A few weeks ago my hosting provider, BlueHost, upgraded their servers. In doing so, they also removed the options of using PHP4 and went to PHP5 exclusively. Several angry phone calls to them later resulted in yielding no meaningful resolution. Many of my sites work fine on PHP5, however I had one legacy site from a rather large customer still on an old version of Drupal.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had trouble with BlueHost. They had upgraded their rails installation twice, also without any prior notice, breaking several of my production websites. I’ve read other horror stories concerning BluHhost, including one from my favorite webcomic, but in the several years I had been with them I didn’t have any major issues. It is only this past year that they preformed lots of random upgrades without telling anyone.
When I asked why they hadn’t sent out any notices, the manager on their support line told me they had sent out a notice a year ago that PHP4 would be phased out. I asked repeatedly why they hadn’t sent out a recent notice within the past month or week? He felt as if the notice a year previous had been enough. I checked my e-mail and sure enough, the very last message I ever received from BlueHost was dated November 29, 2007.
The past three week has been spent moving to a much faster and more reliable web hosting solution. I’ve migrated several old legacy applications that were originally managed by Drupal and Ruby on Rails into WordPress. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Rails so far and with my new host charging extra for Rails, I decided I’m better off migrating those sites to WordPress. I’ve been impressed with WordPress and all its functionality and plug-ins. I’ve come to realize I’d rather spend more time doing what I want to do rather than trying to figure out how to do it.
The last time I had to move web hosts was from DarkFiles. They gave their customers plenty of notice when they decided to get out of the web hosting industry. At the time I was in school and had more time to work on the transition (and fewer sites). This transition has helped me deal with a lot of things that needed to be upgraded and changed. In ways I am glad, but the timing couldn’t have been worse. Moving forward, I would highly suggest to anyone using BlueHost to migrate their web hosting provider soon. BlueHost’s service has been absolutely horrible and is only suitable for the smallest and least relevant website. Their hosting may be cheap, but you do get what you pay for.