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When I Needed The Best Hosting Company Support

Just when I thought I had my blog “under control” and motoring along nicely, along came a horrid glitch that I couldn’t sort out, and – randomly – my posts were either completely normal or stretched out and with the sidebar appearing at the bottom. NOT a pretty site / sight !

It looked a complete mess and I had no idea how to fix it. It just happened one day. Well of course it didn’t “just happen” I did something, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what – because it displayed randomly, so I didn’t even notice it for a few days.

Fixing My Theme Problem

Or not…. ๐Ÿ™

I spent hours looking through the theme settings, installing a completely up-to-date version of the theme and deactivating plugins. Finally I had them all deactivated and the blog was still a mess. So I had to “go quiet” for a little spell, while I figured out what to do next.

Visitors

June was always going to be a week of very little business progress because of a steady traffic of family visitors, which of course is one of the perks of being self-employed. So I really didn’t need a broken blog to consume the few spare hours I had.

  • My Dad came to stay for a week.
  • As regular readers may remember I have Dog-dog staying with me – he takes up many happy hours of my day for walks and cuddles
  • My son, wife and their dog came to visit – (a) for Matt to replace my broken shower (b) so that I can “Bailey-sit” while they have a long overdue night out. Aaadgh – two dogs staying overnight… potential for more chaos if they didn’t like each other.
  • Laura will be coming to collect Dog-dog later in the week.
  • A client popping round to bring me his “books” to be done during June. Some hope! Poor chap ended up on the floor helping me fit a stair-gate to “corale” the dogs when necessary. It’s not that I’m totally clueless – there were only 4 fitting points – but I didn’t have enough hands to attach it and hold it!
  • Plus various friends popping in to meet Dog-dog and offer walking support at the times when I have both dogs. Daren’t let either off the lead in case they didn’t come back.

Too Many Plugins?

One possibility was too many plugins, and at 38 it probably was time for another prune.

I must confess that having deactivated most of them while trying to fix the problem I’m not completely sure why some of them were there. (They’re still deactivated!)

Here’s what I’ve reactivated at the time of writing:

  • Akismet and CommentLuv I really missed and had a day or so of spam-fest
  • PrettyLink I had to reinstate because I use it for most of my affiliate links
  • WordFence I wanted back as soon as possible to secure my site
  • Digg Digg Floating Social Bar I put back to help my users share my posts (thanks in anticpation)
  • Fancier Author Box
  • Table of Contents Plus
  • EWWW Image Optimiser
  • WordPress SEO and Google Analytics By Yoast

Those above I consider most important to me so I have reactivated them. Will review the others on a case by case basis and see what happens!

But deactivating ALL my plugins wasn’t the answer.

Solution to Broken WordPress Theme

Business WordPress ThemesWhen checking settings and deactivating plugins didn’t help I emailed the theme developer InkThemes and they helped meย  and apparently fixed the issue for me.

Sadly it was a temporary fix and the glitch came back. So they did another fix, and the effect still came back. Of course it was appearing randomly, so what seemed like a fix, wasn’t.

Finally, they suggested that the problem was to do with caching/style.css and suggested I contact my web host.

I have to give a big thank-you to InkThemes for their support, because this theme was one I received free when I bought something else, so I wasn’t completely sure they would give me support.

But they did, and I’m truly grateful – because I like this theme and have spent a lot of time getting my site the way I wanted it!

Top marks for their efforts, because although they didn’t fix the fault, they spent time working with me and finally gave me some magic words that pointed to the solution.

I passed the message InkThemes gave me onto my web hosting company, SiteGround.

Why My WordPress Theme Broke

I have to confess I don’t really understand what they told me … but I’ll pass the info along in case anyone else finds it interesting.

The Problem

Your style.css is getting renamed continuously / compressed by CDN

which to be completely honest is Double Dutch to me….

The Solution

I passed the problem they had found onto SiteGround support and literally in less than 10 minutes – honestly – I had a reply from them to say that I wasn’t using CDN but the issue could be caused by use of:

Google Pagespeed caching systemย 

I turned that off and – fingers crossed – my site has been fine since then.

Yes – I had been “tweaking”, trying to speed up my blog, I came across something that sounded as if it would – flicked the switch then forgot I’d done it, and so never connected it to the random duff appearance.

Anyway, for the moment I am extremely grateful for the fix and hope the issue is resolved. Thanks to those of my readers who spotted the problem and contacted me to tell me.

Lesson Learned

Trying to think positive about the whole time-consuming and stressful activity, at least it’s given me another post and reinforced a lesson I already knew about online business, which is – buy products that have support built in!

Other than that I’m not exactly sure what the lesson is…. it’s starting to feel like “Go back to pen and paper!” However, I expect I’ll put it behind me and live to fight another day. I usually do!

Out of interest, over to you….

How Technical Do You Want To Get?

Did you know (or care?) what Google Pagespeed caching system is?

Do you use it, and does it work for you? Do you use it with WordPress?

Web HostingDo you WANT to learn / use a lot of technical stuff, or are you like me and just wanting to blog away quietly without needing to resort to learning technical terms?

Would you like access to guru level support as part of your web hosting package?

If the guru support sounds good to you, make sure you get a supported theme and the best web hosting support possible – SiteGround.

Update August 2016: I no longer host my site with SiteGround, but I do remember with pleasure how fast their support was.

Please share
Joy
 

I left it too late to plan for a financially secure retirement. Don't make my mistake. Start building an extra income with a part-time (or full-time) business online. Think you don't have time? Can't afford the start-up cost? Can't meet sales targets? The businesses I promote overcome all the problems you may have had with Internet Marketing before. Contact me for free advice (no obligation) on the best fit for your circumstances.

Basharath - June 28, 2015

The above-mentioned points are worth noting to have support from hosting provider. Recently I faced a problem in my blog, AKismet and jetpack were not working , also Add new plugin option was showing error. I tried in many different ways from different forums but no where I found answer. At last it was my hosting company which solved the problem. So we should alway think before opting for hosting…

    Joy - June 28, 2015

    Hi Basharath

    I’m glad your hosting company could help you too. I get totally lost when I get technical problems so really need good support. Often the forums talk way above my head, even though they are trying to be helpful.

    Poor support has cost me a lot of time and anguish, and when i first started out online I just didn’t realise how important it was to choose the best hosting company. I know now!!

    Thanks for your visit, and for reinforcing my opinion. Joy

Enstine Muki - June 28, 2015

Hi Joy,
I think the problem is finally taken care of from what I can see ๐Ÿ˜‰

Customer service is what makes any business sell and I think SiteGround has got a positive point on this.

I never used any ‘Google Pagespeed caching system’ before. I think your experience is my teacher so you see why I thank you for sharing it with us ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let me just say congratulations for going through the tough times and finally having a solution.

There are better blogging days ahead so getting everything set is a requirement ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Joy - June 28, 2015

    Hi Enstine

    Phew, I think so too and I won’t be in a rush to “fiddle” and try speeding up my blog again for a long time.

    Thanks goodness for the support I had from the joint effort of InkThemes and Siteground. I just can’t get over how fast the Siteground support guy replied – I don’t think I could have typed the answer so quickly, never mind diagnosed the problem.

    Yes, a firm foundation is essential and I think that, having got rid of some deadwood, it’s in place.

    Pleased to have warned anyone not to try this one!

    Joy

Philip Verghese Ariel - June 29, 2015

Hi Joy,
Nice to see you at philipscom pages.
I appreciate your valuable time.
Sad to know about hosting trouble.
Glad that you could fix it without much delay. ๐Ÿ™‚
Last month I too faced a similar situation, and it took Almost 4 days to fix it by the hosters. They says due to the usage of an outdated plugin. I installed a common plugin “clicktotweet”.
They did the cleaning job by placing a big placard saying “Account Suspended” That was really an embarassing situation. I still wonder why they use that word “Account Suspended”instead they can say or use some other words like ‘Some technical problem, will be fixed soon’

I still have no answer to the question. Why the hosting company use that unpleasant banner!!

Coming to your question:
Do you WANT to learn / use a lot of technical stuff, or are you like me and just wanting to blog away quietly without needing to resort to learning technical terms?
In fact my technical things are looked after by one of my friends. But now I feel that we need to know such basic aspects to do the follow up.

I am glad to know that your hosters acted quickly.

And ha even in the hectic month of June with lot of visitors around, including your Dad, you managed to fix things well.

Keep going! Good Wishes!!

May you have a great week ahead!
Best.
~Phil

    Joy - July 2, 2015

    Hi Phil

    Oh, what an awful placard to put on your blog! I would have hated that. Glad you got it fixed though.

    I use the free plugin Wordfence because that emails me when my plugins need upgrading. It’s so easy to miss them otherwise.

    In answer to your question, a big NO. I don’t want to learn about the technicalities. I enjoy writing, by not technical stuff. Happily SiteGround seem happy to help out, and I shall stop trying to optimize and just be grateful for a blog that is working again.

    Thanks for your visit, Joy

Vashishtha Kapoor - June 29, 2015

Hi miss Joy!
My first visit here. Cheers!
Nice to know that siteground replied very quickly. I am also on siteground but never encoutered such error yet. But happy that if something happens wrong, they will help.
Have a nice Week
Vashishtha Kapoor

    Joy - July 2, 2015

    Hi Vashishtha,

    Welcome to my blog, I am so pleased you found me and I hope you will find plenty of helpful information here:-)

    You’ve made a good choice to go with SiteGround. I hope you won’t need their support, but if you do – contact them with confidence.

    Hope to see you again soon, Joy

Jim McCullen - June 29, 2015

Hi Joy,
Glad to see you got your site back up and running. Another great tip is to make sure you have a backup you can restore easily. Hostgator automatically backs up your site, you can call them and have them restore, they charge $15.00 each time.

Godaddy offers an additional paid service to backup your sites.

WordPress has a plugin you can install to do backups

You could also run Filezilla or another FTP client and copy your complete wordpress site folder to your local machine or to an online drive like google Drive. Do that once a month and at least you can restore your site to the last known working version.
Jim

    Joy - July 2, 2015

    Hi Jim

    In theory I HAD a paid backup service, but when I went to try and recover it was impossible to work out which if several blogs was the one to recover. I didn’t immediately realise that it would be such a pain to fix or I would have done that. Although as it happens, that wouldn’t have helped as the problem was actually a setting I had turned on in my hosting company. Yes, my own fault.

    With previously hacked sites I did indeed restore from my desktop copy, so that’s a discipline I must be more strict about.

    Joy

Donna Merrill - June 29, 2015

Hi Joy,

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I never fiddle around with my plugins or themes. This is why I changed over to a managed hosting company about two years ago.

I can’t speak tech talk, so I just leave it up to them and so far so good. If there is a problem, customer service texts me immediately.

Sounds like that guy from Siteground sure fixed the problem. That’s what I love about this share…a happy ending!

-Donna

    Joy - July 2, 2015

    Hi Donna

    Well, it’s been a lesson to me! If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

    I suppose I over-obsessed about trying to speed up my blog and what sounded good, turned out to be a disaster.

    Happy endings are good ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for your visit, Joy

Atish Ranjan - June 29, 2015

Hi Joy,

Glad that you are able to resolve the issue. Support from the theme vendor and web host is indeed required at such times. You are lucky that you had the best ones with you who solves the issue instantly. ๐Ÿ™‚

Nice read!

    Joy - July 2, 2015

    Hi Atish,

    It was indeed a relief, and I appreciate how good it was to get support from both the hosting company AND the theme vendor.

    Glad you enjoyed the post, Joy

Ovais Mirza - June 29, 2015

Hello Joy,

Hosting Companies really don’t care about support and we have to ourselves aware about how to troubleshoot the problems right way.. Installing too many plugins cause problems for me as well and many a times i too experience the disturbance in my WP theme.. I use to deactivate the plugins and the problem resolved for me.

Regards,
Ovais Mirza

    Joy - July 2, 2015

    Hi Ovais,

    Well certainly Hostgator didn’t care about supporting me – which was why I changed. Happily SiteGround support was excellent.

    I take your point, about learning to trouble-shoot our own blogs, but much as I don’t want to service my own car, I don’t want to get involved in the intricate details of blogging. Deactivating all plugins is easy, but it didn’t make any difference and after that I didn’t know where to even start. Thank goodness SiteGround knew how to fix this one.

    Great to see you on my blog.

    Joy

Sherman Smith - June 29, 2015

Hey Joy,

What a ride on the technical side!

Ive been through something similar but I had malware. I talked with my host, used Google webmaster tools and asked the WordPress form, but it cane down to me purchasing a security tool called Sucuri.

But I can understand the feeling behind your delimma and it’s not fun at all. Although I work in the IT field working with blogs and websites isn’t in my area of expertise. I would like to know a little more but not to the point of making a career out of it.

Thanks for sharing and it sounds like everything is fixed!

    Joy - July 2, 2015

    Hi Sherman,

    Thanks for summing up my attitude exactly! I too work in IT (but with legacy systems in accounting software) and blogging was meant to be light relief from all the technicalities I come up with there.

    It’s looking as if it’s fixed now, thanks to SiteGround support.

    Joy

Rachit - June 30, 2015

Hi joy,

I am glad that you got rid of the glitch. You might remember I emailed you about it too ๐Ÿ™‚

Customer support is one essential thing needed. When I review any web hosting company I reserver one star only for customer support. The time they take to solve the issue, the way they communicate, it all matters.

To be honest, when I first noticed the glitch, I thought you made your blog some kind of optimized for mobile screen devices or something similar.Although when I noticed it was happening on only a few pages, I emailed you about the issue.

I can understand how irritating it gets when you are in a some mess and the web hosting guys can’t clear it up. I accept that we should have knowledge about how to use.

I have changed a couple of web hostings is the post, and now I am using Ipage. I am satisfied with its performance and speed. However In future I might switch to VPN or dedicated if I need more resources for my blog.

Thanks for sharing Joy,

Regards,
Rachit ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Joy - July 2, 2015

    Hi Rachit

    I really appreciate you pointing the problem out to me. At first I thought it was a glitch on my own PC, but a few people then confirmed they saw the problem too.

    Yes, support is vital, and I’m so pleased that SiteGround and InkThemes delivered the goods, because I was completely out of my depth with this one!

    Thanks again for your support, Joy

Rachit - June 30, 2015

I forgot that I am waiting for your comment author reports of june.

    Joy - July 2, 2015

    Hi Rachit

    Thanks for the reminder, I’m working round to it but just completely maxed out with my offline work at the moment!

    Joy

WILLIAM O'TOOLE - July 2, 2015

In this world it seems to me the more you pay the better support you get.. I have been with the might HG and they were pretty good whenever I done something and modified my site.. they could fix it up.

I have noticed in the last 12 months a number of new hosting companies pop up.. all seeming good for value with less crashes vs the big players.

Choose wisely.. research your hosting company..ask other if they have heard of them.

William

    Joy - July 3, 2015

    Hi William,

    Yes, you’re right – good support need to be paid for. However, my account with SiteGround isn’t very expensive, and they’ve already more than earned their keep!

    I was with Hostgator for several years with no trouble whatsoever, it’s only over the past year or so that I started being dissatisfied.

    Happily I seem to have found my new home. I chose it bcause of someone else’s recommendation.

    Thanks for your visit, Joy

Sarah Arrow - July 3, 2015

Hi Joy, am thrilled to find a fellow Siteground fan! Their support is second to none and they’re just so helpful if you’re not particularly techie. Whenever i’ve had an issue they’ve got back to me really fast and resolved it very quickly!

    Joy - July 3, 2015

    Hi Sarah, Sounds like we’re a growing happy band. I’d been looking for a new hosting company for a while but after THREE bad experiences I daren’t try another until I was sure. I found out that Enstine like them and I knew it would be OK.

    Have a good weekend, Joy

Andrea Ansari - August 15, 2015

Hey Joy, I can relate! Most of the plugins you mention I use too. And a bunch more than that. Sometimes website breaks and luckily the hosting company or theme provider can always fix it.

    Joy - August 16, 2015

    Hi Andrea,

    I guess many of us (well certainly me) add a ton of plug-ins without thinking about the problems they can cause. I sure do appreciate the support from SiteGround – and even more I appreciate the fact that since this post I haven’t need to call on them because my hosting with them is going so well.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Joy

Edward Thorpe - August 23, 2015

Hi Joy,

Interesting post. Nice to discover you’re doing business with people who will support you in time of need, isn’t it?

As for me, getting the best web hosting support, is something I hope I never need.

On the other hand, if I need it, I want it fast & in order to not experience a similar problem, I do wanna know the 5 w’s… who, what, why, etc…

What really popped from this post was you having 38 plug-ins! Research has convinced me that every single plug-in negatively effects loading speed, even deactivated ones.

While that theory proved correct for my WP site, you might wanna test it for yours.

BTW, I replaced Akismet with ‘Antispam Bee’ and am happy with the results.
Edward

    Joy - August 23, 2015

    Hi Edward

    Great to see you on my blog again after your move, and hope you’ve settled in.

    You know it was really funny about all those plugins…. as I deactivated them I couldn’t remember what half of them were for and I haven’t reactivated most of them. You’re absolutely right, that was far too many and I’ve had a very serious prune, and not noticed any loss of functionality.

    Thanks for the suggestion for an Akismet replacement. I’ll give it a try.

    So pleased to see you back ๐Ÿ™‚

    Joy

Monna Ellithorpe - August 23, 2015

Hi Joy,

I’m sorry to read about your troubles with your blog. A friend of mine is going through the same thing; sort of. We made one little change and “poof” her site was gone. The largest portion of the site was recovered but we are having a challenging time getting it put back together.

I agree with you 100%, if you can do it, go with a professional and supported theme.

    Joy - August 23, 2015

    Hi Monna,

    Sorry your friend has had those problems and hope you’ve now got it all sorted out. People reckon WordPress is so easy – and at one level it is – but it can’t half kick you in the teeth occasionally. That’s when you need support and the few dollars extra that you paid will be well worth it.

    Joy

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