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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, May 27, 2011

The Great Migration Continues

For those who just tuned in: Mochahost is the worst web host ever. Googlebot, I invoke thee!

The new web server that Mocha spent four days moving me into died on Monday morning. I swiftly sprang into action. Just as swiftly, they declared it fixed…but when I went to verify, it was gone entirely. I lost another whole day of business. Repeated emails and Live Chat sessions brought no response until 7 pm, when I finally got:

“The issue was solved.

“I apologize for any inconveniences.

“Have a nice day/evening.”

News flash: You guys need to work on your communication skills. At least I confirmed my longstanding suspicion that Live Chat is just a deflector shield. And I got a new personal tagline out of it: “Have a nice day-slash-evening!”

So a fifth down day from Mocha finally forced my hand. On Wednesday HostGator ran a one-day 50% off sale, and I snapped it up. I committed to two years of hosting (with a free private SSL certificate) for $167.50, which is a little less than I would have paid to Mocha and GoDaddy for the same services over two years. I just finished the migration half an hour ago and reset my domain nameservers to point to the HostGator version of my site. At the moment Curio City exists in a Schroedinger’s Cat state, simultaneously open on the new host and closed on the old one. That should resolve within 48 hours.

The only downside that I can see is that HostGator’s free cert doesn’t provide an animated, interactive seal like GoDaddy does. That little boost to perceived security was a very nice perk of the $30 annual cost. OTOH, reinstalling a third-party cert every year was always a big pain in the ass that required cooperation from Mocha’s support people; it will be very nice to have that automated. And, of course, I expect a noticeable boost to both speed and reliability.

Superficially, May’s sales numbers don’t look like Mocha drove away any business. But if you subtract out one $850 sale at the beginning of the month the top line would’ve ended up $338 behind LY. The five days of business that Mocha stole (plus one lost to the moving process) would have been worth $484 (based on the corresponding days LY). So after those two adjustments, “normalized” May wound up about flat with LY.

Of course, that’s just blowing smoke. The official Quickbooks numbers look like this:


Total income: +22.4%
Total COGS: +30.6%
Payroll: +89.3%
Net Income (Profit): -133.1%

Year to Date:

Total income: -10.2%
Total COGS: -16.3%
Payroll: -2.9%
Net Income (Profit): -2.7%

Paying HostGator for two years hosting up front blew the botton line away – my monthly Net Income was down by $136 because of $167 in “rent”. But that will smooth itself out over time, especially if I can persuade Mocha to refund my unused months (as if!).

June’s targets are a little scary. But who knows? Maybe having a better web host will make a difference.

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