Bryan Paul Sullo

Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

The 2 Best Pieces of Blogging Advice No One Ever Gave Me

In Writing on 20 November 2013 at 10:28 am

I’ve been blogging for a few years, on and off. Mostly, off, due to some bad advice I listened to early on.

Almost everyone who talks about blogging talks about it at the professional level. They’re concerned with SEO, and landing pages, and conversions. When you’re just starting out, though, none of this matters. What really matters is getting words on the screen. With that in mind, here are the two best pieces of blogging advice no one ever gave me: Read the rest of this entry »

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I’m Back

In Uncategorized on 15 November 2013 at 2:03 pm

I’m back to blogging at wordpress.com. “Why?” you may well ask. In fact, you did ask it well, so I’ll tell you:

In July of this year (2013), Carrie and I had twins. This, understandably, curtailed my blogging (and just about every other) activity for a few months. A couple of days ago, I decided to upload a new post to my blog at bryanpaulsullo.com. When I went there, however, I found the site was gone!

The site, hosted with HostMonster, was not just broken, it was gone. All the files were missing. It was as though the site had been wiped out and reset.  I know the site was there less than a month prior, as someone mentioned to me that they had seen it. I hadn’t touched it since. Whatever happened was a problem with HostMonster

I got on a chat session with HostMonster tech support and was told that there was nothing they could do. None of their backups contained my files. I demanded a full refund, to which I was told I’d have to speak with the billing department. Calling the billing department, I explained the situation. The lady there told me she didn’t have the authority to issue a full refund, and that I would have to speak with the cancellation department for that. The lady at the cancellation department (predictably) told me that she didn’t have the authority to issue a full refund, and that I would have to speak with the billing department for that.

HostMonster is owned by Endurance International Group, out of Provo, Utah. Along with HostMonster, EIG also does business as BlueHost, HostGator, FastDomain, and JustHost. (Edit: A more complete list of EIG brands can be found here.) Each of these “companies” provide the same services, using the same infrastructure, but are marketed as competitors. (Pretty shady, huh?) Additionally, EIG companies market their hosting plans as having a monthly cost. When you go to sign up, however, you’ll find there is no way to pay by the month. You have to pay for a full year, up front. (False advertising?) Finally, as I discovered, the customer service is structured in such a way that the customer cannot contact anyone who can make a decision outside the rigid rules that are set up to protect EIG. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

If this had been the first time, I might have chalked it up to a learning experience, but they have lost my data before, without a backup. It was a different site that I ran for a while, and when I called, asking for a restore, they said they had no working backup. “It’s a courtesy backup,” the tech said, as if that eliminated their responsibility. He didn’t seem to understand that a backup that doesn’t work isn’t particularly courteous. On a third site that I had for a few months, I had trouble with performance. They claimed it was the WordPress installation, and that this was my responsibility because, “you installed it.” I mentioned that they supplied WordPress with a one-click install, and that I did not, in my reckoning of the term, install it.

After getting the run-around from billing and cancellation this time, I decided to just go ahead and cancel, and eat the cost of the hosting that I’d already paid. Their policy is that cancellations are pro-rated based on how much time you have left in your contract. I had two months left, so I expected to receive somewhere around $12 as a refund. Well, to add insult to injury, I received 10¢. That’s right, a dime. I don’t know why, and I’m not asking. During my phone call, I promised to tell everyone I know about their poor service. This is part of that promise. I also promised to switch my business hosting account, and to recommend to my clients never to use any of EIG’s front-companies again.

It’s sad that I’m re-starting this blog on such a sour note. Eventually, I’ll find better hosting for bryanpaulsullo.com, but it’s not high on the priority list right now. At the moment, I’d rather concentrate on my new family.