First, I just want to say none of the BlogOnCloud9 links in this post are affiliate, in case you thought this was just a blatant sales pitch…

About a couple of months ago, I noticed that my site was having loading issues. I ran it through a load time analyzer and was shocked at how long it could take to load.

Especially with it being reported that Google would look less favourably on slow-loading sites.

My host at the time was Hostgator, and while they’re a great host, my concern was that by sharing bandwidth with other sites, mine would eventually suffer. Step up the search for a new web host.

One of the blogs I read a lot is that of Mark Jaquith, and he had a post about WordPress and how certain hosts weren’t really set up for it (and I’m not saying this is the case with Hostgator, just to be clear).

In the comments of that post, Ronald Huereca mentioned a host called BlogOnCloud9. What caught my eye was the mention that they use Rackspace, who I’d been looking at, and how they seemed perfect for WordPress and were very security-conscious. So I decided to look into BlogOnCloud9. And was very pleasantly surprised.

The guys at BlogOnCloud9 set the service up because they were also WordPress lovers frustrated at how the platform wasn’t always taken seriously by web hosts. They have a rich history with WordPress, with their involvement with ContentRobot, and so decided to set up their own dedicated service just for WordPress blogs.

Reading up some more on them, I contacted the BlogOnCloud9 guys with some questions about moving servers, their service, and just general questions on hosting, etc. They replied the same day, with a great personal touch (something that continues today), and really made me feel like their most important customer. Something that every business should do.

So I decided to go ahead with it and the move was smooth as marble. There was no downtime; the guys had me up on a dummy site to ensure I was happy with everything; and the transfer from Hostgator to BlogOnCloud9 was completed with no drama at all.

Since then, the performance and support continues to convince me I made the right move, and it’s the reason I recommend BlogOnCloud9 for any WordPress blog or site, and for clients that are overhauling their web presence.

Should you check out BlogOnCloud9? Well, here are some features if you’re interested:

  • Custom installation tailored to your needs.
  • Configuration and plug-in installation for security, SEO, performance and analytics.
  • One-to-one support and forum support for all WordPress questions (not just your blog).
  • Nightly back-ups emailed to you in case your blog goes down for any reason (using the awesome Back-Up Buddy plug-in).
  • Easy upgrade options to different plans, depending on your growth/new domains.

Because I have a few domains, I chose the Expert Plan that also gives me five development areas. This is where I can essentially create a clone of my blog to redesign, mess with template, try new features, etc, without damaging my live blog. Then I just flip the switch to set live.

If this post comes across as a bit promotional for BlogOnCloud9, I make no apologies for that. Just like you, I believe in sharing great products and service, and BlogOnCloud9 falls into both these categories and then some.

And like I said at the start, none of the links here are affiliate links (though BlogOnCloud9 does offer that if you’re interested) so I’m not even posting just to make a fast buck…

Anyhoo… this is why I’m loving BlogOnCloud9 and if you’re serious about WordPress and blogging/site host, you could do a lot worse than check them out.

Cheers!

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Danny Brown
Co-author Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. #1 marketing blog in world as per HubSpot. Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Never says no to a good single malt. You can find me on Twitter - Google+ - LinkedIn.
54 comments
Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog

Fast forward three years and are you still using them or had you since switched elsewhere?

Reason I ask is I purchased a Hostgator account this week -- and they're in the process of migrating everything.

Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog

Fast forward three years and are you still using them or had you since switched elsewhere? Reason I ask is I purchased a Hostgator account this week -- and they're in the process of migrating everything.

BlogOnCloud9
BlogOnCloud9

Hey, Danny ...

We love hosting you at BlogOnCloud9! Thanks for all your kind words - we are working hard to make sure your experience is nothing but the best.

Blog.On! Karen & Dana

BlogOnCloud9
BlogOnCloud9

Hey, Danny ...

We love hosting you at BlogOnCloud9! Thanks for all your kind words - we are working hard to make sure your experience is nothing but the best.

Blog.On! Karen & Dana

BlogOnCloud9
BlogOnCloud9

Hey, Danny ... We love hosting you at BlogOnCloud9! Thanks for all your kind words - we are working hard to make sure your experience is nothing but the best. Blog.On! Karen & Dana

Shiva | Web Magazine
Shiva | Web Magazine

Hello there Danny,
Thanks for the mention to my post. Actually yes you are right, loading time does effect SEO now ever since Google implemented Caffeine. Also I read that Hyper and Super Cache does not work for you, have you tried Total Cache?

Also, I did check BlogOnCloud9 as you recommend. Seems to be a good enough offer. A host dedicated to Wordpress certainly is a better option than others because if at anytime we come up with any problems in our blog then they will certainly be able to help.

Shiva | Web Magazine
Shiva | Web Magazine

Hello there Danny,
Thanks for the mention to my post. Actually yes you are right, loading time does effect SEO now ever since Google implemented Caffeine. Also I read that Hyper and Super Cache does not work for you, have you tried Total Cache?

Also, I did check BlogOnCloud9 as you recommend. Seems to be a good enough offer. A host dedicated to Wordpress certainly is a better option than others because if at anytime we come up with any problems in our blog then they will certainly be able to help.

Shiva | Web Magazine
Shiva | Web Magazine

Hello there Danny, Thanks for the mention to my post. Actually yes you are right, loading time does effect SEO now ever since Google implemented Caffeine. Also I read that Hyper and Super Cache does not work for you, have you tried Total Cache? Also, I did check BlogOnCloud9 as you recommend. Seems to be a good enough offer. A host dedicated to Wordpress certainly is a better option than others because if at anytime we come up with any problems in our blog then they will certainly be able to help.

DJ Morris
DJ Morris

Danny,

It's funny to read this because I am in the process of making a change myself and I am leaving the same company that you used to be with too. Personally, I am changing for multiple reasons, but I also use VPS hosting for my site because I want to have control of my root and be able to add things like Yum, Memcache, Advanced PHP Cache, or Xcache just to use a few examples of choices available.

The funny thing about reading your post was that I have been running speed tests of various sites I liked and I even saved all the test url's in a notepad. I ran this test on your site back on June 6th: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100607_KHZ/ June 27th: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100627_KCX/ and Today: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100721_1NHJ/

I hope you don't mind me sharing these on your blog post comments, but there are quite a few things that are well in your control that you could do to make your site fly...here is a site that flies and it has over 1,000 pages: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100125_4JEY/ Hosting is important, but even with the best hosting, there are still things that you can do to optimize speed and performance and the one thing that slows sites down is images, but that is such an easy fix once you know how to compress images in photoshop before adding them to your website.

DJ Morris
DJ Morris

Danny,

It's funny to read this because I am in the process of making a change myself and I am leaving the same company that you used to be with too. Personally, I am changing for multiple reasons, but I also use VPS hosting for my site because I want to have control of my root and be able to add things like Yum, Memcache, Advanced PHP Cache, or Xcache just to use a few examples of choices available.

The funny thing about reading your post was that I have been running speed tests of various sites I liked and I even saved all the test url's in a notepad. I ran this test on your site back on June 6th: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100607_KHZ/ June 27th: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100627_KCX/ and Today: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100721_1NHJ/

I hope you don't mind me sharing these on your blog post comments, but there are quite a few things that are well in your control that you could do to make your site fly...here is a site that flies and it has over 1,000 pages: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100125_4JEY/ Hosting is important, but even with the best hosting, there are still things that you can do to optimize speed and performance and the one thing that slows sites down is images, but that is such an easy fix once you know how to compress images in photoshop before adding them to your website.

DJ Morris
DJ Morris

Danny, It's funny to read this because I am in the process of making a change myself and I am leaving the same company that you used to be with too. Personally, I am changing for multiple reasons, but I also use VPS hosting for my site because I want to have control of my root and be able to add things like Yum, Memcache, Advanced PHP Cache, or Xcache just to use a few examples of choices available. The funny thing about reading your post was that I have been running speed tests of various sites I liked and I even saved all the test url's in a notepad. I ran this test on your site back on June 6th: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100607_KHZ/ June 27th: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100627_KCX/ and Today: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100721_1NHJ/ I hope you don't mind me sharing these on your blog post comments, but there are quite a few things that are well in your control that you could do to make your site fly...here is a site that flies and it has over 1,000 pages: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100125_4JEY/ Hosting is important, but even with the best hosting, there are still things that you can do to optimize speed and performance and the one thing that slows sites down is images, but that is such an easy fix once you know how to compress images in photoshop before adding them to your website.

John Haydon
John Haydon

Danny, I'm curious about the expert plan. Are you using the 5 dev areas to do client work? John

John Haydon
John Haydon

Danny,

I'm curious about the expert plan. Are you using the 5 dev areas to do client work?

John

Kapil Apshankar
Kapil Apshankar

BlogOnCloud9 has also been on my radar for quite some time now, Danny.

It definitely looked very promising, and now I really know for sure it really is! I'd definitely like to see how it works out for you over the next 6-12 months.

The only reason why I am still on shared hosting is because of the cost differential. I use two different shared hosts - one as my "toying around area", the other as my "production" environment.

It definitely makes sense moving over to a more robust hosting platform once the numbers on a blog start looking strong, and shared hosting starting creaking.

At that point, it might help staying around with an "unmetered" shared hosting to play around on new ideas.

Kapil Apshankar
Kapil Apshankar

BlogOnCloud9 has also been on my radar for quite some time now, Danny.

It definitely looked very promising, and now I really know for sure it really is! I'd definitely like to see how it works out for you over the next 6-12 months.

The only reason why I am still on shared hosting is because of the cost differential. I use two different shared hosts - one as my "toying around area", the other as my "production" environment.

It definitely makes sense moving over to a more robust hosting platform once the numbers on a blog start looking strong, and shared hosting starting creaking.

At that point, it might help staying around with an "unmetered" shared hosting to play around on new ideas.

Kapil Apshankar
Kapil Apshankar

BlogOnCloud9 has also been on my radar for quite some time now, Danny. It definitely looked very promising, and now I really know for sure it really is! I'd definitely like to see how it works out for you over the next 6-12 months. The only reason why I am still on shared hosting is because of the cost differential. I use two different shared hosts - one as my "toying around area", the other as my "production" environment. It definitely makes sense moving over to a more robust hosting platform once the numbers on a blog start looking strong, and shared hosting starting creaking. At that point, it might help staying around with an "unmetered" shared hosting to play around on new ideas.

DazzlinDonna
DazzlinDonna

I love Hostgator, but I understand the need to move up from shared hosting. I am wondering if you considered staying with Hostgator but just upgrading from shared or not? In any case, BlogOnCloud9 sounds impressive. The pricing looks a little steep, but the custom features are probably worth it. I'd love to hear your thoughts 6 months to a year from now, to see if the host continues to impress you. It's when the site goes down (and it inevitably will) that will really tell how impressed you remain. Looking forward to hearing how well they react in crisis mode. Thanks for sharing your experience so far, Danny. I'll definitely keep them in mind for future needs.

DazzlinDonna
DazzlinDonna

I love Hostgator, but I understand the need to move up from shared hosting. I am wondering if you considered staying with Hostgator but just upgrading from shared or not? In any case, BlogOnCloud9 sounds impressive. The pricing looks a little steep, but the custom features are probably worth it. I'd love to hear your thoughts 6 months to a year from now, to see if the host continues to impress you. It's when the site goes down (and it inevitably will) that will really tell how impressed you remain. Looking forward to hearing how well they react in crisis mode. Thanks for sharing your experience so far, Danny. I'll definitely keep them in mind for future needs.

DazzlinDonna
DazzlinDonna

I love Hostgator, but I understand the need to move up from shared hosting. I am wondering if you considered staying with Hostgator but just upgrading from shared or not? In any case, BlogOnCloud9 sounds impressive. The pricing looks a little steep, but the custom features are probably worth it. I'd love to hear your thoughts 6 months to a year from now, to see if the host continues to impress you. It's when the site goes down (and it inevitably will) that will really tell how impressed you remain. Looking forward to hearing how well they react in crisis mode. Thanks for sharing your experience so far, Danny. I'll definitely keep them in mind for future needs.

Rob Cairns
Rob Cairns

An interesting view Danny. Thank you for sharing. What kind of costs are involved?

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Still using them, mate. Service continues to be second-to-none and the ease in deleting domains, adding new, setting up sites, etc, even easier with their new BlogDroid solution:

http://www.blogdroid.com/

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Still using them, mate. Service continues to be second-to-none and the ease in deleting domains, adding new, setting up sites, etc, even easier with their new BlogDroid solution: http://www.blogdroid.com/

Danny
Danny

So far so good, guys - cheers :)

Danny
Danny

So far so good, guys - cheers :)

DJ Morris
DJ Morris

W3 Total Cache is good, but you will have to change your permissions and it is a little tricky to delete because deleting the plugin does not remove the trail of cached folders it leaves.....once you press delete it can take almost 10 minutes for the files to be removed, that is quite a trail.

I actually paid the creator Fred Townes $200/hour to do the configuration for me, so let me know if you give it a try.

Danny
Danny

I haven't tried Total Cache, Shiva, but will check it out. And I guess I can always ask the guys over at C9 about it too :)

Cheers!

Danny
Danny

I haven't tried Total Cache, Shiva, but will check it out. And I guess I can always ask the guys over at C9 about it too :) Cheers!

Danny
Danny

What about W3 Cache? I hear some good things about that?

DJ Morris
DJ Morris

It really isn't that techy...I actually paid someone to write the script that ran the cron job. Super Cache writes to your htaccess so it requires you to change permissions...Hyper Cache and Quick Cache are both easy and less invasive without needing any permissions changed. The thing I like about hyper cache is it tell you how many pages are cached.

Danny
Danny

Hmm, that sounds techy, mate ;-)

I tried the WP Super Cache plug-in once, but it messed up my formatting. Although that could have been to do with how I had my permissions set up?

Something I'm looking at, although Headway also has GZIP Compression built-in as an option.

DJ Morris
DJ Morris

Do you use any Cache plugins? I have tested quite a few, and one that I had good success with was hyper cache, but I also had a cron job in my cpanel set-up with hyper cache that automatically cleared and recached my entire site at midnight so that in the morning all the pages were cached without someone having to click on them.

Danny
Danny

Hey there fella,

I never mind good info. :)

I don't use Photoshop (don't know how to being the easiest explanation), since I get my images from Creative Commons through Flickr.

But cheers - I'll have a look at the info and see where else I can crunch.

Danny
Danny

Hey there fella, I never mind good info. :) I don't use Photoshop (don't know how to being the easiest explanation), since I get my images from Creative Commons through Flickr. But cheers - I'll have a look at the info and see where else I can crunch.

Danny
Danny

At the moment I don't, John, although there's nothing to stop me doing that and then exporting the layout to the client site. :)

Danny
Danny

At the moment I don't, John, although there's nothing to stop me doing that and then exporting the layout to the client site. :)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@DazzlinDonna Hi Donna,

Just wanted to update this. I had a serious issue with my site after a theme downgrade, and even though the problem wasn't with them, the BC9 guys stepped in and were absolute stars at getting it resolved.

They just keep on impressing me :)

Danny
Danny

Great points, Donna, and yes, that's when the real test will be. So far so good, but maybe a revisit in 12 months will be in order?

I did consider staying with Hostgator and trying their VPS Solution, but the whole WordPress-specific approach, and the Rackspace connection, made the decision to move to C9 that little bit easier.

Danny
Danny

Great points, Donna, and yes, that's when the real test will be. So far so good, but maybe a revisit in 12 months will be in order?

I did consider staying with Hostgator and trying their VPS Solution, but the whole WordPress-specific approach, and the Rackspace connection, made the decision to move to C9 that little bit easier.

Dannybrown
Dannybrown

@DazzlinDonna Hi Donna, Just wanted to update this. I had a serious issue with my site after a theme downgrade, and even though the problem wasn't with them, the BC9 guys stepped in and were absolute stars at getting it resolved. They just keep on impressing me :)

Danny
Danny

Great points, Donna, and yes, that's when the real test will be. So far so good, but maybe a revisit in 12 months will be in order? I did consider staying with Hostgator and trying their VPS Solution, but the whole WordPress-specific approach, and the Rackspace connection, made the decision to move to C9 that little bit easier.

clarence
clarence

Thanks for sharing this. I operate the hosting business,it is important to know what user want in today market. I think web hosting business is moving into niche and more specialised.

Rob Cairns
Rob Cairns

Thanks Danny and keep up the writing. It gives all of us options and helps keep the competition going:)

Danny
Danny

Hi Rob,

Cheers. Costs are as follows:

1. One blog - $25 per month with all the support details as mentioned in the post.
2. Three blogs - $40 per month (includes three dev areas and double bandwidth of base plan).
3. Five blogs - $65 per month (includes five dev areas, additional telephone support, priority email support and triple the bandwidth of base plan).

DJ Morris
DJ Morris

W3 Total Cache is good, but you will have to change your permissions and it is a little tricky to delete because deleting the plugin does not remove the trail of cached folders it leaves.....once you press delete it can take almost 10 minutes for the files to be removed, that is quite a trail. I actually paid the creator Fred Townes $200/hour to do the configuration for me, so let me know if you give it a try.

DJ Morris
DJ Morris

It really isn't that techy...I actually paid someone to write the script that ran the cron job. Super Cache writes to your htaccess so it requires you to change permissions...Hyper Cache and Quick Cache are both easy and less invasive without needing any permissions changed. The thing I like about hyper cache is it tell you how many pages are cached.

DJ Morris
DJ Morris

Do you use any Cache plugins? I have tested quite a few, and one that I had good success with was hyper cache, but I also had a cron job in my cpanel set-up with hyper cache that automatically cleared and recached my entire site at midnight so that in the morning all the pages were cached without someone having to click on them.

DJ Morris
DJ Morris

Do you use any Cache plugins? I have tested quite a few, and one that I had good success with was hyper cache, but I also had a cron job in my cpanel set-up with hyper cache that automatically cleared and recached my entire site at midnight so that in the morning all the pages were cached without someone having to click on them.

Danny
Danny

What about W3 Cache? I hear some good things about that?

DJ Morris
DJ Morris

It really isn't that techy...I actually paid someone to write the script that ran the cron job. Super Cache writes to your htaccess so it requires you to change permissions...Hyper Cache and Quick Cache are both easy and less invasive without needing any permissions changed. The thing I like about hyper cache is it tell you how many pages are cached.

Danny
Danny

Hmm, that sounds techy, mate ;-) I tried the WP Super Cache plug-in once, but it messed up my formatting. Although that could have been to do with how I had my permissions set up? Something I'm looking at, although Headway also has GZIP Compression built-in as an option.