And hopefully a quicker blog. I (and thousands of others) received the following email from the CEO of Bluehost.com. I don’t necessarily understand the how, but I do appreciate the why and recognize what I perceive to be good customer service. It’s the personal touch.
I am writing today to give you some important information regarding your Bluehost.com account. As many of you know Bluehost.com
uses Cpanel, a third party product, as our control panel to allow customers to manage their sites. While this is normally a good
thing, it also takes much of the control away from us and sometimes forces us to live with deficiencies that we would normally not
tolerate. Lately Cpanel has become so slow and cumbersome that despite buying some of the highest end hardware available some
sites are sluggish at best and extremely slow at worst. This was never acceptable to us and we tried to work with Cpanel to
resolve our issues, but it is clear to us that our issues will never be at their forefront. So what do we do?
Yesterday was my breaking point. A customer called in to complain of a slow site. I checked it myself and the server load showed
it was running fine. Clearly it wasn’t, and I wanted to know what was causing his issues. To make a long story short Cpanel was
hitting every server’s hard drive array close to 50,000 times per day more often than it needed to (Based on my rough
calculations). Our server monitoring was not doing its job and our customers bore the brunt of these issues. There wasn’t an
easy fix and our servers were all grinding to a halt. We had to implement a custom fix and it had to done immediately. The main
issue causing these problems was mail related. About 70% of all users had to have their mail moved to a new system and converted
to a new storage method. I made the difficult decision to execute these fixes immediately without notifying all our customers
first because of a couple of reasons. First, to mail all our users with our current system takes approximately 18 hours (We could
do faster, but then many emails would be denied by large ISPs because too many emails come form a single source too quickly), and
second because it was causing such a severe problem with all our servers that it simply couldn’t be delayed. It was causing so
many sites to run poorly that we acted as fast and effeciently as we could.
This made many users email temporarily unavailable. No emails should have been lost in the transition. It simply wouldn’t allow
you to log in while mail was transitioned from one platform to another. Again, we greatly regret having to do this without prior
notification, but the benefits were exactly what we hoped for.
While all server issues aren’t immediately resolved, the VAST majority of problems we were seeing on all servers are virtually
gone. You should now see a SUBSTANTIAL improvement in almost all areas of your site including mail issues, script execution time,
and overall responsiveness of your hosting experience.
Next week we will provide a link to a user monitoring service that will allow you to monitor your server (From our perspective) to
see basically what we see, and know if issues you are experiencing originate on our end or if some other factor is involved. We
have more speed improvements being worked on aggressively right now and in the near future those details will be made available as
I know this email is lengthy, and I congratulate those that made it this far :) I just wanted you to know that I care about what
happens to your sites, and not just because you pay me to care. I don’t get to be as technically involved as I used to be because
of trying to run the company, but I realize now that a change is needed. I may not be the best admin out there, but I care the
most and will always be your advocate to making your hosting experience better.
All users (All 210,00 of you) can ALWAYS email me directly at – firstname.lastname@example.org.