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Session 3 Q&A

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Rick: Next week we’re going to finish the styling. Then we’re going to clone the site and copy it over to their live server so that this web site goes live. Now I want to answer questions from this session. Elaine has a question. I’m going to unmute your microphone. Good afternoon Elaine.

Why I Love BlueHost but Don’t Like Their Managed WP Hosting

Elaine: Good afternoon.

Rick: So, you asked am I using Bluehost and is it the managed WP hosting? We are using Bluehost and let’s just double check to see if it is that Managed WP hosting.

I do want to note that I hate their managed hosting, their WP managed hosting, because they have this caching thing. Let’s see, Hosting, see account… no it’s not. It’s not managed WordPress hosting, it’s just a straight shared hosting.

Elaine: Wow.

Rick: But the managed hosting is awful and I strongly recommend not using it. It’s just a way to charge you more money. Sure they do some things to optimize it for WordPress but most of those are very developer un-friendly.

So if you’re designing your own site and you are trying to trying to style things it just gets in the way. It’s fine if you’re not trying to tweak styles but their cashing is invisible. You don’t see it and you don’t think it’s being cached. In fact, you can only tell that it’s being cached by going and looking at the original files in their file manager to see that.

Elaine: Well, you recommend Bluehost because…

Rick: Oh I do! I love Bluehost!

Elaine: Oh.

Rick: I think Bluehost is terrific. I have several Bluehost accounts and almost all my domain names are hosted at Bluehost. I think their support is quite good and I always get the support I need out of them. I’ve heard of people having horror stories.

Recommended WordPress Hosting

If you want to know what my recommended WordPress Hosting is…

Elaine: Yeah

Rick: My recommended one is WP engine, that’s where BYOB website is hosted…

Elaine: But that’s expensive.

Rick: Relative to shared hosting, yes it is expensive.

Elaine: One of my clients is at Network Solutions

Rick: Oh that’s horrible, it’s the worst!

Elaine: Yeah.

Rick: I’ve just been dealing with that this week for a member. If your site gets hacked, they take all of your hosting down, you have no access to a control panel or any of that sort of thing. The only way you can get your files is via FTP. For example, you can’t load a WordPress plugin to try and help you identify the problem…

Elaine: Oh god…

Rick: And their only solution is the solution that they suggest, which is a third-party solution that they interface with and that will cost you two hundred dollars a site for them to restore. And then on top of that, they want two hundred forty bucks a month to maintain it. It’s an absurd ripoff!

Elaine: Oh

Rick: And so if you’ve got any WordPress sites hosted there, you want to get out of there as quickly as possible because if you get hacked, you have no easy solution to it. There’s absolutely no easy solution…

Elaine: They they know nothing about WordPress there…

Rick: They know about it but what they want is money. I mean that Network Solutions just wants you to give them money so they…

Elaine: But when you call them for any kind of support they act like they’ve never… the average support person knows nothing.

Rick: Oh, okay I didn’t know that. I’ve never called them for support so… I have an account with them also but it’s not for hosting, it’s just for domain name that I once upon time could only buy through them.

Elaine: Well is Bluehost an improvement over Network Solutions?

Rick: Vast, vast improvement over Network Solutions. They also are trying to sell you stuff left and right but they do have knowledgeable support that you can reach on the telephone.

Elaine: They’re probably comparable on price I would think, for shared hosting…

Rick: I think Network Solutions is more expensive.

Elaine: Oh, okay.

Rick: Now you want to keep your eye open, Bluehost just finished having some killer deals for hosting that will probably come back around Christmas time or first of January…

Elaine: Okay. Network Solutions is so slow! So, so slow!

Rick: Yeah, Bluehost is not. You know, funny story about me and Bluehost. Although I have outgrown them, back in the second year of BYOB website, my site was slowing way, way down and it was because of traffic right. I was getting plenty of traffic and I was at Bluehost and I thought, well holy smokes I need to maybe move on to some kind of a VPN or VPS and so I went with a VPS company. I figured their basic package is going to be good enough for me and it was like 30 bucks a month or something and I paid them a couple hundred bucks to migrate my site and my site was twice as slow.

So I asked them what I had to do about it, they said why you need to add more cores and yadda, yadda, yadda… I said okay well, let’s do that and it was going to, it cost me a hundred and twenty seven dollars a month to be as fast as a Bluehost, so…

Elaine: And this was where?

Rick: The vps.net

Elaine: Oh, okay. Oh my god…

Rick: And got to be just as fast right, no faster so I hired a guy to come in and set up caching and stuff like that on my site. My site is kind of complicated and some things back then couldn’t be cached like some membership aspects and some purchasing aspects that failed during caching. So caching was very cumbersome to setup and I hired an expert to do it for me and that brought the speed up but their dns just kept failing and so I moved back to a Bluehost VPS and no I guess it was Inmotion Hosting. Again back down to 40 bucks a month or something like that and this guy set it up for me. And it worked pretty well but by the time I was done with them I was spending a couple hundred dollars a month on hosting to get the speed that I wanted at Inmotion hosting. And then WP engine came along and I transferred over to WP engine at less than half of what I was paying per month…And it was twice as fast.

Elaine: Wow.

Rick: The best thing about WP engine is its staging server, so you can stay stage changes on the saving staging server then push them to the live server and I just, I love that especially for sites that can’t afford to go down…

Elaine: Right.

Rick: So now I spend a hundred bucks a month on hosting and I actually only spend 80 bucks a month on hosting because I pay for it for a year. I’m faster than any of the other solutions and I have all those other benefits so… So I told you that story to say that Bluehost shared hosting was actually faster than a VPN where I was spending a lot but it was just nine dollars a month a month at Bluehost…

Elaine: Yeah

Rick: They’re much faster than Godaddy. They’re faster than Network Solutions and I like them real well. Now, you know there are people out there…

Elaine: Though, they’re budget. They’re still kind of budget. Yeah.

Rick: Yeah, so for in that situation if you’re going to spend money on managed WordPress hosting then you don’t want to use them because they are useless. You want to go to WP engine or something like that at that point. I wouldn’t ever recommend a WordPress user go to a VPS. If you’re going to spend anything more than shared hosting then you should just go to WP engine.

Elaine: Okay, that’s good to know. Their hosting at Network Solutions will be due in January so if I make a suggestion to them it has to be soon because you know, they’ll have to time to clean up soon…

Rick: I’d suggest Bluehost, yeah.

Elaine: or a month in advanced…

Rick: I’d suggest Bluehost and then I’d set it up right now and I’d start the moving process and…

Elaine: Really?

Rick: Yeah.

Elaine: Okay, where they can’t get her to pay again, the client…

Rick: Right.

Elaine: Okay.

Rick: Yep, that’s what I would do.

Elaine: She’s paying, I forget, I think it’s a little over a hundred dollars a year at Network Solutions. A hundred and seventeen, hundred twenty-five, I forget.

Rick:. Yeah, so let’s get on incognito window so they don’t know me and see what their deals are. They were just doing one for like three bucks a month. Look at that! So they’ve got 3.95 a month, four bucks a month that might be buying three years but 4 x 12 is 48 bucks for a hundred and fifty dollars you’ve got three years with the hosting.

Elaine: It’s pretty fair.

Rick: Yeah. Actually you’ll probably leave your domain over at Network Solutions. Just leave the domain name there and just point it over to Bluehost, so…

Elaine: Well, I think their fee includes their domain maybe…

Rick: Yeah but the domain itself is probably going to be anywhere between 15 and 25 dollars over there, unless it’s one of the exotic domains, so…

Elaine: But they’re just not… they’re just so unreasonably crazy at Network Solutions…

Rick: I would get away from them as quickly as you can and I would not use the any of the expensive versions of their stuff right, they’ve got…

Elaine: So, the 3.95 a month one, right?

Rick: Absolutely, that’s what I would do.

Elaine: Alright.

Rick: So, okay?

How to Prevent Getting Hacked

Elaine: And then do people get hacked a lot on Bluehost? Or you don’t know?

Rick: Well, Bluehost doesn’t make it easy for people to get hacked. You’re going to get hacked because you’ve got stuff that’s out of date or poorly written. That’s how you’re going to get hacked. Bluehost, you can buy services from them to prevent that. The most reasonable service to prevent and to recover from a hacking is Sucuri.

Elaine: Yeah.

Rick: Yeah and so if you want to do anything to prevent hacking, I would just use Sucuri, but really if you keep your plugins and your themes and WordPress up-to-date, which is something you got to do every month right. At least once a month you’re updating everything. If you do that, the chances of getting hacked are, unless you’ve got a stupid password, are non-existent.

Elaine: Okay.

Rick: I was hacked once and it was because of an old plugin that I was using that hadn’t been updated and that had a vulnerability that was easily exploited and otherwise in seven years, I’ve never been hacked.

Elaine: That’s says a lot.

Dealing with Denial of Service Attacks

Rick: I’ve been attacked. I’ve had denial-of-service attacks and Bluehost doesn’t do anything to help you with denial-of-service attacks but you can deal with denial-of-service attacks by using something that prevents the several login attempts. So it limits the login attempts…

Elaine: Yeah.

Rick: And as it prevents login attempts, it starts blocking IP addresses and so that is I think, probably the best way to sort of yourself prevent denial-of-service attacks. Once your site’s up and running you can use Bluehost Cloudflare service which is a essentially a cashing service and that also prevents denial-of-service attacks because their attempts at attacking end up attacking Cloudflare because of the proxy server and that solves problems for you too.

Elaine: Do they charge for that Cloudflare?

Rick: For the basic level of Cloudflare is free. There are reasons why you might pay for it, for some aspects of it like to put all your static assets into a content delivery network or something like that.

Elaine: And do they automatically put people in it? In the basic account or not, you have to ask?

Rick: Yeah, you have to opt in as long as you’re not in the managed WordPress hosting…In the Managed WordPress hosting, you just get stuck in there right away but you opt-in from the control panel, it’s quite easy to get there. I mean it’s quite easy to set up, where is Cloudflare?

Elaine: Right there.

Rick: Yeah, so it’s quite simple.

Elaine: Okay, great!

Rick: Okay, anything else?

Elaine: No, that was my main question right now.

Re-Size Mismatched Images

Rick: Excellent have a great day! Okay, now John has a couple of questions. Hey John, I just unmuted your microphone.

John: Oh hi, Rick. Yeah, just a couple of things, do we need to resize those images at all you think?

Rick: Yes.

John: Or would it be okay without having….

Rick: No, we need to resize images. You don’t want to make them any wider but you’re going to add white space at the top and the bottom of them.

John: Do you mean what?

Rick: Well, right now they’re 94 pixels tall and 93 pixels tall? So you add 26 or 27 pixels of white space on the top and on the bottom.

John: Okay.

Rick: So the images is centered in a hundred and fifty pixels tall image.

John: Got it okay. Yeah I feel I actually did that… I don’t know why…

Rick: Well, you may have done it but you didn’t upload those images to the media library.

John: Yeah, I didn’t. Okay I get it now.

Rick: It’s really just those two.

Hosting Issues

John: And yeah and the other thing is I have found Bluehost support very good and especially since I’m in a different time zone. So having their 24 hours support works well for me.

Rick: Yeah, right.

John: And I found it very helpful. My other question is, and what about SiteLock, do you think that’s worth having as a protection?

Rick: No.

John: Okay.

Rick: No, if you feel like you need protection, then you want to just go sign up for Sucuri. It’s less expensive, it’s automatic…

John: How do you spell that?

Rick: S-U-C-U–R-I…Yeah, there it is. This is it and they automatically for 200 bucks a year they scan for and automatically clean up anything.

John: Right.

Rick: And if you see that you’ve been hacked, you can tell them and they will clean it up instantly. Like I said, I have only been hacked once in seven years but I keep myself updated and I don’t use suspicious stuff. If I’ve heard that stuff gets hacked and I make sure I don’t use it nor do I recommend it to you guys.

John: Okay, so you didn’t use it yourself?

Rick: I don’t use Sucuri myself but if I was going to use anything, that’s what I’d use and if my site got hacked, the very first thing I would do is to come over here at Sucuri and sign up for 200 bucks and have them fix it for me.

John: Right. Okay, got it. Yeah. Because a long time ago I used Godaddy and the server that my website was on got hacked and there are about 200 websites on it and they just basically, they just they just deleted all the websites.

Rick: Yeah. Yeah, that’s a whole different kettle of fish but…

John: So that, that wasn’t great.

Rick: These guys will just walk right in and I mean they’d immediately solve the problem, so…

John: Yeah but I don’t think Bluehost would have just deleted all the sites…

Rick: No, I don’t think so either.

John: Yeah, so that was it. Thanks very much, Rick.

Rick: You’re welcome. Have a good day.

John: Yeah.

Rick: Okay let’s see, last question is Sammy. Hey Sammy, I just unmuted your microphone.

Sammy: Hey, how are you doing?

Rick: Good.

Sammy: Yeah, that was a stupid question, I was looking at the hosting services there and Bluehost has me down for a cloud hosting?

Rick: Okay

Sammy: I don’t know what that was you saying hey, it should be shared and that way it doesn’t, they do your catching for you, caching for you…

Rick: Well, you remember that you are having issues of caching on your site when we’re trying to make changes, right?

Sammy: Right, right.

Rick: And one of your jobs was to go tell them to take caching off your site entirely.

Sammy: Yeah? Now I did, I did speak with them and they changed it, my hosting service is not shared, they changed it to our cloud sites…

Rick: Okay.

Sammy: And it seems to be working, thus when I make changes, the site does update pretty fast, so… I didn’t know if I had the right one or not, but it seems to be working okay.

Rick: What do they charge for the cloud hosting? You know I think that cloud hosting is really just another way of packaging something to sell. I don’t really believe that cloud hosting is meaningful to people like us. They’re charging seven bucks a month for cloud hosting. Really I don’t really think this is true that it’s faster. I mean might be true but…

Sammy: Mine doesn’t say cloud hosting, it is a cloud site.

Rick: Well yeah, that’s what it would be… that’s what that means, cloud sites means cloud hosting…

Sammy: They don’t do extra charge for what we’re doing for me, though.

Rick: Oh okay, well maybe they moved you over there for you to, you know just to make you happy or something, I don’t know…

Sammy: Okay well I’m happy it works out, I’m able to update and upgrade…

Rick: It doesn’t say shared, under services like this?

Sammy: Correct it just says could service, cloud sites on their service.

Rick: There you go.

Sammy: So they just gave it to me. I ain’t complaining about it and I guess they just gave it to me to make me happy. I sure appreciate you Rick. Thank you for your patience with me. You got a lot of patience with people and I sure appreciate you’ve been doing this for a long time, not sure how long but I figured it for a long time. You have that patience and I’m happy for that Rick.

Rick: Well, you know we’re creeping up on first of January, it would be seven years.

Sammy: Huh?!

Rick: Yeah.

Sammy: Are you serious? Wow!

Rick: I am, first of January it’ll be seven years, so…You’ve been with me for the majority of that because you’re a founding member which means that you signed up in the either the first or second year.

Sammy: Ah, yeah but I followed you for over six months before I signed up with you. I saw the stuff that you’re doing and I said, yeah I’ll probably sign up here.

Rick: There you go. Okay well have a good day, Sammy.

Sammy: Okay bye-bye.

Rick: Bye, bye.

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