• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
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Proven Ways To Migrate Your Hosting And Avoid Being Ripped Off

Proven Ways To Migrate Your Hosting And Avoid Being Ripped Off

I’m not one to hold grudges, but I’ve never been someone that puts up with nonsense either. Recently my previous website host Bluehost really got under my skin. It got me thinking how many other people must be in a similar situation. Bluehost was trying to leverage their position in my opinion, and clearly they did not value me as a customer. In a nutshell they tried to rip me off. I’m going to share a few things about my experience in hopes it benefits other folks out there on a similar boat. I lowered my website hosting costs by 1000%. Yes, you ready that correctly….1000%. You can too. I’m going to share with you all a proven way to migrate your website and avoid being ripped off.

The Country Executive

Bluehost Hosting Business Practices

I understand capitalism and take no issue with it. At the end of the day I believe Bluehost is banking on the trepidation of migrating a website to another provider as a means to elevate costs on the customer. They provide a service, the price is what the price is. Either we choose to accept it or we don’t. I chose not.

Upon receiving the annual renewal notification for countryexec.com, I was floored by the cost. $542.85 for the year plus an additional $168.35 for email. That totals $711.20. In fairness I am removing the email costs from my assessment as I did not move that service to my new web host provider Hostinger. That said I did save about 50% for the exact same email licensing direct from the provider, yet another example of an egregious markup by Bluehost.

I used the online chat feature two separate times a couple of weeks prior to migrating my hosting in an attempt to lower my costs with Bluehost. I was on the Bluehost Choice Plus hosting plan and it was way more than I needed. They offered to lower my cost a little, I don’t recall exactly how much but it was barely anything at all.

Bluehost Integrity

Prior to chatting with Bluehost I did my homework. If you Google search “downgrade Bluehost plan,” results come back with links for how to upgrade or downgrade your hosting plan. I clicked on what appears to be a Bluehost sponsored page that very clearly says to upgrade or downgrade switch to manual renewal, then click the upgrade button and available options will be listed.

I was set to auto renew so I swapped the toggle to manual renewal and had to wait or day or so to log back in and have access to options. Probably another tactic by Bluehost to delay, but it didn’t deter my trek to avoid being ripped off. Once I was able to click on the “upgrade link” as described in the directions, there was no option to downgrade. Of course I could upgrade, but the option to right size my hosting plan to meet the needs of my website and lower my costs was nowhere to be found.

It was then I reached out to chat with support. The employees were nice enough, albeit not helpful. I shared my desire to downgrade my hosting plan and was told that was not an option. On Bluehost’s sponsored content delivery network (CDN), it clearly states this can be done. Even after sharing screenshots and the link showing that it was an option, I was told repeatedly that it couldn’t.

The Country Executive

Bluehost Integrity In Question

Realizing I wasn’t going to get anywhere sharing information published by Bluehost, I informed the representative that they would lose me as a customer if options weren’t provided. They offered me a small discount on my current renewal, it was so miniscule I dismissed it immediately.

I was told I could purchase a new lowered tier hosting plan and migrate my website that way. The rep was informed that option was not feasible because if I were to migrate my website then I may as well migrate it to a new provider and take advantage of the substantial new customer discounts offered. We were at a stalemate, so I ended the first chat session.

A week passed and not wanting to deal with the hassle of migrating countryexec.com I decided to contact Bluehost representatives one more time through their chat feature. Essentially the same conversation with the same results. I told them again they were going to lose me as a customer to no avail.

To be clear both reps I dealt with were professional, the first rep was a little more kind and tried to help. The second rep, while not unkind, was direct and did not appear interested in finding a solution that worked for both parties. I was annoyed at this point, but not mad. Trying to take the path of least resistance failed. Once again if I wanted change, it was time to take ownership of the situation.

Moving On From Bluehost Hosting

Often you’ll hear me say things like “it’s just business,” and that’s what I chalk up this experience too. Could Bluehost be a better partner? Yes, absolutely. Are they required to be? No, certainly not. Bluehost made a mistake though. That innate desire I have to operate with integrity and help the greater good through knowledge ascertained is strong in me. I have always said if my little Covid inspired website can help one person then all the time, effort, and money I put into it was worth it.

To date there has never once been an ad on my website. I make zero revenue. From my first post April 1st, 2020, I stated this website was to help elevate others belief in themselves and I wanted to learn how to build a website. That was it. It was never a money making venture, although I was always open to some aspect of spinning up revenue if the opportunity presented itself.

Oddly enough, through Bluehost’s poor business practices my first revenue opportunity has arrived….sort of. I chose to move my website to Hostinger, and was so enamored with the simplicity and price I grabbed a referral link for others looking to move away from their greedy hosting providers. So yes, if you are currently on the same boat I was and disgruntled by rising renewal costs and/or a general lack of integrity by your current provider consider giving Hostinger a look.

The Country Executive

Why Hostinger?

A quick Google search revealed Bluehost is owned by Endurance International Group out of Jacksonville, Fl. Endurance International also owns several other hosting providers to include HostGator. Wanting to steer clear of any company that advocates such poor business practices I found Hostinger and was intrigued.

Part of the reason my renewal costs were so high with Bluehost was because I had a few services added on at an additional cost. As a nearly thirty year IT executive cybersecurity is near and dear to my heart, even when it came to my previously no revenue generating website that by far was a labor a love only.

Many of those same cybersecurity services were baked into Hostinger through their business plan at a whopping $3.99 a month (currently with two months free), and $8.99 a month after that. For comparison Bluehost also offers $3.99 month the first three years, then it shoots up to $13.99 a month. Don’t forget the add-ons though.

Bluehost charges $15 a year for domain privacy and protection. Sitelock Essentials is $95.88 a year. SEO Tools Start is $71.40. CodeGuard Basic is $47.88. And of course Choice Plus hosting is now $263.88 a year now. I’m no math whiz, but a quick check on the calculator says that’s $21.99 a month. Thanks Bluehost, your greed forced me to seek greener pastures.

Hostinger Migration

Upon refusing to stop the nonsense and migrate my hosting I signed up for Hostinger. Signing up was of course easy, and wanting to take advantage of the new customer price I signed on for a four year term at $204.17. Break that down to one year and it’s $51 as compared to Bluehost’s one year cost of $542.85. I lowered my hosting costs by 1000%, which obviously is ridiculous.

Upon signing up Hostinger led me through the migration process through a short, stepped series of prompts. I’m a longtime IT guy, but keep in mind I’m not a software guy. My background is infrastructure, not applications. That said Hostinger led me through the prompts and it was super easy. They said it would take up to 48 hours to complete the migration, but less than ten hours later I received an email saying the migration was complete.

From there I had to go in and connect my domain to Hostinger which again was super easy. My email was still tied to Bluehost so I had to play with that a little, broke the connection for an hour or so, but I migrated that to the email provider to avoid the >50% markup by Bluehost for that service.

The Country Executive

Migrate Your Website Hosting

In the interest of full disclosure at the time I’m writing this it’s only been a week and I’m not certain I’m out of the weeds yet. I’m no genius when it comes to these things. While my hosting is 100% migrated until I cut ties with Bluehost I won’t know countryexec.com is in the clear. I think I’m good to go, but I’m figuring aspects out as I go so time will ultimately decide.

My initial thoughts on Hostinger are if you’re considering making a hosting provider change do it. I’ve ran a fair share of website speed tests and my site is definitively faster both in speed and eye tests. Without question it is loading up quicker on my desktop and my phone. Seemingly most, if not all of those extra cybersecurity and backup bells and whistles I was paying additional for through Bluehost are baked into the Hostinger Business Plan.

This Sums Up Bluehost

Bluehost isn’t bad, just greedy and shortsighted in their approach. I am extremely disappointed I cannot delete my account, and at minimum remove my payment info from a site I am no longer affiliated with. That’s just poor business practices to me. Once the hosting and domain transfer was completed I logged back in a few weeks later and used the chat feature to ask them to delete everything. I was told it will auto delete in 30-60 days. One last ridiculous policy for their customers. Thanks Bluehost.

Let’s do a quick fact check if you’re keeping score at home. Bluehost refused to downgrade my hosting despite providing proof from a sponsored site they did this. Ok. Offered an insulting discount on current services. Nickel and dimed me for everything. Delayed my turning off auto renewals. Provided no option to downgrade hosting. Tried to block my domain transfer forcing me to renew the domain through them. I think that was more my fault for not starting the process sooner, but still. It’s MY website, not theirs. No option to delete payment card, and according to chat feature Bluehost employees cannot delete this info either. Sounds like BS to me, but ok.

You cannot log into Bluehost without being hit with an advertisement for another add on. Sell sell sell. There’s a mark up for everything. Hosted email is more than 50% higher than purchasing direct from the provider. Added hurdles to do anything. Misleading information online. Long story short, I’m glad to be done with Bluehost. I never mind paying for services rendered, but Bluehost was trying to gouge me. All you folks out there utilizing the service I recommend you take a hard look at what you’re paying for.

The Country Executive

Conclusion

Beyond the enormous cost savings, performance benefits, and baked in additional services, there’s one more thing. Integrity. I deal with a lot of tech companies, and when I say a lot I mean A LOT. Approximately four hundred since 2018 in my role as CIO if you can believe that. Out of those four hundred I would only recommend a handful based on relationships, communication, ownership of responsibilities, etcetera.

Rarely are my problems with a tech vendor rooted in the tech itself. I’ve never been a fan of allowing someone to dictate your circumstance in life. My website ran fine on Bluehost for four years, but the price of continuing our partnership was to great to warrant continuing the relationship. Plain and simple. When you decide to take ownership of a situation good things can happen. In this case I lowered my costs for a side project I care about by more than $500 a year.

Perhaps my case is an extreme one, I don’t know, but imagine what your future holds when you decide to take action on something you see fundamentally wrong. Maybe there’s a quick resolution with a happy ending such as this, or maybe it’s the long game and it takes years to attain that goal. Life is so much sweeter when we achieve these personal milestones. I say we should all go for it! Until next time thank you for reading, and please take care of yourself and the ones you love.

The Country Executive

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