Why Is gspn.tv Loading So Slowly? – Godaddy November 2010

by Cliff Ravenscraft on November 5, 2010

in Blog

Scroll To The Bottom of this Post for the 11/14/2010 Update!

You may have noticed that the gspn.tv site has been experiencing very high page load times. First, I want to apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. Second, I'd like to explain what is going on.

I still use Godaddy.com for hosting of gspn.tv, the community forum, all Plus Member access information, as well has a LOT of other sites. A while back, I created a new hosting account it BlueHost. I LOVE BLUEHOST! Both PodcastAnswerMan.com and http://VirtualAssistantPodcast.com are running on my BlueHost Account. You can read all about why I switched those accounts to a new hosting provider by READING THIS BLOG POST.

Now, there is only one reason I have not changed all these other sites over to BlueHost up to this point. That reason is TIME! I can't simply move just one site at a time. I'd have to merge more than 13 websites over to the new hosting account all at the same time because they all run off of the main gspn.tv directory. I've been tempted to do this many times, even though it would take me approximately 12 to 15 hours straight to accomplish. In fact, I'm nearly at the point of considering this again now.

Here's an old forum post from one of my previous considerations: LINK HERE

Here's what is going on right now. On Thursday, October 28th, I received the following email from GoDaddy.

Date: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 3:15 AM
Subject: Hosting Migration Notification
To: [email protected]

******************************************************************
HOSTING MIGRATION NOTIFICATION
******************************************************************

Dear Cliff Ravenscraft,

As part of a continuing effort to provide the highest
quality service for our valued customers, your hosting account,
gspn.tv, will be migrated to a new server in 24 hours.

If you are using external DNS servers or your domain was created
under a separate customer number than your hosting account, then
you may need to modify your DNS setup with your new IP address:
208.109.14.115. You will need to log in to your domain account
and manually update the “A Record” for your domain.

Please note that your control panel will be unavailable for 24-48
hours. We also recommend that you do not make any changes to your
hosting plan during this migration process. We appreciate your
patience in this matter.

If you encounter any problems, please contact Customer Support:

+ Online Support:
https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/support.asp?tab=…

+ Email: mailto:[email protected]
+ Phone: (480) 505-8877

Sincerely,
GoDaddy.com, Inc.

As soon as they put me on the new hosting server, the site immediately began to experience painfully slow load time. I actually gave it a few days before complaining and I sent the following email to the support department on Tuesday, November 2nd.

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Cliff Ravenscraft and my hosting account was just transferred to
a new server there at GoDaddy. Starting this morning, I've been
experiencing extremely long load times on my site. Prior to this, my site
had been loading PERFECTLY for MONTHS without much fail. Can you please
investigated.

You send me the following message, just this past week:

Hosting Migration Notification

I was was not shocked to get the following response…. Because this is typical of GoDaddy.com.

Dear Cliff Ravenscraft,

Thank you for contacting customer support.

Your site does appear to be loading a bit slow. However, we were able to do some diagnostics on your server and did not find any issue. Furthermore, the static elements of your pages (images) load quickly when requested directly in a browser.

You can make modifications to your site that improve performance. Some of these changes are easy to manage while others might take some time to figure out.

Here are four things you can do to speed up your site:

GZIP Compression
Smaller pages load faster, regardless of your Internet connection speed. You can make your pages smaller by compressing them with GZIP. For more information about GZIP and our hosting, see Compressing Web Pages for Faster Load Times.

Image Sizes
If you use HTML to make large images small, a site visitor still needs to download the larger version. If you need a small image, don't use HTML to do it—shrink it in an image-editing program instead.

Scripting
You can edit to say more with less. A good programmer does the same thing with code. If the code on your site is inefficient, it impacts your site's performance. There isn't a quick fix for bloated code, but if you're using GZIP and you've reduced your image sizes, analyze your code to make your site even faster. One way to make a database-driven site faster is to use a database index to improve the speed of data retrieval.

CSS
Cascading style sheets are great for formatting the look and feel of your website. If your style sheet contains a lot of styles that aren't being used, you are forcing browsers to download things they don't need. If you're trying to maximize performance, trim your CSS files and remove anything that's unnecessary.

You may also consider switching to a server with Grid Technology. In order to do this you will need to cancel your current account, purchase a Web Hosting* plan and set it up.

*NOTE:Before visiting this link you may need to clear your browsers cache and cookies.

Canceling your hosting account will delete all of your Web site files that you have stored on our servers. Be sure that you have copies of any files you want to keep before you cancel your account.

To Cancel Your Hosting Account:
Log in to your Account Manager.
In the My Products section, select Hosting.
Click the checkbox next to the hosting account you want to cancel.
Click the Cancel Account button above your account list.
In the Cancel Hosting Account section on the right, click Save Changes.

Once canceled, you may setup your hosting account and aliased domain names accordingly.

(Directions to set up a new account were here!)

If you decide to purchase a Web Hosting account, please respond to this email so we may move the available credit from your canceled hosting plan to the Web Hosting account once it has been set up.

If we can assist you further in this matter please let us know.

Sincerely,
Jesse P
Online Support Team

So I responded with the following email:

Seriously,

This is all I get, a note that says I can cancel my account or do something to optimize my site?

I am telling you, my site was SUPER FAST until you moved me to this new server. It is this new server that is the issue. I have been a loyal GoDaddy customer for FIVE YEARS. I know my site. I know nothing has changed, except that your company switched me to a new server. Last week, my site was AMAZINGLY FAST and this week, on the new server, I get these extremely slow load times.

Look into my pas;, I know what I'm talking about. It's not just my WordPress site, it's my forum, it's everything running on this server.

Please bump this up to level three support and move me to a different server.

PLEASE!!! I am begging you!

Cliff

To which they responded with…..

Dear Cliff,

Thank you for your reply. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The issue you have been experiencing with your hosting account is being worked on by our technicians. Service will return to normal as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we are unable to give a specific time frame for this resolution. We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Please let us know if we can assist you in any other way.

Best Regards,
Thad P.
Online Support Team

I GAVE THEM THREE DAYS BEFORE SENDING THIS NOTE!!!!

I've been very patient. It's been THREE DAYS since you sent this email.
I'm still experiencing extremely slow load times.

Please move me back to my old server or a new one.

Cliff

And then they responded with this…..

Dear Cliff,

We need the URL and steps needed to be able to duplicate the issue you are having. At this time I can not duplicate this issue with the information provided. If this issue is time of day related, please call in while the issue is happening so we can determine the cause of the issue. Our telephone support staff is available 24/7 at 480-505-8877. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Please let us know if we can assist you in any other way.

Sincerely,

Paul P.
Online Support Team

So Here is where I am at:

-My site was loading PERFECTLY FOR MONTHS!!!

-They email me to tell me they are putting me onto a new server

-My site is switched to a new server

-My site now takes between 10 to 45 seconds to load each page

-I email Godaddy support and they tell me to cancel my hosting account & start a more expensive one.

-I tell them that that this is an issue with their server and ask for next level of support

-They admit that there is an issue and they are working on it

-I wait three days and check in to see how they are doing on my issue

-They deny that there is any issue at all.

SERIOUSLY? I mean come on… READ THE PRIOR NOTES!

So I just sent the following response.

I have created the following video for you:

it will demonstrate my issue.

Cliff

Here's The Video:

Well, I'll come back here and post updates as they come in. Though each update will take me at least five to ten minutes due to page load times. :(

Folks, use BlueHost!


Update: 11/6/2010 1:47am

I just received the following message…

Dear Cliff J. Ravenscraft,

Thank you for your response regarding this matter. We have reviewed the server your site is hosted at this time and we did not find any issues with the server. Currently we see that the site is loading within a few second. As you are using a shared hosting account, there may be times where there may be spikes in the server usage may cause temporary slowness with your site.

Please let us know if we can help you in any other way.

Sincerely,

Gary P.
Online Support Team

So I wrote back with this…

Dear Gary P,

You are absolutely correct. I just now checked my site, immediately after your email came in. You wrote… “Currently we see that the site is loading within a few second.”

I would like to point out to you that if you look back in the records of this incident report, that your support department initial response was unacceptable to me. The first thing your department said to me was there was poor coding or scripting issues on my site. You gave me one of the longest emails I've received in a long time that told me ways that I might want to consider optimizing my site and then ended that email by telling me how I could CANCEL my hosting account, WHICH WOULD CAUSE ME TO LOSE ALL MY DATA ON YOUR SEVERS, and sign up for a new, more expensive account.

Wow… what if I would have spent the last four days working on all those suggestions? And here, as you can see, without me changing anything at all, my site is loading within a few short seconds per page load.

Next, your email said to me…. “As you are using a shared hosting account, there may be times where there may be spikes in the server usage may cause temporary slowness with your site.”

My response to this is question…. “Are you telling me that FORTY FIVE SECOND PAGE LOADS ARE TYPICAL on your shared servers where there are spikes in server usage? Seriously?

If this is the case, why have I not had this issue over the past FIVE YEARS that I have had my account with you, with the exception of three occasions in the past when your servers were clearly having hardware failures that took me between two days and two weeks to convince you of?

Each time, in the past, your 3rd tier support moved me to a new server and ALL MY ISSUES DISAPPEARED and I never had a single issue with slow page loads, even when there were spikes in traffic.

Please go back and read this entire support ticket from the beginning. You will see that this happened THE VERY MINUTE that your company switched my site over to a new server. Sure, my site is loading within a few seconds right now. But if over the weekend, the slow page loads return, I fully expect to be put onto a different server.

I would appreciate your help in the matter.

Cliff


Update, Monday November 8th, 2010

Well on Saturday I received the following email in my Inbox.

Dear Cliff J. Ravenscraft,

Thank you for your reply.

We apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused. Your site should not experience 45 second load times while it is hosted on our servers, however, in a shared hosting environment there can be times where another user on the server is over-utilizing the resources which can cause latency on your site. We do monitor the performance of our servers 24/7, and when this situation occurs, our network administrators correct the problem as swiftly as possible to return the server to normal functionality.

Please note that you are on our Legacy hosting environment, and we do recommend that you upgrade to our Grid hosting environment for increased performance. Our Grid environment uses the resources of multiple servers to host your site, so any spike which is impacting the performance of one particular server would have a lessened impact on your site's load times in our Grid environment. There is no cost increase to upgrade to our Grid environment. For more information, see Web Hosting Powered by the Grid Frequently Asked Questions.
NOTE: When migrating to a Grid-based hosting account, you cannot switch your hosting account's operating system. However, after the account migrates, you can switch it.

To Upgrade to Grid-Based Hosting

Log in to your Account Manager.

From the Products section, click Web Hosting.

Click the domain name you want to use.

Go to the Edit Account Details tab.

From the Plan menu, select the new plan you want to use. Grid-based hosting accounts are labeled “[Plan type] [Operating system] Web” — for example, Deluxe Linux Web.

Click Save Changes.

Complete any necessary purchases.

Please let us know if we can help you in any other way.

Sincerely,
David P.
Online Support Team

I responded this morning with the following note.

David P., Thanks so much for your message. I'm glad that someone over there agrees that there should never be a time when my site takes 45 seconds to load, as demonstrated in the YouTube video that I created for your video department and shared in my previous correspondence on this support ticket.

The idea of upgrading to your grid environment sounds appealing. My question is this. Do you guys simply transfer all my data and SQL databases over to this new environment? And if the cost is the same? Why not just switch me over? I don't mind going through the steps you outlined in this response. However, I just want to confirm that I do not need to re-upload and reconfigure all my SQL Databases, etc. Please confirm that my account will suffer no downtime while you make such a switch and that all my sites and their data will be transferred and seeming appear to have no change to the outside world and I'll go follow those steps this evening.

Thanks

Cliff


Update 11/9/2010 12:42pm.

Overnight, I received the following response from GoDaddy.

Dear Cliff,

Thank you for your reply. All of your data will be automatically transferred to the new server when you elect to upgrade to grid hosting. The cost will be the same. We are unable to make these changes on your behalf. You will need to follow the instructions in the previous response. You will not need to upload and reconfigure your databases.

Please know that while your site may not be affected, your Hosting Control Center may be down for 24 – 72 hours while the transition takes place.

Please do not access your account through FTP while the transition takes place.

Please let us know if we can help you in any other way.

Sincerely,

Christian P.
Online Support Team

In response to that message, I'm going to try to find some time in my schedule to make a PHONE CALL to GoDaddy Support and confirm that the above statement is true. Meanwhile, I'm going to download a backup of my FTP folder and see if I can't grab backups of my databases.

Let's see if they can't make this a seamless process.


Update 11/9/2010 11:09pm

This is the last straw! I called GoDaddy to confirm that I could switch to Grid Hosting without losing ANY DATA at all and that it would be a seamless transition just as Christian P had stated above. The phone support tech confirmed that this was the case.

So I followed the instructions just as listed above and with the Godaddy Phone Rep assuring me that I was taking all the proper steps.

Then, when I went to save the changes, I get the following error!

That's right! My account is not eligible for this “seamless” transfer.

All I wanted, from the beginning, was my account to be taken off the server that they just put me on a week and a half a go. In the few years I”ve been with GoDaddy, they have done this for me over and over again, ONLY AFTER FIGHTING WITH THEM VIGOROUSLY FOR DAYS/WEEKS EACH TIME!

Here I am again. I'm told that there is NOTHING they can do for me except for having me copy all of my server side info to my own hard drive, cancel my current account, and then start a fresh new account and re-upload all my data.

I'm sorry, but that's just a load of BULL CRAP! If I could only get someone in LEVEL THREE SUPPORT TO HEAR MY CRY FOR HELP, they could simply move me to a different server and all my slowness issues would disappear.

I mean, if I'm going to take all my data and have to put it on a new account, I'm going to do that with another host for sure.

I'm just so TICKED OFF RIGHT NOW THAT I CAN HARDLY SEE STRAIGHT!

I KNOW FOR A FACT that they can just move me to another shared server.

Remember, that's how it all started… They sent me this email on October 28th….

As part of a continuing effort to provide the highest quality service for our valued customers, your hosting account,
gspn.tv, will be migrated to a new server in 24 hours.

If you are using external DNS servers or your domain was created under a separate customer number than your hosting account, then
you may need to modify your DNS setup with your new IP address: 208.109.14.115. You will need to log in to your domain account
and manually update the “A Record” for your domain.

Please note that your control panel will be unavailable for 24-48 hours. We also recommend that you do not make any changes to your
hosting plan during this migration process. We appreciate your patience in this matter.

My site was WORKING PERFECTLY before they did that. It's been 8 to 45 second page loads as soon as I was put on the sever found at 208.109.14.115.

WHY ON EARTH WILL NOBODY AT GODADDY HELP ME JUST TO Simply move to a different server than this one? I know it will solve my problem! It's worked every other time in the past.

I AM ANGRY!

VERY VERY ANGRY!!!!!


UPDATE: 11/10/2010 7:47am

After updating this blog post with the previous update. I went ahead and copied and pasted the above update and sent it as a SLIGHTLY MODIFIED email response to GoDaddy Support.

This is what they came back with this morning….

Dear Cliff,

Your recent correspondence has been escalated to the Office of the President for further review and follow up.

Our office would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you regarding this matter to ensure any concerns you may have are properly addressed. Please feel free to contact our office at 480-505-****, Monday-Friday 7AM-7PM and Saturday-Sunday 7AM-4PM MST (Arizona). Alternatively, if you prefer please let us know a good time and number to reach you during these hours so we may schedule a call back.

We thank you for your understanding and look forward to speaking with you.

Kindest regards,

Corey Slocum

Well it appears that I have a “special phone number” that I can call there at GoDaddy. It seems that “someone” will be expecting my call. This is interesting. Not only that, but this is the “first” time that this has occurred. In the past, there were at least two other incidents where I was EXACTLY WHERE I AM TODAY or TWO STEPS BEYOND THIS, and each of those times, they simply moved me to a new server and my page load woes went away.

Now, two unique things happened differently on my end this time.

1) I put out a VERY PUBLIC Twitter Post, that also syndicated out to Facebook & LinkedIn. It said….

I HATE, LOATHE, ABHOR, DESPISE, & DETEST @Godaddy! Updates made at the bottom of this post: https://gspn.tv/godaddy112010 #GoingToBedAngry!

The folks who manage the GoDaddy's social media must have got a little concerned when they saw that this message was retweeted a few times. In total, that status update, with a link to this very slow loading blog post, had exposure to more than 100,000 people.

GoDaddy's Twitter department responded with this…..

@GSPN Can you please DM us your current incident # ? Love to get this resolved & handled by the right dept. for you cc: @nlcast @erikjfisher

I did send a DM to @GoDaddy with my incident number and told them I simply want to be moved off the server that I was put onto on October 28th.

2) The second thing that I think happened differently this time was that I got one of those GoDaddy Support Followup Surveys that asked if my most recent call to support had solved my issue and asked if I would recommend GoDaddy to my friends or family. I'll just let you guess how I answered those two questions.

Just after those two questions was the ability to provide additional feedback regarding my overall satisfaction with GoDaddy support.

Unfortunately, I forgot to copy that response for posting here. However, it was very much like the update just prior to this one.

So it seems that I have the ability to talk to a whole new department at GoDaddy today. I do plan to call. I am certain that if I can just get someone who has any authority at all over there, that they can get me off this horrible server and my site page loads will return to normal speeds.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
At this point, regardless of what GoDaddy does or does not do, I have already blocked out ALL Monday afternoon and evening to transfer all my sites off of GoDaddy's servers and over to my BlueHost Account.

I received a generous offer from one of our gspn.tv community members to help me through this progress, someone who has a great deal of experience in migrating sites like mine between hosting companies. So one way or another, I hope to have this and all my sites back to running at optimum speeds by Tuesday of next week.


UPDATE: Sunday, November 14th, 2010

As I am typing this, I am VERY HAPPY to tell you that I am posting this update from my BLUEHOST HOSTING ACCOUNT. After TWO AND A HALF WEEKS of 8 to 45 second page loads and a countless number of phone calls and email exchanges with GoDaddy Support, I finally decided that enough is enough.

I want to point out, again, that this extremely long post is NOT the first time what you are reading about in this blog post has happened to me with GoDaddy. However, I can not begin to tell you what great joy it gives me to be able to say that THIS IS THE LAST TIME EVER that I will ever deal with GoDaddy support related to the hosting of any of the sites that I own.

I am very thankful to Jorge Cisneros has been a loyal member of the gspn.tv community and is now my friend for life. Jorge generously offered to assist me through the entire process of migrating all of my sites from GoDaddy's servers over to my Blue Host hosing account.

I spent between several hours downloading all of my data from the GoDaddy server and uploading all that data to the BlueHost server. All of this had been done prior to today, Sunday, November 14th, 2010.

Today, at 3pm Eastern Time, I fired up my GoTo Meeting and connected with Jorge via Skype. We spent the next four and a half hours exporting SQL databases, configuring .php files, creating new databases, importing backed up data, creating addon domains, forwarding dns records, etc, etc, etc.

And here I am now, at 8:05pm ET telling the world that my sites are now FREE from the chains of GoDaddy hosting forever!

I am now going to thank God for my friend Jorge and spend the rest of the evening enjoying my family.

Life Is Good!


UPDATE: Saturday, April 30th, 2011

I just not thought to come and post an update here. So I got everything moved over to BlueHost back in November of last year. Things were great for a few months. However, I started to experience outages with BlueHost's shared hosting services.

It became obvious to me that I could no longer rely on any sort of “shared hosting” services due to the fact that I am actually running an online business where people pay hundreds of dollars to access training materials that they purchase from http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/help.

I don't have enough time to write out the entire story of what I did next, but I did share that entire story in episode 196 of Podcast Answer Man. I'll paste an audio player with the file if you would prefer to listen to it from this post:

[audio:http://traffic.libsyn.com/generallyspeaking/PAM196-OutgrowingSharedHostingAndMore.mp3]

It has been been nearly three months since I made the switch to a VPS server with ServInt Hosting and I have not experience any down time on my site AT ALL. Nothing. Not even five minutes!

Let's hope and pray it continues to be this way.

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