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Problems with SiteGround

I recently ditched all but one of my dedicated servers and decided to switch to shared hosting for all my PHP / WordPress sites. First I tried TMDHosting, had a serious issue, cancelled that, and then switched to SiteGround. I prepaid for 2 years. Might have been a big mistake.

Site disappeared

First, an entire site disappeared from their server. I had a copy in an old backup, but otherwise the site files and database had disappeared. Their support had nothing useful to say, and suggested it had to be my mistake. Possible, but highly unlikely that I accidentally deleted both the files and the database.

Sites offline

Yesterday I had an issue with permissions. There were 4 .well-known folders in my sites directory that were owned by root. I noticed because the letsencrypt installer didn’t work. Created a ticket, they fixed permissions on 1 of the 4 directories I had listed. I updated the ticket. They replied saying they’d fixed all 4. Many of my sites went down. 403 error.

Solution

I’m travelling in Seville. I was out. I turned around and went back to the apartment, jumped on live chat. They told me that somebody would reply to my ticket within 20 minutes and there was nothing else they could do. I logged in, checked permissions, found one site that worked, and fixed the problem.

Turns out that on several of my htdocs folders, the “other” r-x permissions had been removed. Evidently nginx was unable to access my sites. Today I see a reply to the ticket saying that they didn’t change anything, and they’re glad my sites work again. WTF?

What do I do now?

Two serious failures. The second caused real downtime, albeit a few minutes because I fixed it myself. Any recommendations on a good shared hosting provider? What do I do about my 2 year prepayment?

Comments

gastroenteritis at 2017-04-23 23:44:53

feel your pain, no suggestions at moment

Mikael at 2017-04-24 08:50:27

This: https://www.gandi.net/

Callum at 2017-04-24 11:51:14

Looks interesting. Doesn't look like it supports letsencrypt which was one of my requirements. But otherwise it's a pretty nice offer, one to keep in mind when they launch letsencrtyp support.

Mikael at 2017-04-24 11:55:37

They do, they're even one of the LetsEncrypt sponsors. :-) https://wiki.gandi.net/en/tutorials/letsencrypt They're a registered CA as well and give free SSL when buying domains trough them, which is nice if you're setting up something simple for a client.

Callum at 2017-04-24 12:35:35

OK, nice. With the other hosting providers it's usually integrated into the control panel, so it's a click and forget solution. The gandi offer looks like it's more of a semi-managed VPS type product, which might actually suit me better. Will look into it more, thanks. Still need to decide what to do about the 2 year investment in SiteGround. :-(

Mikael at 2017-04-24 14:35:18

This might work; https://www.siteground.com/kb/do_i_get_a_get_a_refund/

Alex at 2017-05-15 19:00:16

What do you need other than a VPS? Is performance a requirement? What about disk space requirements? Recently I did the same, and replaced a virtualized farm clustered on dedicated servers, to a bunch of cloud VPS instances at OVH. At £3/mth for the basic ones, they're more than enough for 99% of the sites and services I host.

Callum at 2017-05-15 19:02:24

Yeah, I'm looking at exactly that, OVH VPS. For £10 it'll handle all my sites. Same cost as SiteGround, but I need to do all the maintenance myself. At least that way I can expect things to actually work.

Jimmy at 2017-05-23 10:06:35

I have a dedicated server with https://www.kimsufi.com/uk/servers.xml and a few VPSs with OVH and I would recommend the dedicated any day. You could also have a look at https://servdiscount.com/ and https://www.online.net

Callum at 2017-05-23 13:01:02

Oh yeah, kimsufi, I had forgotten the name of the cheapest option from OVH, I could only find soyoustart. I guess I'll go to an OVH VPS, I have one now and it works OK. The kimsufi servers mostly don't have SSDs and I don't need that much capacity. Thanks for the links.

Tano at 2017-05-28 11:21:11

Hi. Just landed here because worfence sent me an alert to a changed file. I'm experimenting with the Google Cloud Console. And I think is the best option after using othe cloud servers. They're giving you 300 USD to use the firs year. Then, the most cheap LAMP Server is less than 5 USD per month. Try it!

Callum at 2017-05-30 17:19:14

Interesting, always thought Google / AWS / etc were super expensive. Will have another look, thanks for the tip.

Tony at 2017-06-07 02:40:10

Google's $300 free credit for a year was just recently introduced and it's pretty great. Have you looked into DO/Linode/Vultr?

Callum at 2017-06-07 11:30:42

Hadn't seen Vultr, thanks for that. They're all similar, very expensive. $20 for 4GB memory on Vultur / Linode compared to £5 on OVH's SSD VPS offering. Guess I'm going to take a second VPS with OVH and see how that goes.

Max Hodges at 2017-07-24 03:36:38

Dump WordPress and host it on Netlify for free? https://www.staticgen.com/