The Unexpected Upgrade Experience

A couple of months ago I upgraded my hosting package during its annual renewal. Up to then I had an excellent experience with my provider and so when they made me an offer to move to their new hosting package for a similar price as my old package it seemed like a reasonable thing to do. My thinking was that since the old package was no longer available to new customers then it would only be a matter of time before support for the old package was reduced and eventually discontinued.

Since the migration to the new package, I have been plagued with issues. Nothing catastrophic but having to raise support tickets and the resultant email tag with the support team gets tiresome after a ticket or two. The root of the problem is that the majority of the help items and howtos relate to the old package and not the new one. That would be fine if they both operated similarly – but they don’t!

I’ll use my most recent issue as an example. On the old package, the WordPress application was installed for a domain using the application manager and the application was installed into the httpdocs directory area for that domain. I stupidly assumed that the same would be true for the new package – especially since the application manager offered a WordPress installation. So, I installed the application and imported the posts from my old package and everything seemed to be fine. That was until I tried to change the permalink format for the posts. When I tried this I got a .htaccess permissions error. It turns out there were two things wrong. The first was that the WordPress files in my domain’s httpdocs area were actually a copy from my old package that were copied across by my hosting provider during the migration and were completely independent of the current WordPress installation. The second was that the application install for WordPress installed into a hidden directory tree that was so hidden that you could not browse to it without knowing the exact path before hand – and that exact path contained a five digit object id as the hidden part of its pathname. Once the support team figured this out, we easily sorted it out. 

This sort of thing should not have happened in the first place. Where differences in hosting packages exist, there should be a cheat sheet available to help people migrate between packages. The howto documentation should also cover both packages, not just the old one. Having good tech support is great but having a great product that doesn’t require tech support is so much better!

Hopefully all my problems are finally resolved. I’m on the fence as to whether or not I’ll stick with my provider … one more issue will push me over!

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