11/27/11 Update: After about a week and a half Vid (the founder of Zippykid) did about everything he could to help resolve my issue, moving my site to a new cluster, removing all caches to better troubleshoot things, trying different monitoring tools to detect for issues, so they do get an A for effort. Unfortunately it was all to no avail. There’s just something about either my theme or plugins (of a combination of such) that their server configuration HATES. Without a batter means of analyzing the source it would have taken months of trial and error to determine the culprit, time I didn’t have. Hosting problems with my site aren’t unique to Zippykid though, as I’ve experienced performance/bug-related issues with Page.Ly and WP Engine as well, which I’ll write about in future posts. It seems all the WordPress only host solutions out there really hate my blog. :-P
If you’re wondering why I haven’t blogged in ages it might have something to do with the fact that I’ve been busy hopping from one craphole of a host to another. Previously I was with a temporary host who offered me a free month of hosting after reading about my woes about weird HTTP critical errors on a forum, show stopping errors that my then host refused to address or help me with.
I decided ultimately the best thing I could do for my now 5 year old WordPress blog was to move it to a host that ONLY deals with WordPress installations, ensuring that 1) I wouldn’t be sharing a server with spammers and porno biz types who were maxing out server resources to spread their hoinky boinky doinks around the intertubez, and 2) I’d be dealing with a support crew that would be more knowledgeable about WordPress than say, Ivan Brrughsvanovvivich of <insert typically oversold host here> giving me 2nd level support in broken English from Poland.
Eventually I found out about Zippykid and their WordPress only platform and decided to give them a shot after running into their booth at BlogWorld. I came home, signed up and started the process of migration, which typically costs $150. Of course the migration crapped out, resulting in a large portion of my files inexplicably failing to be carried over. I ended up uploading these files myself, and pretty much overwriting the rest of my content just to make sure nothing was corrupted via the transfer. In fairness though they did cut the migration fee in half ($75), and after everything was pretty much moved over, I thought that would be the end of it, right?
Nope. For the past week my blog has been throwing 502 gateway errors all over the place, which were popping up at random in my Pingdom logs, when I browsed around the site myself, and more disconcertingly, in the logs from Google Webmaster Tools, meaning the Googlebot was seeing it as well and doing God only knows what to my search engine rankings.
So I opened a support ticket. A week ago. The errors are still happening, but apparently because I’m on the cheapest plan, there’s no sense of urgency to get it resolved. Apparently Zippykid seems perfectly content to let my site continue to crap out like this until I lose just about all my traffic, putting their support pretty much on the same level as the support you might expect from OverSoldHosts.com with their outsourced employees from Elbonia.
As usual, when you want something done you have to do it yourself. To be fair though, Zippykid’s support has been trying to solve this mystery (when they actually get back to me that is, after much prodding on my part), but the nature of the errors is such that they leave little or no logs to be analyzed in order for the source of the problem to be determined. So I went through the process of disabling plugins and reactivating them, switching themes (all to no avail), then googled and researched 502 gateway errors on my own. Apparently it can be due to server configurations of nginx that might be too strict, too loose, too something, I dunno, but also due to PHP freaking out as well. From what I read though there were ways to log these problems for further troubleshooting but 90% of the terminology was way over my head. You know, the whole point of using a host like ZippyKid was that I would be spared the aggravation of having to sift through cryptic details about server configurations and PHP and segfaults and whatnot so I could just BLOG.
Nope. That peace of mind has become as elusive to me as finding a hot girl who doesn’t spit on me when I ask her out.
Zippykid is small company and I’m sure they mean well, but to let a problem like this fester for over a week to the point that I become so enraged that I write this post/review bashing them to death is not good for business. I expected better and am sorely disappointed that specialized WordPress-only hosting so far is not what I hoped it would be.
So now the hunt for yet another new host begins, although I’m reaching the point where I am just about ready to say %$#@ it and use Tumblr (or maybe Squarespace.) I am getting too old for this @#$%.