WARNING: If this seems a bit over the top with praise and adulation, that’s because it is! I couldn’t be happier with my new website hosting situation!
I am such a blogging rookie. If veteran bloggers hazed newbies I’d end up with my head shaved prancing around in a pink tutu. That being said, after making the decision to start blogging, I simply followed what seemed to be the recommended setup. I decided to use WordPress as my primary platform for blogging and picked Bluehost as my website hosting provider. Why Bluehost? Well they were prominently displayed on WordPress as a preferred host and were pretty cheap, or so I thought! Little did I know that this would end up being a rookie mistake!
Fast forwarding a couple of months, I was already experiencing trouble with Bluehost. Towards the end of March, after twice seeing my website go down with server issues at Bluehost, I sought out a new host. Surprisingly, I didn’t need to look far. While on twitter attempting to confirm the server issues with a couple of other bloggers, I saw a tweet by Andrea at Nuts and Bolts Media. Immediately after I began to communicate with her, she impressed me with her responsiveness to my inquiries.
Who is Nuts and Bolts Media?
Nuts and Bolts Media is a boutique design and hosting firm located out of Greenville, KY. Founded in 2011 by Andrea Whitmer, Nuts and Bolts Media strives to provide clients with outstanding service while customizing and designing websites to match the look and vision they desire. The internet is dynamic and constantly evolving, and Nuts and Bolts works to foster the long-term relationships required in order adjust to these changes.
Nuts and Bolts Media provides a variety of services including design, both a la carte and full-site, site consulting, and hosting services. At this time, and with my almost non-existent budget, my main focus was find a better hosting solution, although I would love to check out some of the design services they provide.
Saving Money on Website Hosting
This wouldn’t be an investing/personal finance blog without finding ways to save money! When creating a self-hosted blog using WordPress, three different host providers were recommended: Bluehost, DreamHost, and Laughing Squid. When I first reviewed all three of these options, Liquid Squid was out because they didn’t offer domain registration, and would be more complicated as a result. Left between the last two, I just defaulted to the WordPress “preferred” option of Bluehost, which at the time cost me $83.40 for a year of prepaid hosting.
After experiencing the aforementioned challenges with Bluehost, and making contact with Andrea, I looked into how much Nuts and Bolts Media would cost for hosting. Much to my delight, the same one year of hosting cost $50.00! So while saving $33.40 per year doesn’t sound like much, the difference in service has really maximized that savings!
Better Service for Less
Hell yes. It isn’t even close to comparable. Have you ever been somewhere so much that the employees count you as a regular? You walk in, and they know exactly who you are and what you need? Well that is how I feel at Nuts and Bolts Media. With any question, concern, or just plain bugging Andrea with awesome rookie issues, the response has always been prompt! Just as an example, the other night I was curious to see if she could run another speed test on my blog (the fastest one pictured below! ) and boom, less than 10 minutes later she was responding!
Speed is Everything
Let’s be honest, in today’s world we are juiced up, instant gratification folks. You can deny it, but this is true even if we are the type of person who is careful with our money, and know it will take YEARS of wise decisions to get us our intended financial destination. We understand the whole ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ concept as it relates to life. However, that being said, even those in the personal finance world still want websites to load quickly! No one loves a slow site, no one.
As I’ve already alluded to, the performance of my blog isn’t even close to what it was previously. Below you will find an image of blog’s load speed prior to switching from Bluehost.
Yikes. A load time of 2.5 seconds! While that isn’t the slowest out there, I have a pretty slimmed down blog that doesn’t require a bunch of heavy lifting in order to load. Below you will find two different speed charts pulled after the switch to Nuts and Bolts Media. The first is from immediately after the switch a few weeks ago, while the second is from a couple of days ago.
As you can see, the speed improvements have been phenomenal. No other way to describe it! The difference has been very noticeable, even when I’m working on the back-end of the blog.
A Host with the Most
At the end of the day, if you are serious about your blog and its performance, finding the right hosting provider is crucial. While cost is an important factor, service is just as important. With Nuts and Bolts Media I have found a wonderful combination of both.
While this post might read like a blatant affiliate compensation grab, none of the links in this post are monetized. I write this as a supremely happy customer!
What website hosting solution have you found for your site?
**UPDATE** – There have been a couple of comments about not being able to switch due to a contract with Bluehost. Bluehost provides prorated refunds for all customers should you cancel and switch to another website hosting provider. In my case, I was approximately two months into my 12-month contract. Bluehost refunded the remaining days in my contract within a couple of days of my notification of cancellation. Bluehost has a helpdesk page titled Cancelling the Hosting Account, where they detail the process of ending your hosting relationship with them. Hope this answers your questions!
***UPDATE #2*** – Unfortunately due to a personal attack on her hosting services, Andrea has unfortunately had to stop her hosting services. That being said, her customer service STILL kicks ass. She will absolutely help you if you have hosting questions, design projects, and anything else WordPress related. Just because Bluehost and others seem easy, there are smaller, more customer service friendly options at close to the same price! As always, do your research and ask around!