The decision came about two months ago on discovering that I was paying over twice as much for 5 times less storage space and almost 7 times less bandwidth on my previous host than Blacknight offer on their ‘Minimus‘ package. It was time to make a move.
My photoblog can now be found at photo.icedcoffee.ie
Over the last month, thanks to the help of friends, especially Dave who spent a few hours kicking things off for me, Blacknight support, BKsolutions, shortword, micheleneylon, many others in the twitter community, as well as much learning on my own part everything is now live on Blacknight servers somewhere in Dublin.
Blacknight have recently developed some-what of a small cult following by giving away .eu (anyone use these besides govt?) and a couple of .co.uk domain names through Twitter in quick-fire first-with-the-correct answer-wins question rounds, as well offering 50% off the price of .ie domains for a day last week – a win for promotion, personality and not being a faceless company but one with character. This resulted in fun times and two free domains.
Problems I’ve faced with Blacknight have been small in number, my main gripe being with the custom control panel. It has grown on me, though it did take quite a while to figure out and I would have really appreciated some sort of manual to begin with. The fact that ‘webspace’ and ‘FTP access’ have to be manually set up for each domain threw me at first. However, the system is easy to read and navigate – all domains listed in one place, application installs (wordpress etc), databases, webspaces, ftp etc all clearly laid out.
As I love Gmail so much I have set up all domain email accounts through it’s interface and adding the Google MX values was simple to do – unlike before, I won’t end up filling a large portion of my disk space with undeleted mail.
One thing I did like with my previous host was the pretty Awstats, whereas Blacknight provide the fairly limited on the prettyness scale, Webalizer, though still great for number crunching. In saying that there is statcounter, Google Analytics, and more recently Mint. Mint gives lots of numbers and statistical analysis regarding visitors to your part of the web, including an add-on for viewing feedburner numbers among others – so I have little need of any other stats at the minute.
I’ve really learnt a hell of a lot from this process (I didn’t know nameservers existed!), and all that stuff about Databases and fiddling with the wp-config.php file – those databases are scary, and MX records including the time spent figuring out Google Apps and discovering that my mail will still have “sent on behalf of” for certain clients as I choose to manage all mail through the one account, this time though the main account is not my personal Gmail but my new .ie address – changing everything that used my old address may prove difficult for the next few weeks though.
So hopefully everything is working at this stage and no glitches occur, and indeed that I enjoy a lasting relationship with Blacknight, so far, I’d recommend them.
There have also been a few minor changes to the site, some small design alterations (cheers Andy), as well as a new header image, this time of Belfast rather than New York.