Last November, I switched my work domain, including this blog, over to Siteground due to tech problems and turmoil at the prior ISP. I’ve long wanted to get the personal domain under the same technical umbrella as the work one so I didn’t have to maintain two. I had registered both work and personal domains with Yahoo long ago. It was so long ago, in fact, that the personal one was actually registered through GeoCities while the work one was through Yahoo Small Business. Options were few at the time. The annual price stayed pretty consistent for years and the service level stayed steady so it was easy to stay put. But while price and service stayed level at Yahoo, price decreased elsewhere and service options increased. That’s why I had switched my work domain years ago.
So now over a decade later, Yahoo is also in turmoil. Their main business has eroded to be a fraction of what it had been at one time and their almost accidental investment in Alibaba has turned into their main business due to the rocketing growth of Alibaba. Consequently, they are planning major restructuring including some sort of major change to their web services. They’ve been planning to spin off the web services as Aabaco. But that spinoff was abruptly halted due to Yahoo not getting the favorable tax rulings they were hoping for. And yet since the tech plans were already in motion, Yahoo went through with the change in services to Aabaco while remaining, technically, part of Yahoo. The result is that I need a new login and password to get to the web hosting and domain control panels. But when I click to view the control panels, I see the same Yahoo control panel that has been there for ages. And to see e-mail for my Aabaco-hosted domain, I need to log in to Yahoo mail with the original Yahoo login and password. The reason Yahoo has any web hosting customers today is because those customers have been able to stay put and not be forced into dealing with changes – there is no other advantage to staying with Yahoo. And now with these recent changes, there’s an additional layer of confusion added on top of the aged mediocrity of their hosting system. I don’t see them succeeding with this plan. And besides, for me, this serves as a perfect excuse for me to finally do what I had been wanting to do for years: move the personal stuff to where the business stuff is and have only one system to deal with.
You could argue that having different hosting providers is a way to hedge your bets. Should one of the two get taken over by EIG and dumbed down into oblivion, you have the other to work with still. But of course you don’t get to have both domains hosted in both places so you’d have to execute a move. And moving domain hosting is a pain and isn’t something you can do on your own – it’s you plus the new provider plus the old provider. So the difference between already having a second hosting provider active that you could transfer a domain to versus needing to start new is actually pretty minimal. In fact, it’s possible that a hosting provider that doesn’t have any of your business may actually make the move faster to impress you as a new customer than a provider that does already have some of your business.
The move from Aabaco to Siteground proved relatively uneventful, as expected. Moving the personal blog hosted on the personal site was the only thing that needed a little attention – the mySQL database needed to be merged in to the existing mySQL database in my work domain. And I took the opportunity to archive the current content of that blog which is something I’d been meaning to do for a while. I discovered that Yahoo’s ceiling on memory available to the PHP engine in the blog meant that the archive kept failing but after switching, the archive zipped right through. The performance difference between the servers is striking too – where on the Yahoo server, it would take a few seconds to respond to any click and maybe half a minute to do something “hard”, now clicks happen in a blink, as they should, and the hard stuff takes maybe a few seconds.
So for any Yahoo Small Business / Aabaco users looking at their options and wondering if they should make the leap, yes now is the time to find a better provider. Sure, Aabaco may eventually be spun off and eventually overhaul their platform and eventually become price competitive. But do you want to wait and see if that happens or just take action and see the improvement right away?