Since the mid 00’s, I have had three web hosting providers for my collection of WordPress based sites. When you think about it, that is a pretty good track record for all those years.

So when I had to make a decision to change hosts in the middle of this week – it is not something I do too often.

The last time I had to change hosts, I seem to recall it taking a few days to migrate the site files, databases, and other data to the new host. In addition to that process, all of my domains had to be transferred because they were at that former hosting companies associated registrar.

When this occurred about six years ago that was a fairly quick transfer in those days. However, this week as I had to make that rare decision to abandon my old host, I found out that those migrations are much faster these days.

So after more than four days with no access to my sites despite my attempts to gain some control to address the webhosts concerns and thus the sites suspension, I made the decision to move my hosting to Skystra.

Why Skystra?

Social media – specifically Twitter.

After more than four days talking to whom was my current host at that time, I decided to post about my situation on Twitter. That generated a little discussion and did eventual end up with that host asking me to DM details about the situation to move things forward. I of course did that but it would still be nearly 24 hours before I would hear back from then and get access for my own local IP to enable me to work on the sites.

Thing is – the need had ended about 16 hours or so earlier on the previous day.

After posting to Twitter with generic details about the situation, Skystra popped up in my mentions and not only offered the first month on their service at no charge, but also said they would buy-out the remainder of my contract with the now old host. We spent about 45 minutes in a private conversation on Twitter so I could review their services and ask some questions.

After that I was ready and willing to make the leap because they seem to be pretty well organized and had some solid service offerings. So I went online, registered for the service with their special code to get that first month free and we were off to the races.

I was contacted by their migration team within about 15 minutes and provided the credentials they needed to access the server hosting my files on the old host. They then started the migration and I jumped in and unlocked my domains to transfer them to Skystra as well. The migration was done a few hours later and just a few more hours after that all of the domains were active and in Skystra’s registrar system. Although DNS was still propagating, the sites were back up and running shortly after the migration was complete.

All told it took roughly six hours. Blazing fast compared to my last host migration experience in 2013.

Since then I have been getting organized on the new host. They offer a control system that can be as simple or detailed as your want between their Nova and CPanel dashboards. In addition, they offer LiteSpeed caching and image optimization as part of their hosting services. I expect it will take me a couple of weeks to get everything tweaked in but speed tests on my two main sites already show huge speed improvements compared to my old host.

Oh by the way, Skystra will ramp up resources for my sites when a temporary traffic increase causes things to spike. It was that very situation that caused my old host to shut down my sites for nearly five days.

I will be exploring and continuing to optimize my sites to perform well on the new service by taking advantage of all they have to offer.

Suffice it to say that I am pretty happy with the new home of WindowsObserver and the WindowsObserver WiKi on the Internet.

Most definitely more to follow and a lot to keep an eye on!

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