As I noted in my last post, I’ve been mucking around with various themes, settings and other changes, trying to figure out why my blog response times were so slow, and why I was experiencing so much downtime. I am now convinced that the real problem was due to my (now former) webhosting service ixwebhosting.com, but I had to switch providers to prove it. IX is known for being one of the cheapest hosting services out there, but they are also evidence that you get what you pay for.
My Alexa ranking has been in free fall for several months, and according to them this blog has become “very slow” over the last few months and that 87% of all websites are now faster. “Note: Slow sites may be penalized by search engines,” according to Alexa.
Pingdom, a site that tracks downtime and response times for websites, reported an average load time of 4.3 seconds the past month, up to nearly 7 seconds, an eternity for a small blog like this. This blog’s uptime for the last week was only 92.8%, in an industry that usually brags 99.99% uptime.
Another website performance evaluation site, WebPagetest pegged typical total load times of 6 to 8 seconds, with some tests taking more than 25 seconds to load this blog during the last several days.
The response from ixwebhosting was evasive and unhelpful. “I just don’t have any empirical data here that shows your server could go down so frequently,” wrote Mike Nichols, my “Personal Support Hero” at IX.
As of this morning resistance is fruitful is sitting on a server at a new hosting service, InMotion webhosting. There were a couple of hiccups getting an account set up, but their technical support was always available, and I never had to wait. It’s too soon to have much data to crunch, but WebPagetest is reporting total load times of 1 to 1.5 seconds!
So long ixwebhosting. I regret renewing with you after that last horrendous outage a few months ago. You gave me your word that you were going to improve service and you gave me a “deal” for a two year contract. I hate being a sucker and hope InMotion can maintain the standards and reputation they’ve earned so far.