Tag Archives: hosting

Goodbye Amplehosting, Hello Afrihost Blogging | My Life 11 JUL 2013

afrihost logoRight. So it’s probably been a month and a bit now, but so far so good. My craiglotter.co.za blog has been running nice and smoothly, powered by its new hosting company, namely the almost always awesome Afrihost.

Back in 2008 Ryan and I picked up on AmpleHosting to provide the hosting for our online venture, and while Ryan has long since left the picture, I had continued up until recently using them for their well-priced and quite flexible hosting packages. They played host the the multitude of sites I built on their service, sites including the likes of codeunit.co.za, houseofc.co.za, cookiesandcakes.co.za, and funakoshikarate.co.za, to name but a few.

Of course, having tired of spending unnecessary time online, I pulled back my online footprint over the last couple of years, in the end leaving only my personal craiglotter.co.za blog and Chantelle’s cookiesandcakes.co.za sites running on the old Amplehosting package.

Not that they were perfect during all those years mind you. They switched servers a number of times without informing us, leaving us to find out about the downtime on our own accord, and more than once they would suspend the account and again wait for us to discover the downtime and contact them instead of the other way around.

As craiglotter.co.za traffic numbers grew (and we’re not talking big – only between 2,000 and 3,000 visits a day), Amplehosting eventually persuaded me to upgrade to a better package, which I did, absorbing the higher monthly cost as part of my hobby. However, it wasn’t long before the trouble began. Time and again I would find my account disabled, and time and again they couldn’t provide me with any information other than saying that my site was overloading the server. This was particularly annoying because the site is nothing more than a WordPress installation, with no other services or crons or anything like that running in the background.

Most annoying of all though was the fact that they continued to disable my account without contacting me about it, and with my advertising links starting to bug me about server uptime, Amplehosting’s lack of immediate support, or more importantly, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable support, eventually drove me to cut ties with them and move craiglotter.co.za over to Afrihost, the ISP which has now been serving me well for the last couple of years, and most importantly, a company who in particular continues to impress me everyday with their always over the top customer service.

So yeah, no more money for Amplehosting then.

Sure, they have well priced packages, a good billing system and a generally friendly 1st level of support – but if you’re running something with a little more traffic than your aunt’s local baking site, I wouldn’t bother.

Customer service. It’s really important to get it right.

GoDaddy and the Lost connection to MySQL server at ‘reading initial communication packet’ Message Tips, Tricks and Tutorials 12 MAR 2012

I was trying to set up a new WordPress website where the files would be hosted on a subdomain of a GoDaddy hosting account whilst the MySQL database resides on another one of my server accounts, provided by Amplehosting.

I set up the Remote Database Access Hosts as prompted by the help via my Amplehosting account cPanel interface, uploaded a clean WordPress install to the GoDaddy account, stretched my fingers, and then set about running the simple WordPress setup…

…except that the simple WordPress setup was just not passing step 1, complaining at each and every attempt of a database error. With no other data to go on, I quickly whipped up a MySQL debug script and uploaded the custom PHP file to check on MySQL connections to the remote host via the GoDaddy account, and lo and behold, PHP spit out the follow error message to me:

“Lost connection to MySQL server at ‘reading initial communication packet’, system error: 110”

A quick Google search on the above phrase joined with the keyword “GoDaddy” almost immediately threw up a page from the GoDaddy support forums which further sunk my heart:

“I apologize if this was not clarified upon your purchase, however we do not permit connections to third party DB servers from within our hosting environment. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If the hosting plan no longer fits your needs, you can cancel it and be eligible for a refund of any unused time.”

So that’s it then. GoDaddy doesn’t not allow connections to external databases from within their hosting accounts, meaning I need to go and find another provider.

But now at least I’m not the only one fighting to figure out how come my setup just wasn’t working! :)

Fateful Fondue Fun My Life 26 MAY 2011

Friday 20 May saw us host our first big event at home since the arrival of Jessica late last year, and seeing as it is kind of our trademark, it was time once again to pull out the fondue pots and brandish our long sharp forks.

A good indication of the ever rising cost of food meant that the this particular fondue cost almost twice as much as what it used to cost back in the day, but nevertheless we soldiered on, with Chantelle organising a fantastic platter of ready to fry goodies on the evening, complemented with a delectable selection of breads and ugh, salad (because she says that we have to).

And for pudding?

Well let us just say that it was once again the turn of the world famous chocolate box cake to make its appearance in Country Mews! :)

As for the guests, despite having to arrive in the pitch black darkness of Winter and then having to kind of sit through the period where we battled to get Jessica fed, bathed and into bed, the list included the welcome faces of Ryan and Michelle, Damen and Michelle, Evan and Natasha, Karl and Trish, and of course Mr. Brown (who rumour has it won’t be on our sunny shores for all that much longer!)

What followed was a fun evening of fondue pot battling as the eleven of us elbowed for space in the three available pots, ducked my concerted photographic efforts, laughed at Ryan impaling his hand with a fork bad enough that the blood was flowing freely, attempted to find a working exit strategy for fried samoosas that didn’t involve them going to pieces on you, and of course just enjoyed a fun and stress-free evening of friends, food and cheese sauce. Heck, even the cats were enjoying all the welcome attention they were receiving from everyone!

Oh, and needless to say, the cake went down a right treat with the hungry horde as well!

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