Changing Web Hosts: Bluehost to A Small Orange

In 2002 I purchased shared hosting from GoDaddy for my first professional website, the now-defunct freemanc.com. Up until then I had relied on free services, like AOL’s Personal Publisher 2, Angelfire, Geocities, and my college account. I didn’t have anything to compare GoDaddy’s services against, but I quickly became dissatisfied with them: slow page loads meant opportunities for them to up-sell me. No, thanks. It’s hard to track down exactly when I changed hosts, but I believe I moved everything to Bluehost in 2003 and, for about a decade, I was reasonably content. I had shell access, FTP, unlimited databases and storage, and Git and Subversion installed. Sure, the page loads still weren’t as fast as I would have preferred, but that’s what you get for $100/year. Technology progressed and soon “the cloud”, “VPS”, and “SSD” became regular buzzwords. After 10+ years at Bluehost, I said goodbye and made the jump to A Small Orange. While I was at it, I transferred all of my domain registrations to GoDaddy to keep them all in one place.

In my excitement, I quickly pointed the nameservers to ASO before pulling down everything off the Bluehost server. Thankfully I still had SSH access, so I was able to tar everything and rsync it onto my new host. Though it worked fine, I don’t recommend this route. Strangely, when I unzipped everything in it’s proper place, I got a 500 server error. I checked the logs and found this:

SoftException in Application.cpp:256: File "/home/labscom/public_html/index.php" is writeable by group

I set permissions on everything public to 644, which gave me a white screen, but no access to the wp-admin. I wasn’t able to cd into any directories. Apparently all file permissions need to be at 644 or higher, while directories need to be at least 755. So, heads up.

Though it took some effort to get everything up and running, I’m pretty pleased with my faster, less-expensive host. A Small Orange: Recommended.