I have been using my home PC to host my website and gallery for almost 10 years. I had a good experience moving my gallery to Zenfolio and SmugMug (updated review here), access is faster, uptime is better and storage is really cheap these days, so I felt it’s a good idea to host my website on a professional hosting service as well.
I compared features and fees of a couple of hosting service and talked with two customer service agents. Because most pages of my website are driven by MySQL and PHP, these are the must-have features. Eventually, BlueHost stands out among others. It is the first recommendation in WordPress website and its online reviews are mostly positive. Although most services I evaluated provide similar features, bluehost’s website just looks more professional. The new user has 30-day money back guarantee, so I decided to go with it.
It only took a handful steps to setup the account. The most time-consuming part would be picking a good domain name. After account was registered, the configuration was pretty easy to me. I first exported my database into a SQL file and imported it into BlueHost’s database through mysqladmin application; then, I ftp my user directory from the old site, including WordPress, Gallery and Coppermine files, to the new sites. Within an hour, my blog was up and running. In fact, most of time were spent on coping files.
I have been using this service for a week now. So far, no problem at all. I started redirecting the URL aliases to point to the new site. I guess it will take a while for Google to locate my new site and putting it on top of the search results again.