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Review of guru.co.uk WordPress hosting

Review of guru.co.uk WordPress hosting

Review of guru.co.uk WordPress hosting 1

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links (who doesn’t), this makes no difference to you, but gives me a small commission if you then decide to make a purchase from that company. Please note I do not ever recommend a product or service just to get clicks. Unlike a large proportion of reviews out there, my reviews are legitimate, honest and based on personal experience of actually using said product/service. If you have a problem with affiliate links, don’t click them, simples.

GURU is another host which I am seeing recommended more often on my WordPress groups, as usual with lots of positive feed and great reviews on Trustpilot, but nowhere near as much as the likes of SiteGround, which is easily the most popular recommendation. So in my quest to find something better than SiteGround, Guru were next on my list.

In this review I am using their £19.95 reseller plan.

Note: I decided to stick with Guru, so I will be updating this review of their services over time.

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WPX Hosting Review

WPX Hosting Review

WPX Hosting Review 14

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links ahead, because why not!. My reviews & opinions are always honest and legitimate and I will never falsely recommend a product or service just for affiliate clicks. If you have a problem with this, just do not click the links.

I have been considering moving on from Siteground when my yearly hosting expires (read my siteground review) and decided to give wpx hosting a try, so here is my wpx hosting review.

Wpx hosting seem to have almost too good to be true reputation, with positive reviews everywhere and they boast that they have superior WordPress performance and support compared to all other WP hosts, and the reviews do seem to concur, especially this one.

So wpx hosting have quite a reputation to live up to and I have quite high hopes and expectations from them here. However the same was also true of SiteGround, it is very hard to find negative reviews, yet my experience with their customer service and support has very rarely been positive.

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Hosting Review: SiteGround

Hosting Review: SiteGround

Hosting Review: SiteGround 15

 

Hosting Review: SiteGround 16

Back in 2017 I decided to give SiteGround a try due to all the great reviews they have on TrustPilot and elsewhere, so I thought it was a safe bet, but sadly the opposite turned out to be true. I have also since learnt how untrustworthy Trustpilot is.

I was given wrong advice right from the outset, the hosting plan they had recommend based on my requirements didn’t support what I needed and right from the outset I was told I needed to upgrade, which I did. But the cloud server had nothing but ongoing problems since day 1, there was always something breaking or not working. I was never able to put any clients or my own sites live on this server as I could never trust it.

Like beating your head against a brick wall

I spent weeks arguing with support over custom DNS servers because they kept insisting that this requires something to be installed on the server in order to set custom DNS which is why they insisted it also requires me to transfer my domain name to them.

Having run my own hosting company for many years, I know exactly how custom DNS works as I have done it myself, it is simply a case of registering the name server with the domain registrar as a DNS server. Domains do not need to be transferred, nothing whatsoever has to be installed to achieve this and even if it did, this has no relation to a domain transfer,

I had to give up this discussion, as I was talking to a brick wall, and could not get past the mindless canned responses.

I also had problems with my tickets, emails and logs etc, all having wrong times on them due to an incorrect setting in PHP, and again spent weeks arguing with them over this, with them insisting the issue was at my end and that everything on the server was correct.

Sadly you are not allowed remote access to their cloud servers, otherwise, I could have just fixed it myself, so you have to rely on them to fix things, which they won’t do if they refuse to accept there is an actual issue. Finally, after much arguing, and telling them exactly where to look and what to do, I proved to them that the issue was on the server, and they finally fixed it. But no apology for all the weeks of time wasting and the issues they had caused me through their incompetence.

The final straw was when they just decided to block certain ports on the firewall without any warning, completely breaking my billing system and email. They did not inform me they were doing this and completely failed to diagnose that they were the cause, again blaming me, denying that there were any issues or changes at their end.
When I finally proved it was their own firewall that was the cause, they once again just fixed the issue with complete apathy.

This is just 3 of the worst issues, there were numerous others.

Canned response hell

SiteGround deliver a neverending stream of insincere  “canned responses” to give the impression that they care, but when something goes wrong, and their actions or lack thereof are damaging your business or causing you downtime, they simply do not care and just continue to deliver their canned responses like mindless robots. After you have contacted them a few times you can quite literally predict everything they are going to say word for word, that is how rehearsed and predictable it is.

Everything I put on the SiteGround server was broken almost the whole time, had I actually put any clients live on this server I would have probably lost them all due to the constant downtime. I ended up sticking with Hostek, who have always been consistently reliable.

Needless to say, I never got to the point of actually testing the performance of WordPress or their server.

When I tried to cancel my account, I just received more canned responses and a total refusal to refund the months I had left, despite all the endless problems which they had caused me to cancel in the first place. Although since writing a review on Trustpilot, they did refund my last 2 unused months. 

Their support ticket system is also a nightmare. When they reply to your ticket, you do not get the actual reply via email, you just get a notification telling you they have replied, and you then have to login to your account to read the reply. This is annoying at best and a massive time wasting inconvenience at worst. If you are not in front of your computer, it means that you cannot deal with the ticket or even see the response to see if it is urgent or needs your attention unless you are able to login to your account from your phone.

 

Second Chance

Fast forward to April 2018, and I decided to give SiteGround another chance with their shared hosting and did a “Flywheel vs SiteGround” speed comparison.

I signed up and immediately had a problem with my account, which would not activate, and I had to contact them to get it activated manually.

I use “All in One WP Migration” plugin to move sites from one host to another, it works well and I have used it on multiple providers and sites. When I tried to use it on SiteGround , the file upload kept freezing and was not getting much further than 2-3% on each attempt.
When I contacted SiteGround support, they decided (as usual) it was a problem with the plugin and blatantly refused to help. I did advise them I have used this plugin many times with no issues, but they did not care. I told them that this would not bode well for my review of their service, they did not care about that either and simply said “that is my choice”.

So I deleted and reinstalled WordPress from scratch via their Cpanel to give it another go. This time around the default install was giving a bunch of PHP errors right from the outset, but I tried the migration anyway to see if it would fix the issue. Good news is that the “All in One WP Migration” plugin worked just fine this time.

Sadly this did not fix the PHP errors, and they remained, so I opened another ticket with SiteGround to see if they would actually provide any support this time. I waited a day, no response, so I logged in only to find no sign of the ticket I had submitted. So I tried again and opened the ticket a second time, this time I took a screenshot of the ticket prior to submitting and the subsequent confirmation page, just in case. Again my ticket vanished, with no response.
I then sent them a tweet complaining about my tickets vanishing and tried a 3rd time, fully expecting them to deny that any tickets had even been submitted.

 

Hosting Review: SiteGround 17

 

My third ticket did receive a reply, and as sure enough, as expected, they did completely deny that I had submitted any other tickets, even when I provided the screenshots as evidence. They also tried to blame the errors on my theme and plugins, despite the fact that the errors were there on the default install, before I had even uploaded my site or any themes or plugins.

So far, it is still a big #FAIL for SiteGround support.

Considering how consistently bad my experience has been with Siteground, the number of good reviews  is very surprising. I can only assume that the average, non technical customers simply believe all their excuses and lies or they have done a very good job of filtering out negative reviews.

I am going to keep this site hosted with them for a while and see if things improve, or until they screw up so badly that I have to move it. So I will be updating this review as and when required.

UPDATE : July 1st 2018

The way SiteGround have some of the features in their CPANEL configured is very bizarre and will be downright inconvenient for anyone hosting multiple clients. One of those is how they needlessly restrict FTP users.
With other hosts, you can create an FTP user using any domain in your account, so when you host multiple clients, their FTP login will be their own domain, E.G. [email protected]

 

Hosting Review: SiteGround 18

 

Siteground, however, restrict you to only being able to use your primary domain for all FTP users. The primary domain is the first one you setup when you created your account. So if the first website you setup was your own, probably not a big deal, as it will your own domain used for all logins.

But if the first website you setup was for a client, that clients domain name will now be used for every other client’s FTP user ([email protected]). No matter how many ways I tried to explain to them, they just didn’t get why it would be an issue.
Luckily in my case, I am not very likely to be giving out FTP access to my clients as I manage everything for them.

 

Hosting Review: SiteGround 19

 They also have a lot of features in cpanel which simply do not work or are disabled, so why have them there at all?

One of the most outrageous features I found was the manual backup, which they charge you $19.95 to use. I have never come across any other host that charges you to perform backups of your site.

On top of this, the cpanel account backup is disabled if you are using over 5GB of space. This means if you want to move to another provider, you cannot make use of the cpanel backup.

Update January 2019

It has now been 10 months that I have been using SiteGround, and while the performance and up time have been fine, sadly I still cannot say the support in any way lives up to its reputation. There have been a few instances where the support has been good, but it is very hit and miss. Sometimes I get helpful staff who know what they are doing,  fix problems and are polite, other times the responses are still unhelpful, ignorant and full of attitude.

On the plus side, I haven’t really noticed the annoying canned responses, so maybe they have stopped with that.

In a recent  incident, I opened a ticket as I have been having random issues on multiple sites for several weeks with http errors caused by timeouts when uploading images, even tiny 28k images. It will often take 10-20 attempts to get it to upload.

I received a typical unhelpful response from SiteGround support, they made one attempt to upload an image and because it uploaded successfully for them, they completely dismissed the fact I have been having this issue for weeks on multiple sites, and decided everything was fine, and closed the ticket.

I have also had several occasions where their letsEncrypt SSL has stopped working for unknown reasons or did not renew the SSL properly, thus breaking the site. All I get from is the same useless response.

It is unlikely for such issues to reoccur in the future, as everything is properly configured now. 

However, in case you encounter the same or similar issues, please post a new ticket via the User Area > Support tab, so we can investigate further and assist you. 

On one occasion they claimed the problem was not at their end and told me it was an issue with my site and that I would need to hire a developer to fix it and tried to refer me to codeable, who they obviously make comission from. This was of course compete nonsense and I solved the issue by deleting the existing ssl and creating a new one. I wonder how many other  customers they say this to, causing them to spend money on something they do not need.

When my hosting comes up for renewal, I have decided it is time to move on, currently I am testing out some other providers.

UPDATE: I have now moved all my hosting to GURU and so far am very happy, the support and service has been great so far, everything has been superior to SiteGround.

 

 

PROS

CONS

  • Fast and responsive Live Chat
  • Good WordPress features such as 1 click staging, GIT integration, automatic updates and SG caching
  • Performance of shared hosting is good when you have all the caching enabled.
  • Reasonably cheap (until renewal time comes, the the price triples)
  • Unreliable and untrustworthy advice
  • Cloud hosting completely unreliable
  • Too many canned responses
  • Poor troubleshooting skills
  • Completely uncaring & apathetic attitude of staff
  • Inability to take responsibility for their own mistakes
  • Annoying ticket system
  • Have to pay for backups
  • cpanel backup disabled after 5GB

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SiteGround vs Flywheel WordPress Hosting

SiteGround vs Flywheel WordPress Hosting

SiteGround vs Flywheel WordPress Hosting 20

Flywheel

I have had several websites hosted with  flywheel for over 1 year now, and I literally have no complaints about this provider. I have not had a single problem with the sites or the service or the support.

The only issue I ever had was that the speed was not as good as it should have been, and when I queried this I discovered that some performance settings were not enabled for some reason. So what I have learnt over this last year is that you do need to have some technical knowledge to ensure you are getting the best out of the service, as you need to know what tests to run and what questions to ask, even with a host as good as flywheel .

Because flywheel is a dedicated WordPress host, they do not have any hosting control panel since they do not do anything except WordPress. Therefore they provide a set of simple tools just for your WordPress site, such as setting up staging sites, enabling password access etc. To be frank, it is pretty idiot proof and is obviously aimed at non-technical folks.

They also do not support or allow anything other than WordPress. This can obviously be very annoying and inconvenient if you wanted to install another app on your domain, like WHMCS or PHPBB, instead, you have to get more hosting elsewhere and use a sub-domain.

You also have to get your email hosting elsewhere as well, but I suspect that if you are using flywheel then you probably want a more robust email solution as well, such as GSuite or office365. The bundled email that you get from hosting providers really is very basic and provides no business continuity.

Last year Flywheel acquired Pressmastic (now called LOCAL by Flywheel), which creates a local WordPress dev environment (using virtualbox) and syncs it with your live Flywheel sites. You can pull your live sites down to local and vice versa. This obviously makes it very simple to maintain a separate dev and live environment.

PROS

  • Excellent support and customer service
  • Excellent speed with no plugins or configuration required.
  • Advanced security using Sucuri
  • Everything just works
  • You can easily generate a staging site from your live site, although you only get this on the $28 and above plans.
  • You can get a 1 click backup of your entire site (minus core files), which will send you an email with a link once it is complete.
  • You can setup free staging sites for your clients for 1 month.
  • You can change your primary domain, and your entire site and all links and references get automatically updated.
  • Ability to assign collaborators. So if you are the website owner, you can temporarily give access to designers and developers to work on your site or staging site.
  • LOCAL by Flywheel

 CONS

  •  You cannot host anything other than WordPress.
  • No 24/7 support. Although you can escalate tickets and get someone out of bed.
    They now have 24/7 support and are aprt of wpengine
  • Price.
    As with all the dedicated WordPress hosts, it seems quite expensive with limiting quotas on bandwidth and disk space. Plus you have the added cost of needing to get your email hosted elsewhere too.
  • You can only use multisite on the personal plan or above and it costs an extra $10

SiteGround

I have prior experience with Siteground and it was not a pleasant one. They screwed everything up to the point where I would probably have lost all my clients had I actually transferred everything over to their servers.

As I continue to see articles everywhere praising SiteGround and how great they are, I thought I would give them another try. Everyone deserves a 2nd chance and maybe I just had some very bad luck last time.

SiteGround are a generic host and are considerably cheaper than the likes of Flywheel or WPengine, and run cpanel like every other host. They do however optimise their servers for WordPress and also have a few custom features available in their control panel, such as git controls, staging sites, site move, domain name change, which you do not get with other hosts at this price range, so I really want them to not screw up this time as I want to like them.

So I signed up with SiteGround for a GrowBig account and kept my fingers crossed, but had an immediate issue.
I was not able to access my account, it seemed to be stuck in some perpetual setup mode, telling me I could not set it up or manage it because my domain already existed. So I left it a few hours to see if it would complete, but alas the issue was still there. So I had to contact support even just to get my account activated. Not a good start so far.

They also still have that incredibly irritating support ticketing system where they do not actually send you a reply, they just send you a notification that they have replied, and you have to log in to your account to view it. This is so incredibly annoying, inconvenient and time-consuming and I hate it when companies do this.

If you are out and about on your phone, then it means you cannot read the reply until you are back in front of a real pc, at least not without a lot of hassle.  As a result. this type of system also encourages the use of weak passwords, as customers will resort to using a password that is easy to type and remember so that they can login via their phones to read tickets.

Once activated, I setup my spare domain and replicated the site over.
I performed multiple gtmetrix tests on the site with various caching and performance enhancements enabled, and compared them to flywheel. The results of these tests are below.

Obviously, I cannot give any opinion on long-term performance, reliability and support yet, but I do plan to transfer at least one site over to them for a long-term test and will update this article accordingly in a few months. I have so far had a site running for a couple of weeks without any issues.

 

PROS

  • Price.
    Considering the performance is better than any other host I have tried, they are pretty good value for money.
  • Supercacher
    Their own in-house caching system, which clearly makes a big difference based on my tests.
  • 1 click staging
    As with flywheel, a simple solution to setup a staging site for testing. Although it is only available on the most expensive plan, which at £7.95 is still less than 1/2 the cost of flywheel.
  • Can use Multisite on any plan
  • SG-Git – Create a git repository from your site, very handy if you are getting custom work done.
  • Auto Updates
    Every decent managed WordPress host will auto update your WordPress core. Even though this option is built right into WordPress itself these days.
    SiteGround also has the option to auto-update your plugins as well. I haven’t seen this option anywhere else.
  • Being a traditional host, you can host more than just WordPress.
  • Multiple sites/domains allowed on same plan.

CONS

  •  The endless stream of rehearsed and ostensibly polite canned responses for me just comes across as very apathetic and disingenuous. They also have that typical problem with not reading communications properly before replying and have a tendency to be condescending and give completely wrong advice.
  • Potentially low resources
    This 1 simple site caused my inode usage to go up to 20%. So despite the fact that you can host unlimited websites, in reality, I don’t think you could host many before you have consumed your inode quota.
  • An irritating and time wasting ticketing system
  • Cheap pricing is promotional and is only for first year. After this it quadruples and is not such a good deal anymore.
SiteGround vs Flywheel WordPress Hosting 21

For the purpose of this test, I used the site zenmsp.uk, which is the most resource intensive theme (the Fox) and is the slowest loading of all my sites and took the most tweaking to get it to load quickly. This site takes 6-10 seconds to fully load on a regular server/host.

As you can see from the results, on pure performance alone, SiteGround does actually manage to win the challenge by a hair and beats flywheel by shaving about 0.4 seconds off the loading time.
Bear in mind though that with flywheel everything is out of the box and done by them automatically on the server, and doesn’t require any plugins or any other caching or performance tricks.

In the case of SiteGround I did have to manually enable all their caching features, install a special SG plugin and enable their supercacher options, and the fact that you have to do this in order for the caching to work was not clearly documented.

Still I must say I was quite surprised by the results, considering that Flywheel is a dedicated WordPress host and SiteGround is generic host who will have many hundreds of customers per server, I was not expecting them to win.

When enabling CloudFlare via the SiteGround  console, it only redirects the www subdomain through Cloudflare and not the primary domain due to the way they integrate with cloudflare. I also noticed, as you can see in the results, that the speed was actually slower with Cloudflare enabled, the same is true with flywheel as well. So obviously CloudFlare cannot improve on the caching provided by the hosts.

If the price is your deciding factor, or keeping everything in one place (multiple sites, domain names, email etc) then SiteGround wins hands down.

If customer service/support & reliability is more important, and you have the budget to pay for it, then flywheel wins, as the performance difference is negligible enough not to be noticeable based on these tests.

GT Metrix Reports

No other changes or tweaking has been made to the site other than to enable the available speed/caching features. So we are literally only looking at overall performance achieved by the caching/options provided by the host.

Since Cloudflare did not offer any improvements, there is not really and file minimising applied to this site.  For the record, I have tried W3TC and other plugins, but this theme tends to break when CSS and JS files are minimised or combined.

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Hosting Review: SiteGround

WordPress Hosting Reviews

WordPress Hosting Reviews 22

 

For websites and clients that need the best possible speed and performance for WordPress and are prepared to pay extra for it, I tend use FlyWheel, who are up there with the best of the best when it comes to WordPress hosting.  But for those small, simple, low traffic sites this can be a bit pricey, so I have been on the hunt for another hosting provider that had decent performance for WordPress without costing an arm and a leg.

I was originally running my  WordPress multisite installation on my Windows server hosted with Hostek, and while I generally got  pretty decent performance and gtmetrix scores, I knew  it could be better due to the fact that PHP and WordPress do not run as well on Windows, and need the likes of Litespeed on Linux to get the best performance.

Here I will be posting my results with the various hosting providers I have tried. Bear in mind that I have played dumb for the most part in order to test out their skills, support and knowledge, I have not told them I am an ex-hosting provider or have 30 years IT experience

One thing to note, which I have found to be true of every single host I have tried who claims “Managed WordPress”, it is nothing of the sort. At best all they do is set WordPress to auto-update, which is a feature now built into WordPress anyway, and if you are lucky also have some intrusion detection with some WordPress specific rules. The likes of WPEngine and FlyWheel do provide more features and security, but I would still not really call it managed.

Proper managed WordPress, is the service I provide, where your entire website is managed and maintained, plugins, themes, security, backups and monitoring.

 

WordPress Hosting Reviews 23

 

I used to have my own site hosted with GoDaddy back in 2016 when I was first converted from CFML to WordPress, and while it was OK, the performance, in general, was no better than my Windows server, and often worse. I also had various recurring issues with not being able to upload files via the WordPress admin or via FTP. I can only assume that this was due to GoDaddy’s intrusion detection being overzealous and blocking legitimate activity.

 

This then brings me to the other major issue, GoDaddy support. Whatever problem I had, they would always default to the conclusion that the problem was at my end, and getting them to even look into a problem was a painful process, and getting them to accept the issue was at their end even harder still. Getting through to support was time-consuming. They got rid of ticket support and switched to phone only support, which meant sitting on the phone for ages in a queue, and some things are impossible to do over the phone, such as provide long complex URLs, or screenshots of your issue. They did eventually introduce live chat, and brought back ticket support for Pro members, but It was quite normal to have to chase them and wait days or even weeks for a response.

 

I wouldn’t exactly say that GoDaddy is cheap compared to a lot of other hosts who offer the same, and for what you get it just doesn’t seem like good value for money.  Their so-called Managed WordPress hosting really isn’t anything of the sort. As with all the other hosts who claim to offer “managed WordPress”, all they actually do is automatically update the WordPress core and nothing else, the WordPress knowledge and support seemed very limited.

 

Those issues aside, there are some good things with the GoDaddy system. They have a very neat Pro member system which allows existing GoDaddy client to assign control of their hosting and domain names over to you for management. As far as registering and managing domain names goes, I cannot really fault them, all that side of things seems to work fine.

 

Overall I would only recommend GoDaddy for very basic sites, with low resource usage, where performance and speed is not critical. If you have a resource heavy these that needs serious caching and speed enhancements to make it load quickly, then GoDaddy is not for you.

 

 

 

PROS

CONS

  • Simple Interface for  WordPress hosting, good for non-technical folks
  • GD Integration with WordPress is nice
  • GoDaddy now own and integrate with ManageWP
  • GoDaddy Pro account is useful for managing clients
  • Performance is fine for very basic sites
  • Uptime was good
  • Slow & Unresponsive Support
  • No way to access support tickets
  • Poor Troubleshooting skills
  • Intermittent http/ftp issues
  • Oblivious to own Firewall rules & policies

 

 

HostMedia

 

hostmedia.co.uk

 

HostMedia are one of those El-cheapo, seems too good to be true hosts with hosting that costs only £1. They are quite well known in my old ColdFusion/Lucee circles, and I already had an account with them that I had used to test out their Lucee hosting a while, so I thought I would give them a try with WordPress.
Sadly my experience with this company to date has been less than brilliant. Nothing really worked properly from the outset, and I always had to open tickets right from the get-go to get anything working.

 

What should have been a simple 5 minute job of resetting a password, turned into a 2 day fiasco of wrong passwords being reset locking me out of my account.
Issues with the control panel not working as expected to whitelist IP’s, not being able to remotely access databases and having to explain to support staff how tcp/ip and telnet work and that if you cannot connect via telnet then any amount of password resets are not going to help. Even worse when they do not know the issue is actually caused by one of their own standard operating procedures.

 

Almost every time I used live chat I was asked to open a ticket, so that seems pretty pointless.

 

A lot of companies, especially hosts these days outsource their support to India, especially the cheap ones, as it is the only way they can afford to have a 24/7 helpdesk. Which is fair enough, I have done the same thing myself, but the key when doing this is ongoing performance reviews and quality control, which is clearly where HostMedia needs to invest some time based on my experiences.

 

I can certainly see that that for a non-technical customer who is not able to diagnose issues themselves or understand when they are being given wrong advice, simple problems could drag on for days while you get sent on a wild goose case and end up having to pay someone else (like me) to fix the problems for you.

 

I did finally manage to get a copy of my site running, and upon testing the performance, it was intermittent. Sometimes it was better than my Windows server, sometimes it was worse. Again their so-called “Fully Managed WordPress Hosting” was nothing of the sort, there was very little WordPress knowledge and not a lot of support and nothing being managed.

 

I gave up after 1 week.

 

I would put HostMedia up there with 1&1 Internet. they are cheap as chips, and you get what you pay for. Ideal for folks that only have a token website, but really do not care about their website uptime or support, and just want it as cheap as possible.

 

 

 

PROS

CONS

  • CHEAP
  • Support is quite fast and responsive at least
  • Pointless Live Chat support
  • Sub-par email support
  • Too many things broken by default
  • Intermittent performance and reliability

 

WordPress Hosting Reviews 24

My SiteGround review turned out to be far more indepth, so I have turned it into a separate post HERE.

 

Krystal

 

krystal.co.uk

 

I had high hopes with Krystal as they have very good reviews and I have seen several recommendations in forums I use, but sadly things did not go too well.

 

I signed up for their AMETHYST plan, which should have been sufficient as this is more resources than my site currently uses.

 

When I tried to setup a WordPress site, there was no option to have a temporary URL for testing prior to migrating DNS. The only option is to use your hosts file for local testing, but  their installer is not able to setup WordPress if your domain name is not already pointing at their server. So the only way to install WordPress is manually via FTP.

 

I noticed they offered free migration, so I thought I would test out their migration skills and get them to migrate my site for me. They failed miserably at this and all they managed to do was to setup a default WordPress install, the rest I had to do myself.

 

As far as the performance goes,  things did improve on that front. On testing my site with GTMetrix I was getting slightly better performance even without using Cloudflare. By tweaking the settings and enabling Cloudflare I managed to increase the score a few percentages and also shave 3 seconds off the load time.

 

 

Sadly this is where the benefits stopped. I had nothing but problems on the WordPress backend with Divi builder timeouts and 503 errors. So rather than diagnose it myself, I decided to test out Krystal’s troubleshooting skills. Krystal support told me it was because resources were maxed out and I needed to upgrade to a plan with more resources and that this was a common problem with DIVI. Now I know this is not true since DIVI runs quite happily on 128MB, and I have been running with a max setting of 256MB for the last year with no problems, on multiple DIVI sites. The AMETHYST plan has 384MB, so should be more than enough.

I did, however, go through the motions, and upgraded to the Topaz plan which gives 768MB RAM. But surprise surprise, it made no difference, and I still had the same problems.

This was not the end and Krystal continued to try and push me down the upgrade path, telling me that my site still needed more resources. I suspected they would have pushed this until I had my own dedicated server, so I decided to quit while I was ahead.

WordPress Hosting Reviews 25I checked the resource usage stats, which clearly showed my site was not maxing out at all.

I then did my own troubleshooting and found the cause of the problem, it was, in fact, the minify setting in W3TC, which was causing problems on this server for some reason. Disabling this got rid of the 503 errors and timeouts.

PROS

CONS

  • Responsive support
  • Better than average server performance
  • 60 days money back guarantee
  • Poor migration skills
  • No temp URL for testing
  • WordPress installer did not work
  • No PHP.ini editor
  • Poor Troubleshooting skills
  • Pushy upgrade tactics
  • Quite lowly resource limits

 

 

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