SURROUNDED by these scary people. We were in a business meeting with an E TN person who thought it’d be a swell idea to bring up her love of Trump at the end of the meeting. WHY she thought that would be a great idea is beyond me. Up until that, the meeting had been pretty good. It was ruined in about 2 minutes. A couple of excerpts from my conversation with this sane, rich, white Christian woman from E TN who “passionately” supports Trump:

“We’ve got to get rid of the Muslims. They are out to get us [white Christians]!”
“Muslims are everywhere! They are ALL OVER Clinton [TN]!”
“If you give blacks an inch, well, you know who they’ll enslave!”
“Oh, E TN is SO full of blacks now! You wouldn’t believe it!”

ORLY? You are surrounded by blacks and Muslims, are ya? Sorry, but the demographics do NOT support your racist assertions (person lives in Anderson County, btw). And to top it off, this person said this OUT LOUD, in a public place!! In downtown ATLANTA. I was mortified. I’ve heard the same exact shit from my parents for years. When they can’t get something via their shitty insurance, it’s ALWAYS because the blacks are taking away all their benefits. ?? How does that even make sense?

Needless to say, I am very disappointed in this person, but sadly, not one bit surprised. I was expecting the E TN to come out eventually. It always does. I can do the job we were discussing, but unless she is willing to sign a contract with a hate speech clause, I don’t want to risk having to listen to hateful shit while I work with them. (NOPE, did not even discuss taking the gig.)

Some (Nick in particular) would say that I should cut them some slack – they just don’t understand because they live in a bubble!! Well, I say HELL NO to that. These people are just as capable of research and reading from various sources as anyone. These people have the goddam internet. They are educated and well to do. They CHOOSE to be racist, hateful people. THEY CHOOSE IT.

These people are living in a bubble of SAMENESS, for sure. They are surrounded by racists JUST LIKE THEM. All their friends listen to FOX News and Sean Hannity JUST LIKE THEM. All their friends attend a Christian church JUST LIKE THEM. It’s an echo chamber of hate, racism and fear of anyone who is not JUST LIKE THEM. The demographics bear this out.

THIS is why I hate E TN. It is majority white Christians who hate everyone who is not like them. I know only a handful of people who live there who are not Turbo Christians full of hate. I also love the hypocrisy of these hate mongers who openly shout how Christian they are, then turn around and spew racist bullshit in the same breath. The person I was talking to also noted that she didn’t “advertise” her Trump support. Gee, wonder why? Think it might OUT you as the racist douchebag that you are? (In a funny twist, she outed HERSELF on my FB feed before she slunk off and unfriended me. LOL)

I read a post by Jim Wright (Stonekettle.com) about how Trump has become the new litmus test for friends:

“And that’s what it’s come to in America. First thing. What do you think of that Trump guy? The answer to that question tells you everything you need to know about somebody and whether they’re worth bothering with.” – Jim Wright

Even the Trump supporter confirmed this during our conversation. She said “This election will break up families and friendships”. Yes it will, because with Trump, it’s all hate all the time and the rest of the world is NOT down with that. *I* am not down with that and I don’t want to be associated with people who ARE.

I know it’s just politics… But this time, I think it’s a lot more than “just” politics. This election is drawing lines between the Old Guard (white, rich, Christian men) and progressives who want change. I’m not a fan of Michael Moore, but this post is spot on: 5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win. I do think Trump will win in November because there are a lot more people who live in small homogenous white towns and/or who are sick of the status quo than there are progressives who wanted Bernie but have to vote for Hillary.

And sadly, we now have Cheeto PEOTUS who will be Cheeto in Chief on Friday (Jan 20 2017). May the gods have mercy on our souls. The hillbillies won and it’s gonna be a shit show. As for me, I’m getting the popcorn ready. I do not participate in healthcare scams, so ACA doesn’t matter to me in the least. I will feel sorry for all the people who do rely on it – UNLESS they voted Trump, then I hope they suffer greatly. I plan to register as Muslim when that bullshit starts, too. You get what you vote for, motherfuckers.

Pricey Make-up and Youtube

Is it wrong to like LESS fussy makeup? These youtube girls take an hour to put on layer upon layer of makeup and I just can’t be bothered. I mean, REALLY? I have been working to do better eye makeup, but even then I only use 2-3 colours, tops. These girls use like SIX colours! GAH! And the contouring? NAWP. I use a little bit of blush under the cheekbone and a little highlighter on top. I’ve also found that using a brush for foundation makes it too heavy, so I’ve gone back to fingers. I’m a heathen, I know. HA!

I think as you age, using less makeup is probably for the best. Too much foundation and concealer and all that really globs up and shows fine lines, I think. Less = more. OH! I found a GREAT youtuber that is my age (one week apart!) and we have similar opinions on makeup. She’s an actress named Monique Parent. I enjoy her tutorials and her beautiful grey hair! Look her up!

For a night out, I use this method (currently):
– primer (NYX Photo Primer) applied with fingers
– pore minimiser (NYX) applied to crater sized pores for a better finish
– concealer (Revlon Colorstay) Around eyes and eyelids, applied with fingers
– Revlon New Complexion creme foundation (VERY lightly) fingers
– Mineral Wear powder foundation (past jawline down neck) sponge applicator
– Mineral Wear translucent setting powder, big brush
– base eye colour (usually shimmer) sponge applicator or brush if it’s matte
– base colour under lower lashes (sometimes slightly darker) sponge or small brush
– colour in the crease and outer lid, into a wing, brush
– sometimes I’ll do a darker colour in the crease (gotta be careful with heavy lids!) brush
– eyeliner on top lid only; sometimes with wing (Revlon Colorstay crayon or L’oreal gel w/ brush)
– Almay One Coat mascara is the best (top lashes only) Intense Black
– blend out any lines and up to the brow with MAC Trek50 Luna Lustre highliter, brush
– light blush in cheek hollows, brush
– use same MAC highlighter around eyes and on cheekbones, brush
– lip pencil
– lip colour applied with brush

TA DAAAAH! That’s it. It takes me about 20 minutes, which I think is a LONG time to beat on my face! LOL

I bought some pricey makeup from MAC and a tarte palette, but overall, I’m not impressed. Miracole gave me some pure MAC pigments and I like those better. The pricey MAC mascara is not as good as Almay, IMO. The Trek 50 MAC collection has totally shitty pigments and it’s all quite dull, despite how it looks in the packaging. The tarte lip pencil tint and lip gloss has NO pigment, absolutely NOT worth the money, IMO. I bought the tarte Grav3yard Girl palette and it’s just OK; none of the eye pigments are as bold as they look in the palette. So I say, buy whatever the fuck you want and don’t feel like more money = better product. That has not been my experience! Revlon has the best foundations for my skin and Physician’s Formula Mineral Wear powders are great for me. I’m not even going to bother paying $45 for some fancy shit that I’ll not like any better. I’m going to stick to MAC pigments, I think, for bold eye colours, tho. The pure pigment is the way to go, despite its $22 each price tag. That shit lasts FOREVER.

That’s my take on pricey makeup and youtube girls! Use what you like. It’s all out of the same vat anyway. MAC is owned by Estee Lauder, FFS. So, whatever. I still love the single shimmer eye shadows from Sally for every day wear. RIP. I loved them so. I hope I can find another brand that looks like the Sally does. Every tutorial says, “DO NOT use shimmer shadows on deep set eyes!”, yet it is the daytime look I like best. So that’s what I wear. Fuck the “experts”! LOL On the advice of Monique Parent, I have bought some Revlon ColorBurst lip stains, Neutrogena Shine Control powder and I picked up a Neutrogena fat pencil lipstick that I really like. They were out of NYX HD powder, so I’ll try that another time. Still on the hunt for a good, light liquid foundation.

UPDATE! I found a VERY liquid foundation that can go from very light coverage to heavy: NYX Total Control. It has a dropper!

Makeup is for fun, so buy what you like and PLAY! :) I wore a teal MAC pigment to a party last week, this is the exact makeup I just described above:

MAC Teal Pigment
MAC Teal Pigment

I do wish my skin was smoother. Sigh. The primer helps, but there’s only so much makeup can do, yanno? Whatever, I’m 51, FUCK IT! I wear what I want! :D

Back to Working Out!

As promised, at the six month point, I started working out again. I’d been walking on the treadmill, but I wanted to get back to the aerobics and kickboxing I used to do. We’re now past the seven month mark and I’ve been working out for real for about a month. Loving it!

The DVDs I use are by the famous Kathy Smith, who has been doing exercise stuff since the 80s. Her DVDs are high quality and her workouts are really solid. I’ve tried other DVDs and keep going back to KS.

I use the Foundation workout on her Project You DVD. I just bought some new KS DVDs for weight lifting and I’m currently doing Arms on her Staying Strong DVD. I’ll add in the other three sections of the weight lifting after the New Year.

I’m down to 192.5! Inching towards my next goal of under 190!

Still taking Nexium 2x a day, but I’m feeling like I can probably drop the daytime one. I plan to experiment after the new year. I added Maca root by my gyno’s suggestion and I think it’s helping me with menopause sleep issues. It is supposed to help with energy levels all round and I think it is!

This is my current supplement regimen:
1 Vitacost (VC) multi
1 high potency turmeric VC
1 300mcg selenium VC
1 Kyolic KyoDophilus
1 gelantinized Maca root, 500mg, Gaia brand
1 CoQ10, alternating weeks on that one (SO many capsules!!) VC
4 calcium/magnesium caps (half dose, VC) and 2 Pioneer brand Cal/Mag chews (half dose)
OR 4 Pioneer Cal/Mag chews (full dose) if I don’t feel like taking all those caps
1 Quickdots B12 chew 1000mcg VC
1 Quickdots D3 and K2 chew VC (to aid Vit B12 absorption)

I’m feeling good in general. I owe everyone a video, I know, and I’ll do one after the New Year, PROMISE!

For now, Happy Yule and Happy New Year everyone!